Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
Imagine that it is five degrees below zero and the wind is blowing at thirty miles an hour. It has been snowing for the better part of the night and there is about a foot of snow covering everything. There is a knock at the door and I open the door to see a little old man curled over wrapping his arms tightly against his body as he shakes uncontrollably. He mutters something through chattering teeth and frozen jaws that sounds like “I…I….I…heard that you were a Christian….I have been….. out here all night, and I…. am free…..zing.” I am ecstatic. Glowing with pride for my Christian testimony and how well I have served God in front of others, I proceed to quiz the man as he shivers on my porch, “Well, I’m glad you made it to my house, but before we go any further, I would like to ask you if you have ever made Jesus Christ your personal Savior?” In disbelief the man coughs and sputters, “I haven’t….eaten for two days….and my toes are fro…zen, can you please….help.” Beaming with the opportunity to use my favorite line of scripture, I quote Peter, “Silver and Gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee,” I then reach to my secret stash of gospel tracts behind the door and grab the “Everybody Needs a Home” one. Before closing the door and sending him back into the cold empty handed, I take a moment to pray with him. Hopefully, by now, something in you is screaming “LET HIM IN THE HOUSE!! GET HIM A WARM BLANKET!!! GET HIM SOME HOT SOUP AND A CUP OF HOT COCOA!!!” I can say I love the lost, but if they never see it, how will they ever believe it. I can tell them that God loves them like I do, but I think far too rarely that just isn’t the case. He actually gave His life for them…I won’t even give them my parking space. It has been aptly said and still remains true, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Now, go show the love of God.
Food For Thought: Read James 2:15-16. What does James say that agrees with the assessment John gives here in 1 John 3?