January 13 2022
In our verse of the day, John echoes Jesus’ teaching that whoever hates another person is liable to judgment (Matthew 5:21,22). I believe that Christianity is a religion of the heart; outward compliance alone is not enough. Bitterness against someone who has wronged you is an evil cancer within you and could eventually destroy you.
Heidi and Jeff came home from an overseas work assignment in a hot climate. For several months, they settled near family in the state of Michigan—just in time for winter. This would be the first time many of their ten children had seen the natural beauty of snow.
But winter weather in Michigan requires a lot of warm outerwear, including coats, mittens, and boots. For a large family, it would be quite an expensive undertaking just to outfit them for the bitterly cold months ahead. But God provided. First, a neighbor brought over footwear, then snow pants, then hats and gloves. Then, a friend urged others at her church to collect a variety of warm clothes in all twelve sizes for each member of the family. By the time the snow arrived, the family had exactly what they needed.
As our verse of the day reminds us, real love is an action, not a feeling. It produces selfless, sacrificial giving. The greatest act of love is giving oneself for others. How can we lay down our lives? By serving others with no thought of receiving anything in return. Sometimes it is easier to say we’ll die for others than to truly live for them. Living for others requires we put others’ desires first. Jesus taught this same principle of love in John 15:13.
One way we serve God is by serving those in need. First John 3:16-18 encourages us to help others from the abundance of our own possessions. Serving helps us to be more like Jesus as we begin to love and see people as He does. These verses give an example of how to lay down our lives for others by helping those in need.
God often uses His children to fulfill needs and to answer prayers. And as we serve others, our own hearts are encouraged as we encourage those we serve. As a result, our own faith will grow as God equips us for service in new ways. How clearly do our actions say we really love others? Are we as generous as we should be with -our money, possessions, and time?
Inspirational Image of the Day