11 For this is the message which you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; 12 unlike Kayin, who was of the evil one, and killed his brother. Why did he kill him? Because his works were evil, and his brother's righteous. 13 Don't be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. He who doesn't love his brother remains in death. 15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.
16 By this we know love, because he laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and closes his heart of compassion against him, how does the love of God remain in him? 18 My little children, let's not love in word only, neither with the tongue only, but in deed and truth. [1 John 3:11-18 HNV]
Not long ago my wife, Janet, and I bought a quantity of beef from a friend who raised cattle on a small farm. It was less expensive than meat from a grocery store, and we put it in the freezer to use throughout the coming months.
Then a terrible lightning storm cut power throughout our area. For the first 24 hours we were confident that the freezer would keep the meat frozen. But when the second day came with still no word of getting our power back, we began to be concerned.
We contacted Ted, a member of our Bible-study group, to see if he had any advice. He canceled an appointment he had and showed up at our doorstep with a generator to provide power for the freezer. We were thankful that Ted helped us, and we knew it was because of his love for Christ.
The old saying “a friend in need is a friend indeed” took on new meaning for us. John reminds us in 1 John 3:18, “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” Sometimes this means inconveniencing ourselves to care for the interests of others or receiving that help when we ourselves are in need. After all Christ has done for us, it’s a blessing to be His hands and feet in loving one another.
Father, thank You for making me a part of Your
family by giving Your Son Jesus for me. Help me
to accept the care of others and also to serve them
out of gratitude and out of my love for You.