Love in action
This is how we have come to know love: He laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has this world’s goods and sees a fellow believer in need but withholds compassion from him—how does God’s love reside in him? Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in action and in truth. 1 John 3:16-18 CSB
Christ came to show to us what authentic love is all about. We see this love demonstrated: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 ESV). Once we believe Christ, we experience the magnitude of God’s love. Now, John tells the believers in 1 John 3:16, that as we follow God’s example of love, we share that experience when we love others. Yesterday, we read on what an individual who is filled by hate looks like. By contrast, John now writes in this section on what it looks like to have Jesus’ love within them. “This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” Jesus Christ displayed the highest intensity of love, “agape,” self-sacrificing, through His death on the cross. Jesus Christ gave the command to love others to His disciples in the same manner that He loves in John 13:34, “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.” John continues that this love within the believers should spur to action daily, such as giving to other believers when they are in need. John’s wording of the question in verse 17 “How does God’s love reside in him?”, refers to the false teachers who claim to have the love of God within them, yet through their actions, most likely motivated by their own selfishness, they refused to help those who are in need. The love of Christ is shown through action, not just in word. “Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in action and in truth.” This love in action is not just by helping fellow believer in their material need but love can also be demonstrated through service and giving of oneself to others. There are people right now who feel isolated and could benefit to someone’s offer of friendship. Believers, out of their love for Jesus, are obedient to His commands, and therefore, should be willing to sacrifice to exhibit the love that is within to other believers.
Isaac De Guzman