Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18
Heidi and Jeff came home from an overseas work assignment in a hot climate and settled for several months 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.
One of the ways 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.
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 (v. 18).
As you notice the numerous needs of people around you, how can you show God’s love in a practical way? How does serving God help your faith to grow?
Father, fill my heart with the willingness to help when I see a need. Help me to give joyfully and serve You with gratitude.
Read Compassion: Learning to Love Like Jesus at DiscoverySeries.org/Q0208.
In this, the first of John’s three letters, he sets out three distinctive characteristics of Christianity. One is the historical truth of Jesus’ life (1 John 1:1–3). John makes much of the fact that he (and others) personally witnessed the earthly existence and the miracles of Jesus. The second is the call (and motivation) to live in the righteousness Jesus gives us (1:6–2:2). The third characteristic, love, is what John develops beginning in 2:3 and continuing into today’s reading. This love is the “love for the Father” (v. 15) and isn’t for the world or the things in it. When this love compels us, we can’t help but love each other in the way referenced in 3:16–18. Such a love will be a shining witness to the world that doesn’t yet know His love.