7494 - Love Expressed

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Audio transcript

It’s great to join together for a study in God’s Word.

We are engaged in a study of John’s first epistle. Already we have learned that one of the points of emphasis in this book is “love.” John writes about the love, which God has for people and how this was forcefully demonstrated through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Then he talks about the love Christians should have for God and how we demonstrate our love by being obedient to God’s commands and instructions.

But there is a third facet of love, which is clearly presented in 1 John also, and that is the love that a believer should have for his Christian brothers and sisters. This emphasis is the focus of today’s study.

Let me read 1 John chapter 3, verses 17-18.
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? (18) Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Just as Christ’s love was sacrificial in our behalf, so are Christians to demonstrate sacrificial love to their brothers and sisters. The list of examples is endless; but when one is sick, to have Christian friends visit with food and encouragement is an experience with which many have been blessed.

Recently I heard of a group of friends who replaced the worn roof on a widow’s house. That’s love expressed in a tangible way.

Notice this Scriptural admonition is for the love and compassion which God’s Spirit brings into the life of a believer to be passed on to others who have needs. Of course God blesses the giver as well as those who receive in these situations. There must be much more than words and prayer – there must be tangible evidence of God’s indwelling love through actions in the lives of God’s children.

Perhaps the greatest evidence of love expressed, is those sacrificial gifts of time and effort in sharing God’s good-news with people who have not yet heard or who have not yet responded.
In a recent newsletter from a mission organization they shared the story of a couple of ladies who had gone to a country in East-Asia to share the gospel through loving and serving the populace which was predominately Muslim.

One evening robbers burst into their apartment. Both of these women were then beaten, kicked and pistol-whipped. As the robbers went off to sack the apartment, the two ladies barricaded themselves in a room. Then they beat on the floor & walls, and threw things from the window seeking to attract neighbors and get help.

Downstairs, neighbors who normally worked at night had remained home that evening. They heard the noise and called the police; then with gun in hand, held the robbers until the police arrived.

Later, fellow missionaries and local Christians nursed these injured ladies back to health. They encouraged them and saw them through those fearful days. Friends from their stateside church sent a couple to spend time with these two sisters; thus expressing love from the home front.

Later one of the ladies humbly pointed out that Jesus was beaten and tortured in fulfilling His mission. So why should they shrink in their situation from continuing their service to Christ, in reaching out to these people who needed to know Him.

This passage questions whether the love of God is truly in the person who has the means of helping others and fails to respond with compassion. May we each depend upon the power of Christ in expressing His love to those He sends our way.