“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:16-18
As I glanced down early this morning at the candle lit on my school desk, I noticed a Scripture reference on the back side. It is a candle I bought while in Boston for my Selah spiritual director residency, with a picture of the Paul Revere monument from Boston’s Freedom trail…and an amazingly delicious scent (yes, candles are one of my weaknesses, along with good coffee) . I decided to look up the verses. Right now just about everything causes me to think of God’s love and care for the most vulnerable people in our world, and this passage was no exception. The grammar teacher in me began taking over as I pondered the words of it.
Love is a noun. It is something we receive and give. “…for love is from God…” 1 John 4:7
Love is a verb. It is something we do. “…whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7
Love is a proper noun. Love is a person. “…because God is love.” 1 John 4:8
There is nothing each of us seeks and desires more in this world than love. We were created out of Love (a Trinitarian love), for love, to give love. Our calling as followers of Jesus is not only to receive love, but to give it away — lavishly, the way our Teacher did.
“It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.” Matthew 10:25
How will we love our brother or sister in need today? How will I…how will you…lay down our lives for our neighbors?
“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18
Deed and truth.
May Christ’s love fill you and consume you in every way. May the overflow of His abundant love in your soul spill out and splash those around you with life-giving love! It is a love that can change the world.