1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 All who hate a brother or sister are murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them. 16 We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.
If there’s been one defining characteristic of Christian people, from the very beginning, it has been that Christians love others. We serve, we honor, we respect.
I was talking with a dear friend recently who has been frustrated in her desire to share her Christian faith with her husband and adult children. She herself had spent many years away from the church, but more recently has had her faith renewed and is an active member of a local congregation. She reached out to me because she has felt inadequate in explaining or teaching the faith to those closest to her. This is a common situation.
Many people feel ill-prepared or inadequate in sharing their faith with others.
Our passage from today is an excellent reminder of what is most important in sharing faith. Yes, it’s great if one can explain the ins and outs of Christianity, our beliefs, the bible, and so on. However, there is something else that is way more important than any of these more intellectual dimensions.
All of the head knowledge in the world is useless without love. (Check out 1 Corinthians 13 for more on this) Love is what melts peoples’ hearts. Love is what draws people to Christian community. Conversely, when Christians have no love, we are guilty of forgetting the very thing that makes us who we are. Unfortunately there are far too many Christians investing great amounts of time and energy confessing other peoples’ sins. One can be right and still miss the point. Which brings me to an important question for today:
What opportunities will we have to love others today?
Lord Jesus, you loved us to the point of giving your life for us. There really is no greater love than that. Give us grace to love those around us, Christians or not. By this we will reveal ourselves to be your followers. We ask this in your holy name. Amen.