Listen as you read along
(running time 2 minutes 29 seconds)
You may realize this passage is two sentences below the passage that reads, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” This whole chapter is about love.
As a teenager, I heard this verse. I thought to myself, “If all the Christians are dying for other people, then there wouldn’t be any Christians around to tell others about Jesus.”
That is a good point until you read the next verse, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”
We must read scripture in context and see the meaning as a whole, not in just one random verse separated from its context. In this passage, we are not talking about dying necessarily, we are talking about laying down our hearts and caring for others with our actions.
Jesus laid down his life because of His love for us. Jesus took love to the farthest degree by laying down His life for us. While we were yet sinners He died for us. He asks us to love one another because of that love.
Let’s put this in the real world in our business for a moment. When the budget gets tight in our business do we ‘lay down our life for our brothers and sisters?” The reality is that when we truly care about those whom we lead in our business: employees, contract laborers, etc., we should be thinking about their lives as much as our own.
I know we are getting deep, but when we dive into the God’s word it digs down to the core of who we are. If every Christian business owner had to read the verse about laying down their lives before making budget cuts, our businesses would be a lot different.
Now, back to our core verse for today. We love not in words or speech but in actions and truth. It is not enough to use your words only, but your actions must follow what you say. We must act in love and in truth.
We are not always perfect, but people who know we are Christians look to us to see the way we run our lives. For instance, if you get cut off in traffic, do you do the one finger wave or do you pray for that person?
We must realize that we live in a fallen world with a lot of hurt people. We must rise above the hurt in our own lives to help others and love them as Jesus loves them.
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. I John 3:18