1 John 3:16-18
~16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? 18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.~
Words are cheap. We can say we have faith and say we have love, but if we don’t act on it by physically helping our neighbors, then our words have little value. The gospel we proclaim is realized through action—by going, speaking, loving, and serving.
Jesus certainly lived in that way. He actively responded to the whole spectrum of physical, emotional, and spiritual needs around him. He was not driven to meet every need, but he was open to respond to any to which his Father directed him.
John, one of Jesus’ disciples, was strongly affected by his example. In this letter, John wrote that if a person does not demonstrate this kind of love and concern, there is serious doubt that he or she even had been born of God. Anyone who has truly tasted God’s unconditional love and received his Spirit would be moved to repsond compassionately to others, like Jesus was.
How has God’s mercy been extended to you? Remember to give it back to others.