What Ought We to Do in the Name of Love - Encouragement Café - February 27, 2017

What Ought We to Do in the Name of Love
By Carolyn Dale Newell
Monday, February 27, 2017

“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:16 (NKJV)

I realize it is February, the love month, but laying our lives down for those we love is a bit much. Don’t you think? Yet, that is exactly what Christ did for us. The Apostle John penned these words, but according to www.biblestudy.org he never died a martyr’s death like the other apostles. He never laid down his life for anyone, yet, he was the apostle of love.

When John wrote his gospel, he referred to himself as the apostle Jesus loved. He used the word “love” in his first epistle over 25 times.

What should we do in the name of love, other than dying for someone? John answers that question in the following verse:

“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18  (NKJV)

Thankfully, the opportunity to give our life for another is rare, but the occasion to help one in need is readily available. How many people do we pass by daily who need our help??

Now, let us confine that number to our local church. We know Sister Betty has cancer, but do we consider that Sister Betty has financial needs? Is Sister Betty lonely? Have the treatments robbed her of all her energy? She surely would appreciate a hot meal or a companion to take her to appointments, filling her with encouragement during the drive.

We do not have to look far to find someone who is needy. Jesus Christ is our example of love. His love was sacrificial. What do we sacrifice in the name of love? Money, time, or a hug?

What else did Jesus do in the name of love? He healed. No, we cannot heal, but we can pray and offer encouraging words. He fed thousands, and we can feed several. He delivered people from demons, and we can deliver them from whatever financial bind with a gift.

With Jesus as our example, the Holy Spirit is our source for love. It is the first in the list of the fruits of the Spirit. In order to possess joy, peace, kindness and so forth, we first must possess love.

The good news is the law of sowing and reaping. One day, you will reap all the seeds of love you are sowing now. Isn’t that what we all want? To love and be loved. Sounds like a plan. Who can you love on today?

Where can you find someone to help? Your church, your neighborhood, in the line at the register… Make time to cover them in love. Set aside money each month for a special “love offering”.

Heavenly Father, Thank You for the many blessings You have bestowed on me. Show me ways I can share them with others. Direct me to one person today. Help me shower them with love.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

© 2017 by Carolyn Dale Newell.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Monday, 27 February 2017.