April 19, 2018

1 John 3:16-20…“How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?” vs. 17

As early Christians began to live together in community, one basic truth became apparent to them, a truth that came directly from the teachings of Jesus. They were convinced that a disciple’s actions and deeds revealed the state of their hearts. They could not believe that God’s love could possibly abide in any person having the world’s goods who saw brothers and sisters in need, and who yet refused to help them. That’s a hard truth for any of us to hear. We live in a land of plenty and, even though we complain about taxes, most of us have abundant possessions. And some of us are extremely reluctant to share our wealth, ridiculous as it sounds, we’re afraid we’re going to run out! That reluctance has done more to damage the reputation of Christianity than anything else. The world knows what Jesus taught, and when impressionable people see the self-proclaimed followers of Jesus hoarding their wealth and making scapegoats of the poor, the hypocrisy is obvious. If God is love and God’s love abides within us we cannot help but be generous in every possible way. It’s not by speech or words that we show forth God’s love, it’s by deeds and actions. Fortunately, millions of believers have caught that vision and the poor have been blessed by their extravagant sharing.

Thought for the Day: When will I run out of money?