Sunday, March 13, 2011

I JOHN 3:16

"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."  (NIV)

Unselfish acts seem to be the opposite of what the world teaches us from birth.  We spend our infant years
literally crying for attention. And we quickly learn that the more we demand, the more attention we receive.  (That attention is not necessarily always good attention;  unfortunately our prisons are proof of the fact that many people never get past the infancy stage...)

As we grow older we are bombarded with advertisements, slogans, songs, and pictures - all advising us to "look out for number one". And, this is the way of the world... But then there is Jesus' way.  Sharing. Caring. Seeing another's needs and not turning away. Truly trying to help those in need.  This is what Jesus taught by example; and, this is what He wants us to do.

Jesus had a brother, James. (James was actually Jesus' half-brother;  they had the same mother - Mary; but, James was the son of Joseph the carpenter, while Jesus was the incarnate Son of God.)  But I digress... James wrote the book of James. James is quite outspoken about many things...controlling one's tongue certainly comes to mind when one thinks about James' writings.  Another of James' discourses, simply put, means that actions speak louder than words.  And, if you claim to be Christian, then you should be trying to be Christ-like.  And, if you are Christ-like, you will not be selfish:
     "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?  Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, 'Go,  I wish you well; keep warm and well fed.'  but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."  (James 2:14-17  NIV)

The passage following todays's  "3:16"   continues to describe the selfless attitude and actions of a true believer:      "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?  Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with action and in truth."                                  (I John3:17, 18)

If you are reading this and think you have nothing to give, you are wrong!  You might give money. Or you might give of your time to a good cause.  Or you might lend an ear to a lonely person.  Many people are out there, crying for attention, spiritual infants in a dead and dying world.

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