April 7

1 John 3:16-17

“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

Sometimes the words of scripture are so plain and obvious that it’s impossible to miss their point. There’s no way to squirm out of the spotlight they shine on our lives. That’s the way it is with the epistle writer, John, today. We don’t know the situation precisely but he definitely wants to remind his readers that the presence of God’s love in their lives will change the way they look at the world. And the question he asks them is one that deserves our full attention too. How can God’s love abide in us if we refuse to use our wealth to help our brothers and sisters in need? If we didn’t claim to be believers, that would be one thing. We could go ahead and ignore the poor and the hungry, while ensuring a comfortable future for ourselves through the hoarding of the world’s goods. But followers of Jesus simply don’t have that option–we really don’t! If God’s love abides in us there will be no question about sharing our wealth with others–we will do it generously with joy, and the world will be blessed. And so will we! Our giving will be the most convincing gospel testimony that we could ever offer. That’s why the early church grew so rapidly–outsiders saw their generosity and concluded that it was rooted in deep and abiding love. It’s still happening today!

Thought for the Day: Who knows the level of my generosity?

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