1 John 3:16 True Love For Others

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 and sisters. 1 John 3:16

While loving others is often talked about by the world, the most common love is love for self. People generally are looking out for themselves long before they even begin to think about others around them.

Most people want to make sure that their own needs are met before they attempt to meet the needs of others. Many will not do anything for anyone else unless they know that there is some benefit in it for themselves.

As John continues to talk about love, he describes love as Jesus laying down His life for them. Then he states that believers should lay down their lives for their brothers and sisters.

It is easy for a person to talk about love and loving others, but it is much more difficult to actually love other people. In order to love another person, one must be willing to sacrifice a part of himself, whether it is time, abilities, or possessions.

Jesus demonstrates true love by sacrificing His entire life so that everyone would have a chance at being saved and given eternal life. No one was able to take His life, but He chose to lay it down to give life.

In the same way, believers are to willingly lay down their lives for others. This love is putting self and all of self’s desires aside so that one can help others out.

Just as the nails on the cross were painful for Jesus, this can be painful for a believer, but in the end it reaches people for eternity. When a believer does not lay down his life for others, he does not know or have the love Jesus had.

Take a moment to realize how much Jesus loved you in laying down His life for you. Allow that love to fill you and strengthen you to go out and show that same type of love for others.

You may not have to physically die for others, but be willing to sacrifice some of your time, energy, abilities and possessions to help others out. Lay down your life in love for others. Allow others to see what true love is. This will point others to Jesus and build His kingdom.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will know the love God has for you and others; that God will strengthen you to lay down your life for others; and that God will redeem your sacrifices for others.

1 Peter 4:10 Use Your Gift To Serve Others

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4: 10

Everybody has some ability to do something very well. For each person that ability is a little to very different.

While many people never really understand or use their abilities, there are some that hone those abilities to be used. Instead of using their abilities to serve others, many will use them to build themselves up. The world wants to build their own little kingdoms first, and if anyone benefits from it, then it is fine.

Peter tells the people to use whatever gift God has blessed them with to serve others. This service is revealing God’s grace in various ways.

God has made every person unique and given them an ability to do something of value in light of eternity in this world. Being a believer is not just talking about the gospel message and going to church, but meeting needs of others, both physical and spiritual.

Sadly, many in the church are just like the world in using their gifts for themselves, rather than to build God’s kingdom. They build their own little kingdom here on earth, just as the world does.

No matter what the talent is that a person may have, he should use it to point people to Jesus. Helping others out and serving them reveals the grace and love of God to them in many ways.

His focus should be on using what God has given Him to build His kingdom, rather than the temporary kingdoms of this earth. Even though some may fight back and persecute, because of their hatred for God, others will turn and choose to believe in Jesus because of the grace and love shown to them.

God has given you some talent or gift that is unique to you. It is up to you as to how you use it. Do not allow yourself to be led by the world in using that gift to please yourself and build your own little kingdom.

Allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide you in using it to build His kingdom, to show His love and grace to others that need Him. No matter how little or big your ability is, God can use it in mighty ways to change the lives of people around you.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will know what gift God has given you; that you will use God’s gift to point people to Jesus; that others will see God’s grace and love through your service; and that God will give you the needed strength to serve others with His grace.

Hebrews 6:10 God Will Not Forget

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10

It is a very common desire for a person to recognized for the work that he has done. Many people have quit many different jobs, because their hard work was overlooked by the managers.

There are many who do good works out of love and care for others, but quit because of no acknowledgement of their work. Others do the good works, just to look good and get the recognition.

The author states that God does not forget one’s work and love, and will not be unjust about it.

It can be very difficult for a person who sacrifices of his personal time to help others, only to never get a thank you or any other type of recognition. When this occurs, there is a feeling of worthlessness and ungratefulness.

Many in the church do many different types of works of love behind the scenes. Very often they are never thanked and it appears as if God does not see them. Over time they get weary of doing good works and often quit.

God is not like man in forgetting or ignoring what a person does, but sees it and does not ever forget it. He is often setting up the stage, behind the scene, to honor the person in a greater way than man would ever honor him. If nothing else, God will honor that person for his works when he steps into heaven for eternity.

Instead of getting tired and giving up on doing good works, the believer must trust in God and keep doing what God has given him to do. God is watching and will reward at the right time.

You may be one who is doing good works and showing love to others who do not appear to recognize what you are doing. As you do these things, you are being just like Jesus was, doing good works without always being recognized.

Do not grow weary and give up doing what God has laid out before you. He will reward you in right time, in the best way possible. God will also give you strength and His favor to continue to do the work He has given you to do.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will do any good work God has given you to do; that you will love others as God loves them; that you will trust God for your reward in His timing; and that you will never quit doing what God desires of you.

John 13:12 What He Has Done For You

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. John 13:12

Understanding what other people are doing is something that does not commonly occur. Among people, misunderstanding happens more often than understanding.

All a person can see is the outward action, but are unable to see the true motive for the action. The actions are often misconstrued for the wrong reasons. Many will even take offense to actions done with the right heart or purpose.

While sitting and eating His last meal with the disciples, Jesus began to wash their feet. As He finished washing their feet, He asked them if they understood what He did for them.

During the biblical times people wore sandals and walked everywhere. Their feet would get extremely dirty. When they went into someone’s place, they would often be given some water to wash their feet. Each person would wash his own feet.

Instead of allowing the disciples to wash their own feet, Jesus washed their feet Himself. Not only had Jesus washed their feet, He also later paid for their sins, forgave them of their sins, did many healings, and gave each one life.

All these things were done for them and as an example to them. Believers are to put others before themselves. They are to humble themselves and serve others as they serve God, just as Jesus continues to serve.

This serving can come in washing feet, forgiving, giving a helping hand, teaching and many other ways. It is about loving the neighbor and the enemy as God loves them.

It will be a struggle for any believer to do any of these things, until he comes to a good understanding of what Jesus has done for him.

In the same way Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, He also has washed you clean of your sins. This was done in humility when He was dying upon the cross, cursed of His Father in heaven.

You are expected to be just like Jesus, humbling yourself to serve others as you serve God. Doing things for others is the same as doing it for God, but it takes putting others before yourself.

It takes understanding what He has done for you to do it for others.

Do you understand what He has done for you?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will understand what Jesus as done for you; that you will humble yourself to serve others as Jesus has served you; that you will know God’s love for you; and that you will have God’s love for others.

2 Corinthians 9:12 Double Purpose To Give

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 2 Corinthians 9:12

There are many organizations that urge people to give generously in order to help other people out. In America, they have made a dual purpose to give. One is to help others out, while the other is to get a tax write-off at the end of the year on the income taxes.

The world recognizes the need to help others out and attempt to make good on selfish reasons to do so.

Paul just commended the church for their selfless giving to help others out. He recognizes that this not only supplies the needs of other believers, but is also an expression of thanks to God.

While many recognize the need to give in order to help others, they do not always see it as a means of expressing thanks to God also. God has given people money and things for two purposes. One is to provide for their own needs, and the other is to provide for the needs of others.

At the time God sent Jesus to die on the cross, He had dual purpose in giving His Son. One is to provide forgiveness for those who believe in Him, the other is to provide a way to have fellowship with fallen man.

As a believer generously gives from his heart to the needs of others, he is telling God thanks for what He has blessed him with. He is not being selfish and hoarding what God has blessed him with to himself, but is sharing it from a loving and generous heart.

When this generous giving is done, people will praise God for His provision and the obedience of the other believers.

Regardless of how much or how little you have, you have been blessed with God with what you have. God is your provider of all that you have and need. Instead of hoarding and keeping it to yourself, give to others who are in need.

Your giving will be a blessing from God to others and an expression of thanks and trust to God for what He has given you. In all of your giving, you will never be able to out give what God can and has given you.

How are you thanking God today for what He has given you?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will see what God has blessed you with; that God will show you ways to share what He has given you; that you will show thanks to God by giving to others in need; and that many will see and praise God because of your generous giving.