“Little children, let us not love in word only, neither with the tongue only, but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18 NHEB)
God sent Jesus into the world to be a sacrifice to atone for our sins (1Jn. 4:10). He sent His Son to atone for our sins so we could be at one with Him. Jesus is God’s love reaching down to us to lift us up to Him (1Jn. 4:9).
God is still reaching down to mankind. Only, now He is doing it through you and me. This is what loving others in deed and truth is all about. By reaching out we demonstrate God’s love reaching down.
God’s love was demonstrated in action. He sent Jesus to meet our greatest need – to pay the debt of our sins so we could have eternal life. Because God’s love was demonstrated with action, we can only truly communicate it by action. We prove the reality of God’s love when we take the actions necessary to help people with their needs (1Jn. 3:17).
This doesn’t mean we grandstand or make a big show of helping others (Mt. 6:2-4). Nor does it mean that we should launch a worldwide campaign to wipe out poverty (Mk. 14:7). It simply means that we do what we can when we can. This is because doing what we can, even if it seems small, means a lot.
I know a lady of modest means that buys toiletries at her local dollar store, puts them in re-sealable storage bags, and distributes them to the homeless. Another lady I know organizes group visits to shut-ins and the elderly at nursing homes on a weekly basis. She took a group from our church with her a few times. One gentleman from that group now visits the nursing homes at least once per week as well.
I also know of families who have a tradition of buying Christmas presents for the underprivileged. Then they spend Christmas Eve together distributing the gifts. A preacher friend of mine once brought Christmas Dinner and gifts of warm clothes to a group of homeless people living under a bridge.
It doesn’t take much to say a lot. Sometimes it’s just a hug to someone who really needs one. Sometimes it’s just being there for someone in their grief – not trying to fix it – just being there for them. The main thing is to truly love and to show that love in action.
This Christmas let’s demonstrate the love of God reaching down to us by reaching out to others. But, let’s not do it just at Christmas time. Let’s make everyday Christmas by displaying the love of God year round.
© Paul R Downing