Be a People Helper:
“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:16-18).
What is one of the main differences between a Christian and a non-Christian? (Other than having a personal, saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, that is). What is the defining mark of being a follower of Jesus? Jesus Himself said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35). To be a Christian means to be a person who loves like Jesus—unconditionally and sacrificially. But what is love? What does it mean to love? In today’s world, many people don’t know what love really means. People say, “I love my new car! I love pizza! I love going to the mall!” But is that love? Or is there something more? Let’s see what First John teaches us that means to be people of love.
How do we know love? Because He laid down His life for us.
If it wasn’t for God, we wouldn’t really know what love was. The Bible says that God is love, and that God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). The Bible also teaches us that greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends (John 15:13). The greatest expression of love is to lay down your life for your friends. That’s exactly what the Lord Jesus did for us! Because He loves us, He was willing to give up His life and die on the Cross so that our sins could be forgiven. That’s what real love is, and that’s the example that God has given for us to follow…
How should we love? We ought to lay down our lives for one another.
As Christians, we are called to be like Christ, to love like Christ, and to lay down our lives for one another. Over and over the New Testament calls us to love one another, to bear one another’s burdens, to pray for one another, and encourage one another. It’s one thing to say to someone, “I love you,” but it’s another thing entirely to show that person love in a sacrificial way that actually costs us something. What does it mean though to lay down our lives for one another?
The Challenge: Show Your Love by Being a People Helper:
To lay down our lives means to help people in very real, tangible and practical ways. It’s time for those of us who are in Christ to start living like Christ, and meeting people’s needs, in Jesus name. To be a Christian means to be a people helper. The Bible talks about how “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38). As Christians, we are called to go around doing good and bringing healing into people’s lives—if indeed God is also with us.
Let’s look for ways to help people and bless people, in Jesus name. When you see someone going through a difficult struggle, offer to pray for them. I don’t mean to do what many Christians do and say, “I’ll be praying for you, brother.” That doesn’t do anything for them. Never pass up an opportunity to pray for someone right then and there. Say to them, “Can I pray for you right now?” If they say no, respect that of course and pray for them on your own later, but if you have a chance to pray for someone, take it! What else can we do? Talk to people—listen to them. Find out what’s going on in their lives. Give them hugs.
They say, “We all need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth…Hugging is healthy. It helps the body’s immune system. It cures depression. It reduces stress.” I know that’s a controversial action in today’s politically correct world, but there’s something healing about the human touch. I think this is one of the reasons why when the disciples prayed for people they laid their hands on them. Finally, if someone has a need, and you have the means (financial or otherwise) to help them, then bless them! And let this challenge from God’s Word ring in our hearts from now until Jesus returns, “Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth!”
Pastor Chris Jordan