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If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18

“I love you.” These three words can bring a whole variety of emotions to us. It can bring all-out fear is the person saying that is someone we don’t know! It can bring reassurance, peace, comfort and excitement when those words are uttered by someone who we love as well.

Psychologists say that we need to hear those words several times a day for secure emotional and even physical health. We need to hear, to be assured that we are loved because love is what keeps us sane in an insane world. The Bible says the three greatest things in our lives are faith, hope and love. People can take your wealth. Relationships fail. Finances and health vanish. But no one can take your faith. No one can destroy a hope that is fixed solidly on Jesus Christ. No one can take away Godly, Christ-like love.

The sad thing is, these three words can also be the emptiest words around. Being told we are loved by someone who hurts us makes love an empty, meaningless feeling. Being told we are loved by someone who only says that when they want something from us makes love demanding and controlling.

The best love is the love that shows itself in the daily grind. The best love is the soft touch, the gentle answer, the unexpected gift of help with no strings attached. The reason many of us are afraid to love is because we don’t want to be taken advantage of.

Christ’s love looks for nothing in return. Christ’s love seeks the good of the other person. Christ’s love gives everything it can possibly give to meet the needs of those who are troubled physically, spiritually or emotionally.

What would it be like if we as a body of believers looked at our community, sought out those who were in need, and gave without restriction? How would our community be different? How would we look to those who were the recipients of our generosity? If you want the answer to that look at Acts 2:42-47. The early church sold possessions, gave generously without concern of being taken advantage of, and grew by the thousands every day.

Jesus taught us to honor our government leaders regardless of how evil they were, but He always taught us that it was the responsibility of His followers to meet the needs of the widows, orphans and those who had fallen on hard times.

Seek God’s wisdom on how you can reach out in a material way to someone in your world, on your street, in your town, that needs to see (not hear) the love of Jesus.

PRAYER: Father God. Even though I wish I had more, I confess that you have blessed me beyond measure. I ask that you would show me how I can show Christ’s love in a tangible way to someone today. Remove the fear I have of being taken advantage of. Keep me from thinking my gift is too small or insignificant. May others be able to see by my actions that you are a God of love. I love you. Amen

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November 2010
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