Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (V.11)
John the elder, when writing the epistle to his readers, notes that no one has ever seen God. Since no one has ever seen God, one might wonder how it is possible to love someone that they cannot see. John provides his answer to the question in the next sentence, “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” In other words, God is made visible to the people around us when we love them with his love. It is this love that changes humanity and brings people into a deeper understanding of the Father and his son Jesus.
As John continues, he describes the uniqueness of the love of God. He also describes what causes people to hold back from the love God—fear, “The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1st John 4:18)As Christians we need to be people of faith that do not hold back in fear. Moving forward in faith is what brings people together.
I once heard the story of an individual in the armed forces who was stationed in a very hostile area. The rural folk in that area were not very friendly to his troops as they were loyal to militant insurgents in that location. The insurgents would provide them with basic staple foods and other means for their sustenance and they were afraid of these other troops. The commanding officer of that unit this individual was in, instructed the unit to live with these people for three days. The unit was not to go and ask the locals for information on the insurgents but rather just live amongst them and help them. Initially the unit was not too thrilled with this idea as some of their comrades were attacked and even killed by the militants in the area. However, as the days went by both the members of the unit and the locals there began to develop better relationships with each other, to the point where a young boy in the area not more than three years climbed upon the shoulder of this individual.
This story comes to show that while fear and hatred can hold us back, love is capable of driving that out. It is this genuine kind of love that reveals the face of God to a people that has never seen him or known him. When people see your love, will they see the face of God?
Prayer: Help us to love the people around us, such that your love may be complete in us. Help us not to shrink back in fear or hate, but to move forward in love.
Thought for the day: People with a heart for God have a heart for fellow beings
Benson George Babu, Long Island MTC, NY