“But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and closes his heart of compassion against him, how does the love of God remain in him?”
It can be easy to say we would die for someone knowing it will probably never happen! But what about sharing what we have right now?
What about sharing our money and goods, and even our skills, with sisters and brothers we can see in need? This seems to be a different issue, but it in reality it is the same issue of love for each other. Will we share, or protect our own interests? This is where the rubber hits the road, when it affects my daily income, my time and my interests it becomes an issues much closer to the heart.
Let us not be hypocrites in this regard, saying we love Christ and yet not really loving others in the reality of living.
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil. Cling to that which is good. In love of the brothers be tenderly affectionate to one another; in honour prefer one another, not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, rejoicing in hope, enduring in troubles, continuing steadfastly in prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, and given to hospitality.”
This is very clear. We serve each other as we have need and we watch out for each other in care and attention to our lack and needs. We do not undermine each other but watch for difficulties and wants that need to be supplied. We must not make people dependant but encourage each other to work and be active in the society we find ourselves in, including our circle of Christian friends. It is the heart of love that is able to observe the situation with other people and be able to reach out in love to supply need in a creative way. Playing the lady or gentleman bountiful, will not reflect Christ but the humble serving of others in a way that they will understand and benefit from.
If we are fortunate to belong to the Lord and He has supplied us with more than we need, how can we watch sisters and brothers struggle and do nothing? This verse from the Apostle John says we have a responsibility toward each other and not just words to comfort, but deeds that satisfy needs and even wants. We are compelled to give out of our resources that we have been given by the Lord. Our funds and skills and gifts are not our own, but belong to the Lord who has given us the ability to have them. Surely our hearts full of love should reach out to others and supply the needs of the household of faith?
When we see Christians struggling, how can we close up our emotions and foster the lack of compassion we see in the world all around us. Many people struggle and if we have the ability to relieve that situation and do not, we are adding to the grief.
Beloved, let us not take what we have to ourselves alone, though it is the Lord’s provision, but let us share and give and meet the needs of our fellow believers wherever there is that need…
The outcome for us will be closeness to Christ and a likeness to Christ that will mark everything we do, and bring our Lord such glory, thankfulness and praise.
“For this service of giving that you perform not only makes up for lack among the saints, but abounds also through much giving of thanks to God, seeing that through the proof given by this service, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the Good News of Christ and for the generosity of your contribution to them and to all, while they themselves also, with supplication on your behalf, yearn for you by reason of the exceeding grace of God in you. Now thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift!”
2 Corinthians 9:12-15