Who is My Neighbor? – 3

“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But if any one has the world’s goods and see his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?  Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in deed and truth.”   I John 3:16-18

Today I want to share more on how to love our neighbor, with quotes from John R. Stott’s booklet, Who is My Neighbor?  [1]:

Love, then is sacrificial service, giving oneself to serve others….The call to lay down our lives is not necessarily a summons to spectacular deeds of heroism (though some are called to this): it includes unspectacular (though not less heroic) deeds of service.   We can “lay down our lives’ when we give them freely in the service of others.  But where there is not giving nor serving, however loud our protestations to the contrary, there is no love.

“…With devastating force John applies his principle to the more affluent Christian.  He describes him as having two characteristics.  First, he ‘has the world’s goods,’ and second, he ‘sees his brother in need.’  This is the situation.  He ‘sees’ and he ‘has.’  He sees the need and has the wherewithal to meet it

“We know what Jesus did. He saw, he felt, he acted.  What about us?  If we don’t apply what we have to what we see, we are ‘closing our hearts’ against our needy brother….So, if His love is truly within us, it is bound to break out in positive action, in relating what we have to what we see…..The love of Christ prompts us to share with others both our material blessings and our spiritual riches.”

 “And beyond all these things, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”  Colossians 3:12-14


Tomorrow I’ll conclude this topic (maybe) with Scriptures and thoughts on Jesus’ example of love.

[1]  John R.W.Stott, Who is My Neighbor?  Inter-Varsity Press, London. 1976

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