Let the Love Flow Out
Bible Reading: 1 John 3:14-17
If anyone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need and refuses to help—how can God’s love be in that person? 1 John 3:17
It wasn’t until a few days after her mom came home from having heart surgery that a truth tiptoed through Amanda’s brain. With her mom recovering for the next couple of months, things wouldn’t magically get done around their apartment. So Amanda pitched in and made cooking and cleaning part of her daily routine.
The evening before Amanda’s mom started back to work, she took Amanda out to dinner. “I couldn’t have made it after my surgery without you,” she said. “I have something for you that I hope will always remind you of how well you took care of both of us.” Her mom made Amanda close her eyes and hold out her hands. When Amanda opened her eyes she found a delicate gold necklace.
Right then another truth tiptoed through Amanda’s brain. Amanda suddenly understood how cool it was to truly help people-not to get a gift, but to see the real difference she could make. And she realized lots more people could use her help!
Think about this: Let’s assume you’re figuring out what it means to love yourself and that you’ve got your family covered. Now what?
Loving people is like aiming at a big bull’s-eye. The inner circle is loving yourself and your family. Here’s your next circle: loving other Christians.
Maybe you haven’t thought of your Christian friends as folks needing your special attention. But Paul urged, “Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters (Galatians 6:10, emphasis added). God wants you to love the believers with whom you spend time worshiping, learning, serving, and fellowshipping. Your care can extend to missionaries and even to Christians you won’t likely ever meet—believers in other churches, cities, and countries.
But there’s one more circle to think about: all those neighbors you are to love as you love yourself. This huge ring includes everyone, from the folks next door to your classmates to remote tribes in faraway countries you can’t even name. Whoever and wherever they are, you get to love them.
Like a pebble tossed into a pond, the big splash of your love will be at the center, to those nearest you—family and fellow believers. But as you love, a wave ripples outward to needy unbelievers all around you.
TALK: How does your love for others spread to all three rings?
PRAY: God, show us how we can spread your love to every person with whom we have contact.
ACT: Make a plan as a family to show God’s love to someone in that outermost ring.