24th September 2011

Brotherly Love 7-Don’t Hold Back

The Seventh of a Series

“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;”
1Peter 3:8 (NKJV)

Jesus’ example of living love is there for all of us to see as it is laid out in the scriptures.  It was an example of a giving way of life, as the love of God found expression in and through him. His giving was wholehearted and accompanied with great joy. There was no stinginess in his giving.  He was not looking for the least he could give, but the most.  For instance, he didn’t half heal or partly feed or almost raise to life.  Whatever he had he was willing to give, indeed, he did finally give everything, even his life.

It’s interesting to note that the apostles Peter ad John, following this example, did the same:  “Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.  And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, ‘Look at us.’  So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.  Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’” (Acts 3:1-6)

One could argue that they didn’t give anything that cost them, but there is a clear implication that if they had gold or silver they would have given it.  It is ‘the why’ not ‘the what’ that is important.  It was the expression of God’s love for us and all his children flowing through the apostles that is the lesson.

Notice how the apostle John was to later express this:  “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.  And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?  My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1John 3:16-18)

Our wonderful heavenly Father has given us everything that we have and it is his desire that we use it wisely, not withholding from our brother when we see his need.

Prayer
Father in heaven, thank you for all you have graciously provided me with.  As I see the needs of others I pray for a soft and gentle heart that will not withhold what is appropriate that I should give.
Amen

Study by David Stirk

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