1 John 3:16-24
We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him. And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us. (1 John 3:16-24 NLT)
Real love is action, not a feeling. It produces selfless, sacrificial giving. The greatest act of love is giving oneself for others. How can we lay down our lives? By serving others with no thought of receiving anything in return. Sometimes it is easier to say we would die for others than to truly live for them – this involves putting other’s desires first. How clearly do your actions say you really love others? Are you as generous as you should be with your time, money, and possessions?
Many are afraid they don’t love others as they should. They feel guilty because they think they are not doing enough to show proper love to Christ. Their conscience bothers them. When we feel guilty, we should remind ourselves that God knows our motives as well as our actions. If your conscience is clear, you can come to God without fear, confident that your requests will be heard. John reaffirms Jesus’ promise that whatever we ask for will be given to us. You will receive if you obey and do what pleases him because then you will be asking in line with God’s will. Of course this does not mean that you can have anything you want, like instant riches. If you are truly seeking God’s will, there are some requests you will not make.