Hurricane Sandy left chaos, confusion, darkness and despair in her wake. In the midst of those dark circumstances, Salem Church, (http://salemchurchnyc.org) on Staten Island, shined in bright contrast. Relief, rescue and reconstruction efforts poured out into the community (and continue to do so today) as they put hands, backs and feet to their informal church slogan: “We’re going to love on people until they ask us why.” They pass the acid test. They get it. Get what? Get this:
God loves us so He can love others through us. That’s His purpose. Jesus lived that and taught that:
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. (John 15:9 a)
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21)
When we receive God’s love, He changes us and then loves others through us. As we extend His love to others, the purpose of God’s love to us is accomplished. In the words of John, God’s love is made complete.
But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. (1 John 2:5a)
When you send a text, your purpose in sending it is not made complete until the text is received and read. God’s love to us is not made complete until we “obey His Word” by extending His love to others. Jesus gave us many commands. He summarized them in one command: “Love one another.” He said:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 )
Jesus said that our love for one another would be the acid test for the genuineness of our belief in Him. He said, all men would know. John says, we can know, too:
But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. (1 John 2:5-6 )
It’s the acid test.