Does God’s Love Abide in You? – 3/8/21

Mike Engelgierd

1 John 3:17 – “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

The Apostle John wrote this letter to establish the believers in their faith and to guard them against false teachers. He emphasizes the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ and the resulting practice of righteousness that springs from God’s love for them. He also shows that genuine love for God is demonstrated in visible love to others (4:11, 20, 5:1-2).  

To reinforce this, John gives a simple example in 3:17. He speaks of a man who has the ability and the opportunity to help his brother. The man could say that he loves God, but it is the response of his actions- not the word of his mouth- that shows the true content of his heart.  

First, he could close his heart to him. This means he sees his brother’s need and chooses to leave his brother in need even though he could have helped. This would show that the love of God was not in him.       

Second, he could open his heart to the man. This means that, as far as he was able, he would help the brother in need. This would show that the love of God abides in him.  

The visible demonstration in practical action shows the internal state of the heart. God commands us to be loving, kind, and generous (John 15:17, 1 Corinthians 13:4, Hebrews 13:16). Obedience to these commands shows that we desire to obey and please Him. And that we realize the love He had for us, which he demonstrated by sending Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for us so that we might have forgiveness and life (1 John 4:9-10).  



Father, bring us to a greater and greater understanding of Christ’s incomprehensible love for us. Cause us to grow in our love for you and for others. May we be responsible with the world’s goods you have given us. May we be watchful for the needs of those around us. And may we be eager to meet their needs, that your love may be confirmed in us, and that we may glorify Christ in our lives. Amen.