What Have You Seen?
1 John 4:19-20
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
Imagine yourself, for a moment, in these two scenarios:
Scenario 1: You’re on a ship. It springs a leak and starts sinking. While everyone flees to life-rafts, you manage to grab a bag with a bottle of water and some canned meat before it all goes down. No one knows you have it. You are all huddled together in the life-raft, bobbing along the open sea. Eventually, someone spots an island in the distance. As you paddle towards it, you see that the island is incredibly bare – not a stick of shrubbery, no sign of fresh water, it’s basically a big rock in the middle of the ocean. Then one of your fellow travelers says, “Boy I’m thirsty.” What do you do?
Scenario 2: Same deal, but this time the island you spot is luscious, luxurious and full of life. The trees are heavy with choice fruits and a gushing waterfall is in the distance. As you row towards shore, your fellow traveler says “Boy I’m thirsty.” What do you do?
In Scenario #2, you’d be much more likely to give away your water, wouldn’t you? In fact you might even throw the whole bag open and say, “Water and food for everyone!” In Scenario #2, you would treat your little bag of goodies a lot differently wouldn’t you?
Why? Are you a much nicer person in Scenario #2? Are you suddenly more moral? Is your conscience somehow stronger? What changed between Scenario #1 and scenario #2?
Your vision, that’s what. You saw an abundance of life and it liberated you to be generous. That’s the only difference between the scenarios. In both cases you are the same bundle of sins and selfishness you always were, but once you’ve seen, you’re assured that things are going to be ok, and you’re freer to share what you have.
It has nothing to do with the quality of your moral fiber; it has everything to do with what you see. If your vision is captured by a new reality – then you’re freed to be generous, even loving despite the sinful, selfish ball of contradictions that you are.
Life with Jesus is like that lush tropical island. There is abundance of life and infinite love. When we see what God has done for us and know that we are residents of a kingdom of overflowing life, we, who are loved, are freed to go and love others.
We love because God first loved us. ( 1John 4:19)
Pray for these churches:
Coldwater Church of the Nazarene
First Baptist Church of Coldwater