It’s All About Loving God and Loving Others!

by Pastor Tim Smothers

In July of 1984, Tina Turner released a hit song “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” By September of that year it had reached the coveted #1 spot on the charts and then went on to garner a Grammy Award the following year. In the eyes of the music world, it was wildly successful, yet the overall message of the song was nothing new. The world has always equated love with a feeling, a longing for something that can be present one moment and gone the next… It is a very sad commentary on our culture.

God takes a much different view on love than what our culture does… Talk is cheap.

Less talk, more action…

John writes in 1 John 3:16-18: By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 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? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

What’s love have to do with it? Everything! The love of Christ goes way beyond feelings and goes much deeper than words. We were not saved by God’s feelings. We were rescued by the blood of Christ—God’s love in action! Christ did much more than just talk about what love looks like; He demonstrated that love on the cross. I am thankful for that active love that Christ has shown me, yet in my thankfulness I all too often stop there and rest on His sacrifice without considering what I am supposed to do with that. How do I “lay down my life for my brothers”?

1 John 3:17 puts it very simply—it is done by helping those in need. We certainly do not need to go very far to see great need, whether it is in our homes, our churches, or our communities. Scripture tells us to help, to show compassion and kindness to a brother or sister in need. What does that look like for you?

I am thankful for the opportunities that we have to share as a church in our community. Several years ago, we were approached by the leaders of a medical complex across the street from us. They had started a food bank for the community, which was originally being done outdoors.

With the cold weather approaching, they needed a place to set up. We opened our doors on

November 23, 2015, for them to use during the winter months. In March of the following year they asked if they could use our building year around. Each Monday and Thursday, we collaborate with Grace Health to distribute food to those who are in need.

In addition to meeting their physical needs, we have been able to minister in other ways as well. This has led to opportunities to cultivate relationships not only with those who come for assistance, but with those who volunteer their time and resources to help. We have Bibles that we give away, activity books for the children, and helpful information that we hand out. While these things are “good” things, the best ministry by far is being able to introduce people to the Savior, to offer them Hope in what may be for them a very helpless situation.

This is just an example of what it looks like for us at Battle Creek Seventh Day Baptist Church. I pray that we as the church would take 1 John 3:16-18 and make this one of our defining characteristics in the days, months, and years ahead.

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