Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 NIV. Jesus wants us to show God’s love by helping others.
We are told in this verse if we are to be known as Jesus’ followers, we need to love one another. This is not just in word but is to be put into action. Here are some ways to show God’s. love
Show God’s Love by Encouraging Others
A wonderful example of friendship in the Bible is David and his friend Jonathan.
“ And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” 1 Samuel 23:16-17 NIV
This was an unusual friendship in that David and Jonathan, the son of King Saul, could be considered rivals. Because of this rivalry, Saul hates David. He knows David is destined for the throne. In spite of this, Jonathan loves him like a brother. In this passage he is encouraging David as a true friend does.
When we see someone down, our love should prompt us to encourage that person. It should be valid, uplifting and heartfelt, never shallow. Verses are a great encouragement. Praying together can bring peace to someone who is suffering.
Show God’s Love by Sharing in Their Sorrow and Joy
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15 NIV
In this passage Paul is talking to Christians in Rome about their role in the Kingdom of God. They are to be living sacrifices for the glory of God and live in a way to witness to others. See Romans 12:1-21.
In verses 9-15, he is talking about love in action. In verse 15 he is reminding them to have compassion for one another by sharing in sorrow and joy.
When someone is experiencing loss in their lives we need to be observant to their experiences. They may appear to be holding it together but inside having difficulty adapting to their new situation. Often they may need to talk to someone and are afraid to.
We need to let them know we care and are there for them. Caution in what we say is important. They need someone to listen to how they are feeling and to encourage them.
Sharing God’s Love by Helping Those in Need
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:23 NIV
Jesus is talking to the disciples and encouraging them not to worry about clothing or food because He will take care of their needs. Then He adds they should have generous hearts to give to the poor and this will contribute to their treasure in heaven.
These days it doesn’t take a long journey to find those in need. Sometimes it’s as close as next door, or even at church. There are several organizations that are looking for a helping hand and would welcome us with open arms.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth 1 Timothy 12:1-4 NIV
In the first epistle to Timothy, Paul tells him that prayer is to be for everyone. We should be praying for our government officials too so we can live quietly in the way God wants us to. This pleases God when we consider others.
Prayer is also an instrument for leading others to the Lord. What better way to help someone than to lead them to Jesus Christ and His love. His compassion will meet their needs and heal their heart.
Forgiving Others is Showing God’s Love
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 NIV
A true friend loves at all times. This is not always easy to do. The Lord wants us to understand the form of love that He gives. His love is unconditional and does not rely on emotion.
This love continues in spite of the ups and downs of our personalities. Jesus expects us to do the same as He did for us. If He can forgive our sinfulness, enough to die for us, we can forgive others. The key here is God’s love is not like our love. We receive His love when we accept His gift of salvation, and rely on Him to carry it out in our life.
Showing God’s Love by Being Kind
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 NIV
The definition of kindness according to Dictionary of Bible Themes is “The quality of compassion and generosity, characteristic of God’s dealings towards the weak and poor, and demanded of believers. The kindness is also shown in the words and deeds of Jesus Christ.”
Kindness is an action that comes from God’s love. It can be something as simple as opening the door for someone or buying groceries when a friend is out of work. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to live according to His example.
God’s Love is Not Prejudice
“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” James 2:1-4 NIV
James is talking to Christians reminding them there is no place for prejudice in the Christian life. Treating someone differently because of the way they look is being condemned. If we are to be witnesses for Jesus Christ, we cannot allow this to interfere with helping others. God’s love is for everyone.
Showing God’s Love
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV
God’s Love encompasses everything. Without His love, all of these methods become empty. He expects those who carry His love to put it into action.
There are many ways of helping others. It doesn’t have to be a fantastic deed to show someone we care. Reaching out and having compassion for their needs may be just the moment that changes their lives.