“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”
how does the love of God abide in him?
The “love of God” here is God’s love, not our love. He is the cause of all genuine love. We cannot meet God’s love and not respond with love of our own. As God’s love gives to those in need so Christian love should give to those in need. This is a necessary corollary to being a child of the God of love.
Again John uses the term “abide.” How can the love of God reside in a believer who does not share with others? John uses the “love of God” because it has a special effect on our spiritual walk.
The believer who responds with positive volition to divine love always manifests a corollary counter effect by showing love in tangible fashion to fellow Christians.
Hardness of heart shuts up compassion toward fellow Christians. This is the opposite of pouring out our lives for others (3:16). Willingness to generously give to others is an acid test of our spirituality.
Compassion is the willingness to allow ourselves to be used of God as conduits of mercy in the lives of those who come across our paths. The source of this compassion comes from our fellowship with the Lord.
Love involves more than the great and noble such as sacrificing one’s life for another but also the mundane. The greater incorporates the lesser. The test of true love involves not only the greater but also the lesser issues of life. Also, if we refuse to do the least, how can God expect us to do the greater?
1 Tim. 6: 17 “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
It is very difficult to prove our love to others if we close our eyes to acts of generosity. Generosity is an indication of our fellowship with God. We cannot fellowship with God and not show acts of benevolence. It shows our likeness to God.
He. 13: 16 “But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
If we can pass Christians by without a twinge of compassion, then all our talk of spirituality is so much loud, clanging noise. The resolution to indifference is compassion.
1 Co 13: 1 “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.”
God’s intention is that each believer would be a conduit of blessing to others. Some Christians take on the attitude of receiving the grace of God but not giving from the grace of God.
Eph 4: 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.