Tuesday, August 22, 2006

If I have no love
by John Fischer

In his book The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren makes a very radical statement: “If I have no love for others, no desire to serve others, I should question whether Christ is really in my life.”This bold assertion comes from something John said in his first letter: “If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to eternal life. But a person who has no love is still dead.” (1 John 3:14)

The presence of love in your heart for others and the realization of what you can do to serve them is evidence that you have been born again and Christ is in your
heart.The absence of any such sensitivity suggests that you may still be the center of your universe. It may all still be about you.

Can you look at your life over the last few days and see evidence of the fact that you have cared about someone other than yourself?Can you point to some examples of how you have served a brother or a sister in some way?If you can, take heart.If you can’t, it might be a good time for some soul searching.

I have tried this little test on myself, and I must admit I don’t always do very well. Even though I spend a good deal of time serving others through my gifts of speaking and writing while I am on the road, you could also say that this is my work. This is what I’m expected to do. I do this for a living. I am “on” for these moments of ministry.But I can get very selfish with my “off” time.I isolate myself in a hotel room or an airplane seat.I make myself unavailable to the needs around me.I might not even call home, because that would only remind me of those there who need my attention.

Sometimes, I think we need to step in and serve even if we don’t feel like it. Once we do, Christ energizes us and gives us not only the strength to do this, but the desire to do it again.Ask God to open your eyes to those around you and show you ways in which you can serve them in love.That’s being obedient to what he asks and finding his power to do it all at the same time.

How about this?I’ll pray for you right now and you pray for me that God will awaken us with hearts to serve, the wisdom to see the need, and the power to follow through.

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