Day 338.
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. (1 John 3:16-18 ESV)

Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor. (Psalm 112:1, 9 ESV)

When you think about giving to the poor in a way that requires you to “give up” something you want or even perceive you need it can be hard. You feel uneasy, maybe even guilty because you don’t want to give up anything. It isn’t hard to justify why you need the things that keep you from helping the poor or the brother in need. Why is this?

This kind of giving is described as an act of love. Can you think of a time when acting on your love was unpleasant? Acts of love flow from the heart. Your heart must be gripped by love before this kind of sacrificial giving will be something that you actually want to do. You must know Christ’s love for you came in just this way, self-sacrifice, to you when you were poor in spirit. You must know that this love for you will supply all your needs and will not fail. You must know that this love for you will never leave you poor but rich, though it may not be “rich” in the worldly way. You must know that this love for you brings riches that at far better; far more satisfying; far more enduring than the riches of the world. In other words, you must know the gospel is true.

Can you think of a time when you gave up something in order to help someone else? Was it hard? Did you love that person you helped more before or after you helped?

Thank God that this hymn is true!
Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour,
All for love’s sake becamest poor;
Thrones for a manger didst surrender,
Sapphire-paved courts for stable floor.
Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour,
All for love’s sake becomes poor.

McCheyne’s reading plan: 2 Ch 3-4, 1 Jn 3, Na 2, Ps 112-113

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