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?
1 John 3:17
God’s love leads us not only to care about those in need, but to share with those in need. God’s love is outrageously generous, coming to us while we are sinners totally unable to change our desperate broken lives. Yet God gives to us, providing all we needed for salvation in Jesus Christ. Now that we are so outrageously and extravagantly loved, how can our hearts be closed to ways we see the need of others around us?
It is once again the “holiday season”. And American culture is rife with all the commercial trappings. So charities are also out in force knowing the best time to catch at least a little generosity is right now. Wouldn’t it be nice, though, if people were so generous that end of year appeals based on holiday sentiment or tax incentives did not have to dominate charity work? Wouldn’t it be cool if we helped people for other reasons than just wishing they had a nice Thanksgiving dinner or that a kid who might not get a Christmas present would get one? Those things are good, but they are kind of temporary. And the needs of the poor, the hungry, the immigrant, and the ill all go on long after Christmas.
For Christians, the case for charity is rooted in the love of Christ. Because Jesus meets my greatest heart need and is transforming my heart from radical self-centeredness to radical God-centeredness, I can love a brother or sister in need. My possessions are tools for the kingdom to advance the love of Christ in the gospel. They are no longer toys for me to hoard. I know God’s love lives in me when I share it through the physical blessings God has entrusted to me.