Bible Society of South Africa
Frank Retief

Remember his strength – Day 23

The love of God

Bible text(s)

16And we ourselves know and believe the love which God has for us.

God is love, and those who live in love live in union with God and God lives in union with them.

1 John 4:16GNBOpen in Bible reader

40The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these members of my family, you did it for me!’

Matthew 25:40GNBOpen in Bible reader

In the very early years of the 20th century, there was a great gospel singer named Charles Alexander. He was a singer who accompanied the great preachers, Dr RA Torrey and Dr Wilbur Chapman, on their evangelistic tours. Unknown as they are to us today, they nevertheless were legends in their lifetime.

Charles married Helen Cadbury, daughter of the founder of the Cadbury chocolate empire. He was an educated American and she was an extremely wealthy British aristocrat. They were united in their love for Christ and Helen helped each night in the gospel mission meetings, speaking to enquirers and helping those seeking salvation.

One night, at a meeting specially organised for alcoholics, street people and down-and-outs, Helen was in the counselling room when a woman with unkempt hair and tattered clothes came to the front. Mrs Alexander tried to explain something of the love of God to her, but her eyes were dead and her ears were deaf. The only response she could make was, “He loves you, but he doesn’t love me.” Finally, a glimmer of understanding came to her. Turning, immediately, to the aristocratic, Helen Alexander, and looking straight into her eyes, she said, “Give me a kiss.” At once, Mrs Alexander embraced and kissed her, and the woman returned home. However, she came back and Helen said she was glad to see at the meetings “clean and tidied up”.

Just a little token of the Father’s love and acceptance helped that poor woman understand that God loved her, in all her circumstances. We too need that assurance from time to time.

However, do you not think that if we were kinder, more affectionate and welcoming to people, more loving in word and deed, our words would carry much more weight?

Even small acts of kindness, to those who may be cynical about the message of Christ or in spiritual need, could go a long way in changing attitudes.

Perhaps, there is someone in your circle who needs to know that God is love. “Whoever lives in love lives in God.” They need to see that and experience that. They need to feel that someone who says they love God is willing to put their arms around them, dirty, smelly and unlovely as they are, pray for them and really care for them.

The same is true for everybody of every social class. The love of God must be spoken to them, but like Helen Alexander’s actions, it sometimes needs to be seen too.

Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:40: “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth that whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.’”

Let the love of God govern all your actions and always shine through you to all you meet, especially those who are hard to love.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.16
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