Love in action has been the natural outcome of new life in Christ since the beginning of Christianity. From the moment of His birth, through His teaching and healing ministry, on to His sacrificial death on Calvary and His glorious resurrection, Jesus was the personification of love in action. His example and the dynamic change that comes with new life in Christ makes authentic Christianity impossible without love and then that love expressed in action.
It is that love in action that moved the Church to not only witness but to suffer, sacrifice and lose everything to spread the good news of salvation. It was love in action that motivated the Church to pioneer hospitals for the sick, lead in the fight for female education and education of the poor, pioneer humane treatment of the mentally ill, the abolition of slavery – almost any cause that worked toward the betterment of the human race found its early supporters and leaders among committed Christians who put their love of God into action on behalf of His creation.
The Salvation Army itself cannot imagine its existence apart from love in action. Why has it continued to proclaim new life in Christ and the glorious witness of a holy life? Why does it press to open more countries, open more cities, provide care regardless of whether gratitude is ever expressed? Why would it continue to rush forward when towns and countries are destroyed, move among the misery of refugee camps, stand by the side of those abandoned in the hour of death because of their disease or status? It is God’s love in action.
We who are His servants are allowed the privilege of God’s love flowing through us to others and then using our feeble hands to work to get it done. May God continue to love through us so we can act on His behalf.
What is that old slogan? Heart to God, hand to man.