Douglas VanBronkhorst

READ : 1 John 3:1-16

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. (v. 16, niv)

Mary and her husband, Joe, are Americans working in a very poor country. He’s a pediatrician; she’s an engineer. Mary helped Joe’s hospital build a new obstetrics unit. Then they learned she was pregnant. Conventional wisdom said return to America for the birth, but what message would that send to those they served? Was the new OB wing not good enough for Americans?

Joe and Mary well knew the potential problems with a birth far from sophisticated medical care, but they had gone overseas to share faith in Christ as well as professional expertise. What would happen to their testimony if they did not trust him now? Despite the contrary advice of many, they stayed. They did not presume upon God’s kindness, but prepared to face whatever came. Thankfully, they had a healthy son, who then had a good pediatrician! The locals were moved by Mary and Joe’s commitment: “Having your son here makes you one of us.” The gospel gained credibility because Joe and Mary were living examples of God’s love, supremely revealed in Jesus.

Incarnation and missions go together. Love must be fleshed out with courage and commitment.


God, help me to live in such a way that others will see Christ’s sacrificial love. Amen.