June 19 - 1 John 3:16-20. Actions

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 19 - 1 John 3:16-20. Actions

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 and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 

This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

If you tell me that you love me, then turn around and gossip about me to your friends, I’m not going to ever trust that fact again. If you tell me you are a Christian, yet act unlovingly to any person, I’m really not going to trust that fact.  If you tell me you are generous, yet horde your money and don’t offer to help those in need, I’m going to simply nod my head and never count on you.

We want people to listen to what we say, but not pay attention to our actions.

If we ask our children to behave themselves responsibly, but they see us flipping off other drivers, or cursing at customer service people on the telephone, or short-tipping waitstaff or hear us badmouthing their teachers or other authority figures in their lives; these children will never live up to what we have asked them to be.  They will live up to exactly what we portray to them in our actions.

Love is not something that can simply be spoken … it must be shown.  When my father told me he loved me on the telephone or in a letter, I had a lifetime of knowing that he had shown me love when I was in his presence.

This is one of those very powerful statements: Let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth.

Let our love be shown. Every day. To every person – no matter their political leaning, their financial status, their color, their gender, their lifestyle.  We do NOT get to choose whom we love.  We love simply because God first loved us.  Everything else is set aside when it comes to love.  Everything.

And if we can’t show them that we love them, John tells us that God’s love is not in us.  Do you understand that?  We have to show that we love.  We have to show everyone – whether or not we agree with them or like them or fear them.  We have to show love.

How will you change your actions today?  How will you change your behavior tomorrow?  How will you show love to the unlovely?