Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18 (NIV)
You will never be able to express love to others by your words alone. Love will require that you back up the words of your mouth with actions that come from your heart. I get that. Tell me how I backed up my words with my actions that come from my heart. How have I demonstrated my love to you through both my words and my actions? Your words have told me that you want me to know you. Your words have told me that you want me to live in an intimate relationship with you. Your words have told me that you want me to love you with all my heart and soul and mind and strength. Your words have told me that you want me to become like you. If you only spoke these words to me I would never be able to know you. I would not be able to live in an intimate relationship with you. I would not be able to love you. I would not be able to become like you. Why is that? My sin would prevent me from hearing your words. My sin would prevent me from desiring or receiving everything that you want for me. If you let me remain in my sin I would never have been able to become alive to you. I never would have loved you. I never would have wanted to know you. I never would be able to become like you. No, you would not. But, I did not just speak words to you, did I? No, you did not. You acted on my behalf. You rescued me from a life of sin and separation from you. You sent your Son into the world to die as payment for my sins. You forgave me of my sin and cleansed me of all my unrighteousness. You turned my life around and set me on the path so I could love, follow and serve you. Yes, I did. Now, I can know and love you. Now, I can live in an intimate relationship with you. Now, you are making me to be like you. Yes, I am.
What have you learned about love being expressed in words and actions? Loving words without loving actions will never be enough. Words of love are made real when they are backed up by actions. Words of love can be heard and received and acted on when they are accompanied by action. You speak words of love and back them up with action. Yes, I do. You want me to become like you. Yes, I do. Then I will also back up my words of love with actions. When I back up my words of love with actions the world will see your love flowing in and through me. Yes, and that will be very good.
Lord, I don’t want to say one thing and do another. I want my words and my actions to be consistent in their message. Use both my words and my actions to express love to those around me. Use my life so others can see your love flowing in and through me. Amen
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