Love in Action

Video Talk

1 John 3:16-18 ESV

“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”

I am going to say this first: This is not saying that our words don’t matter or that we don’t love with words. Jesus surely did, but he followed his words with actions, too. And how did Jesus lay down his life for us? It didn’t begin with the cross. It began with everything that led up to him being crucified on that cross, and that did involve his words, too. For he wasn’t hated by most people because of his good deeds, though some hated him for that, but he was mostly hated for the words that he spoke.

For Jesus Christ said we must repent of our sins, and he taught obedience to his commands, and he said if we are to come after him we must deny self, take up our cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For he said that if we hold on to our lives of living in sin and for self (a paraphrase) we will lose them for eternity. But if for his sake we lose our lives (die to sin and walk in obedience to him) then we have the hope of eternal life with him (Luke 9:23-26).

And he said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one doing the will of God the Father. And he said that many will stand before him on that day and they will profess him as Lord and claim the things they did in his name, and he is going to say to them, “I never knew you. Depart from me you workers of lawlessness,” because they refused to obey the Lord and so be saved (Matthew 7:21-23). For Jesus taught we must obey him or we don’t have life in him.

So, all this precipitated Jesus’ death on that cross for our sins. And he also claimed to be God, which is who he is, and he was hated for that, too. So, Jesus Christ laying down his life for us began with his earthly ministry and the things that he said and did, for he was hated for both, especially by the Jewish leadership, i.e. the rulers in the temple and those of influence and power who plotted his death and who carried it out. So we, too, can lay down our lives for others via our words and our deeds.

But the point of what this is teaching, I believe, is that we are not to mouth empty words and then not follow them up with action. We should not say, “I love you,” and then go right out and deliberately and habitually sin against you. That is not love. That is hate. And we shouldn’t say, “I love you,” and then close our eyes and our hearts to your legitimate needs (not wants and desires, but necessities). And we do need to be discerning about what true needs are for there are many flim-flam artists out there, including within the gatherings of the church, i.e. people who willfully take advantage of others.

So, we are not to be people who just talk love, but we are to be people who live love, who put love into practice in our daily lives. But we are to love as Jesus loved, and part of loving others is telling them the truth of the gospel which involves our words and not just our deeds. But not everyone is going to see that as love, I guarantee you, for many people have been conditioned that love is only saying nice and smooth and comfortable words to others. But it is only the truth that is going to set people free, and so we have to be willing to tell others the truth so that they can be genuinely saved.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Full Release

An Original Work / April 15, 2012

Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.

Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
through salvation,
By His Spirit, from above.

Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s