Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
1 John 3:18
You don’t have to live this life very long before you realize you cannot trust everyone. There are people in the world who use words to deceive and take advantage of others for selfish gain. Many times, the words “I love you” can be nothing but bait words to trick someone into doing what they want and nothing more. Perhaps even we have been guilty of carelessly using the words “I love you” without the proper motive and intent behind them. This is not how God operates, and it certainly is not how we as followers of Christ should operate. The Bible tells us that God loves us, and this is backed up by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, as proof of this love as John 3:16 and Romans 5:8 clearly reveal. God puts deeds and truth to His proclamation of love just as we who call ourselves “Christians” should do also. If we have experienced God’s grace and forgiveness through faith in Jesus, and if we have been filled with the Holy Spirit, love for God and other people should be the outcome in our life. This is why Jesus taught that the greatest commandments in God’s Word are to love God and to love people! There must be action behind our words for them to have true impact in honoring God and helping others to know they are loved. How do we accomplish this? Simply put, we deny our natural selfish “flesh” and surrender in faith to the Spirit in us. In 1 John 4:19, it says “We love, because He first loved us”, and earlier in verse 8, that “God is love”. My friends, God is the one who created us to love, just as He is love, which is defined as “selfless sacrifice for the benefit of another”. When we get saved/redeemed/born again/forgiven by Christ, God in the Holy Spirit gives us the very presence and ability to now love as we have been loved by Him. We must learn to “let it out” by living by faith, not just by emotions/feelings. We must surrender to God’s love in us to let it flow out of us in both deed and truth back to Him and to other people. The great hindrance to this process is being subject to our emotions and stopping the flow of love by saying “I don’t feel like doing it!” We are to live by faith as God’s children, not by our emotions which are unstable and often very deceptive. Every day we are given of life is a precious opportunity from God to make eternal investments of love back to Him and into the lives of others. May we treat every day as a true gift from God to be used this way in deed and truth!
Love in Christ,
Pastor Gary Houdek