Actions speak louder than words

1 John 3--18

The Verse of the Day for February 27, 2016 once again draws our attention to the verb “to love”:
Originally posted a year ago, today’s blog entry has been modified and re-posted below:

1 John 3:18 (NIV):

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

The designation of “children” or “dear children” is used 15 times in 1 John. The Amplified Bible renders the verse this way:

1 John 3:18 (AMP)

Little children (believers, dear ones), let us not love [merely in theory] with word or with tongue [giving lip service to compassion], but in action and in truth [in practice and in sincerity, because practical acts of love are more than words].

This translation brings to mind the common expression: “Actions speak louder than words.” This phrase is particularly noteworthy in light of recent discussions regarding the love of God, for love is the foundational principle upon which all relationships are built. God commands us to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. The Book of 1 John emphasizes the importance of love, for God is love. If we say that we love God, we ought also to love another. Recall the words of Jesus Christ: “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love toward one another.”

Love is where it begins, and love is where it ends. Also remember that the last shall be first, and the first shall be last. Each day we must

Decide to demonstrate, freely give and practice love:
The first thread whereby we must launch all relationships
And follow Christ’s command that we love one another.

When it comes to loving God and loving one another, there must be a demonstration of our love for Him beyond mere rhetoric, as the poem “The World’s Bible “by J. E. Hamilton reveals:

Christ has no hands but our hands
to do His work today.
He has no feet but our feet
to lead men in His way;

He has no tongue but our tongues
To tell men how He died,
He has no help but our help
To bring them to His side.

We are the only Bible
The careless world will read,
We are the sinner’s gospel,
We are the scoffers’ creed;

We are the Lord’s last message
Given in deed and word,
What if the type is crooked?
What if the print is blurred?

What if our hands are busy
With other things than His?
What if our feet are walking
Where sin’s allurement is?

What if our tongues are speaking
Of things His life would spurn,
How can we hope to help Him
And welcome His Return?

A recent blog entry spoke of the love of God being “perfected” or made complete or brought to maturity in us when we walk in the steps of Jesus Christ, the ultimate example of perfect love. We must do more than think about love or talk about love; we must demonstrate love by what we do, just as God did in offering His son. We speak of the love of God in manifestation, so clearly demonstrated in one of the most widely recognized verses in the Bible, John 3:16:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The Sound of Music, one of the most popular Broadway musicals of all times, gives us these memorable lyrics from Oscar Hammerstein II:

A bell is not a bell till you ring it.

A song is not a song till you sing it.

Love in your heart isn’t put there to stay.

Love isn’t love till you give it away.

The last line reminds us that with love, there must be a demonstration or manifestation to express the reality of that powerful emotion.

I recently came across this anonymous quote: “Love is a verb. Love is doing, saying, showing. Never think just saying you love someone is enough.” There must be corresponding action to show that we love. Every day should be “show and tell.” Another statement reiterates the same point: “Love is a verb. Without action it is merely a word.”

The Verse of the Day reminds us to love God and one another expressed in the closing lines of “A Single Image”:

there is
no fear
in love
so why
should we

we are His
He is one
so are we


Dimitri Caver offers an upbeat musical version of 1 John 3:18:

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