Love of God: in word, in deed, in truth

1-John-3-Verse-16

The Verse of the Day for April 6, 2016 directs our attention to the Book of I John that elaborates on the love of God expressed in 1 John 3:16. Furthermore, when we look at the two verses that follow, we find a lovely three-layer dessert where the love of God is the essential ingredient:

1 John 3: 16-18 (Amplified Bible):

16 By this we know [and have come to understand the depth and essence of His precious] love: that He [willingly] laid down His life for us [because He loved us]. And we ought to lay down our lives for the believers.

17 But whoever has the world’s goods (adequate resources), and sees his brother in need, but has no compassion for him, how does the love of God live in him?

18 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].

The following comments are excerpts from blog entries related to this passage:

Recently I 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. Another statement reiterates the same point: “Love is a verb. Without action it is merely a word.”

The love of God is “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 as a demonstration that He so loved the world.

Verse 18 of 1 John 3 (NIV) further reminds us,

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

This verse 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, as reflected in two principal relationships in all of life: we are commanded to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

When it comes to loving God, 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, clearly demonstrated in one of the most widely recognized verses in the Bible that corresponds with 1 John 3:16, and that is 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, offers 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.

The closing verse of the passage reminds us to love God and one another “in word, in deed, and in truth.”

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

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