Love in action

John 3 17

The Verse of the Day for May 26, 2016 comes from  John 3:17 (KJV). This verse, of course, follows John 3:16, one of the most often quoted verses in the Bible, and it precedes John 3:18 which further distinguishes between those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as savior and those who do not. Take a look at these three verses in the Amplified Bible:

John 3:16-18 (AMP):

16 “For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.

17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but that the world might be saved through Him.

18 Whoever believes and has decided to trust in Him [as personal Savior and Lord] is not judged [for this one, there is no judgment, no rejection, no condemnation]; but the one who does not believe [and has decided to reject Him as personal Savior and Lord] is judged already [that one has been convicted and sentenced], because he has not believed and trusted in the name of the [One and] only begotten Son of God [the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, the One who alone can save him]

The book of I John chapter 3 also elaborates on the love of God in the corresponding verses:

1 John 3:16-18 (AMP):

 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].

These two sets of verses touch upon the subject of love as demonstrated as an action verb. In a previous entry we find the following anonymous statement:

“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 section of scripture in 1 John 3 reinforces this message. In fact, this section is identified as “Love in Action” in 1 John 3:16-18 in the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). Here is verse 18:

18 Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action.

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.

Leon Patillo offers a distinctive musical version of John 3:17:

 

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