Real love is showing and telling

The Verse of the Day for February 26, 2018 continues to focus on the love of God and comes from 1 John 4:9 (NIV):

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

To round out our discussion, we add verse 10 in the New Living Translation:
1 John 4:9-10 (NLT):

9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

Verse 9 also brings to mind one of the most often quoted verses whereby God “showed how much he loved us”: John 3:16 (NLT):

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

A parallel verse expressing the same truth comes from 1 John 3:16 (NLT):

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.

Both John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16 bring to mind 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.

As the supreme giver, God practices the very principles He implements. As a liberal giver par excellence, our Father gives, withholding nothing. Without question, He is generous and extravagant in His giving. As the supreme expression of giving, God applies and benefits from those principles. Jesus Christ teaches this foundational principle in Luke 6:38:

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together,and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

The essence of this principle is poetically expressed in this excerpt opening with a poem by John Oxenham, followed by an original stanza:

Love ever lives,
Outlives, forgives,
And while it stands
With open hands, it lives.
For this is love’s prerogative:
To give and give and give.

He who lives and never gives,
May live for years and never live.
But he who lives and lives to give
Shall live for years and years and years
With more to give and give and give.

Giving is a demonstration or manifestation of love. It has been said that you can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. Whenever we think of love and its connection with giving, we think of God who always demonstrates or manifests His love.

The Verse of the Day and related verses cause us to think of the teaching method “Show and Tell.” Often used in teaching young children, this classroom exercise involves bringing an item to class and talking about it through a public display or demonstration. So it is with the love of God. Our gracious Heavenly Father not only tells us that He loves us, but He continually shows us just how much He loves us.

We close with this scripture video encompassing 1 John 4:7-16, from which the Verse of the Day is taken:

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