Posts Tagged ‘to love’

Actions speak louder than words

February 27, 2016

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

one
plus
one
makes
one
in
word
in
deed
in
truth

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

To do what is right, to love mercy, to walk humbly

January 4, 2016

Micah_6-8

Revised and re-posted from a year ago, the Verse of the Day for January 4, 2016 is taken from Micah 6:8 (NLT):

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

The verse states three simple requirements, three prerequisites for Godly living expressed in three verbs written as infinitives: to do, to love, and to walk.

To do what is right

This expression is used throughout the Scriptures. Zephaniah 2:3 (NLT) provides a similar exhortation to the people of God:

Seek the LORD, all who are humble,
and follow his commands.
Seek to do what is right
and to live humbly.
Perhaps even yet the LORD will protect you—
protect you from his anger on that day of destruction.

Deuteronomy 6:18 also offers words of encouragement to the Children of Israel:

Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so all will go well with you. Then you will enter and occupy the good land that the LORD swore to give your ancestors.

Psalm 15:1 asks a question which is answered in verse 2:

1 Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD?
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
2 Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
speaking the truth from sincere hearts.

Psalm 84:11 (NLT) makes this declaration:

For the LORD God is our sun and our shield.
He gives us grace and glory.
The LORD will withhold no good thing
from those who do what is right.

In terms of what pleases God, Proverbs 21:3 (NLT) reveals this truth:

The LORD is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.

To love mercy

One of the most powerful verbs in any language is the command to love. In this case, we are to love mercy.

That God is truly merciful cannot be ignored.
Streams of the sure mercies of the Lord shall never cease.
Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

Jeremiah reminds us that, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness.”

One of the attributes of God is that He is a God of mercy. In a real sense, as a God of justice, He tempers justice with grace and mercy. Justice has been defined as “getting exactly what one deserves.” Whereas grace is said to be unmerited favor or getting something that one does not deserve, and mercy is defined as “withholding merited judgment” or “not getting what one deserves.” God desires that we love mercy. As Portia, a character in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, remarks so wisely,

Though justice be thy plea, consider this:
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy,
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.

To walk humbly

The final requirement is to “walk humbly with thy God.” The First Psalm describes the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, as being blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable). God’s desire is that we walk in humility, even as humility was a most notable attribute of the Lord Jesus Christ, described in this manner:

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:6-8)

1 Peter 2:21 also encourages us:

For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps:

As we walk with the Lord, we find that humility is the key to access the heart of God.

The expectations that God has for His people seem simple enough: “to do what is right . . . to love mercy . . . to walk humbly.” Certainly they must be attainable or God would not expect people to do what He asks. The challenge becomes carrying out what the Lord requires of us. As the Nike slogan states so simply and directly: “Just do it!”

Listen to a musical rendering of Micah 6:8 offered by Maranatha! Singers: