Active Love

“Dear children,
let us not love with words or speech
but with actions and in truth.”
1 John 3:18 (NIV)

In the Bible the concept of love is closely associated with action. For too many today, love is primarily thought of as an emotion. Ephesians 5:2 (NIV) reads,

“…walk in the way of love,
just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us…”

In our verse today a possible paraphrase could be, “Talk is cheap. Actions are what count.” We need to express love by being active in doing good to people in need. Sometimes, when someone criticizes the notion of a loving Creator with starving people on earth, I have countered as follows: “I am so glad you are concerned for suffering people. Let me give you detail on a couple of Christian missions that are helping starving people.” That causes the complaining person to cease. They had no intention of using personal resources to help the poor. My comment exposed their hypocrisy but did nothing to push them into loving action.

Some years ago, a preacher was parking his tired old car in the church parking lot when a wealthy Christian approached him. “Jim”, he said, “when are you going to get another car?” The man replied, “I have my eye on a nice one for $8,000.00.” “Buy it and I will cut you a cheque for the full price of it.” replied the man. So, the preacher bought the car and advised the generous man the car was his. The man responded that he thought he had pledged $1,000.00 toward the purchase price. “Give me what you wish.” the man replied. It took several years for the preacher to recover financially. The rich man boasted to others how generous he had been to the preacher.

The wealthy man was dishonest in how he dealt with the preacher. Honesty is treasured by the Lord and Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:3 (NIV)

“But when you give to the needy,
do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing…”

We are to give quietly without bragging or advertising our generosity.

There are many statements in Scripture of God’s active love for us. A lot of them deal with salvation. John 3:16 is a prime example. A paraphrase would be, “God loved the world so much that He gave…”

Christian, today rejoice in the Lord’s active love for you that sent His beloved Son to the cross. That love supplies all your needs en route to your eternal home. Come to Him expecting a generous supply of grace to allow you to overcome each situation. Your beloved Good Shepherd is to be fully trusted as the One to supply all your needs for time and eternity.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

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