“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:18)
I love my wife and children and I make it a habit to tell each of them that at least daily. But imagine if I verbally told them I love them, yet I ignored them, didn’t lead them or care for them as a husband and father should, or even worse, abused them?
Actions matter. They are the outward result of what is in our heart (Prov. 4:23). We can tell people all day long that we love them or care for them, but if our actions towards them don’t reflect a heart of sacrificial love, then our words are empty.
Just as true faith is accompanied by good works (Jas. 2:17), true love is accompanied by genuine action. John points to the ultimate representation of love in verse 16 saying, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” He then calls us to lay down our lives for each other in the family of God. We are to provide both spiritual encouragement and physical nourishment to our Christian brothers and sisters who are in need; and ultimately by extension, we are to love the world by sharing the Good News of Christ and caring for them as we’re led by His Spirit.
God calls us to love Him and love others. In the same way that true love for God results in active obedience to His Word, true love for others results in active goodwill. Let your love magnify the Lord and bless others today!