by Stephanie Niebarger
This Week’s Verse: 1 John 3:18, “Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.” (NLT)
After I read the devotion from a few weeks ago, it stirred me to go a little deeper. I thought about love and what all it means. My first thought was the song by DC Talk, “Luv is a Verb.” While it is true that we are to love each other, what exactly does that mean? Love really is a verb because it requires action.
I have a friend who used to call me every so often for no reason at all other than just to say Hi and that she was thinking about me. The conversations hardly lasted five minutes, but that was the best five minutes of my day because it reminded me that she loved me.
This past week I was reading a newsletter from my church back in Iowa, and it mentioned a soldier being killed by “friendly fire.” It was not the enemy who killed him but some misguided weapon. I see on the news all too often the mass shootings in our own country, and I can’t help but wonder if this is a result of friendly fire, too. Could some of them have been prevented by a word of encouragement to the assailant? Sometimes harsh criticism can cause wounds which are too difficult to heal and push people away. We are told in Philippians 2:3: “Think of other people as more important than yourself”(NLB).
Sometimes love requires us to get out of our comfort zone. Jesus said in Luke 14:12-14, “The next time you put on a dinner, don’t just invite your friends and family and rich neighbors, the kind of people who will return the favor. Invite some people who never get invited out, the misfits from the wrong side of the tracks. You’ll be – and experience – a blessing. They won’t be able to return the favor, but the favor will be returned – oh, how it will be returned! – at the resurrection of God’s people”(MSG).
Jesus also tells us in Matthew 25:40, “Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me” (CEV). Love most definitely requires action; Love also requires sacrifice. Sometimes we may not always “feel” like doing something because it may make us uncomfortable, but I don’t think that ever stopped Jesus. Love is a Verb!
Father, Thank you for loving us by Your actions. Thank you for sending a Perfect Example of love. Father help us to show more love to others by our actions. Help us to reach out to others in love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Is there someone you need to show love to? Do you have five minutes for a phone call? What are some of the ways you can show love and encouragement to others? It doesn’t take much. Just a little time. You never know what it might mean to that person.
Galatians 6:10, “Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters.” (NLT)
1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just an in fact you are doing.” (NIV)
Hebrews 10:24, “Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. (NLT)
Proverbs 12:25, “Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” (NLT)