First John 4:7
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
It’s one thing to say you love someone, but if you never show it, you are proving that talk is cheap. Love is displayed by what we do more than what we say. Hitler loved children, but do you think that his love was really worth anything? You can actually tell people that you love them by serving them because love is not all words but is patient, is kind, bears all things, endures all things, and believes all things (1 Cor. 13:4-7), and you can say it without ever saying a word; not that we don’t need to say it. You can see the love of a mother without a spoken word as she tenderly cuddles or strokes her baby, you can see the love of a father who is patiently trying to teach his child how to ride a bike, and you can see love when a child comes to visit their elderly parent at home or in a nursing home. When was the last time you showed those closest to you that you loved them?
Jesus didn’t just show or say He loved the disciples; He proved it by giving of Himself to die for them because there is no greater love than someone giving their life for another (John 15:13). We are told to love God first and then our neighbor just as we love ourselves (Mark 12:31). Our widowed neighbor who has since gone on to be with the Lord loved it when we picked up the trash in her yard, gathered tree limbs, and cleaned out her gutters. We never knocked on her door and said, “Hey, since we love you, we’re going to clean up your yard.” Instead, we just went and did it. We gave of our time and our effort to show her we loved her by helping her do things that she could no longer do for herself. When was the last time you gave of yourself to those closest to you, showing them that you loved them?
Finally, we cannot forget the obvious: People need to hear that they are loved. I believe that three of the most important words we’ll ever speak to those closest to us are “I love you.” I heard of one older man whose wife complained that she never heard her husband say “I love you.” It really bothered her. He’d just grumble about it, saying, “She knows I love her. Do I have to really say it?” Well, yes, you do have to say it! Why is it so hard for us to tell those closest to us that we love them? I tell my wife and children every single day before I leave, or they do, because it might be the last words they’ll ever hear this side of heaven. It is just so easy to say, and I am sure we do love those closest to us. So why not let them hear it? When was the last time you told those closest to you that you loved them?
A Closing Prayer
Great God in heaven, we love You only because You first loved us (1 John 4:19), even while we were unlovely. Thank You for Your love for us, displayed so vividly on the cross by Jesus, and in His precious name I pray.
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