“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with action and in truth.” (1 John 3:18)
Love is a verb. Some of you may have heard this statement. It may not be very profound, but how often do we apply this to our daily lives? It’s true that words are powerful. In James 3:4 we see that just as a small rudder determines the course of a ship, our tongues determine the course of our lives. How much more power do our actions have if actions truly speak louder than words?
United States President Theodore Roosevelt once said,
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
I don’t know about you, but this quote makes me want to jump up and conquer the world!
Imagine what it would be like if you forgot about what family may think, your friends might say, that you could fail, or anything else that will hold you back and you completely poured every ounce of who you are into the love of Jesus. It is definitely a “worthy cause.”
What if it your legacy was that you were “marred by dust and sweat and blood?” You were never a critic. Your place was with the valiant instead of the “cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat?”
It can be.
What would it look like for you to be completely, totally defined by the love of Jesus and nothing else? You would think about, and treat your family in a new way. You would have open eyes to see the hurting friend who sits all alone every day, new faith to open your mouth and speak to that person, and new words that can change their life. Then, Jesus would use you to change another life, and another life. And then, in turn, those changes lives would change other lives, and those people would change lives, and those changed lives would change even more lives. Before you know it, you’ve made an eternal impact far beyond anything you could ever dream. Wow!
Sound amazing? I think so. Sound hard? On our own, it would be impossible. But guess what? We aren’t on our own. Romans 8 says,
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all…Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
With a love like this, we can love anyone just the way we are loved. With this love, we have already conquered the world. Let’s take hold of it together!
What can I do to show this love to my family today?
What action can I take to better love my people today?
What do I need to do to forget about the things that hold me back?