1 John 3:18 (NIV)
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
No matter how much we profess to love God or to love one another, the evidence of love is in the actions taken to demonstrate it. God not only tells us that He loves us, but God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8). John reminds us here that actions speak louder than words. Even Jesus requires action on our part to show or demonstrate our love for Him: “If you love Me, keep my commandments.” (Cf. John 14:15; 1 John 5:3) Yes, love is a verb! Love is service oriented. Love is something we “do”. (Love is: 1 Corinthians 13).
On a similar note, I am reminded that the Apostle James frankly addresses this point with regard to our faith. Faith is not profession alone either. No matter how much we “believe,” the evidence of faith is in the actions that demonstrate it as well. Here James distinguishes between faith as a concept and faith as a reality:
James 2:14-17 (NIV)
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
I pray that our Verse of the Day will challenge us to “live” like we “love” and to “befriend” like we “believe”. As Paul challenges us:
Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)
I urge you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service (spiritual worship). 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
And as a reminder, I will reprint this verse for us as well:
1 John 4:20-21 (NKJV)
20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.