Someone once said, “Talk is Cheap.” Perhaps you have heard someone say, “They sure talk a good game,” or “They’re just all talk.” These statements are usually made about people whose actions do not reflect their words – or about those who verbalize, but never verify any truth.
In John 13:35, Jesus said, “By this, all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” The action of love is to be produced in the lives of Jesus’ disciples as a demonstration of their relationship with Him. The Apostle John said it this way, “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this, we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him” (I John 3:18-19). In James 2:18, we read, “But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
If we say we have love, if we say we care, if we say we are friendly, but do not display any actions that would show these things in our lives, then we are just “blowing smoke,” and there is no truth in us.
How do people know that you are a Christian? What demonstrations of love flow from your life? How do your works declare your words? If you only talk about showing love, then you are like the child who brags about being a big league ball player, but has never been in any game.
Let me suggest to you some ways in which you can demonstrate the love which you say is in your life:
L – Look Around. So many times we get caught up on our own “little world” and never even notice those around us. We never see folks who may be sitting by themselves or standing without anyone to talk to. The first step of demonstrating the declaration of our love is to notice people around us.
O – Open Yourself Up. We must look for needs. Too many times we are only superficial in our relationships and never know what others are struggling with. Without being willing to “open ourselves up,” we can never show our love.
V – Volunteer Yourself. We must move from being willing to look for needs to actually getting involved and meeting some of those needs in people’s lives. We must take a step in their direction and begin the process of being involved in their lives.
E – Emphasize Others. Love is giving – not getting. Love is looking on the things of others, not on our own things (Phil 2:4). Love is sharing and caring – not being selfish and conceited. We live in a self-centered, self-absorbed world. Our Christian distinction will be seen only if we show “…love one to another.”
As Christians, we must not only declare that we love God, but also demonstrate that love by our actions. Let me encourage you to look for ways to show that you are His disciples, by having real “…love for one another.”
Pressing Toward the Mark,
Pastor Tom – Phil 3:14