1 John 3:16-18
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
They expected the day to be much different than it turned out to be. The plan was to attend the March for Jesus and then hang out or grab a bite to eat. They did not expect to run into a man they knew from a prior stint in street ministry. He was in bad shape; that was obvious. He would tell them how he became homeless and had been living on the streets for a few months. They could have talked to him and prayed with him and called it a day, and no one would have judged them for that. However, they felt called to love him more than that. They gave him a meal, some clothes and a place to have a long-overdue shower and shave. That was the truth of God’s love manifest through their hands.
If given the option between being told one is loved and being shown one is loved, I think most people would choose to be shown. When we say that talk is cheap it speaks to the command we are given in today’s passage. Loving the way God wants us to love, loving in truth, demands that we do more than speak words of affection. If Godly love is practiced in truth it will bear the fruit of good works. It can be as simple as asking the question, “how can I help you?” We may not know what we are able to do to help someone along, but we certainly can let them know that we are available to act in love for their benefit. Our hands and feet always should be at the ready.
If what we profess to believe and live is true, then we will act accordingly. Knowing God’s truth precludes us from sitting on the sidelines without getting our hands dirty. We are the laborers in God’s kingdom. He designs and directs, but we put our hands to the work. It is not enough to know the truth of Jesus Christ if we do not put it into physical practice. If love is what we feel for the world, then love is what we should do for the world. Our labor is the substance which proves our words. The world is not waiting for us to talk; it is waiting for us to move. Father, direct us daily in how we are to move so that our love for others will be manifest in our works.