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Leslie Wittenmyer

February 10, 2024

1 John 3:18, New Living Translation

“Dear children, let us not nearly say we love each other, let us show the truth by our actions.”

I remember when I worked in the shipping department of a local company, I had been tossing around a question in my mind. I was really chewing on it when I believed the Lord spoke to me. My question was, what is love? My answer: Love is not a feeling, it’s an action. I was then taken to scripture. “Dear children, let us not merely say we love each other, let us show the truth by our actions.” (1 John 3:18, NLT)


A lesson I have learned along the way is that people will disappoint you. In our subconscious we set high expectations on one another, which, in turn, leaves us disappointed, and maybe even feeling unloved. But there is one whose love is perfect, who’s love never changes, and it never fails… His name is Jesus. “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s own life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13, NLT) “For this is how God loves the world: He gave his one, and only son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NLT) 


God’s love for us has never changed, even when we were at our worst. He continues to pursue us, because that’s what love does, it’s an action! “Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead.” (Ephesians 2:1,4, NLT) 


We can learn so much from the character of God. Three things come to my mind just with the scriptures I have shared above: Forgiveness, mercy, and love.


I know we have discussed forgiveness not that long ago, but it’s worth talking about. Every day is a new day with new things happening in our lives. These things have an impact on us. And if you are like me, sometimes you need a reminder of something you have already learned about. “Then Peter came to him and asked, ‘Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sinned against me? Seven times?’ ‘No, not seven times,’ Jesus replied, ‘but seventy-seven times.’ (Matthew 18:21-22, NLT) It can be a challenge to forgive the people who hurt you, but for the sake of your salvation and your health, it is worth it.


When we come to Christ and repent, He forgives us. He shows us mercy when you don’t get what you deserve. So, like our good Shepherd, we must show mercy, and we must forgive. When we continually walk in forgiveness, with actions and not just words, we are showing love. Love is an action!


Life has so many ups and downs. To continue to walk in forgiveness, mercy, and love is hard. But we don’t do it on our own or in our own strength, but with the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells in us. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can put love into action.


Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT), “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of wrong. It does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always helpful and endures through every circumstance.” 


This is God’s love for us! When we feel disappointed and unloved, turn to God! Let Him fill you with His perfect love, and then we ourselves can go out and love with action. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT), “Three things will last forever— faith, hope, and love— but the greatest of these is love.” Let love, let God reign supreme in your life.

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