"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and truth."
1 John 3:18
We are doing a study at our young adults class on Wednesday nights on the book of 1 John. Basically, we are all reading it once a day and then sharing what we are learning from this book, or what the Lord is revealing to us during our reading time. I love the book of 1 John. In staying with my theme of "love," it is easy to affectionately speak about this book. If you are just beginning your walk with Christ, or if you want to reflect on your love for Him, this is a great place to start!
Besides having so many practical 'instructions' for life, this book also gives such hope and speaks of God and all His tender mercies for us. It is a great guideline to live our lives by. It is 5 chapters long and takes little to no time to read, but you can stay in this one book of the Bible for weeks, just learning and soaking in all of the promises. While reading, the above verse popped out to me. The Holy Spirit quenched my spirit immediately.
I pray over this blog and my words daily. I pray that God would use me to reach other's in spite of myself. That His words would penetrate the hearts of my readers. I started writing about my children as a sort of journal, but I don't start anything without first covering it in prayer. My every decision and every project involves great conversation with God, especially if others will somehow be involved. If you, my readers, can be impacted by anything I say, I want it to be God-breathed. Spoken of Him, with me as merely the vessel. So when I read the verse above, like I have many times before, it meant more to me this time.
I feel like you all know how much I love you. By my words that are written here, and sometimes face to face, I express so often how deeply my affection runs for you. I cannot tell you enough how much I am impacted by the stories you write to me and the prayer requests that you send my way. It is so profound to my heart when I think about how many great friends I have here. But I want my love to go deeper. I never want to feel like I'm doing all that I can do. Because, that just isn't the case. I want to do more. I want to live my life through my actions as well. I pray that I do. One thing I know for sure about this verse is how important it is to show our love in truth. I do feel like, if nothing else, I am beyond authentic here. You see my heart, in the good times and the bad. I have nothing to hide and therefore hide nothing. It is freeing and because of your great love, I have never felt vulnerable. I feel safe. And it's a blessing.
Of course, this verse also spoke to my heart for many other reasons. I have blogged about it a couple times before...
about how the 'church,' cannot just speak about our love for God and how great He is. We cannot just go about our lives doing busy works for other Christians who sit in the pews on Sunday. We have to be a testimony to the non-believers. Those who are struggling to find a connection between the longing in their spirits, their confusion and their deep hurts. We need to show Christ in our actions; the truth.
Because it is easy to speak it. It is easy for our mouth to spew out words about any situation. Humans, in general, are great manipulative beings. We can say just about anything and make our audience (whether online or in person) believe what we are saying. But it is our life that will reflect our hearts.
Of course, I fall short. Many times. Daily. I have not arrived.
But I am striving and I am praying. I want nothing more than to be pleasing to the Lord in the things that I do. My attitude, my parenting, my marriage, my friendships, my commitments, my choices, etc. I want to glorify the one who has given it all.
With Easter quickly approaching and spring knocking on our window panes, I want to encourage you, alongside me, to figure out new ways in your life to show your love for God in your actions and not just with words. And begin sharing here with me. Comments are always open and I love getting your emails or facebook messages.
Let's build one another up in our walk this spring. With the changing of the seasons comes a renewal of our spirit, and our mind. I believe God wants to use us to bring about new things. To speak into lives of those who may otherwise not know the truth. To give charitably, selflessly and wholly--not only with gifts, but of ourselves. Most of the time, that is all someone needs.
More of you.
"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
1 John 4:8