A Living Love

1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue with with actions and in truth.

I was a week overdue with my first child when I began having excruciating pain in my right kidney. My doctor dismissed my concerns and sent me home with a prescription that upset my stomach and an a body all the more eager to deliver. The next morning a friend from my small group at church arrived toilet brush in hand and cleaned my house top to bottom. Like a Mrs. Clean from heaven she left my house, heart and life better than she'd found it. She never said she loved me that day, but her life did.

The passage for today is Romans 12. This is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. It is practical, clearly written and a gold mine of wisdom for living out the Christian faith. The first eight verses address making your every day life an act of worship. We worship God when we allow Him to change our lives (Verse 2), live humbly (Verse 3) and use our gifts for the benefit of the church (Verses 4-8).

Verse 9 begins with Paul's admonishment that love must be sincere or genuine. He then details eight ways we can demonstrate sincere love in our lives:
  1. Put others first (Verse 10)
  2. Serve God energetically (Verse 11)
  3. Share what you have and have people over (Verse 13)
  4. Speak kindly about those who treat you (or your husband/kids) unkindly (Verse 14)
  5. Celebrate and sorrow with others (Verse 15)
  6. Do not let pride or conceit keep you from befriending someone (Verse 16)
  7. Do everything you can to be at peace with others (Verses 16, 18)
  8. Don't take revenge (Verses 19-20)

Some of these seem more difficult for me than others. I enjoy entertaining and am a natural peace maker. When someone wrongs my child or husband though, I must admit my inclination isn't to speak kindly about that person. Almost daily I pray to become more loving. This passage makes it clear that "I love you" is not something I say as much as something I live. Jesus, today I don't pray to be made more loving but to be more loving. Let me put my love into action.

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