1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
There is an old saying that goes something like this. ‘I can’t hear what you are saying for seeing what you are doing.’ This is how the Christian is judged by the world. It is so easy to be Holy sitting in your easy chair reading your Bible or watching your favorite Charles Capps or Frank Machen tape and you can raise your hands and praise God from whom all blessings flow.
What do you do when you get out in the world? Have you seen how people act in the world today? How they drive? How they talk to one another? How they go around sulking? How do you act in that environment? Sometimes it is extremely hard to live the Christian live in view of all this that is going on around you.
When I go to the VA for medical, I often want to call a Kings X. Ask God to look the other way for a few minutes. Or do like Jock Ewing told J.R. in one of the early shows, ’Sometimes it is better to ask forgiveness than permission’. Now that sounds like something I could get my teeth into (just kidding). But the old self wants to rise up and give some folks a piece of my mind. I must confess, if I had done that, there would be very little mind left to give.
In the Catholic Church many centuries ago, you had to pay a pentance for your sins that you confessed. You went in to the confessional and told the priest what you had done and the priest would tell you how much you owed. Then it changed into going in, telling the priest what you were GOING to do and he would require you to pay pentance for your sin that you were going to commit, that way you could always remain sinless, or something like that. The equivalent of a ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ card.
Well, the Catholic church may have operated like that at one time, but that is NOT how God operates. God is love.
John 15:12 “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”
13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
14 “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”
How you treat others, especially brothers and sisters in Christ, is far more important than you ever could have imagines. If you allow the Holy Spirit to fully consume you, this Philos kind of love can come forth and even begin to show the Agape kind of love.
Who has ever laid down their life for you? Well, Jesus did for sure. He came and paid your sin bill so you don’t ever have to pay for it again. Then there is the American Military and Veterans. Anyone that has ever put on the uniform, while maybe not on the front lines directly, has made a commitment to lay down their life if necessary to protect you and your freedoms from foreign enemies. And then, you have the First Responders. These are the people that fight crime and fires on your behalf. Can you imagine a world without either of these groups? The lawlessness that would prevail if there was no law enforcement? The death and destruction that would occur if it weren’t for our Fire Fighters and Paramedics? There are a lot of people that do that on a daily basis on your behalf.
But what about the person that takes the time out of their lives to go interact with others and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them? This is a form of the same. In a real since these folks are the First Responders of the Gospel. Not only do you have to not be like the others in the world, but love will cause you to do something for others in the name of Christ. Sooner or later, our actions are going to have to come up to the level of our rhetoric, else it becomes like sounding brass or tinkling cymbal. Words are hollow without corresponding action. This caused James to say in 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Replace the word faith in 18 with the word love and see what you get. If your actions are downing out the words you speak, you are either speaking the wrong things or you are doing the wrong things. It is difficult to look in a mirror and examine one’s self and do it honestly. But that is the Holy Ground you must get on to find the Hesed, Agape of God and be able to share it with the world.
If all you can muster is the Philos kind of love, that is a great start. Keep loving others in the brotherly and family kind of way and it can grow to the Hesed/Agape kind of love. You will know when you have arrived there and others will too.
May God bless the reading of this teaching. Amen!
If you need to know Christ or share Christ with others, here is a link to find out how.