Love, whether it is given or received, is experienced through action. Intending to love someone is not the same as loving them. Feeling you should love someone out of guilt or obligation is not love. Neither intent nor compulsion results in love. Only through our actions are we able to demonstrate love to another. Only through the actions of another are we able to feel their love for us. We can mentally and gracefully believe that someone loves us, but unless they act out their love towards us, it simply isn’t real. If we are serious about loving Jesus, it follows that we will express that love through our actions.
We probably all have at one time said something like, “I wish I could love as Jesus does.” We long to both express and feel unconditional love. How is it we know that Jesus loves us unconditionally? How about we start with He created us; He lived as a human being so He could intimately relate to everything we experience; He sacrificed His life so that you and I could spend eternity with Him; He forgives every sin we will ever commit; He is a constant help and strength. I could certainly go on for a very long time talking about the ways He shows His love for us. Do you see a common theme in all of this? We experience His unconditional love through His consistent actions on our behalf. He is constantly doing something for us. The perfect love of Jesus is demonstrated through His actions for us.
If we want to love as Jesus loves, then we too must constantly be acting on behalf of those we love. Who should we love? Jesus said that first and foremost we should love God. Next we should love our neighbors. If you follow this through, we should constantly be demonstrating our love for God and everyone else in the world. Our lives should be a continuous act of service for others. This is how we go about expressing love. This is how we move beyond confessing Jesus with our lips and instead make Him the Lord of our life. It’s at once a bit heavy but so very simple. It’s all about love, and love requires action.
Each of us must determine every day how we will express love to others. What actions can we take on behalf of another that will show them we love them? Is it possible that as we seek to love others they just might see the reflection of Christ in our eyes? Might others be drawn to Him through our love? This is how the Kingdom grows. Every act of love is another seed planted in the garden of eternity. We’ve spent enough time saying we love Jesus without putting any action behind our words. What if, when we meet Jesus and told Him we loved Him, He asked for proof? What would we say? It’s time to put our words into action by expressing love to all.