Love in Action
This message is inspired by the teens in our church who have just finished up a retreat on putting love in action. What an incredible blessing it is to hear how passionate they are about not wanting anyone in this world to experience hurt. They see the wrong and injustice in this world and they are eager to know how to translate love for others into action and so imitate the Good Samaritan.
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—
This gets to the heart of why can’t we all just get along with each other? Why is loving other people not the default for our actions. We learn from the Bible that because sin came into the world we all sin and are part of the problem (Romans 5:12). Our sinful nature too often can lead us to fall short of taking action in love.
Love + Inaction = Impossible Mix
15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
We may think to ourselves that we’re too busy or have too many responsibilities to take on yet another. The abundance of need around us may have hardened our hearts to make us indifferent or unwilling to care even more. However, the love God calls us to have means seeing what’s needed and being willing to meet that need if you can (James 2:15-17). Our faith would keep us from just walking by. Yes, we need balance in life and cannot possibly meet every need that comes our way or we would be quickly overcome.
How then do we decide which needs to act on and which ones to commit to prayer? Finding that balance will require us to challenge our human nature to attend to our needs so much that we overlook the chance to help another. Jesus shows us through example that love takes action. He laid down his life to help us while we were still sinners – figuratively the person in need on the side of the road (Romans 5:8).
Love + Action = Lasting Impact
1 John 3:16-18
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
Jesus saw our need and came to rescue us, leaving us his perfect example of putting love into action (1 John 3:16-18). Let’s not just talk about love, let’s put it into practice. As Jesus demonstrated, to make a real, lasting impact we have to deny ourselves first. Caring for others takes dying to ourselves and repenting of our sinful natures. The chain reaction of bringing good to a hurting world starts with saying no to our excuses and surrendering to doing God’s will.
Be a Good Neighbor (Practicals):
- Talk with someone who you believe exemplifies love in action. Ask how they stay motivated to meet needs.
- Find out if there is a need in your immediate physical or spiritual family you could meet, such as a meal for someone who’s sick or help with a household chore? If possible this week, meet the need.
- What’s needed in your community? Look into how you can help on your own, with others, or as a project for our church’s HOPE Worldwide chapter?
Thanks for reading this Christian Blog series: “Sermonized”. We will have a blog post every Monday ready for your quiet time!
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