1 John 3:16-18
16This 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. 17If 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? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
Actions and truth are tied very closely together. Here are some truths in my life: I hate exercise and I love food. These truths can absolutely co-exist. Pretty peacefully even.
Except I have another truth—I want to be healthy and look okay (I’m not even striving for looking good! Just okay!). Now I have a problem, because these three truths cannot exist happily together.
So where do I go from here? I can tell people what my truths are, and even post pictures of me eating, and not exercising, and quotes about healthy lifestyle on all my social media platforms. But, my actions are what show what I believe, what my truths are.
So, I eat. Not EVERYTHING I want (remember, I value health), and not whenever I want (remember, I value looking okay; this means no cheeseburgers in bed at 10 p.m.). And I exercise. Even though I don’t love it. But I value health, looking okay, and food, so this was the one truth that had to be pushed in order for the others to thrive.
Jesus said he loved God and loved others. What if he just posted Bible verses on his Instagram feed but lived in a manner that did not reflect what he said he believed? Jesus did not want to die on the cross. You can read the account in Matthew 26-27. But he did it, because he said he loves God, he loves us, and he showed it by serving us all through his death.
Thought for Today: How do we show our love for God with actions and in truth in our daily lives? Actions that bring glory and honor to the kingdom of God? Saying things is easy. Doing things is hard.
But let’s try following the example that Christ set for us, even when it’s hard. Everything He said, and did, lined up with what He believed. God came first, others came second. So as His followers, we love God, and we serve others. “If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11).
This week, we’ve been talking about serving in our messages, groups, and devotions. A great way for you to use your gifts is by joining a serving team here at Sun Valley. You can find out more information and sign up here.