May 27, 2018 - Inscriptions From The Heart
May 27, 2018
Pastor Tonyvic Tira
16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:16-18, ESV)
‘I love this weather.’ ‘I love your hair.’ ‘I love it when…’ ‘I’m lovin’ it!’ ‘I love lamp.’ ‘I love God.’ ‘I love you.’ Today, love is definitely in the air. Whether it’s a child’s favourite ice cream, a song on the radio, Thanos retiring to the Philippines, or the royal wedding. ‘Love’, the world would tell us is something important. It is something we should search for, something we should be saying, something that sets us apart, something that if everyone did the world would be a better place, and yet love for every commercial, movie, song, or vow remains elusive.
The world would have us believe that the expression of love is greatest in three words - “I love you”. I agree with this but would argue from Scripture that it is incomplete. As Christians, in Mark 12, Jesus says the greatest commands are to love God and to love our neighbours. But what does this look like and what does it have to do with the power of the tongue?
Can you imagine if Jesus ministry consisted of telling his disciples “I love you” and then straight to the ascension returning to his home in glory? Where would we be and how would we know of Christ’s love if he did not express it in action? “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us.” Make no mistake, that the love Jesus expressed, taught, modelled, and expects involves significant action and sacrifice to the point where his followers “ought to lay down [their] lives for [others]”. While the tongue has tremendous power to speak evil and bring destruction, beautiful but empty words also bring death rather than life.
I want to commend our Alliance Men who yesterday morning woke up early to serve the needs of our neighbours in inner-city Edmonton with coffee and muffins. As Christians, our words must mean something (cf. James 5:12). When we profess love with our lips, how far are our actions? Are we bringing life to our communities (of work, living, school, etc.) or is our love hollow? Or maybe, we don’t say it enough. Are you so busy in sacrificing for your families, working, and giving of yourself that you forget to tell your spouse or your children that what you are doing is because you love them? We are reminded that God not only demonstrated but also spoke and taught about love. Lastly, are you loving God “with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind and with ALL your strength?” How is your love for God expressed throughout the week? Or is it demonstrated solely on Sundays between 10:30 am and noon, and sometimes before meals? “Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and truth.”