Intro: There was a T.V. show called, “Love American Style”
Here is a clip of the intro. to that show:
In all fairness I was pretty young when that show was new. My older sisters would watch it and it came on kinda later at night (late night t.v.) because it showed more mature content and delt with adult themes.
I wouldn’t call it or consider it risky or off color or overtly sexual in nature just…well, in all fairness, trying to show what some people think love is and the crazy mixed up signals that get crossed when people try to force a misconception of love.
This is a series I’ve been sharing with the main focus coming from this verse in 1 John 3:18. There is no great need to read ever day in order to grasp what I share today.
Today I want to look at this verse and the surrounding verses, as well as others with this in mind:
Jesus set the example with His actions not just His words
In the t.v. show I mentioned in the intro. they showed a demonstration of “love” going wrong.
Time after time, episode after episode (just like many t.v. shows we see today) you’d see people looking for love and to be “loved” but when the love is shallow & just physical in nature it always hurt and caused pain & confusion.
In many ways shows like that can show us how not to live & love. In life we can learn from people’s mistakes but we also need to see people’s accomplishments & success, as positive role models for us.
For us, this is where Christ comes in & reading His Word is important in order for us to see the best role model.
I personally believe the Bible is not just the documentation of Jesus’ words and what He did but it is living & breathing & can get into us, actually live in us & effect our life-style (Jesus is the Word. A study on “Logos” living breathing Word that is alive -John 1).
This is where you & I come into the picture. “Christian” are to be Christ-like showing real Christ-like love in a world who wants & needs to see that type of love.
Jesus showed it so others could take it in, not just hear it or later read it but actually SEE it.
Living love Jesus style
So, let’s get into The Word, but more importantly let it get into us.
Remeber the 1 key verse we are looking at in this series: “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.1 John 3:18 NLT
Now look at the surrounding verses -1 John 3:1, 5, 7-8, 13, 16-20, 23 NLT (below)
“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.
And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him.
Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning.
But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.
We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us.
So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. (The key verse for this series)
Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.
And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us.”
1 John 3:1, 5-5, 7-8, 13, 16-20, 23 NLT
His name (meaning everything He stood & stands for to this day. What He did and how He went about doing it). If we claim to be “Christians” (children of God -regardless of our age) we must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us.
To “believe” means to live it out. Not just say we believe but actually let that belief effect our lives (our lifestyle).
There are certain things we do and don’t do because we are convinced & have a deep conviction to do or not do so. We act & react not because we are told by others what is right & wrong but because God’s Spirit nudges us from deep within our guts.
When Christianity becomes our life-style rather than our religion we are able to love like Christ loved.
This ends day 4.
I know some want to go deeper, so do I. I always do. Here is a bit more to chew on if you desire to, but the above is the main point for today and in and of itself is enough…Jesus showed us…
Love Jesus style.
Main point –Jesus set the example with His actions not just His words
So much more can be written and I could go on for 4 more days and days with this verse from 1 John 3:18 alone but I’ll end this series with one last link that I hope will help us think about who we really are, what we say (with more than written & spoken words), where we are, when we are being heard, why people hear with more than words and how we are…”speaking life”: https://tombeetlebailey.wordpress.com/?p=12445 (One of the videos in this link are also featured in one of the days in this series).
Extra scripture that goes along with these thoughts:
Jesus said these same things we read in 1 John 3 –
In Luke we hear Jesus saying, “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you. “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for HE is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. Luke 6:27-36 NLT
In Matthew we hear Christ say, But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:48 NLT
Jesus goes on teaching,
“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew 6:1-4, 19-21 NLT
Then a little later Jesus said,
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ Matthew 7:21-23 NLT
The Lord Jesus Christ explains that He, although the embodiment of The Most High God in the flesh He is one with the least of these (the lower class of people in the greatest need) and the way we treat others is the way we will be treated and inturn the way we treat Him. (Matt. 25:31-46 seperation of goat & sheep).
Again, “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:11-12, 48 NLT
And note: “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15 NLT
Fully understand the fact from Jesus’ lips: “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. Matthew 7:1-2 NLT
If we don’t live by His example (the way He did) we will not be treated by God The Father the way He treated His Son (Jesus).
Unless our righteousness is better than the Pharisees we won’t get into to The Kingdom. Here is a very important message & warning to mature believers – Jesus Christ says,
So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. “But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
Matthew 5:19-20 NLT
To fully understand that we have to know & understand how Jesus was living & teaching (with words and His actions) and compare that to what the Pharisees & religious people of that day were preaching verbally & doing (or not doing) physically in regard to the lifestyle of love Jesus calls us to.
I recall my children asking why eveyone can’t go to heaven & i explained how if God allowed & tolerated unrighteousness & evil in heaven it would be as bad as this world.
In order for there to be a place filled with perfect righteousness and no harm, no death & dieing, no tears or pain, God has to allow only purity in & keep the unpure out. Perfect purity comes from God’s great love & not tolerating hate.
Remember -Jesus showed love to everyone & even when being put to death by those who hated Him & were murdering Him He asked God The Father to forgive them.
1 John 3:18 series “God Action” finished but the subject of the Christian lifestyle, specifically how we are to live love & let love rule just keeps coming up in conversation and in different Scripture passages I am reading.
Here is another: Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.
James 3:13-16 MSG