Love in Action

Love in Action

My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.  (1 Joh 3:18)

The Bible reminds us that we must put our love into action.  How can we do that?  Let’s see what the Bible has to say.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  (Joh 13:34-35)

 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”  (Joh 14:15)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?”  (Mt 5:43-47)

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  (Col 3:12-14)

All of the Bible passages that I’ve shown above talk about love being shown by actions.  The Lord asks us to demonstrate our love by:

  • Loving one another;
  • Obeying His commandments;
  • Loving our enemies; blessing those who curse us; doing good to those who hate us; and praying for them;
  • Putting on tender mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; and
  • Bearing with one another and forgiving one another.

Love (the bond of perfection) binds all of the qualities of goodness together—which means that love is the source from which all good character traits proceed.  Love motivates, sustains, and unites the presence of all good qualities of character.

Essentially, in living this way we demonstrate the concept of putting on Christ.

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  (Gal 3:27)

The Lord reminded us in His Word that GOD IS LOVE.  (1 Joh 4:8)  The Lord acts upon His own perfect love for us by constantly surrounding us with His love, grace and blessings.

For more verses about love in action, see:  Joh 15:9-10, 13; Rom 5:8; 1 Joh 2:3-6; 3:10-11; 4:7-12; 4:17-20.

Clothed With Power?

Clothed With Power?

God is the only One who can bestow special power upon people.  His purpose for doing so is to enable witnesses to broadcast the gospel [good news] of Jesus Christ to the world.

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  (Eph 3:14-21, emphasis added)

Note that our witness, according to verse 17 above, is to be rooted and authenticated in LOVE!  This will result from our own experience of the love of Christ for us. (v. 19)  Love is the bond of perfection, and it must be our sole motivation for all ministry.  (Col 3:14)

I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.  (Lk 24:49 NIV)

In Luke 24, Jesus was instructing His followers to wait for the arrival of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  The disciples wouldn’t have received the grace that they needed to be effective witnesses for Christ until then.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)

The indwelling Holy Spirit enables us to obey the instructions that Jesus gives us in Matthew 10:8 – Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Fulfill your mission, brothers and sisters!  Share the power that God has placed within you now . . . today!

LOVE: The Bond of Perfection

LOVE:  The Bond of Perfection

But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  (Col 3:14 KJV)

This verse is so intriguing to me that I had to look at it in a few other versions of the Bible:

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  (NIV)

And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.  (KJV)

Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love, which is the perfect bond of unity [for everything is bound together in agreement when each one seeks the best for others].  (AMP)

The phrase that has always fascinated me is “bond of perfection.”  I always wanted to know what that meant, because it sounds so beautiful to me, therefore I studied it.

Seeing the verse in several different versions helped me.  But I also wanted to see what past Bible scholars had to say about it.  Here’s what the Jamieson, Fausset & Brown Commentary on Colossians 3 says:

bond of perfectness–an upper garment which completes and keeps together the rest, which, without it, would be loose and disconnected. Seeming graces, where love is wanting, are mere hypocrisy. Justification by faith is assumed as already having taken place in those whom Paul addresses, Col 3:12, “elect of God, holy. . . beloved,” and Col 2:12; so that there is no plea here for Rome’s view of justification by works. Love and its works “perfect,” that is, manifest the full maturity of faith developed (Mat 5:44, 48). Love. . . be ye perfect, &c. (Jam 2:21, 22 1Jo 2:5). “If we love one another, God’s love is perfected in us” (Rom 13:8 1Cr 13:1-13 1Ti 1:5 1Jo 4:12). As to “bond,” compare Col 2:2, “knit together in love” (Eph 4:3), “keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
(Sourcehttps://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/jfb/Col/Col_003.cfm?a=1110014)

I like what the JFB Commentary had to say about “seeming graces” that are without love—they’re hypocrisy.  My understanding is that the only way to be able to operate out of genuine, God-motivated love is to have thoroughly and deeply experienced the love of God yourself, personally. 

As I mentioned in my blog posted on 03/31/2016 (Do Everything With Love), “Because we are loved by God, we have the grace to love others even as we are loved.  God’s love enables us to forgive. His love gives us the wherewithal to extend mercy and understanding to others, not returning evil for evil, but on the contrary—blessing them.” 

This is the type of love that opens the eyes of the unsaved to their need for their Savior.  This kind of love changes situations and brings glory to God.  This love is the “upper garment” which unifies us as believers and unifies all of the other gifts of God within us, as we use them for His glory.  It means desiring the best and highest good for everyone that we know, and for everyone with whom we interact.  

The love that is the bond of perfection is in you, my friend!  Use it and shine for Jesus today.