...more than just a word. Love is more than just a feeling. Love is an action.
"...let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." 1 John 3:18
It is one thing to tell those around us that we love them. That is a wonderful thing as well, because we do need to hear the words from time to time. However, love is expressed more than just in words. Often times love is expressed with actions - through helping, through giving, through doing, etc. Unfortunately, far too often our actions aren't recognized as love.
It is easy to find some way of expressing our love to those around us. When someone is sick or in the hospital, a little visit or sending a card helps them to know they are cared about and loved. In winter maybe the elderly couple living down the street could use some help in shoveling out their driveway (and if you have a snowblower, even better!). Offering to babysit for someone who has just had a new baby so that the mother can get some much needed sleep, or so mom and dad can have a little time to themselves, would be greatly appreciated. Taking a prepared meal to someone who is not feeling well, or who has just come home from having an operation is also a good way of expressing love.
There are many, many things that can be done to show your love to others. You don't have to buy expensive gifts, but just by putting some thought into the idea, you can come up with ways that the receiver will benefit from them.
No, these actions will not save us. They will not make us earn brownie points with God. But through our faith, through our salvation we should want to share Jesus with others and share His love with them. Showing love to others through our actions is one way of sharing Jesus.
God shared His love with us, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16). God sent His Son, Jesus, to offer eternal life and the forgiveness of sins to the world. Jesus' actions show just how great His love is for us - He willingly died on the cross so that all who believe in Him, in who He is, and what He did would have another gift of His love: eternal life with Him! "We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us..." (1 John 3:16).
There is no greater love than Jesus. As I have stated, our actions of love will not save us. But if we are striving to be like Jesus, to emulate Him in our lives to others, we need to put some actions in our love.
My challenge to you is to find someone and express your love for them through actions. The choice is up to you of what you will do, and to whom you will do it for. You don't need to tell anyone what you have done (in fact, it is probably better if you don't, that way the glory will go to God and there is no chance for us to seek any of the praise for ourselves). I encourage you to put your love into action today.