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(20 October 2017)

1 John 3:16-18 says: "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."

It is easy to read that instruction and think the only way to love others is to give them money when they are in need. It is certainly important to be generous and to share with others what God has given us, but that is not the only way to walk in love.

There are many ways to show love through our actions.

When you greet the grumpy cashier with a smile, you are showing love.

When you cook dinner for your friend, who's just had a baby and doesn't get much sleep, you are showing love to her and her family.

When you offer to take your neighbour, whose car broke down, to an appointment, you are showing love.

In 1 Corinthians 13 we find the most important practical ways to walk in love: 

Be patient and kind. 

Don't be jealous, boastful, proud or rude. 

Don't demand your own way. 

Don't be irritable, and be quick to forgive those who did you wrong. 

Don't give up on someone, don't lose faith, always be hopeful, and endure through every circumstance.

It is the way God loves, and since He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love, we are capable of loving others this way too.

QUESTIONS TO PONDER: Saying we love others doesn't cut it. We have to show love by our actions. What does your actions communicate towards others? Does it speak of love? How can you allow the Holy Spirit to work in you and through you, so you become a more loving person?