(18) Children, you show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it.
(19) When we love others, we know that we belong to the truth, and we feel at ease in the presence of God.
This is fundamental to all that Jesus taught. Love each other, don’t simply talk about it. This kind of love is not insignificant. It is not a little bit of love when it is convenient but a whole-hearted love. He says elsewhere in Scripture that we are to love others as we love ourselves. That is a high calling because our natural tendency is to take care of ourselves first and foremost. We make sure that we are well-fed, make a few bucks, wear reasonable clothes, are warm at night…. Truthfully, when given the choice we protect our self-interest first.
Love requires action. Talk doesn’t count. Unexpressed love is not truly love. It is simply a random thought that crossed your mind that you chose to not act upon. In all honesty, one could say that without such love we are living in disobedience to God. Yikes, that kinda hurts.
(23) God wants us to have faith in his Son Jesus Christ and to love each other. This is also what Jesus taught us to do.
That’s it! Have faith of Jesus and love each other. Is following Jesus really that simple? If it is then why does the Bible have so many words in it? That is a blog for another day. But can we live like this…faith and love? Certainly. He would not have commanded us to do something that we could not accomplish. Is it tough? Yep! Are there people out there that are tough, if not impossible, to love? You betcha! But it starts with a sincere decision on our part to live this way. It requires a daily response to the circumstances that we are in to present this life of love. Do you realize that when you live this way that you show forth the love of Christ through your actions? Wow!