Posted by: forfreedomalone | 24/08/2018

Love in action.

One of the saddest statements I think I have ever heard was said to me recently by a man I know. He said, “If you insist that love, in both Hebrew and Greek, is a verb and not either an adjective or a noun, then you are turning love into works and denying the Spirit his power. I want nothing to do with that.”
What a mess we make when we teach doctrine instead of Biblical truth. Love, ahab in Hebrew and agape in Greek are both verbs. They are both words which tell us action is required. There is no doubt emotion is involved, but they are action words. “Dig” is a verb, it is an action, but there is no doubt that we will find that when we dig our bodies are affected and, depending on the reason why we digging, our emotions may be as well. We may believe there is gold at the bottom of that hole, or we may believe we have been press ganged into doing something we do not want to do, but either way our emotions are involved, although their involvement is, we might say, secondary to the action of digging.
Paul tells us, in 1 Corinthians 13, that love is patient, kind, utterly selfless, forgiving, humble, not short tempered,or jealous. While we may ‘feel’ any or all of these, they are also things we are required to ‘do’, if we are going to walk in love. We must be patient with those who seem dull witted or stupid; kind towards those drive us nuts; humble when we are wrong and admit our mistakes, or when doing well but not seeking praise. There are so many ways in which love is manifest in action.
The Holy Spirit who lives in us wants to manifest all of those qualities to the people around him, but he needs a body through whom to act. He is not going to possess us, like we imagine a demon might, and MAKE us do what our wills have not been set to do. He will put us in situations where we can show love and ask us to ‘do’ the things required to show it. His actions through us are in spite of how we feel, not by changing our feels so that we will then act. We are just as human as those in the world, the difference with us who believe is that we have a Spirit of power living in us who enables us to do what we do not want to do, when we set our will to follow him, rather than to follow our flesh..
Nowhere does the Bible tell us to avoid works. Paul warns against dead works; that is, going back to the Aaronic priesthood and offering animal sacrifices, or believing that if we live a self powered holy life God will be pleased with us; and James tell us we are to do good works, which were prepared for us beforehand, but no one tells us to avoid works altogether.

No tree ‘feels’ its fruit and settles for that, it gets into action and produces its fruit. Love in action is the fruit of the indwelling Spirit. No action = no fruit.

No wife on the planet knows her husband loves her because he has deep and powerful feelings for her, nor even from being told half a dozen times a day, if his actions tell her the total opposite. I hate to come down in the morning and find a pile of dishes by the kitchen sink. It is probably irrational and certainly won’t kill me, but I hate it. It just seems to get me off on the wrong foot in the morning. I like to find the counter clean and cleared. It is like starting the day with a fresh slate. If my husband, knowing this, nightly has a supper snack and leaves his dishes, glasses etc piled up for me to tackle in the morning, it doesn’t matter how often he says “I love you” my heart will say, “No, you don’t”. If he clears it all away and leaves the kitchen as I like it, if he NEVER says, “I love you” I will know he does by what his actions tell me.
The greatest act of love was the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. His ACTIONS tell us how much he loved us, even though we may never hear his voice say, “I love you”. The Spirit of love was given power to love by Jesus’ obedience in giving over his will to loving the unlovable, even when he was hungry, thirsty, tired and persecuted; never mind when he was dying in agony…remember, in nearly his last breath, he asked that God would forgive the sin of those who had nailed him to the tree.
My friends, love is action. It may promote feelings but it is primarily action. Godly love requires the laying down of self that others may benefit from love. When we want to scream at the dolt who is unteachable, it requires self sacrifice to be patient and explain it again. When we have someone bullying us, it requires self sacrifice to show kindness to them. When we have a neglectful spouse it takes self sacrifice to show them love or respect, when we may want to tear strips off them. Love is action and by it the Spirit of love reveals himself to the world. The first action of love is to love God and, thereby, lay down our will, in an act of self sacrifice, to show love to all, even when we don’t want to.

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