|1 John 3:17-19 |
17 How could the love of God dwell in anyone who has this world's goods, sees his brother in need, and shuts up his feelings of compassion for him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and in truth.7 [The Greek in this verse for little children is Teknia <5040>; these are yet to be freed from sin and without salvation.]
19 By this we know that we are of the truth, and our hearts will be assured before him.
7 How could the love of God dwell in anyone who has this world's goods, sees his brother in need, and shuts up his feelings of compassion for him?
My little children, let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and in truth.
By this we know that we are of the truth, and our hearts will be assured before him. 1 John 3:17-19.
John is in total agreement with James who said, "faith without works is dead." James 2:24.
He is saying that if the love of God dwells in a man, then he will have works of love to show. We could paraphrase John's words to be: "love without works is dead."
Not only must our works of love apply to our brothers who lack the necessities of life, but our love for God must be evident by more than words. We must strive to hear His words: His teachings, His counsel, His wisdom, and His convictions of us. We must expose ourselves to hearing His commands, just as the father of our faith, Abraham, exposed himself.
From the Word of the Lord within: "Without our promises the soul is grieved; with them the soul settles down to a vigilant tribute to the Lord."
A tribute is something that you do, say, or build to show that you respect and admire. A vigilant tribute is to watch and wait for His will to be revealed to us in his spoken commands and revelations: Blessed is the man who hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me, finds life; and he shall obtain favor of the LORD. Pro 8:34-35. You have prayed "thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" a thousand times; for your prayer to have sincerity, you must seek His will.
Compare the below two scriptures:
For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God beside you, who acts for the one who waits for him. Isa 64:4.
Man's eye has not seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, the things that God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
The key difference: Isaiah reads waits, 1 Cor 2:9 reads love. So the beginning of love for God is to wait on Him: we wait on Him to hear His words that teach us, convict us, encourage us, and guide us — that is loving God. When we hear Him speak commands to us, if we love Him, we will obey Him:
If you love me, you will obey my commands. John 14:15
And Jesus answered and said to him, "If a man loves me, he will obey my spoken words; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him. John 14:23
For this is the love of God, that we keep [obey] his commands; and his commands are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3
To say you love God and not seek to hear his will for you, is as the Lord described:
This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Isa 29:13, Mark 7:6
And they come to you as the people come, and they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they will not do [obey] them; for they show much love with their mouth, but their heart goes after their covetousness. Eze 33:31
From the Word of the Lord within: "Little children, let us love not only in word but in deeds."