Fierce, Passionate Love
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” Luke 10:25-28 NIV
I don’t know about you, but when I read the verses above, I don’t think Jesus is making a mere suggestion. He expects us to love God with everything we’ve got. He does not say we should like Him a little. He doesn’t say we should just be buddies. Jesus is commanding that we love fiercely, passionately.
Our Actions Reveal Our Hearts
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16
This scripture adds a different twist. What is in our hearts is revealed by our deeds. We aren’t saved by good works. But if we love God, good works are going to follow. When you love someone, especially when you love them fiercely, passionately, you can’t help but show it with your actions.
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” James 2:14-26 NIV
- As a family, talk about what actions you see in each other that show good character.
- What actions might you need to reconsider because they reflect bad character? If you are working with young children, make sure they understand that no one is perfect. We all have things we need to work on!
- Pick something you can do together as a family that will reflect a kind heart. It could be cooking a meal for someone, being hospitable, writing letters to friends far away, or any kind of service project.
What good deeds have you seen others do lately? Are you putting action to the thoughts and feelings in your own heart?