TRUE LOVE EQUALS ACTION
“’Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You go, and do likewise.’”
Luke 10:36-37 (ESV)
In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus directed a questioning lawyer back to what man had lost in pursuit of happiness and glory. The lawyer had clearly worked hard to get to where he was, and as a result, he had received position and status. But were these things enough to secure eternal life? In answer to the lawyer’s questions, Jesus did not offer an opinion, but challenged him with a story.
Eternal rewards come from a total devotion to love, first and foremost. This love encompasses one’s whole being, and for the most part, will not be proven by outward acts that can be praised by man. The heart, mind, and soul make up the deepest and more secretive, hidden, and guarded aspects of a human being where God himself is the only true judge and witness. In the parable, when the priest and the Levite passed the man on the side of the road, no one was there to see what they would or would not do. Only God was the witness of their actions. At that moment, they were committed to their schedules and their plans, not God’s plans.
The only visible attributes of love can be revealed with strength and mercy. When a person is truly committed to something, love is the driving force. In turn, their passions become very transparent and visible. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” 1 John 4:20 also says, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates his brother [or sister], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother [or sister] whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” Love for your brother is best exemplified by merciful acts, not just gracious words. We show God our love when we act in love, not when we talk about love. Godly favor and blessing do not always translate into earthly status or position. The Levite and the priest (men who had status in their communities) had a chance to love someone that they saw in need, but they chose not to. So, how could they say they loved God?
Practical Application: This week, evaluate the condition of your heart towards God. Do you need to recover your first love? Consider praying, “I want the river of life to flow out of me, leading, guiding, and directing me. Lord, may this river bring rest, refreshment, and deliverance to the hurting world around me.”