so give proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting about you to these men. [2 corinthians 8:24]
proof of love – what an interesting and powerful statement. for what or whom is your love proved?
do you prove your love for your career by your time, your over-time, your willingness to sacrifice others things for your career? do you prove your love for great food by the time you spend planning meals, where you will eat out, and the amount of pictures you take of your food? do you prove your love for your kids by the sheer number of photos taken and time spent? do you prove your love for your friends with encouragement, sacrifice, listening. none of these things in and of themselves are wrong or sinful. my question is simply – for what or whom is your love proven? for what or whom does no one question your devotion?
to this passage – is your love for Jesus proven in the body of Christ? do other believers see and experience your love for Christ in your words, your encouragement, your generosity, your prayers, your worship, your sacrifice, and more. are others impacted by your love for Christ?
the proof of your love is not mainly in your words, but your words can give evidence. the proof of your love is in your thoughts and actions, in your desires and deeds.
a couple of action steps for us today in regards to our love for Christ.
- spend a moment with God in prayer and ask him to honestly evaluate your love for him. what do your thoughts, desires, actions and deeds reveal?
- ask God to increase your love for him.
- ask for opportunities to “show Jesus in love” to those around you today.
first, in prayer, be still for a moment and evaluate your love for God. what does the past month say about your love? listen to the Spirit. be honest in what you hear.
search me, o God, and know my heart! try me and know my thoughts! and see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! [ps 139:23-24]
second, in prayer, ask God to increase your love for him. one of the primary ways he does this is to show how much he has loved you by saving you from his wrath, and by pursuing you to repent, and by constantly washing you in his forgiveness over and over. for instance, right now as you have felt some conviction for your lack of love for God, what should increase your love for him is his pursuit and forgiveness in this very moment. his arms are wide-open and he has loved you and is loving you right now by accepting you completely thru the finished work of Christ. when your love wanes – his is constant, ever pursuing, and forgiving. o, may his great love for us increase our love for him right now.
those whom i love, i reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. behold, i stand at the door and knock. if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, i will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. [rev 3:19-20]
third, in prayer, ask for opportunities to show Jesus in love. simply put, ask for divine appointments. some you know are coming. people you see everyday – at home, at work, at qt, at school, etc. others, you don’t know are coming but you will be looking for them because you prayed for them. and as you ask in his will, he promises he will provide!
and this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. and if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. [1 john 5:14-15]
~ john ryan