I love apple pie! I love cinnamon rolls! I love anything with cinnamon in it! I love cars! I always have. My mother tells that when I was little, I commandeered a doll buggy from my sister and loaded it up with all my toy cars and would cart them around the house. We “love” movies. We “love” restaurants. We “love” going to the beach. We “love” using the word “love” so much that we have “loved” it right out of any meaning!
James tells us in the second chapter of his letter that faith without deeds is dead. I propose that the same is true for love. Love, is it’s not accompanied by action, is dead. In that great bastion of theology, My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle breaks into song singing (in part)
Words! Words! I’m so sick of words!
I get words all day through;
First from him, now from you! Is that all you blighters can do?
Don’t talk of stars Burning above; If you’re in love,
Don’t talk of June, Don’t talk of fall!
Don’t talk at all! Show me!
Never do I ever want to hear another word.
There isn’t one I haven’t heard.
Here we are together in what ought to be a dream;
Say one more word and I’ll scream!
Haven’t your arms Hungered for mine?
Please don’t “expl’ine,” Show me!1
I think there is a world out there saying that to Christians. “Don’t talk of Christ’s love, show me!”
Even before Jesus, throughout the Old Testament, we see God’s love demonstrated. There are far too many examples for me to list here, but let me skip lightly through the pages of the Old Testament. When Adam and Eve sinned, God Himself made them coverings. Before Jacob’s family even knew they were in danger of extinction because of a great famine, God showed His love for them by sending Joseph ahead to Egypt and arranging for him to be in charge of the entire grain supply. As an illustration of His great love for His children, God had Hosea to be reconciled to Gomer, even though she was an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods.2
But the ultimate demonstration of love is Jesus Christ. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.3 When we ponder the excruciating week of betrayal and unspeakable pain and suffering that Jesus endured, remember that it is a demonstration. It is God showing us just how important we are to Him and just how far He’ll go to have a relationship with us.
As followers of Christ, we need to follow His example of demonstrating love. Jesus even said If you love me, you will obey what I command4. “If you love me, show me…by doing.” There are some people that we pray for God to help and we, ourselves, have the ability to help them. Maybe God is waiting for us to help them. Ask God to give you a sensitivity to those around you. What needs do you see? Can you do anything about it? Do you know someone who can do something about it? God may be saying, “don’t talk of loving Me, show Me.”
Johns Creek Baptist Church
1”Show Me” from “My Fair Lady” by Lerner and Loewe