I Peter 3:15-16 “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”
I don’t remember hearing my parents say to me, “I love you,” but I know that they do. They have always shown their love in countless ways. When I was growing up they worked hard to provide a comfortable home, food, and clothing. They made sure my brothers didn’t pick on me, at least not too much. Even today, they still listen when I have something important to say. They encourage me when I’m discouraged or when I start a new venture. Their eyes shine with pride at my smallest accomplishments. Their actions, not their words, have always left me feeling secure and loved.
I have never heard Jesus say to me, “I love you,” but I know that he does. He provides my every need. He sometimes allows difficulties in my life, but never more than I can bear. He always listens to me and knows my heart, even when I don’t talk to Him as often as I should. He is the source of my abilities and is pleased when I work hard to develop them. When I’m discouraged he wraps loving arms around me, encouraging me to continue. And those very same arms stretched wide open on the cross for me. Because of His willingness to become sin, I have been adopted into his family and will live forever with him in heaven. His actions leave me feeling secure and loved.
Through our own wordless love we let others glimpse how loving our savior is. When we understand another’s feelings, or listen to his problems, we show God’s love. When we assist an elderly neighbor or babysit a friend’s children, they are aware of his love. When we accept others without judging them, they can see God’s love.
“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brother, love one another, deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” (I Peter 3:22-23).
Oh God, humble so we recognize your demonstrations of love, and show us how to act in loving ways for others.