We have been studying the subject of being rooted and grounded in love. We are concluding the third part of this lesson on not being moved from our role as compassionate, loving women in His church.
Point A, was loving in thought, we follow now with loving in word and in deed.
My prayer for all of us is to always approach the scriptures with
humble, open hearts.
I hope your day is wonderful and that you enjoy this study!
B. Once we get our thoughts under control, keeping our tongue in check to love in word will be much easier. Once again I speak on a subject that I am constantly working on myself.
We need to think and speak uplifting, edifying, loving, true, kind words. Matthew records Christ's words: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matthew 12:35-37.
I don't know about you, but I find that to be a very weighty scripture. It's also one that tells us that our thoughts and speech are inexorably linked.
The Holy Spirit inspired the writer of Hebrews to say
“But exhort one another daily, while it is called today;
lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
It’s an obligation we have to uplift and encourage one another, to help keep each other on the path to Heaven. The love and concern we have for one another should be sincere and ever present. This includes having the loving courage to kindly admonish one another when we see others drifting into sin. Sometimes we hesitate to speak up or show concern, for fear of angering someone, or hurting their feelings, or perhaps even being deemed a "busybody", but we will be held accountable if we don’t warn others that are drifting into sin. We can read that sad account in Ezekiel chapter 33 where God admonishes us to be watchmen (or women).
We do need to be careful to have our facts right, to know the scriptures, and to approach others humbly and lovingly with open arms, open ears and an open heart. This will prevent us from being false accusers as we are warned of in Titus 2:3.
The power of a positive word has lifted many a fainting heart, including mine. Just a few words, whether written or spoken, can make a dark day bearable. "Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." Proverbs 16:24 and Proverbs 17:22 says "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." A kind word can help a struggling heart remember that there is hope. What a powerful gift an encouraging word is, and it costs so little to give. Romans 12:9 & 10 says “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” Dissimulation is falseness, the complete opposite of sincerity. The phrase "in honour preferring" literally means to take the lead in outdoing one another in showing honour to one another. This brings us to our next step, which is loving in deed.
C. To keep from being moved in our roll as women we must control our thoughts and our words, and back it all up with our deeds.
Now really we all know what it means to love in deed. It means put your money where your mouth is. If you talk the talk, walk the walk. Nike has the perfect slogan for Christianity.
Just do it.
We all get too busy at times. We’ve touched on that already. We don’t want to be under Satan’s yoke so that we are too busy with this life to really be helping others (and ourselves) make it to the next one.
We are all familiar with the teachings of James, the brother of our Lord. “But be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass, for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgettteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James 1:22-25 Did you hear that? A doer of the WORK.
He continues in Chapter 2 verses 14-26 explaining to us repeatedly that faith without works is dead. He goes on to list some works we should be doing in James chapter one: bridling our tongues, visiting widows and orphans, keeping ourselves pure. We can add to that list: taking food to the sick, caring for children of someone who is sick or who has a new little one, cleaning someone’s home, or cleaning the building, teaching or helping with Bible class, inviting others to Bible study, preparing communion, sending someone flowers, coming to ladies days and ladies Bible studies to be edified, sewing clothes or making homemade gifts for others, reading to a shut in, gathering and sending goods to a missionary, praying for those in need. Just reaching out and giving a hug, a pat, a squeeze on the arm and saying I love you and I’m praying for you and I’m here for you and meaning it…and the list goes on. It's not just thinking about doing these things, it's doing them!
When we add these works to our list of what we can and should be doing then we are fulfilling God's will to edify, encourage, and uplift one another. We will be helping to build up a strong and loving church that shall not be moved. If we are too busy for these good works, then my friends, we are just too busy and something needs to change. “My little children , let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18
And so we begin, and end at the scriptures.
No matter what our intentions
are for faithfulness, no matter how good we are, or how much we long for Heaven, nothing will keep us standing fast in our faith, if we don't keep God's word in our heart by studying it daily. Our roots will start to wither up and die…until one day we topple.
What about you today? In what state are your spiritual roots? Are you a spiritual Redwood…or more like a tumbleweed? If you already have acquired the habit of daily Bible study, I commend you, and I encourage you to not give it up but to keep digging deeper. If you're Bible study habits aren't what they should be, won't you consider taking the time to implement a change in your life? Won't you make and take the opportunity to study so that your roots can grow deep into His word. It does take work to stay rooted and grounded in love, to not be moved. We may have to shift our schedules around a bit or get up a little earlier to make time for study. But when we look around us and see once faithful Christians and once faithful Christian couples uprooted and fallen...when we see suffering and illness and discouragement all around us, we know that Satan is at work.
And we know we have to work too.
We must study.
We must focus on Christ and our hope of Heaven.
We must work at loving in thought, in word and in deed
so that we won't be moved away from our hope.
It will be worth every bit of our time and effort in this garden of Christianity, when one day the harvest comes, and because our roots have grown strong and deep, we reap the reward of an eternal life of perfect peace and joy in Heaven.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
1 Thes. 4:16-17
Love to you all,