I spoke with my father on the phone today. He’s been pretty sick and has been hospitalized for about a week now. It was a pretty good chat as he has been feeling better and he told me of all the visitors he’s had and how the pastor has taken time to come see him now a few times. As we wound down the conversation, he said something that doesn’t often come easy for his generation telling me he loved me. Dad loves a good western and John Wayne movies were common to watch in our home growing up. But old “Duke” didn’t exactly wear his emotions on his sleeves ! So it was good to hear what I did for though there were some traits to admire in John Wayne, many men in the Bible give us a far better role model to follow and one such example was the apostle John.
You may have heard the term “Apostle of Love” for John. He was just that as he wrote of the subject much and was often encouraging fellow believers to above all, love one another ! Tradition claims that John still was attending church near the ripe old age of 100 and was often carried in to church where he would many times admonish his brethren to show the love of Christ to each other. How often do you tell, especially your close family, that you love them? It’s easy to speak of their faults and take them for granted but God loves them so shouldn’t we also?
Have you let a fellow believer know in the recent past that you love them in the Lord and are praying for them? People have a great capacity to be loved having been created in the likeness and image of God for as John wrote “God is love” (1Jn.4:8 & 16) !! I tell our folks often that is the shortest theological definition of God found in Scripture. Take some time today to verbally express your love for those around you. You do not know how long you or they will be here, so why delay in this? Read the book of Philemon and notice how Paul is very verbal in his affection for his brethren in Christ or Romans 16 how warm his words are for his siblings in the Lord. Ask God to give you an increasingly better and compassionate heart for folks around you and as He does, your tongue will be sure to follow !