Tag Archives: Pursue love

Pursue love


What would you think about someone who always talks love but doesn’t show it by their actions? It rings a bit hollow and doesn’t seem like the real thing does it?

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

We are called to act on love, to demonstrate it in what we do and who we are. But have you ever experienced the action of love without feeling love? For example, someone always says “I love you, I miss you,” but no attempt is made to share life together and act out on that professed love. We all know that all talk and no show is empty expression. It like lip syncing life.

Fellow blogger Jon Bloom writes: Because just like you can talk loving without really loving, you can act loving without really loving. That’s what Paul meant when he said, “If I give away all I have and deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). We can look like we’re fulfilling 1 John 3:18 and still not love.

John Piper writes in his book Desiring God: “Love is the overflow of joy in God that gladly meets the needs of others” (119). If we believe what the bible and most people profess, God is love, then to love others is an extension of loving and enjoying the presence of God. Jesus also commands, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35  Real Christians are known for their love. It is what defines them: they love one another. You might be thinking, “I know a lot of Christians and their trademark isn’t love.” You may be right. None of us are perfect at this. But being works in progress, shouldn’t the pursuit of love be our most ambition this year and beyond?

Love one another.

Who do you know that needs an expression of genuine love and concern? Maybe today would be a good day to share an encouraging word, send a caring note, or meet a practical need. But beyond a simple “do a good deed” or “act of random kindness”, as helpful as those may be, let’s let our love flow from an inner desire to love God. And that is an inner journey of personal transformation that no mere action alone can accomplish.

Pursue love this year and find the love you share is also the love you receive.


Winter pruning

It is too cold just now and of course I have no strength, but already my thoughts turn to late winter pruning. I will ask my doctor in a couple of months if I can return to yard work after a year of prohibition due to health concerns. The honey suckle is intoxicating with its delicious fragrance that wafts across the yard but it is voracious in its growth. If not pruned, it will quickly overshadow the garden and the pear tree in the NE part of the small orchard. The fruit trees and grape vines, similarly need pruning or they will not produce as much large and delicious fruit.

Jesus tells us of the value of pruning in John 15. In this parable he describes himself as the vine, his followers as those branches that remain attached to the vine and God as the gardener. Of course the branches only bear fruit if they remain attached to the vine and even these must be pruned in order to grow more branches and produce more fruit.

In the same way, we must stay attached to the vine, abiding in Christ, if we expect to bear much spiritual fruit. And also in a similar fashion, our lives must undergo a certain amount of pruning that we can produce the fruit we were placed here to produce.

When we prune the branches of our grape arbor, it looks pretty scrawny but it benefits in the long run when spring buds appear. We notice a significant change in our lives when we undergo personal pruning and the unproductive and unhelpful activities and thoughts of our lives are pruned away. But their absence makes way for a much more useful one. Just as grape vines and fruit trees are not meant just to produce more leaves, so our lives are meant for much more than an abundance of activities and possessions.

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us the fruit we are expected to produce are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Do you find any of these offensive? Of course not. Who wouldn’t want to bear more of this fruit in their lives? But how do we do this? By pruning away the excess in our lives and staying connected to the vine, throughout each day.

And the good part is that you don’t need a doctor’s permission nor wait til the end of winter. What needs to be pruned in your life? Negative thoughts and behaviors? Excessive habits and activities aren’t necessarily bad but you if find they distract your attention from your real purpose and diminish your love, your joy, your peace, it is time for pruning.

Let’s pursue love this year, and peace and all the rest. Lt’s pursue it with such diligence that pruning is welcomed to obtain what we most deeply desire and what is beneficial to those around us as well.