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Next Step of Love

Today's Devotional

Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

What would cause someone to help a competitor? For a restaurant owner named Adolfo in Wisconsin, it was the opportunity to encourage other struggling local restaurant owners adapting to Covid regulations. Adolfo knew firsthand the challenges of operating a business during a pandemic. Encouraged by another local business’ generosity, Adolfo spent his own money to purchase more than two thousand dollars in gift cards to give away to his customers to use at other restaurants in his community. That’s an expression of love that’s not just words but action.  

Building on the ultimate expression of love demonstrated by Jesus’ willingness to lay down His life for humanity (1 John 3:16), John encouraged his readers to also take the next step and put love into action. For John, to “lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” (v. 16) meant demonstrating the same type of love exemplified by Jesus—and that would most often take the form of everyday, practical actions, such as sharing material possessions. It wasn’t enough to love with words; love required sincere, meaningful actions (v. 18).

Putting love into action can be hard because it often requires personal sacrifice or disadvantaging ourselves for another person. Enabled by God’s Spirit and remembering His lavish love for us, we can take the next step of love.

How have you experienced love in action? How can you take the next step to love someone in a practical way?

Dear Jesus, please help me to follow Your example and take the next step to demonstrate genuine love in my actions today.


In 1 John 3, the author focuses on the concept of love lived out in practicality. Like Cain, a lack of love-in-action is comparable to hatred and murder (v. 15). Instead, the author appeals to the example of Jesus, whose act of laying down His own life demonstrates the kind of love we should live out as His children. But what does that love look like practically? The letter makes it very simple: care for the physical needs of fellow believers (vv. 17-18).

And lest we think that the words of 1 John 3 are only a recommendation, it’s important to remember that God took Israel to task—destroying their wealth and sending them into exile—in part because the wealthy failed to care for the needy among them (see Amos 5:11–12). God deeply cares for the poor and marginalized, and we demonstrate Christlike love when we show them that same care.

By |2024-03-22T02:33:10-04:00March 22nd, 2024|
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