Dear children, lets not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 1 John 3:18 NLT
WHEN I WAS a young boy, my father was a police officer in a small New Jersey town. He left our home one day, never to return. He was killed by a person with a weapon spraying a hail of bullets in his direction, and life as I knew it was over. The hero of my life was gone; his love could now only be felt through memories. Soon after his death, my mother relocated our small family to Anderson, Indiana. We started attending Sherman Street Church of God and became members. I was introduced to a brother in the church named Jerome Brown. Jerome became a big brother to my brother and me. He was someone that God used to help mend the broken hearts of two little boys. Jerome was the person God used to express his extreme love for us.
During our time in Anderson, God would use many people to express his love for us, but I remember Jerome being among the first in my life. Jerome used simple but effective ways to show my brother and me the love of God. He was there with a word of encouragement and support, but he also employed acts of love. He would take us to his home to watch sporting events on TV. He would work with us on our basketball skills at a playground near his home. He provided memberships for us at the local YMCA. One very memorable event was a weekend trip he and his wife planned for us to Cincinnati, Ohio, to watch the Cincinnati Reds play baseball. Jerome did not preach to us as he shared the love of God; he simply and effectively did the love of God. Because of Jeromes presence in my life, and his actions, God was able display his love for me at a time of loss and hurt.
I know from experience that putting love into action is a powerful tool God uses to express his extreme love for us. Often it is not just what is said that will convey the love of the Lord, but it is how it is demonstrated. Jerome allowed God to use him as the vehicle to demonstrate his love. It is true that words, lovingly given, are great expressions of Gods love; but the loving actions of another person are also powerful expressions of Gods love for us. Both can be life-lines to save one from death and as a means of drawing people to Christ.
O God, use me to show your love to others at just the right time.
Calvin Waddy, Senior Pastor, Central Community Church of God, Jackson, Mississippi