Loving Your Neighbor Through Actions

Jesus gave a New Command: “Love one another as I have loved you; so you must love one another.” He went on to say, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Our actions reveal the true nature of our heart. When we love others through actions—particularly loving them as Jesus has loved us—we become a vessel of Jesus’ love to them. Dare we say we become Jesus to that person!

Here are some scriptures that remind us of the importance of loving our neighbor through actions, followed by examples of how Jesus loved in tangible ways:

“For you are My workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which I have prepared in advance for you to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

“Those who have trust in me, be careful to devote yourselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone” (Titus 3:8; see also 1:8,16; 2:3,7,14; 3: 1,14).

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:16).

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:7-10).

“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify me on the day I come” (1 Peter 2:12; see also 2:15,20; 3:11,13, 16-17; 4:19).

“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:27-36).

 

HOW JESUS LOVED IN TANGIBLE WAYS

Words of Encouragement
Luke 19:1-10
. . . . Called Zacchaeus by name
Matthew 14:27-34 . . . . Encouraged Peter to walk: on water
John 20:16 . . . . Called Mary by name (at the tomb)

Acts of Service
John 2:3-9
. . . . Turned water into wine
John 13:14 . . . . Washed disciples’ feet
John 21:9 . . . . Provided supper on the shore for disciples
Luke 4:40 . . . . Healed various kinds of illnesses

Quality Time
Luke 10:38-42
. . . . Spent time with Martha and Mary
John 2 . . . . Went to a wedding
Matthew 13:36 . . . . Took time to explain the parables
Mark 6:31 . . . . Took the disciples to a quiet place

Gifts
Matthew 15:33-38
. . . . Feeding 4,000 (Matthew 14:15-21 = 5,000)
Matthew 17:27 . . . . Tax money provided out of the mouth of a fish
John 4:10 . . . . If you really knew the gift of God
Acts 1:4 . . . . Gift of the Holy Spirit

Touch
Matthew 18:13
. . . . Children brought to Jesus
Mark 9:36 . . . . Child in his arms
Mark 10:16 . . . . Children in his arms
Luke 15:20 . . . . Parable of Prodigal Son (father embraced/kissed)
John 13:14. . . . Washed the disciples’ feet
Matthew 8:2-3 . . . . Touched the man with leprosy
Matthew 8:14-15 . . . . Touched Peter’s mother-in-law
Matthew 14:31 . . . . Peter on the water
Luke 18:15 . . . . People brought babies so Jesus could touch them