Today we continue our discussion started yesterday here about one of the most famous conversations in human history. To recap, Nick, a religious leader, came to see Jesus to find out more about the man and his mission. Jesus described the necessity of a spiritual rebirth and then uttered these beautiful words, the most frequently quoted in the entire Bible:
If you had to define Christmas in one word, what would it be?
Here’s how the Bible answers that question: LOVE.
The man known as “the disciple Jesus loved” said:
Speak the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15)
Again, that’s TRUTH in LOVE. Let’s break it down a bit, starting with TRUTH.
According to one survey, a whopping 91% of Americans lie “routinely” (assuming they weren’t lying when they responded). Here’s what the Bible says
A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin. (Proverbs 26:28)
An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. (Proverbs 24:26)
In other words, lies are hateful but TRUTH is like heavenly smooches.
Jesus took it even further. Here’s what he said about Satan:
When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)
Don’t be like Satan. Be like Jesus. Speak the TRUTH.
OK, so what about the LOVE part? Over and over the Bible tells us to use words to build, not to destroy:
Encourage one another and build each other up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
How often should we encourage one another?
Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (Hebrews 3:13)
Times are tough out there. People are hurting. Ask God to help you encourage as many of your fellow humans as possible today. And tomorrow. And each day after that.
Encourage your spouse. Encourage your kids. Encourage your parents. Encourage your friends. Encourage your co-workers. Encourage your boss. Encourage your dentist. Encourage your gastroenterologist.
The possibilities are endless.
We’ll close today with some other LOVE words:
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24)
An anxious heart weighs a man down but a kind word cheers him up. (Proverbs 12:25)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)
Once more, with feeling:
SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE.
(Source: James Patterson & Peter Kim, The Day America Told the Truth (Prentice-Hall, 1991))
For more, check out our 187% free ebook: Love Everybody. Now. Seriously. Please.
Want to live life God’s way? Live a life of love.
How on earth do we do that? Romans 12 gives us a set of explicit instructions straight from the mouth of God. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you live ’em out today:
What’s your favorite Bible verse and why?
I completely acknowledge that choosing only 1 of the 31,202 verses in the most fantabulous book in the history of the universe is a completely unfair request, but I’m always fascinated by the words of God that peeps have reverberating in their hearts at any given moment.
As for myself, if I had to choose just one right now, it would be: