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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of January 26, 2015

Love unexpressed is not love at all.

In John 13:34-35, Jesus instructed us—His followers—to love others: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." As Christians, learning to walk in love should be a very high priority.

Unfortunately, we often love others only superficially—that is, we talk love, but don't live love. James 2:15-16 addresses this problem: "Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, 'Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?"

If you say that you love someone, but don't express it by what you do, then that "love" is worthless. Indeed, it isn't even real love.

Likewise, 1 John 3:17-18 asks, "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." Here again, we are instructed to love with actions—not just with our mouth.

Follow the instructions of Jesus: love one another. However, remember that real love must be accompanied by actions, because love unexpressed is not love at all.

A mature Christian "preaches" with his or her life.

Many times we try to talk people into accepting Jesus, but yet we fail to show them Jesus; we don't act any differently than the rest of the world, even though we claim to be saved. The world isn't looking for talk; it wants walk. Therefore, we, as Christians, must live differently: stop telling, and start showing.

Matthew 7:20 tells us how to recognize truly mature Christians: "by their fruit." Stop worrying about the outward show that you put on in front of your friends, and start developing the Fruit of the Spirit in your inner life (see Galatians 5:22-23). Then once you have learned to be kind, gentle, peaceful and joyful even during difficult circumstances, non-Christians will see you and say to themselves, "I want what you've got." Then, you will be able to share Jesus with them effectively.

We need to develop the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Interestingly, the first Fruit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 is "love." Furthermore, in John 13:35, Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." In other words, love ought to be the trademark of every believer.

It is by living a life of love that you make the world hungry and thirsty for the joy, kindness, patience, peace, and stability that you have. The world isn't reading the Bible; they're reading Christians like you. And if they don't like what they see in you, they're not going to want what you've got—Jesus.

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