As many of you know, my father-in-law died a few weeks ago on July 3rd. I was in Wisconsin when I received this news and as I was on my way back to Iowa to be with family I was reflecting a lot on who my father-in-law was to so many people. I got to thinking...I don't recall ever hearing him say "I love you" to anyone. And then the Lord laid something interesting on my heart that I had never considered before. He had me ask myself "Did Jesus ever tell anyone that he loved them to their face?" As I was in the van, my daughter was driving, so I did some quick research. And not once could I find a passage that the words "I love you" came out of Jesus' own mouth. I'm well aware that Jesus spoke more words than are fully recorded in His word, but the Holy Spirit inspired the hands of men to pen the words He felt were necessary to be included for us to read and live by.
What I find interesting is that during the Lord's last moments with His disciples at the Last Supper, it is recorded that "he loved them to the end," in John 13:1. It doesn't say that Jesus said this. The Holy Spirit is just pointing out His heart, just in case you were wondering what was going on in the mind of Christ. In the following verses of John 13, Jesus then goes on to demonstrate His love to everyone around Him. We don't have that He said "I love you," but what we have is much more precious than that. He loved everyone to the end...even the one's who denied and betrayed Him. He loved them so much that He even chose to die for them.
Lip service is detestable to the Lord...He'd prefer to spew out anything lukewarm. Jesus doesn't want to hear you say you have faith...He wants you to demonstrate it. He doesn't want to necessarily hear you say "I love you" to Himself or others...He wants you to demonstrate it.
My father-in-law wasn't an outspoken "I love you" kind of guy...and that's not to knock him. What's commendable is that he was a demonstrator. He lived out his faith and love each day of his life. What a role model. No doubt he was only following the greatest example of all...the Lord Himself.
Men...stop telling the Lord and others that you love them, and then never do anything to prove your love to them. May we get out of that rut if it's become the norm for us. Instead, let me encourage all of us, myself included, to be more of a men known for being demonstrators of our love each moment of our lives. Desire for others to say about you that "you loved them to the end," not so much because of your words, but more so because of your actions. Men...never give up on others just like Christ never gave up on you. Keep loving everyone to the end.
Practicing His Presence,
Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 3 granddaughters, a police chaplain, a pastor, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter