Love is a Verb

But how do you actively portray that you are, at the moment, loving?

Here’s my crisis: When I’m at church and the speaker says “let’s just take a moment and love the Lord,” I freeze. I don’t know what to do. How do I actively, in the next moment “love the Lord?” When I look around, people might be clapping or raising their hand or praying, but is that evidence that they are at that point in time actually loving? If that’s the case, what are they doing the rest of their lives when they are not clapping or raising their hands or praying? Do they not love the Lord at those time? Heck, that’s most of the day/week/life for…well…everybody.

When I’m in church and it’s suggested that we “take a moment” or “take the opportunity to love the Lord,” I just stand there. I don’t do anything outwardly in that moment because I love Jesus all day long, at all times without having to clap my hands all day long. That kind of loving is an inner experience, not one that is only in existence if you perform some active outward display. Do you understand what I mean?

It seems to me that if the speaker really wanted to see that we were taking a moment to love the Lord, then the congregation should all leave the building and head off to preach the gospel in various parts of the city. Isn’t that what Jesus told Peter to do as proof of his love?

John 21:17 (New International Version)

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

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4 Responses to Love is a Verb

  1. brian says:

    I know what you mean, though this is something I haven’t encountered in quite a while. I’m all for silence during a service…but the language “let’s love the Lord” seems to indicate that it’s primarily an emotional thing. He might as well say “let’s all try to manipulate our emotions so we feel love for God.”

    Although I’m not sure about the context of John 21:17 as being a litmus test for loving God…since that was Jesus reinstating, in a sense, Peter after his denial. And arguably the feeding of sheep could be done in a church service setting through teaching.

    I would refer to John chapter 14:

    21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

    Obedience is the evidence of love for God…whether or not the emotions follow at all.

  2. *daniel says:

    This is exactly why, Brian, I think that language is so important. Or more to the point meaning is important. You muddle the terms, and you end up with muddled practice.

    Clearly, love is a multi-faceted thing. But how do you “love” the Lord without doing something? If someone asked me to love my wife by spending a moment thinking about her, I’d be like, “Please tell me that’s not it…” And then finish off by thinking that person was a bit of moron.

    If, say, your whatever leader at your church said, “Let’s take a minute to praise God”, and that was just standing there praising God for whatever he’s done that week, would you react the same way?

  3. Roger says:

    Your love for the Lord is expressed through the multitude of things you do and decisions you make throughout your day/week/life with Him in mind. Every time I refrain from doing something I would do or I do something I would not do. Every time I stop and talk to Him. Every time I repent. Every time I get to know Him better by reading the things He has written (or put to paper, however you’d like to say it).

    None of that is going to come through in half a minute of standing at my pew after someone has told me to “love the Lord.”

    Obviously, I would have something active and physical to do if the leader said “Let’s take a minute to praise,” but that is not what is being requested.

  4. Roger says:

    Oh, and another thing. If our “love” isn’t boisterous enough, the leaders are not satisfied.

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