Monday, May 11

Devotional: Talk is Cheap

Talk is cheap. Have you ever heard that phrase? What do we mean when we say, “Talk is cheap”? What is the message?

The message is: back up what you say with what you do! If you talk a good game but do not deliver then you run the risk of being discounted. Talk is cheap.

An employee is always late. The manager challenges her on this behavior. She promises to come in on time the following morning. She is late. Talk is cheap. Back up what you say with what you do.

I am in sales. Let me tell you, talk is cheap! They want results and they want them yesterday. We are constantly held accountable to our commitments. We have regular meetings to measure how we are doing in meeting those commitments. Why is this important? Because talk is cheap. Back up what you say with what you do.

Our bosses expect that from us. Jesus also expected specific actions from those that love him.

Read: John 14:15-31
15"If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 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."
22Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?"
23Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
25"All this I have spoken while still with you. 26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
28"You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 31but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
"Come now; let us leave.

“If you love me you will obey me”.

Would you admit that there is a real temptation to tone down these strong words? Think through the implications of this statement. Break the sentence down.

If you love me you will obey me. First there is a big “if”. That is the “talk is cheap” part of the sentence. Back up what you say by what you do. If you say you love me ….. back it up! Love is expressed to God in action. Love is expressed to God in obedience.

The word for love is Agape. It is a sacrificial, “others first” kind of love. Agape love is not the type of love that comes naturally. We are not born with this kind of love. It represents God’s supernatural love for us. It is a love that sacrifices. It is a love that put Jesus on a cross to pay for our sin.

So, Jesus says, “If you Agape me, you will obey me.” If you have a sacrificial love for me you will do what I ask.

So, what happens if we do not obey him? What does that mean? What are the implications of that? The Greek tense and mood would indicate that this is a “walk” of love, a mosaic of living in God’s love and sharing it with others.

So, what does he want us to obey? There are many lists out there and even more people with opinions! John develops the idea of these “commands” in 1 John 3:23

“And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.”

We can then summarize what Jesus is saying this way:
“If you love me you will trust me and love others sacrificially.”

Tomorrow we will look at how we do this.

Do you love Jesus? If so, how does it show? There are 2 really good tests here for us.
1. Trust
2. Love

How do my actions show that I am trusting in Jesus today? Am I trusting him for my salvation? How about for my marriage? My kids? My job? My education? My circumstances? Often our emotions and our reactions are indicators of what we are trusting in!

How do my actions show that I am loving others today? Am I sacrificing my desires and my dreams for the good of others? Am I willing to risk my reputation to tell others the truth in love?

Jesus is our expamle. In verse 30 above we see that he trusted the Father (even though that lead to his own death on a cross) and that he loved the world by dying for us.

Go ahead and call out to Jesus today. Ask him to fill you with his Spirit that you might trust him and love others. Talk is cheap! Let's back up what we say by what we do. Our Example is ready to help.

DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.