The Greatest Gift

Saturday, August 23, 2014
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Listen while you read: "The Solid Rock"1 (Lyrics)

One day when I was downtown, I saw a young girl I know hugging three guys, and then before she left, I heard them all say, "Love you", and they went their separate ways.

I asked my daughter about this, for she knows more about young people than I do, and she told me that that is what the young people do now: they hug. She was right, and I started to notice it more and more. Baseball players get hugged when they hit a home run, and soccer players when they score. People will greet and say goodbye to each other with a hug and "I love you". In churches where they have a time of passing the peace, it has sometimes become common to hug each other. I am of an age and generation where a man would never hug a man either in church or out of it. Now I hug my grandsons, but they are the ones who started it.

Real, genuine love is hard to express. Jesus talked about love, and He certainly was the greatest expression of love that ever came into the world. But to my knowledge, it does not say anywhere in the Bible that He ever said the words, "I love you."

Jesus did not love just with words; He loved with His actions and His deeds. He cared for the people He met.

John tells us to do just that: "My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth." (1 John 3:18 NKJV)

In 1 Corinthians 13, often called the "Love Chapter" Paul wrote, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal." (1 Corinthians 13:1 NKJV)

Paul goes on to tell the people of Corinth, and also us, that love is patient and kind, not jealous or conceited or proud. It is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; it does not keep a record of wrongs and is not happy with evil; it does not rejoice in iniquity; it rejoices in the truth. It bears all things and endures all things; it never gives up, and it never fails.

We should show by our actions that we care for each other, by being kind and supportive, by helping each other in times of need, by looking after those who are alone, feeding the hungry, visiting the sick and the elderly, and helping out where we are able.

Most importantly, we need to tell people about our faith in Christ, not just in words, because not all of us are able to do that, but also by our actions and our lifestyle, letting people see that we are Christians and that we care for them.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we ask that You would give us the strength, the desire, and the ability to care for others who need our help, and that through our actions, we will be able to show people that we love You and them. We offer this prayer in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for a good word Joel.

    Thank you Joel. An interesting and informative devotional. My thought is though, that it is not enough to just show one loves and cares for others. In today’s high tech, fast paced, “mobile enhanced”, busy world, it’s very important that people HEAR they are loved as well, especially for the young and elderly. Just my humble opinion.

    Good thoughts, Dad. Cultural differences are so interesting. I have heard that Latinos (on both sides of the Atlantic) think northerners are cold, because the men there (in Spain, Italy, South America, etc) not only hug regularly but also kiss (on the cheek) – whereas for most Americans, a firm handshake is downright affectionate. It seems that is changing and I’m seeing it too.

    Dear Joel:
    Your devotional reminded me of my step-mom, who came from Scotland. She was troubled by the words, “I’m sorry” spoken easily in Canada even when people didn’t mean it.
    Our biological mom said “I love you” so easily and proved otherwise. I have been scarce with those words, but do everything to prove my love for my family.
    I noticed that in our community the hugging started after the destruction of the World Trade towers. We in North America saw ourselves as vulnerable. It is a comforting gesture.

    Hi Joel,
    I have a poster in my home office with a koala bear on it and it says I consider myself very huggable and quotes 1 Peter 1:22 – “love one another with a pure heart”. Several years ago when we were leading a Bible study at our church we always finished by hugging one another. The husband of one couple wasn’t much of a “hugger”, like yourself but he came around eventually. I sent him a copy of the poster and we all had a good laugh about it.
    As you said in your message this morning, may we always, as Christians, show our love for others by our actions.

    Dear Joel,
    Thank you for a very fine message about passing on the love of Jesus Christ.
    I’m glad you practice with your grandsons their physical way of showing love.
    I’m even more glad that you practice Jesus’ way of showing love in word and in deed.
    But didn’t Jesus also take little children upon his knee? And didn’t he also take the dead 12-year old girl by the hand, and reach out to assist Peter into the boat, and didn’t he allow a woman to wash his feet? and recommend such physical caring?
    When the apostle Paul said, “It is good not to touch a woman,” I assume he meant not to touch her in an indiscreet manner.
    Sometimes I who am rather stiff, need to loosen up a bit too. And we do need to take care not to be misunderstood.

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