“I love you”—it’s a simple phrase.  But inherent in those three small words is the power of life and death.

Our most basic need is love.  We need it more than we need water or oxygen.  Yes, if our bodies are deprived of water and oxygen we will physically die.  But if we are deprived of love, our spirits die, and spiritual death is far worse.  When our spirits die, we become the living dead.

The Bible says God is Love (1 John 4:8).  In fact God loved us so much that He sacrificed His ONE AND ONLY son so that we could experience life everlasting (John 3:16).  Now, that’s love.  So, how could something so good and pure ever be bad? The answer is: When love is manipulated, misused or misguided the results could be negative.  The loose use of the phrase “I love you” is the most common example of manipulated or misused love.  The love that we all need and desire is an action verb, not an adjective.  If we are solely describing our love (e.g. just saying “I love you”) and never showing our love (e.g. acts of kindness, acts of service, spending time), then it is probably not love.  Love shows more than it tells.  The weight of the words must be balanced by the weight of the actions.  Just saying “I love you” to get someone to act in our favor is not love.  Just saying “I love you” as part of a rote gesture is not love.  Love is simply more than just words.

Now that we have clarified that love is more than just words, let’s take a step back.  Words are important.  The Bible says that the power of life and death lies in our words.  Proverbs 15:4 says, “Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit,” (NLT).  It is in our nature to be affirmed by words.  However, the words we speak should be fully impregnated with life, and not empty.  Our words should empower and edify each other.  The words “I love you” were created to be weighted words that feed our spirits.  Those words were meant to comfort and fill us.  Each time we say “I love you,” we should be reminded of how much God loves us.  Take a challenge today.  Remind those in your life of how much you love them.  In fact, don’t just tell them, show them.

Our prayer for today is:

Lord, my prayer for today is please soften our hearts and fill it with love.  Let our actions match our words.  Let us affirm each other with both our words and our actions.  Lord, let us be reminded that you first showed us the ultimate example of sacrifice and love.  Let our love pattern your example.  Lord, let our hearts and tongues express and exhibit love even when our natures and our flesh are opposed.  For marriages, both existing and future, I pray that God’s love is constantly renewed and exemplified.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen!!!!