I love ice cream. I love dogs. I love my wife. I love college football. I love Jesus. I love the beach. I love to travel. I love rock ’n roll.

We love a lot. We probably overuse, or possibly, abuse the word love. Did you notice how I put Jesus and my wife in the opening paragraph along with other less important things? We often flippantly use the word love to express our adherence to something good.

We say we love a lot. But do we show it a lot? Love is more than an emotion. It’s an action. Love is a verb. Love does.

Thanks to Valentine’s Day, February has become the month of love. Retail stores take down Christmas in early January and replace it with valentines. February 14 is the pinnacle of love month, but Valentine’s is now more than just a day. That’s how it ought to be. Love, that is. It’s not just to be recognized one day out of 365. It’s something we should do everyday. Note that I wrote “do” and not “feel.” Love does.

After a year like 2020, we need a whole lot of loving. What can we do to show love to our community? How about blessing complete strangers when we have the opportunity? How about showing gratitude to our medical workers and teachers? We can pay it forward by buying the meal or coffee for the person behind us in a drive-thru. What about our friends who have special needs? They need to be loved. Of course, we don’t want to forget our family members. Hopefully, we show our love to those in our household on a regular basis. What about that relative that you don’t see much? When was the last time you talked? When was the last time you told them you love them?

At our church this month, we are emphasizing that love does. In an effort to show the love of Christ to our community, we are going to intentionally love people in many different ways – much like I described above. We’d “love” for you to do the same. Wherever you are and whenever you have the opportunity, love your neighbor. We desperately need it.

Why should we love? Because God loves us.

We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). 

Who should we love? Everyone. Look at the verses that follow:

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love his brother (1 John 4:20-21, ESV).

Let’s extend brotherly love to our community. Not just in February, but year after year. Our love is evidence that we love God.