Love Does Stuff


I have a friend who wrote a book about how love does stuff. In it he says, “I used to think being loved was the greatest thing to think about, but now I know love is never satisfied just thinking about it.”

In today’s passage we see the same message.  John is urging us to understand that we are not merely people who believe something, but people who should be doing something.

  • Before you read the Word, spend some time reflecting on some of the more lavish ways you have experienced someone’s love. Think, as well, about how you have shown that kind of love to someone else.

READ THE WORD: 1 JOHN 3:13-24 (ESV) 

13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.

24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What evidence did John give that confirms when someone has passed from death to life (vss. 14-15)?
  2. In verse 16, what did John provide as the ultimate expression of love?
  3. When you read verse 17, what emotion comes to the surface? Is it fear, peace, shame, guilt, anxiety, joy, sadness, or gratitude? What might your reaction say about how you love?
  4. In verse 18, John provided a challenge. What is the challenge? How might your life look different if the challenge were met?
  5. What do verses 19-24 say about how we can experience confidence before God? Why do you think following the commandment to love extravagantly brings peace with God?


I often wonder what it would be like to be hated because I loved so well. Most of us Christians are hated for entirely different reasons. We can be judgmental, arrogant, exclusive, and inauthentic. The world does hate us, and sometimes, they have good reason. But wouldn’t it be cool to catch flack because you loved so extravagantly? What if you loved in such selfless, merciful ways that people wanted to kill you for it? Jesus did. He didn’t just talk about love; Jesus loved in “deed and truth.” And when we love like that, God is pleased—not just because we are keeping the commandments, but because such love shows that we truly believe.

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to expose the areas of your life where you are merely paying lip service to love.
  • Then, ask God to empower you to change the talk about love to actions that love.