Thirteen Ways to Say, “I Love You” – Today’s Youth Devotion

Thirteen Ways to Say, “I Love You”

Bible Reading: John 14:18-21

Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me. John 14:21

THERE ARE MANY, many different ways to tell someone, “I love you.” You can

• say, “I love you!” • sing a song;
• mouth the words “I love you”; • give him or her a hug;
• send flowers; • send a card or valentine;
• write his or her name in the snow; • bake him or her a dozen cookies;
• read him or her a story; • scatter tiny construction-paper hearts in
• throw a kiss;    his or her lunch box or bag
• clean his or her room;  • give that person a command

Bet that last one surprised you, didn’t it? After all, who tells someone else “I love you” by giving that person a command?

A lot of people do. Your parents probably do it all the time. They say, “Don’t skateboard in the street”; “Fasten your seat belt”; and “Don’t strap a giant firecracker to your back and try to shoot yourself to the moon.” They don’t give you such commands because they hate you. They don’t tell you those things because they’ve got nothing better to do. They don’t give you commands like that because they want to ruin your life. They give you those commands because they love you. For example, they tell you not to skateboard in the street because they don’t want you to get run over by a truck. Their “commands” are ways of saying, “I love you.”

God does the same thing. He has given us commands like “Don’t lie,” “Don’t cheat,” and “Flee sexual immorality” because he loves us. He wants to protect us and provide good things for us. For example, his commands to keep ourselves pure in thought, word, and deed protect us from all kinds of addictions and diseases and other bad things. His commands are ways of saying, “I love you.”

And do you know how we can say, “I love you” back? Jesus said, “Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me” (John 14:21a). If we obey his commands, we’re showing Jesus that we love him. So do as much as you can today to say, “I love you, Jesus.”

REFLECT: Can you think of any of God’s commands that aren’t loving? Why not? Are God’s commands the only way he expresses his love to us? What are some other ways? Is obeying his commands the only way you can express your love for God? What are some other ways? How can you tell Jesus you love him today?

ACT: Cut out tiny construction paper hearts today and scatter them in someone’s lunch box, briefcase, dresser drawer, or book bag to say, “I love you.”

PRAY: “Thank you, God, for showing your love in all your commands. Help me to show my love for you by obeying you in what I think and do and say today.”