God wants your love to flow through you to others. The first commandment is to love God, and the second one is to love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:28-31; Gal. 5:13-14). If you’re having a sin or habit problem, look at your love-walk. John 13:34-35 tells us that the new commandment Jesus gave is that we are to love our neighbors as Jesus has loved us. Where our love-walk breaks down is that we don’t love ourselves as God loves us. Husbands are to love (agape) their wives (Eph. 5:28). Agape is a God-like and selfless love, which looks for nothing in return. Phileo love responds to love. The husband is to initiate love. Marriage problems are a husband problem. The wife responds to the husband’s love. If the husband doesn’t love his wife, he does not love himself. Wives need to build their husbands’ self-esteem and learn how much God loves them. Read 1 Cor. 13:4-13 putting your name in the place of the word “love”. You have a choice to step out in love or be selfish. Emotions come after choosing to walk in love. The love of God is in you if you are born-again. The first commandment (in 1 John 3:23) is that we should believe on the name of Jesus Christ and love one another. Jesus Christ first loved us, and if we say we love Him, but don’t love our brother, we’re liars. He wants us to love each other so we can experience the love of God.
Text: John 13:34. Part of the commandment of loving God and others is to love ourselves, which we can do if we understand how much God loves us. The love of God is already in us, if we are full of Him (Romans 5:5). Life is about 1) choices, 2) words, 3) actions, and love should determine each of these. Jesus prayed that the love that God loved Jesus with would be in us (John 17:26). Love is an action and is the direction we need to take. Every problem that has ever defeated any Christian is the result of not walking in love. If the question is whether to walk in love or to be “right”, choose walking in love. Allow love to temper all your decisions. The three facets of love are: 1) Learn to receive and believe in the love God has for you; 2) Respond in love to people; 3) Learn to direct your love on the right objects of affection. Love righteousness and hate sin. Ask yourself: Where am I directing my love? Meditation is more powerful than experiences. Meditate on the Scriptures that will help you overcome whatever sin you’re in or need you have. Meditate on Scriptures about meditation and those about the love of God.
Gal. 5:13-16 tells us to serve one another by love and to walk in the Spirit. When you serve one another by love, you’ll use your prosperity to bless others. Love is like an iPhone: most people don’t know what it can do. We need to pray to comprehend the love of God (Eph. 3:13-19). We are in a relationship, that of a family. We carry one another’s burdens, restore others, and serve because of our love for people (Gal. 6:1-2). If your problems aren’t mine, you’re probably not family. Learn to serve others in the body; otherwise, you’re a guest. Charity is a love that gives (1 Cor. 13:1-4). Spiritual relationships should be stronger than physical family relationships. Love should motivate your giving and doing good deeds. Be longsuffering in love. Walk in love, even when the other person doesn’t treat you right. (There were four words given at the end of the service.)
In 1 Kings 3:23-27, King Solomon revealed what was in two women’s hearts to find which was the honest mother. Just like the mother in that passage, we need to let love be our guide. Walking in love is walking in the Spirit. Whatever we do, we need to do it in humility and love, esteeming others better than ourselves. Jesus was led by the Spirit of love: in John 4:1-3 Jesus left the area because He didn’t want to become famous, and He ended up at the well of Samaria talking to a woman about the living water. The secret to seeing miracles is walking in humility in ministry and love. Walking in love will help you get what belongs to you and looks at the best interests of people. When strife broke out between Abram’s and Lot’s men, Abram allowed Lot to pick the best land. Love guided Abram to prefer Lot, because he knew God was his source. Love will always give without limitations. In Gen. 26:17-23, love led Isaac, and the Lord made room for him. James 3:16 says that envy and strife bring confusion and every evil thing. There’s joy at the end of the journey if you do the right thing. Know that God is your source, and learn what love is (1 Cor. 13). 1 John 3:16-18 tells us to lay our lives down for our brothers and to love in truth, serving one another. There is no fear in love (1 John 4:16-20). The love of God will support, guide, and supply you. We are to bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2) and to please our neighbor (Rom. 15:1-3). In love, we ought to serve one another. (We discerned the body of Christ and served communion to someone else.)
Offering: Jer. 17:5-8; Mal. 3:10-11; Ps. 121:1-7; Ps. 119:130. Sermon: 1 John 4:15-16. God is love! If we confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God and His love abide in us. Do you believe in God’s love? God is full of compassion, gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in mercy (love) (Ps. 86:15). He Loves Us! Don’t judge God’s love by your unfaithfulness. He loves us today! What did Jesus do on the earth? He preached, He taught, and He healed (Matt. 9:35-38). He was moved with compassion (Matt. 14:14). The more revelation you have of God’s love, the greater you can believe for His willingness to heal you. He heals because He loves you. He healed the blind men, because Jesus had compassion on them (Matt. 20:30-34). Jesus was moved by compassion and cleansed a leper (Mark 1:40-45). He healed a demon-possessed man (Mark 5:19), telling him to tell others so they would know that if He healed him, He would heal them. The father of an epileptic boy called on Jesus’ compassion for his son’s healing (Mark 9:20-23). Jesus raised up a dead boy, because He had compassion on the widow mother. When He had compassion, He healed. Do you have faith in Jesus’ love? Having faith in God’s love is more important than having faith in His power. What do you believe about the love of God?
Text: Gal. 5:13-14. Dig in and chew on the Word concerning love. Charity (selfless love) fulfills the commandment along with the commission of serving others. You can’t cover up the wrong thing by doing a good thing. (Review: 1 Kings 3:16-28.) Love gives without limitation and reservation, and love always wins. You have to take the initiative to love. 1 Cor. 13 tells us to love, which begins in the spirit, and then comes the act, and then the emotion. Get out of yourself and serve others. Prov. 15:1 tells us that a soft answer turns away wrath. Don’t try to prove a point at the expense of hurting others, but listen respectfully to others. Prov. 25:21-22 says to serve your enemies. Pastor Dale tells of a man in Russia who saw the fruit of doing that. (Pastor Dale also explains the Hebrew meaning of the term “coals of fire”.) What is in it for you? The Lord rewards you, “reward” meaning “paycheck” (Gen. 15:1). Fear makes us think, “When is it my turn?” Sometimes God has us kill a dream, so He can have us fulfill a bigger one. Get outside yourself and ask, “What would love do?” Don’t be afraid of walking in love.
Text: Gal. 5:6-22. Love is a choice and a commandment. Sin always hurts someone. Love will purify you and can motivate you to serve others. Change the way you talk to others. Walk in the Spirit, and you won’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh. When are you walking in the lusts of the flesh? It’s when you do things for what’s in it for yourself. Walking in the Spirit is walking in love. Don’t set yourself up as an idol. The love of God will get you out of sin. You won’t be fulfilled until you serve and bless others. Walking in love is tapping into the Spirit. Love your enemies and pray for them. Bless implies finances. Give out of your heart.
God teaches us to love one another (1 Thess. 4:9), and 1 Peter 4:8 tells us to maintain an intense love for each other, because love covers a multitude of sins. We are to consider others more important than ourselves, loving, honoring, and protecting the other person. Prov. 17:9 exhorts us to conceal an offense in order to promote love. Instead of bad-mouthing someone, don’t shame them, but forgive them, and you will strengthen a friendship. Repentance is not feeling bad about yourself, but it is changing your direction. Jesus showed how to protect a guilty person, when he dealt with the Pharisees concerning the woman caught in adultery. Instead of exposing someone, bring them into the love of God and restore them. Jesus said that the peacemakers are the blessed sons of God. James 5:19-20 gives instruction about turning a sinner from his way. If God has forgiven your sin, don’t remember it. We’re in the business of setting people free, so tell the Good News!