Living in Love Series
Living the Love You Seek
Pastor Tom Millner
1 Chronicles 16:34; 1 John 4:10-11
God’s love is a boundless gift and for our reflecting that love to others, we are rewarded with even more of His love. His love is a bottomless well from which we draw the substance of life.
Within God’s Love dwell both the gift we need and the reward we seek!
God is Love – I John 4:16
The One in whose image we are created is the embodiment of love – LOVE is who He is. Let the reflection SHINE! It’s been said that we resemble what we love! So let us…
Imitate His Example – Matthew 5:43-48 (Message)
"You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best--the sun to warm and the rain to nourish--to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. "In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.
Forget Yourself – Matthew 10:38-39 (Message)
"If you don't go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don't deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you'll find both yourself and me.
The irony here is that in forgetting about ourselves, we actually find our true selves. Now that’s a GIFT. We’ll learn more about this in July.
Take Ownership of Your Kinship – Galatians 4:6-7 (Message)
You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, "Papa! Father!" Doesn't that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you're also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance.
There’s great reward in this kinship.
John 13:35 “This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples--when they see the love you have for each other." (Message) Do you see how this is so foundational to our future?
Living the love that we seek requires that we…
Realize the love God has for us.
John 3:16 – God so loved – that He acted – at His own expense – so that – The ones He created who wanted to have it their way – could have a choice to walk in the knowledge of what God had done out of love – that would result in a life for eternity – with God. --- We always have a choice. We can choose to believe the lie that we can do it all on our own – or we can choose to act out of the truth that the means of our measuring up has already been accomplished through God’s one and only Son, Jesus Christ, and in so doing ---
Experience the joy of God’s love
John 15:9-12 (Message) "I've loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you'll remain intimately at home in my love. That's what I've done--kept my Father's commands and made myself at home in his love. "I've told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you.” The joy comes in the execution of His command that we love one another. Be the love toward others you seek for yourself. In doing that, you’ll come to a greater understanding of what your love needs really are. God loves us even when we’re not very Love-Able. Recognizing His love and beginning the process of exercising it, brings the joy of His love in us. Loving others (and thus ourselves) is our worship of Him.
Worshiping God in love
We generally think that worshiping God is done in a place – like a church – where we come together to sing and shout praises to God. We’re in a “worship” service now. We’re worshiping God by listening to His word of truth being exhorted. The Apostle Paul asserted to the Romans that worship is a lot more than what we’re doing here.
Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.
When we love others we worship God. When we love ourselves enough to recognize the temple of God in which we live – we worship God. When you leave here today – may your worship begin anew!! Amen…
Apply the healing power of love!
AGAPE Love looks out for the best interest of the other – Look at what God demonstrated through Jesus Christ – in our best interest. That’s love applied that heals a hurting soul, a lost sheep, a dejected child. When He commands us to love one another, He does so because the act of love heals us from the hurt that our self-centered, self-serving, self-deceiving, selfish acts bring about. Healing in our lives comes when we recognize the depth and breadth of His love for us.
Because we are so loved, we are then free to freely love others as we have been loved. – share the healing!
2 John 6 reads: “ And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.”
Reach out to others with love
Mother Teresa said “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
John 15:12-13 states “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
If we live the love we seek, we’re accepting others as God accepts them and loving them accordingly. It’s been said that “the desire of love is to give – the desire of lust is to get.” Let’s seek to give from the bounty of love we are receiving.
Daily walk the path of love!
The first step of the daily walk in love is time in His Word! It is from there that our path is lighted with the truth that only comes from Him. Remember, the destination to which the path leads is already secure. It is the walk to which He calls us – along a path that is filled with opportunity to grow in the likeness of Christ – to be the light of love to a world of darkness and in need. In John 13:35, God did not say people will know you are followers of His if you spout theological truths or speak in the tongues of angels… He said “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples – if you love one another.”
Live the love you seek!
Open your GIFT (God is love, Imitate His example, Forget yourself, Take ownership of your kinship)
Exercise you REWARD ( Realize the love God has for you, Experience the joy of God’s love, Worship God in love, Apply the healing power of love, Reach out to other with love, and Daily walk the path of love.)