Christian Love (Part 1): 3 Great Reasons 

(John 13:34-35 Pas. Baines, Jr. 3/2018)

Introduction: The greatest measure of being disciples of Christ is our loving people. There are some people who are difficult to love. But this series will give us some principles to practice in this area. This discussion centers around how “We should be mindful of three great reasons for working on Christian love.”

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Key Points:

1. God calls us to love. Notice in John 13:34-35 and I John 3:11 that God calls His people to love people. As sheep of God, we should be known for simply hearing and obeying God’s word (see Jn. 10:27).

Let’s work on being obedient sheep for our great Shepherd. God provides for and protects His obedient sheep.

2. God has earned our love and obedience. Notice that John 14:15 teaches that loving God leads to obeying God. Just like we should love our spouses and friends in their love languages, we should love God in His love language. God’s love language is obedience.

Hasn’t God done enough for us to love and obey Him? Think about all of the blessings that God has given us, despite our many sins. In addition to moving us from slaves in 1865 to presidents and leaders in 2018 (153 years), Jesus died for us.

The Spirit lives in us. And Jesus is mediating for us, right now. Let’s obey God like we really love Him.

3. God blesses obedience. Notice that Galatians 6:7 teaches that we reap what we sow. When we sow seeds of obedience, God can bless us mysteriously by what appears to be dropping blessings out of heaven into our laps. But He can also bless us through people.

Sometimes God blesses us through the people we have been a blessing to. And sometimes God blesses us through people whom we didn’t even know. But then God call also bless us with His continued love and forgiveness. Matthew 6:14-15 shows that how we love and forgive others, impacts how God loves and forgive us.

Since we need God’s continued love and forgiveness, we should give extra effort to obediently loving and forgiving others. Let’s live like we trust that God will bless our obedience.

4. Love feels better. Notice how Hebrews 13:15 talks about sacrificial praise. Similarly, there is sacrificial love. There are times when being kind starts off challenging, but when you keep going, it not only gets easier, you also feel better.

The alternatives to loving people include being negative towards them or being apathetic towards them. There is much truth in the idea that “Holding on to a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”  As for apathy, this was what the goats in Matthew 25:41-46 were condemned for. Let’s work on loving people, because it feels better than the alternatives.

5. It blocks the devil’s plans. Notice that I Peter 5:8 supports the devil’s agenda of destroying God’s people. When we are holding on to hard feelings, divided, and confused, the devil rolls on the floor in laughter.

God is calling us to have that “covering love” found in I Peter 4:8. If you want to give the devil a headache, see him stop laughing, see that silly grin off of his face, put some fear and anxiety in his heart - start loving and trusting God enough to obey His command to love one another. Let’s work on blocking the devil’s plans for our lives.

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