This is based on a study provided by Rick Warren’s Life Together series.
Beginning with 1 John 4:7-12
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God–for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
The Greek word agapaō is used. It is the verb form of agape. It means “Hey, do this! I mean it! Couple that with Jesus’ command: John 13:34-35
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
and it begs the questions; Am I a disciple? Do I love all the time? How is it evident?
- Be kind
- Be tender-hearted
- Remember: God forgave you through Christ
Ephesians 4:32 Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Romans 12:9-21 Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good.
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically.
Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful.
When God’s children are in need, be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night.
If people persecute you because you are a Christian, don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.
When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow.
Live in harmony with each other. Don’t try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.
Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible.
Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord.
Instead, do what the Scriptures say: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you.”
Don’t let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good.
That’s a list from Romans. Again I ask, do I follow the recommendations?
1 Peter 1:22 Now you can have sincere love for each other as brothers and sisters because you were cleansed from your sins when you accepted the truth of the Good News. So see to it that you really do love each other intensely with all your hearts.
1 John 3:16-18 We know what real love is because Christ gave up his life for us. And so we also ought to give up our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters.
But if anyone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need and refuses to help–how can God’s love be in that person?
Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.
Connecting with God’s love will be evident in our life, in our actions, in how we treat one another. That evidence will confirm to the rest of our world that we are truly His disciples.
It will look like this:
- Care for one another’s needs
- Work for the Lord together enthusiastically
- Share what we have with one another
- Be kind to one another
- Be tender-hearted with one another
- Forgive one another
- Be happy with one another in times of joy
- Be sad with one another in times of sorrow
- Develop a habit of eating together
- Develop a habit of offering a place to rest to those who need it
To do this we need to commit to:
- Prayer, alone and together
- Be patient
- Pray for our enemies and those who would attack us
- Let God take vengeance on others who malign us
- Work enthusiastically at the work God has given us
Let’s do it! Working one at a time to change the way the world looks at Christians!!