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Subject – The Christian Church – The Powerful Force of Unconditional Love –The Greatest Unending Force the Church Seldom Uses – part 10
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Sunday, 10th of March 2019
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NUGGETS OF WISDOM: If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill-sinners do that…check out Luke 6:32-36 in context.
Key verses for Today:
1 John 4:8 Amplified Bible (AMP)
8 The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.]
Deuteronomy 7:6-8 Amplified Bible (AMP)
6 For you are a holy people [set apart] to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be a people for His own possession [that is, His very special treasure].
7 “The Lord did not love you and choose you because you were greater in number than any of the other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed (bought) you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Luke 6:32-36 The Message (MSG)
31-34 “Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.
35-36 “I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.
John 3:14-17 Amplified Bible (AMP)
14 Just as Moses lifted up the [bronze] serpent in the desert [on a pole], so must the Son of Man be lifted up [on the cross], 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life [after physical death, and will actually live forever].
16 “For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] [a]only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but that the world might be saved through Him.
This is the second: ‘You shall [unselfishly] love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
No one has greater love [nor stronger commitment] than to lay down his own life for his friends.
But earnestly desire and strive for the greater gifts [if acquiring them is going to be your goal]. And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one of the choicest graces and the highest of them all: unselfish love].
1 Corinthians 13:1-8 Amplified Bible (AMP)
The Excellence of Love
13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not [a]love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. 2 And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. 3 If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [b]to be burned, but do not have love, it does me no good at all.
4 Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. 5 It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. 7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
8 Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away.
1 Corinthians 1:12,13 New Living Translation
12 Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul”; and others say that they are for Apollos or for Peter; and some that they alone are the true followers of Christ. 13 And so, in effect, you have broken Christ into many pieces.
But did I, Paul, die for your sins? Were any of you baptized in my name?
John 13:34-35 Amplified Bible (AMP)
34 I am giving you a new commandment, that you [a]love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.”
Dear brethren, welcome to the tenth (10th) part series on The Christian Church. Today, we are exploring the greatest force we have that we seldom use as we reach out (engage) with each other and the world for Christ.. The battle for the souls of men and women within us and around us starts from the banner of love that we exercise within us and around us ..Jesus said in John 13:34-35
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Love is made up of three unconditional properties in equal measure:
Acceptance, Understanding and Appreciation
Remove any one of the three and the triangle falls apart. Lets look indebt into the three and how it plays out in the unconditional love Christ has called as ambassadors of His here on earth. Lets begin..
Acceptance is the process or fact of being received as adequate, valid, or suitable. synonyms: welcome, welcoming, favourable reception, embracing, embrace, approval, adoption, integration. We cannot say we have unconditional love if we accept some and reject some. If we do that, we get into the realm of conditions and Gods kind of love get throne off the window.
Paul nailed this home in Romans 5:8 Amplified Bible (AMP) 8 But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Understanding means sympathetic awareness or tolerance.
synonyms: compassion, sympathy, pity, empathy, feeling, concern, considerateness, consideration, tenderness, tender-heartedness, kindness, kind-heartedness, sensitivity, insight, fellow feeling, brotherly love, neighbourliness, decency, humanity, humanitarianism, humaneness, charity, goodwill, mercy, mercifulness, gentleness, tolerance, lenience, leniency, warmth, warm-heartedness, affection, love.
God treats us with great kindness and understanding because He knows our form, hence willingness to forgive our wrong doings.
But Jesus, aware of this, said, “You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread? “Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up?
And 1 John 5:20
And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ This is the true God and eternal life.
When we deal with people with the understanding heart by which Christ gives, our engagement changes trajectory for good and for God.
Appreciation means recognition
synonyms: valuing, respect, prizing, cherishing, treasuring, admiration, regard, esteem, high opinion. When we place value on people, the soul God greated for a purpose, our perspective changes dramatically. When we look at the ultimate aim and purpose which transcend the present circumstances, we begin to see the way God sees the people we engage with. Jesus died because of the value He placed on the human soul, so must we.
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends
1 Thessalonians 5:12
But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,
Conclusion and prayer:
Sometimes we ask ourselves if God has sent us into the world, what tools do we have to initiate, sustain and finish this work that He has given unto us His ambassadors? Yes we have the Holy Spirit, Yes we have angels, Yes we have disciples plenty too but all of these are useless without the force of LOVE which is God for God is love. Let us engage with this Force of Love this week as we engage the world for Christ.
Dear Lord God, You asked us to love one another as You have loved us. Help us by divine enablement to represent You correctly as we engage with the souls of children, women and men. May they see You in us in all our undertaking in this side of eternity in Jesus name, amen
Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe – E-discipleship @