Unconditional Love – The Missing Ingredient (part 3):
November 15, 2020
Unconditional Love – The Missing Ingredient (part 3):
Sixteen Things You Should Do With Love
Two Sundays ago, I started a new series entitled: Unconditional Love – The Missing Ingredient.
We are called to love people who don’t like us, who disagree with us, who say mean and terrible things about us.
Today, there is venom, anger, animosity, revenge, vitriol, hatred, malice, sarcasm, blasphemous words, vindictiveness, and division everywhere in our culture.
It’s in the news media, in ALL internet social media outlets – Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Parlor, Snapchat, TikTok etc.
The flesh wants to retaliate when others say or do things that are offensive.
How are you doing with that?
It is easy to fall into the trap of responding like everyone else.
Matthew 24:12 (MSG)
For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in — nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes.
Last time, we covered five things about love:
1. Jesus gave the Jews two commandments to love that absorb the TEN.
2. Jesus gave believers a new commandment which, if obeyed, fulfills all others.
3. Love cures strife and keeps the dark kingdom out of your life.
4. Jesus introduced the concept of loving your enemies to the disciples.
5. This love is like an alien to our world.
Are we focusing on loving God and loving others, or are we focusing only on getting our personal needs met?
I read one of these books from a person who says they had a near-death experience. While they were in heaven, they found that no one did anything for themselves; they only did things for others. Never for themselves.
The NT repeats the admonition for us to love.
Teachers, politicians, parents, and leaders in various fields of endeavor repeat themselves for added emphasis.
SO, here are 16 things you should do with love.
1. Use the love that God has deposited in you!
Don’t waste what He gave!
Romans 5:5 (NKJV)
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Why did He give it to us?
To love the people we are having a hard time with…
I have a bag full of tools in my truck. They help me: a wrench, screwdriver, pliers, etc.
God put love in your spiritual toolbox.
If you can’t remove the nut from the bolt, use a wrench!
If you can’t unscrew the screw, use a screwdriver!
2. Be real with people as you love them.
Nobody trusts a smarmy, unreal, put-on, showy demeanor.
Are you the real deal, or do you put on?
Romans 12:9-10 (AMPL)
[Let your] love be sincere (a real thing); hate what is evil [loathe all ungodliness, turn in horror from wickedness], but hold fast to that which is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another.
3. Do nothing that hurts, offends, or takes away from another person’s life.
Romans 13:8-10 (NLT)
Owe nothing to anyone — except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. 9 For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These — and other such commandments — are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.
Starts with your family…
If you do, go make it right.
After a growth spurt in love in my own life, I sent letters to people I thought I had been harsh with…
After I met Jesus, I called and apologized to a girl I hurt.
4. Make love the biggest achievement in your life.
On your tombstone – Here lies ________. He/she loved people.
1 Corinthians 14:1 (AMPL)
EAGERLY PURSUE and seek to acquire this love; make it your aim, your great quest; and earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual endowments (gifts), especially that you may prophesy (interpret the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching).
5. Let your words, thoughts, actions, motives, and deeds line up with putting others and their needs above your own.
1 Corinthians 16:14 (NKJV)
Let all that you do be done with love.
Ask yourself, “Is this love?”
Before sending that text or email, is it love?
I have a personal policy of waiting 24 hours before responding when I get upset about something.
6. Allow your faith to work by being motivated by a heart of love – for God and others.
Galatians 5:6 (NLT)
For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
Lack of love in relating can hinder your faith!
7. Use your God-given freedom for others, not just for yourself.
Galatians 5:13-14 (NLT)
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Ask each day, “What have I done for someone else today?”
8. Ask God to help you grow in love in each relationship you have.
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 (NLT)
And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. 13 May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.
9. Mimic God by loving others the way He loves you.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NKJV)
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
He loves you when you’re on your game and when you’re having a lousy day.
Give grace and space to others. You’ll need it one day.
Ephesians 4:2 (NLT)
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
Colossians 3:13 (NLT)
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
10. Let your love for them be the first thing people notice about you.
Colossians 3:12-14 (NLT)
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
Your clothes are the first thing people notice about you…
11. Let love be your normal response to every situation.
Hebrews 13:1-2 (AMPC)
Let love for your fellow believers continue and be a fixed practice with you [never let it fail]. 2 Do not forget or neglect or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers [in the brotherhood — being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for through it some have entertained angels without knowing it.
12. Love intensely.
1 Peter 1:22 (NKJV)
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart
Meditation in the Word will change your thoughts and develop love…
13. Love others as if they were a part of your family.
1 Peter 3:8 (NKJV)
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;
1 Peter 3:8-9 (MSG)
Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. 9 That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless — that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.
14. Let your love for people cover their mistakes.
1 Peter 4:8 (AMPL)
Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].
Proverbs 10:12 (AMPL)
Hatred stirs up contentions, but love covers all transgressions.
Love does not broadcast other people’s failures.
Did you hear about…
Some people make it their job to share negatives.
15. Would others know that you are a Christian simply by how you treat them?
1 John 3:14 (NKJV)
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
1 John 3:14 (AMPL)
We know that we have passed over out of death into Life by the fact that we love the brethren (our fellow Christians). He who does not love abides (remains, is held and kept continually) in [spiritual] death.
16. Would your prayers be answered if they depended on how you currently love others?
1 John 3:22-23 (NKJV)
And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
Paul’s prayer for the church to grow in love…
Ephesians 3:14-21 (NKJV)
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Philippians 1:8-9 (NKJV)
For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment
- What would need to change in my life for others to notice the love of God in me?
- What do I need to change to put love first in how I relate to others?