Scripture: Jas 1:22-24
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
Loving people must move from theological principles to practical realities.
I. Exhibit God's Agape
God's love is not to be talked about but shown.
How do we obtain agape?
A. Be Born Again
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God. (Jn 3:3)
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (Jn 3:5)
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand ... spiritually discerned. (1 Cor 2:14)
B. Be Born of God
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 Jn 4:7)
- Love is from God: divine source
- Whoever loves has been born of God: divine ability
- Knows God: ginosko not mental assent but experiential consent
C. Be Conformed to Christ's Image
... God... predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son ... that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Rom 8:29)
Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith... being rooted and grounded in love... comprehend... breadth... length... height... depth... know the love of Christ that... you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph 3:17)
... be imitators of God... walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Eph 5:1-2)
- Samaria : "woman at the well"
Come, see a Man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ? They went out of the town and were coming to Him. (Jn 4:29-30)
- Jericho : "blind Bartimaeus"
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Gal 2:20)
14 For the love of Christ controls us... 15 and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised. (2 Cor 5:14-15)
II. Express Generosity of Spirit
It is more blessed to GIVE than to receive.
A. We Give Because We Have Received
The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein. (Psa 24:1)
... not grow weary of doing good... in due season we will reap... as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone... especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Gal 6:9-10)
... whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Col 3:17)
Do ALL for Christ.
... God and... our Lord Jesus... make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all... He may establish your hearts blameless... (1 Th 3:11-13)
B. We Give Because We See A Need
Find a Need and Meet It.
There was not a needy person among them. (Acts 4:34)
17 But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 Jn 3:17-18)
Giving is a God-thing.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. (Jn 15:13)
III. Edify by Speaking Life Into Others
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. (Pro 18:21)
4 Look at the ships... so large... driven by strong winds... guided by a very small rudder... 5 tongue is a small member... boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 ... tongue is a fire... set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. (Jas 3:4-6)
… my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires. (Jas 1:19-20)
Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. (Ps 14:13)
Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. (Ecc 5:6)
Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips. (Ecc 10:12)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Eph 4:29)
The tongue has no bones, but is strong enough to break a heart.
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. (Pro 13:3)
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver (Pro 25:11, KJV)
A. Speak Truth in Love
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Co 13:1)
HOW you say is more important than WHAT you say.
B. Encourage Others with Words of Affirmation
5 Love Languages:
- Words of affirmation
- Quality time
- Physical touch
- Acts of service
- Receiving gifts
Speak Life into Others.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Col 3:16)
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Col 4:6)
Go and Love People.