Hebrews 2:1 TPT This is why it is so crucial that we be all the more engaged and attentive to the truths that we have heard so that we do not drift off course.
John 13:34-35 NKJV (34) A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (35) By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
- Jesus gave us a COMMANDMENT to love one another.
Romans 5:5 NKJV (5) 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.
- We have the love of God on the inside of us!
Natural Human Love vs God-Kind of Love
- Natural human love is selfish.
- The God kind of love is not interested in what I can get but only interested in what I can give.
- This God-kind of love requires corresponding action not just words.
John 3:16 NKJV For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
- Jesus performed the greatest act of love by going to the Cross for us!
- Jesus had to put to death His will and what He wanted so that He could give what God wanted Him to give: His life for us.
Matthew 26:36-39 NKJV Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” (37) And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. (38) Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” (39) He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
- Love will require us to give up what we want for the sake of what someone else needs.
This is what Jesus meant when He told His disciples that they would need to take up their Cross.
Matthew 16:24-25 NKJV Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (25) For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
1 Corinthians 15:31 NKJV I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
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.
This is the promise of taking up your Cross:
- Every Crucifixion for Jesus is always followed by a glorious resurrection!
Love is a Servant!
- The God kind of love serves others.
Mark 10:42-45 NKJV But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. (43) Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. (44) And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. (45) For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Galatians 5:13 NKJV For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Galatians 4:9 NKJV But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? (same word as “serve” in Galatians 5:13)
The Love Gauge:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 AMPC Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. (5) It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. (6) It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. (7) Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. (8) Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]…
1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
What About Me and My Needs?
Luke 6:38 NKJV Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Galatians 6:7-9 MSG Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!— (8) harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. (9) So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit.
- When you sow love by serving others, God will see to it that you reap a harvest!
- Love always wins!
Growing in the area of walking in love wouldn’t be complete without putting the greatest of all verses about love into practice. Write down 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 on a 3 x 5 card, and keep it in your Bible.
Read it aloud every day. Then, make it personal:
I am patient. I am kind.
I do not envy.
I do not boast.
I am not proud.
I am not rude.
I am not self-seeking.
I keep no record of the wrongs done to me.
I do not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth.
I never give up, never lose faith, am always hopeful and endure through every circumstance.
I do these things because they are love, which never fails.