What’s next…. Part 1
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
We have had 14 people come to the Lord to the best of our knowledge 67 people received prayer for the baptism of the Holy Spirit our church culture is changing God is on the move…what do we do next?
This verse is the key to what’s next
As I mentioned last week, we don’t have the spirit of this world which is fear and timidity….instead, we have been given a Spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.
Why have we been given this Spirit…Acts 1:8 tells us so we can impact the lives of others the whole world
I touched on some of the power gifts last week and I know to most they are a little overwhelming but they can start in very practical ways and the Lord can show you how to take them deeper as you begin small….Jesus said He who is faithful with little will be entrusted with much…I will share with you how to do this next week.
Self –discipline we will get to next week as well…I think
Love – Valentine’s day is Wednesday so let’s talk
When Jesus was confronted by a Pharisee (a lawyer) about what is the best of all the laws he said this Matthew 22:36-39
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
We need to take a look at the context of loving your neighbor. How should we really treat one another? Here is the reference Jesus was using!
There are 4 kinds of love in the Greek.
Philio – which is deep friendship, a love for another’s happiness above our own. Matt. 6:5, 10:37, 23:6, 26:48; Mark 14:44; Luke 20:46, 22:47; John 5:20 (plus a dozen more times)
Storge – is a natural affection like one would naturally have toward a child, pet or someone close – Romans 1:31, 12:10; 2 Timothy 3:3
Eros – erotic love, based on body chemistry, a love to satisfy self and is conditional
Agape – most noble form of love, it is a love out of valuing someone, a love that keeps on giving even when the return is unresponsive it is used over 320 times in the new testament.
It is agape that Jesus uses when He is quoting Leviticus 19
When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. 10 It is the same with your grape crop—do not strip every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.11 “Do not steal. “Do not deceive or cheat one another.12 “Do not bring shame on the name of your God by using it to swear falsely. I am the Lord. 13 “Do not defraud or rob your neighbor. “Do not make your hired workers wait until the next day to receive their pay. 14 “Do not insult the deaf or cause the blind to stumble. You must fear your God; I am the Lord. 15 “Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.16 “Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people. “Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is threatened. I am the Lord. 17 “Do not nurse hatred in your heart for any of your relatives. Confront people directly so you will not be held guilty for their sin. 18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
Loving one another means:
9-10 “When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. 10 It is the same with your grape crop—do not strip every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.”
Be generous with each other even strangers…we all have more than enough so never hoard but always be free to give of the way God has blessed real love is generous not expecting anything in return….Giving is a characteristic of God (John 3:16)
11 “Do not steal. “Do not deceive or cheat one another.” Be careful to give people the credit, respect, love they deserve. If we steal, deceive or cheat one another it is because we do not place God’s value on the person we are stealing from. We are told to give honor to whom honor is do, to show our love for the Lord by loving each other and that requires respect, we often steal blessing from someone when we don’t give them the credit or thanks they are due and we steal that from them
12 “Do not bring shame on the name of your God by using it to swear falsely. I am the Lord. Act like a Christian in word and deed. When we don’t love the Lord enough to respect and honor him we may carry the label Christian but if we are not acting Christ-like we are living a false testimony that defiles His name. By the way, the only way to act like a Christian is to read and know God’s word many people claim to act like Christ but have no understanding of really what that means they paint him with their brush
13 “Do not defraud or rob your neighbor. “Do not make your hired workers wait until the next day to receive their pay.” For my purpose, today defrauding is similar to verse 11 but the cheating of wages. There is the obvious, pay someone what they are due, pay your bills on time, and also always give a good hours work for an hours pay. Also if someone helps you thank them quickly and generously. Don’t ever hold back gratitude recognize the value of everyone but at the same time if you are mistreated this way forgive…please most of all don’t cheat God tithe which means 10% comes to storehouse the place where you are receiving and the place that s delivering on God’s promises…giving to people and other organizations is offering and alms but God blesses when we don’t defraud him it shows we love Him by our trust in him to be our source
14 “Do not insult the deaf or cause the blind to stumble. You must fear your God; I am the Lord.” Love means valuing everyone…never take advantage of anyone or look down on them for their limitation or lack that you perceive instead always encourage everyone to do their best that God values them, Jesus died for them we can’t sit in judgment over someone because of their limitations, lack, or sin we must love them, pray for them and help them to become more like Jesus. This applies to the elderly as well RESPECT
15 “Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.” We prejudge people when we size them up before we get to know them based on dress, weight, height, culture, skin color, or any other external thing. Eliminate prejudice and sectarianism from your life. God loves everyone not everyone is a child of God until they come to Jesus but when we twist our point of view and don’t look at people through Jesus eyes we have prejudged them and have taken the place of God. We can judge sin but if we do it is for the purpose of helping someone to be free
16 “Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people. “Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is threatened. I am the Lord.” Always uphold someone’s reputation and their life. It is easy to kill a person’s character/reputation and it may seem worse but the Lord sees that as bad as actual murder….yes we will have difficulty with people but we are always to work it out if we can “be at peace with all men as much as it pertains to you” (Romans 12:18)
17,18 “Do not nurse hatred in your heart for any of your relatives. Confront people directly so you will not be held guilty for their sin. 18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge real love doesn’t have the ability to hold a grudge or hatred for anyone. This should be a light bulb going off in your heart and mind that you don’t love like Jesus wants if you are walking in unforgiveness. If you are constantly critical of someone you really don’t love…if someone is a problem pray for them, help them if you can, be Jesus to them but hatred is unacceptable for a Christ-follower…I need some of you to watch your conversations and Facebook post. Love looks to raise people up and set them free…it hopes all things! The confrontation part is that if we see someone blatantly sinning and don’t love them enough to say something to them then what kind of love do we have
Love balances the gifts, the power, and the self-discipline
Jesus said we would be recognized as Christ-like, His friends, followers, disciples, by our love, not education, wealth, influence, or power but love
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
For most of us, some of these things will present quite a challenge and they would if we were doing them on our own but the Holy Spirit in you gives you the power to overcome…to love when love is not returned…this is part of the real power of the Holy Spirit in you..this is part of what is absolutely necessary in the church and outside of the church.
Allow me to challenge you today to start by making the decision to love this way in your own family and church family first…practice it there and then take it to the world.
Allow the Holy Spirit to work through you, to give you the power to always love this way
I understand some of these things may have caused brokenness in you but the Holy Spirit wants to show you how you can love by His power today….let’s let go of the hurt, rejection, unforgiveness and allow the Holy Spirit to work through you