July 25, 2018 Off and On Part 4

Tonight we are focusing on 3:14-15

V 14 Above all these, put on love (compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, bearing with one another, forgiving one another)

·         Above all--- that means all these other things are secondary to love. Why is that? Because love is the driving force behind doing all these things in a Christ-like manner. It is possible to do all of these without love, but then we would just “grin and bear it”. We would have no joy in it. It would be strictly out of duty and not out of gratitude.  

§  “We are children of God and should look and act like it. When we alow Christ to direct our lives, it becomes easier to look like Him. We can have a tendency to do things because we “know it is the right thing to do” but we hate doing them. The more we trust Christ, the more we can see even the most mundane things and have joy in doing them.

o   

·         How do we “put on love”?

o  Is it like a coat or a shirt that we just grab out of the closet?

§  It’s more like our skin. It covers us completely from head to toe. DC Talk came out with a song many years ago called “Love is a Verb” which explains it perfectly.

·         Love is not just a word, but what we do. When we love, we do the things that are listed above, and we do them gladly.

·         Which binds everything together in perfect harmony:

o  Love is the glue that holds everything together, in the church and outside. Love is void of anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language. It comes from a place of holiness

o  When love is the primary driving force inside the church, we see forgiveness, we see humility, we see service, we see excitement and passion. We see the Holy Spirit moving in a way that we wouldn’t see otherwise.

o  This is why coming to church is extremely important. It gives us the correct environment to love those around us, and also to be trained up how to love the outside world.

·         Living in love is not just a suggestion

o  1 John 3:1-2

§  See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.

o  1 Corinthians 4:1-2

§  “This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

o  Matthew 7:16

§  You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?

o  Live the life that you are called to. Don’t just talk as if you are a Christian, live because you are one.

·         Out of Harmony:

o  When you listen to a group sing, if someone is singing out of tune, you can pick it up immediately. Although it may not happen often, sometimes it does. Think of love in this way. If we all claim to have love and yet there are some of us that truly do not love, we can spot it immediately. Unbelievers can spot it as well. This brings disharmony in the church, in our youth group, even in your families. We must love others so that we can be united as the body of Christ.

 

o  Everyone is watching you to see what type of fruit you will produce, and if you are not producing the type of fruit that God has called us to produce, then you are not the right tree.

o  We are privileged to be called children of God. (It is not a requirement of God to allow everyone to be a child of God, but those that are redeemed.)

·         Let the Peace of Christ Rule your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

o  The Peace of Christ-

§  All that Christ went through, He was still at peace (storms, Garden of Gethsemane, Wilderness, Trials, beating, crucifixion)

·         “Go, hunt up the man who put the crown of thorns on My head and tell them that I love him. Tell him that he can have a crown in my kingdom, one without a thorn. Find the man that spat in my face and preach the gospel to him. Tell him that I forgave him and that I died to save him. Find the man who thrust the spear into my side and tell him that there is a quicker way to my heart. That is how the Lord Jesus has forgiven us. Now it is our turn.” ---D.L. Moody

§  John 14:27—Peace I leave with you

·         Jesus has made this same peace that He has available to us.

§  It is the eternal rest and security in Him.

·         Even in the darkest of circumstances we can take comfort in the shimmer of light that is there.

o  Rule Your Heart-

§  This is the difficult part. We must submit to Christ and allow His will to direct our path.

§  Did you pick up on the word “LET”? This is to show us that there must be a willingness on our part to allow Christ to rule our heart. Christ cannot rule if we don’t allow Him to sit on the throne.

·         Be agreeable

·         Easy to work with

·         Putting the needs of others ahead of yourself.

·         Submissive to authority

·         Respectful even to those that don’t deserve it.

§  How will the peace of Christ rule our heart if we don’t read His Word?

·         We find out what the peace of Christ is through reading His word. It points us and leads us where we need to be.

o  Since as members of one body you were called to peace:

§  We are called to be at peace within the church.

·         Forgive those that have wronged you

·         Bear the burdens of others

·         Show compassion, mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience

§  This peace should also be seen outside of the church walls.

o  And be thankful-

§  How insane would it be if we started thanking God for our troubles instead of complaining about it?

·         It could always be worse

·         Lord’s supper---Jesus was THANKING God for the death He was about to incur.

·         Paul was thankful for the beatings, the stonings, the shipwreck, the imprisonment, etc.

·         Other disciples and Christians have been grateful for the persecution that they received.

·         1 Thessalonians 5:18- Give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

o   It could always be worse.

§  When we praise God louder than our situations, we will not get trapped within them. It cannot take a foothold in our mind.    (lalalalala, fingers in ears)

·         (The local church is the coming together of believers to worship and celebrate Christ, learn and grow together.)

§  It is made up of who worships or attends there

o   Some worship

o   Some merely attend

§  Carnal Minded Christians:

·         Worldly, argumentative, selfish, critical, unforgiving

o   That is the type of church we will have

§  Godly Christians:

·          consecrated (made holy), self-sacrificing, loving, praying, soul-winning, mission-minded

o   That is the type of church we will have

o  What kind of church would Calvary be if everyone who attended was just like me?

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