My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

24 September 2006

Love One Another

How exactly do we go about loving one another? Here is a list of applications from a sermon I preached last May on John 13:34,35 - A new command I give you, that you love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. It's not a list to be applied all at once; rather, it's designed to bring conviction in different areas for different folks. Each of us should see at least one or two applications here for which we can seek the Spirit's strength.

  1. Our homes must be places of love; if our homes are not filled with love, our church will be empty as well. Husbands, give yourself away to your wives as Christ did for the church (Eph. 5:25).Wives, submit with love to your husbands.Love your children with sacrifice, with teaching, with discipline; love your parents with respect. What to do with this home of love? Open your home, be hospitable
  2. Speak the truth to and about each other (in love); don’t gossip, refuse to hear gossip. When does conversation turn to gossip? When it becomes negative.
  3. Seek out needs and meet them; Christian love is thought-out, well-planned, earnest rather than spontaneous. Love calls for awareness, being alert to the needs around you. Do you come to church with a built-in attitude of ministry, seeking out the hurting and lonely?
  4. Work at true fellowship, fellowship that encourages and sharpens. There are a lot of “surface” friendships around this church – how can you deepen the relationships you have, turn them into truly valuable relationships?
  5. Welcome visitors, take it upon yourself to provide a warmth people will notice when they come to worship with us
  6. Some of you are good at loving, but bad at being loved – be ready to be loved/served by this family – not just have you been given to this family, but this family has been given to you
  7. Be nice, not rude. Be easygoing, not irritable, be pleasant, not hard to be around, don’t turn every conversation into confrontation
  8. Scripturally, there is no place for favoritism or racism. This doesn’t mean don’t have friends and some closer than others, but don’t play favorites with your love & acceptance
  9. Don’t hold grudges, don’t be bitter, cover over offenses in love. Don’t “cover over an offense” and then hold on to bitterness or bring it up again. Drop it or deal with it. (Pro. 17:9)
  10. Be patient with your brothers & sisters. Patience is trusting in God toward Impatience is you taking out your distrust of God upon a brother or sister.
  11. Don’t insist on getting your own way – there’s no quicker way to make sure someone is offended and hurt than for everyone to insist on getting their own way.
  12. Think through what God has given you, where He’s placed you, what influence you have, etc. Your position in life (in every sense) was purposed so that you could use it to love others (Lev. 19:9).
  13. Everyone has weaknesses, places where it’s easy not to love them – this is precisely where we must love the most (Lev. 19:4).
  14. This is our covenant with each other: Believe, hope, endure (1 Cor. 13:7). Love often calls us to actions and attitudes decidedly awkward and strange-feeling.


Tamara said...

Great list. I would add one that I think ties into the first passage you used. Lay down your life for one anohter. I think this is not demostrated in the church enough. We have watered it down. Love demonstrated by Christ was a cross.

Ellen Olivetti said...

Sufficiently challenged!