Posts Tagged ‘Love People

13
Oct
17

Love Comes From God

On the night that Jesus was betrayed by Judas, He gave His disciples one last command. He told them to love one another. His disciple, John, took it to heart and wrote about it quite a bit. In his first letter, he said this:

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. – 1 John 4:7 (NIV)

God is the source of love. We need to love one another in the church and when we do, we demonstrate that we belong to God and that we know God. Everything Jesus did was motivated by His love for the Father and His love for people. For followers of Jesus, we should have the same motivations. We can believe the right things and try to be on our best behavior, but if don’t love, we don’t know God. Without the love of God, we’re nothing.
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11
Sep
17

Jesus Wants Your Surrendered Heart

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana. This message is based on Matthew 22:34-40.

23
Aug
17

Do You Know Jesus?

We can claim to know Jesus, but where is the evidence? Where is the proof of our relationship with Him? It is in our obedience. The Apostle John wrote:

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. – 1 John 2:3-4 (NIV)

To know and love Jesus is to obey Him. What commands of His should we obey? All of them! We may tend to think that that is REALLY hard. In reality, Jesus boiled down all of God’s commands to two: love God and love people. If we really love God, we will not sin against Him by putting anything else in His place. That means that we have to put God first in our lives. If we really love people, it means that we won’t sin against them. We won’t lie to people or cheat on them or steal from them. If we claim to know Jesus, but we don’t do what He commands, then John says that we don’t really know Him. Jesus is Lord and Master and He means what He says. Do you know Jesus? If you do, then obey Him by loving God and loving people today.
06
Jul
16

Relationship, Not Ritual

Zechariah 7 (NIV)

In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev.The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melek, together with their men, to entreat the Lord by asking the priests of the house of the Lord Almighty and the prophets, “Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”
Then the word of the Lord Almighty came to me: “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted? And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves? Are these not the words the Lord proclaimed through the earlier prophets when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns were at rest and prosperous, and the Negev and the western foothills were settled?’”
And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah: “This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’
11 “But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their back sand covered their ears. 12 They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the Lord Almighty was very angry.
13 “‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the Lord Almighty. 14 ‘I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land they left behind them was so desolate that no one traveled through it. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.’”

Empty religious rituals do not please the Lord Almighty. The people of Zechariah’s day were trying to figure out whether or not they should continue to observe a ritual fast. King Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonians had burned the city of Bethel to the ground and the people there had observed a fast to commemorate it. They also observed a fast in the seventh month of the year to remember the murder of the regional governor. These fasts were not ones required by God, but were self-imposed instead.

But what does God really want from His people? False shows of piety and religion? Or does He desire something better? God wants our hearts to be near to Him, not our shows of religion. He wants a relationship with people. This cannot be manufactured by religiously following ritualistic rules. 

When we make our “religion” all about ourselves, we are really far away from what God really wants. James wrote in the New Testament that true religion is what Zechariah talks about here in chapter 7. James 1:26-27 (NIV) says:

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Faith is more about loving God by loving people than it is about keeping a set of human-imposed rules. You can avoid all of the “R”-rated movies and rock-n’-roll music and craft beers all you want, but if you don’t love God by loving people, your religious piety is really self-seeking. Do what you do in the name of the Lord Jesus because you love Jesus, not because you love your self-righteous piety.

PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I repent of my self-righteousness. I am unworthy of the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus. I thank You that You loved the world so much that He came to die for us. May my trust be in You and may Your love fill me and motivate me to love others as You have loved me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

08
Apr
16

Don’t Be A Liar!

1 John 4:19-21 (NIV)
We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
John says that loving God and loving people go hand in hand.  He says that you cannot love God, whom you have not seen, and hate people, whom you do see and who are made in the image of God.  If you say that you love God but you do not love people, John says that you are a liar.  God loves people and so should we.  God loves the world so much that He sent Jesus to be our Savior and Lord.  If this is what God would do to demonstrate His love for people, how can we who love God hate anyone, especially our brothers and sisters in the church?
We won’t always get along in the church, but we are commanded to love our brothers and sisters.  We will have disagreements and arguments.  We will bump into each other and grate on each other’s nerves.  We’re human and imperfect.  We need to show grace to each other.  We need to be merciful as God is merciful.  We need to love each other as God has loved us.  We need to forgive each other when we sin against one another.  As God has forgiven us, so we need to forgive one another.
Love is not our default mode.  It is far easier to hold a grudge or to hate.  Love is the tough choice.  Whether it is your spouse or your children or the person in the pew next to you, you are commanded to love them.  She might have gossiped about you.  He might have stabbed you in the back.  They might have attempted to ruin your reputation.  Your first instinct is to lash out and get revenge.  God says to fight that instinct and love and forgive them instead.  God forgave you for all of your sins, how can you do anything less than to forgive those who sin against you?
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I need Your love and forgiveness in my life.  I do not always show love to others.  I sometimes harbor bitterness and resentment in my heart.  Help me to forgive as I have been forgiven.  I thank You for loving me.  In Jesus’ name, amen.



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