Discipleship series #11 – A True Disciple Loves

A true disciple loves!

Discipleship series #11

A true disciple LOVES! (It’s the energy room)

By Pastor George Lehman

 

All I spoke about in this series from #1 to #10 will never be lived out successfully without LOVE.

Luke 6:40 “A Disciple is not above his teacher but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” 

One of the clear identification marks in a disciple’s life is the ability to love.

Like seeds being sown, the result will be seen if it lands in good soil by the fruit it produces.

If we took a poll of everyone’s life now and ask them, “Did you grow up with love?”, sadly the greater multitude would answer, “NO”.

Growing up without love is its own form of suffering. Most of us are a product of a loveless society.

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”
Mother Teresa

We live in a world that longs for love – whether you’re
– young or old,
– single or married,
– rich or poor, everyone wants to be loved and to know someone cares about us.

Love cannot be held captive by our thoughts, emotions, fears or our outside limitations.

Make no mistake about it:  LOVE is the number one need in everyone’s life.

What happens when LOVE is in short supply?  People feel emptiness inside a space that must be filled with something.

God designed this space to be filled with LOVE. “God is LOVE”

In the absence of it, people will turn to a variety of habits, addictions and distractions to temporarily fill the empty space –

whether it be money, sex, drugs, food, smoking, drinking, gambling – these things NEVER satisfy our need for love.

The path to feeling whole again begins with knowing that you are loved by people but especially by your Creator.

Just remember that you are
– accepted,
– approved of and
– treasured by God.

1 John 4:10 (Amp) – In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loves us, and gave His Son as the payment for our sins.

Sin separated us but LOVE drew us back.

What is love?  The best definition I have ever found is in:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (Amp) – Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never *haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when other do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him. All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever.

Haughty – Arrogant / Prideful

No matter what your past was!! How unloved you may have been, since

“The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” Romans 5:5 (NKJV) You are now able to love supernaturally!

We cannot use our past as an excuse to live out our new saved lives by acting

love-less.

John 13:34-35 (Amp) – I give you a new commandment: That you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all (men) know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (if you keep on showing love among yourselves).

Love brings unstoppable FREEDOM when we learn to love as God intended.  We cannot do it on our own – we need HIM.

Unless we have His love in our hearts, there is no way we can love others – wholly, purely or adequately.

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 (Amp) – (THE KEY is) And may the Lord make you to increase and excel and overflow in love for one another and for all people, just as we also do for you, (You have to be a willing participant)13So that  He may strengthen and confirm and establish your hearts faultlessly pure and unblameable in holiness in the sight of our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) with all His saints (the holy and glorified people of God)! Amen, (so be it)!

 #1  What does it mean to love God?

Simply put, to love God is to obey Him.  Partial obedience is disobedience.

John 14:15 (Amp) – If you (really) love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.

1 John 5:3 (NKJV) – For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

The first four commandments are primarily directed at God, while the last six are directed at man.

Proverbs 8:17 (Message) – I love those who love me; those who look for me find me.

#2  What does it mean to “love yourself?”

Loving God and accepting that He loves you are the foundation for loving yourself and for experiencing self-confidence and self-esteem in who you are and what you are.

It’s not about being self-centered or having an ego.

Proverbs 27:2 (Message) – Don’t call attention to yourself; let others do that for you.

Having confidence in loving yourself will give you confidence to be inspired and not threatened by the success of others.

You don’t become discouraged because you know who you are in Christ.

When you love yourself, it includes self-discipline, taking responsibility and knowing it’s us who have a part to play in our success!

#3  What does it mean to “love your neighbor?”

Mark 12:30-31 (NIV) – 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”

The foundation to love your neighbor is comprised in two parts.

A proper love of self. Hurting people hurt people.
A desire to love others as Christ loved us.

Loving your neighbor is treating them as you would like to be treated – stop majoring on the minors!

– Focus on their strengths not their weaknesses
– Focus on their positives not the Negatives
– Focus on their success and not their failures.
– Being an encouragement to them not a discouraging pain in the ….NECK

Why does God command us to love other people?  I mean we have all been hurt, abused, ripped off, lied to, criticized, even insulted etc. etc…

Agreeing not to retaliate is good but God is asking us to go even further and to
LOVE them!

WHY?  For our benefit.  It puts you into a positive attitude to receive “MORE”.  From God’s perspective.

Loving others demonstrates our obedience to God and placing our desires second to His – not ‘when I feel like it’.  This is a sure sign of maturity and character development.

We love the most when we love those that are the least loveable.  When others don’t love us we have a chance to show what’s really in our hearts.

Love is an act of the will, not the exercise of emotions.  Haggai

Love that is given might not be returned. “This is a fact of life.” Jesus commanded us to love anyway. He did not say we would be loved in return.

I do believe however that we always someway, somewhere, somehow, someday will reap what we sow. Giving love and expecting love in return is conditional love. Loving is simply part of our discipleship service to others.