Life In Three Parts

Life Lesson # 2 Love

Looking Inward
Life Lesson # 1 Humility
Life Lesson # 2 Love
Life Lesson # 3 Presence
Life Lesson # 4 Wholeness
Life Lesson # 5 Surrender
Life Lesson # 6 Grace
Looking Outward
Life Lesson # 7 Vision
Life Lesson # 8 Empowerment
Life Lesson # 9 Character and Values
Life Lesson # 10 Taking Action
Life Lesson # 11 Servant Leadership
Looking Onward
Life Lesson # 12 Listen to be Heard
Life Lesson #13 Realization
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From The Heart of God

Purpose: To understand that the love of Jesus is a pattern for us all in the way we think and act in order for us to fulfill our commission and take the Gospel to all nations, which is the calling and goal of every Christian.


Key Verse: “So I now am giving you a new commandment: love each other as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another (pattern of life) will prove to the world that you are my disciples ” John 15:4


List at least three of your favorite sermons.    Having a little trouble?


Now list all the people who have shown you genuine love?


You can see that when you love someone and they genuinely love and care for you back it will have a great impact on your life.  When it comes to love actions do speak more loudly then words.  Love is the driving force behind our faith and it is the number 1 reason Jesus came.  If God would give up His throne to come as a man out of love then how can we sit back and not go where God calls us.   As Christians we have become too complacent in answering the call to go to a dying world. I do not mean that you have to become a missionary to a foreign land your mission field is as close as your neighbors yard.  I also do not think it is because we are lack the ability to love others, I think it is because we have forgotten that love is a verb.  The word love has an outward active connotation to it.  In America we have internalized love into just a feeling.   We can love a hot dog.  We can love our cars and in the same manner we can love another person.  Love has become like watered down Kool Aid, weak and tasteless. 


As Christians we need to put the action back in love and show the type of love Jesus showed to others, unselfish, always giving, unconditional love.


Determine To Make Love Your Cornerstone


What has love got to do with it?   Make a list of what would happen to our world if ability to love were no longer there. 


Your lists might resemble some of what our world looks like today.   We have slowly removed God’s love from hearts and replaced it with the god of materialism.  We live in a world that wants to look good and be rich.  The here and now is more important then the hereafter.


The Bible says in Isaiah 53:6

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all:


Examine your own heart and write down what this verse means to you personally.


As Christians we are not immune to turning away.  Our hearts and our love can be drawn away assuredly and as quickly as a non-Christian if we are not careful.  We need to make Jesus and His love for others through us as the cornerstone of our lives.


Read these verses and in your own words summarize what they mean to you.

1 John 4:7

Luke 6:32,35

1 John 4:20-21

Leviticus 19:18

Ephesians 5:2


What is the central theme of these verses?


You can see by these verses that if we make Jesus’ love our cornerstone, love will be a gift that when given will bring great rewards.


Love others even when they do not love you back! 


Everybody knows one, a person who no matter what we do they are grumpy and hard to love.  It could be the man or women next to you at work or your next-door neighbor or any number of other people.    The problem is that in our hearts we view these people in any other light but God’s.  We have already established in our hearts that we are not going to share the love Jesus with them no matter what.  We think to ourselves I am not going to stand by and let that person verbally abuse me and cast me aside.  In these types of circumstances there is only one thing to do, and it is not to run the other way.   The first thing you need to do is pray, which we will get into later.   The next thing you need to do is read the Bible and find out what Jesus did.


The best example and most definitive example of what it truly means to love others in our hearts comes in Luke 23:34

"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." 


Examine this verse in the light of always having a loving heart and see what attitude adjustment you will need to have today.


This verse of course deals with Jesus reaction what we would call the most extremely difficult people His enemies who put Him on the cross, us.  We were not there physically but we are all there spiritually.  I asked you to examine this verse in the light of love and see how it relates to you right here, right now. 


Here is what I came up with.  If I look at the person who I find difficult in the same manner as Jesus would look at that person, a lost soul who does not know, then I will do my part and follow the example of Jesus and love that person with agape love, unconditional, selfless love.  This will help me to develop pattern of sharing in my heart that I can share with others as the disciples and Jesus did.



Learn to Share Your Love As A Pattern for Others


In our hearts we must develop the Pattern of Love as set forth by Jesus in the Gospels so others may learn by our example. 


In John 15:9 Jesus states that ”As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you


The implication of this verse is that we should carry this pattern of love to the next level and in all circumstances realize that if Jesus loved me so much to die for me it is up to me to say in my heart “ so shall I love others” no matter what they do to me. 


What is your pattern for Life?  Take a few minutes and really think about what or who you pattern your life after.  Is it the love of Jesus or something else?


Loving others is at the core of Christianity.   Paul throughout his letters talks of showing the same love to others that Jesus showed us by dying on the cross.   In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul gives a simple outline of what true love is.  Not the false or artificial love that the world claims to have.


Read 1 Corinthians Chapter 13, the famous love chapter written by Paul and write down all the aspects of true love.  Then take the time to examine your life and see how well you measure up to the definition of love in Chapter 13


Next write your own definition of love and keep it where you can see it everyday as a reminder of how we are to love others.  This definition should be based on the truths found in scripture.


Jesus established, first that we must develop an internal desire to love others no matter what they do or who they are and second, the love we show to others must be unconditional love.   When we disciple other Christians we must be quick to follow the pattern laid out in 1 Corinthians 13 so that as we teach others we will also be able to be taught by others.   In this way each TEAM member will take on the role of disciple and discipled..  With an inner attitude of love it will be the group goal that matters and not individual agendas.  This is not to say that you cannot have your own personal goals but if they contradict the teachings in the Bible then you must reexamine what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.



Jesus and the Pattern of Love


Contrary to popular beliefs men can show love for other men.  We live in a society where it is socially unacceptable for men to say or show love to anyone but women and children.  Men’s emotions towards each other are only to be shown by exhibiting a pat on the butt, a high five or a quick hug.  As boys grow and develop into men the art of showing how much you love your fellow man dissipates.  Now I am not saying you have to go out and start hugging every one around you but don’t be afraid to tell other men in your group how you really feel about them.


The Disciples followed the pattern of Jesus and showed love for everyone when they went out to preach the Gospel.  The disciples ministered to the heart of the Gospel and to people in the way they genuinely showed love and shared the love of Jesus.  Even Peter who at first did not understand how the despised Gentiles could receive the Gospel listened to and followed the pattern set forth by Jesus.  Peter Took the message to the Gentiles, he followed the pattern of love.


Go the Extra Mile


 In the beginning the disciples were a group of individual fisherman (who had to come to work as a TEAM with varied backgrounds but one purpose), united under Jesus, who set the pattern for them to follow and they became a different kind of a team.  They were transformed from being a team of fishermen into the team who started Teaching their Neighbors, men and women all over the region the truth of the Gospel.


Jesus in John 15 set forth the idea that if we remain in Him, He will remain in us.  This means that if we read the pattern that Jesus has set forth in the Gospels and follow those commands we will start to develop a Christ like attitude and this will carry over into our habits and ultimately in our goals. If once your goal was to make money and a name for yourself then with the help of Jesus and the pattern he laid out for us to follow you will soon find you goal has changed to one of making disciples not money.


To truly show a fellow man that you love them would be to tell them about Jesus and what He did for you and what he can also do for your friend.  If we truly love as Jesus loved we will not be able to hold back our emotions and feelings about Him this leads us to the second pattern that Jesus laid out for us.  A pattern that is very closely tied to love is the patter of devotion.


This is going the extra mile for love, sharing the Gospel no matter what the consequences.  Paul and the other Apostles were beaten, thrown in jail and despised many times for going the extra mile and taking the Gospel to places that at first did not want to hear what they had to say.  Over the centuries there have numerous instances of Christians being killed for offering the message of love. They recognized in their hearts the importance of loving others and going that extra mile for others no matter what happens.  I would have to say to anyway today who says it is tough to witness to others because I am afraid, or they might not like me or any other reason, so what, get out there and love them, in the end if they accept the love of Jesus and in faith give there hearts to Him, they will thank you.  In the same manner if you do not tell them they might never know the love of Jesus.


Now That You Know What Love Is


In your own words write down what you think the worldview of love is?


As Christians we can get into the bad habit of seeing love through the eyes of the world and not the eyes of Jesus.   We develop the wrong pattern of love.