January 21, 2018
Main Idea – In life, the only thing that really matters is faith expressed in love. As you love, know what Scripture says and act on it.
Jesus doesn’t want your help, He wants your heart
- People don’t follow vision, they follow availability.
- Jesus was always available to people.
- We should not so much worry about being right, but about being like Jesus.
- Jesus doesn’t see us as we were; He sees us as what we are turning into.
- If we hang around Jesus, we will become as He sees us.
- We are to come to Jesus with the openness and trust of children. Mark 10: 13-16 – Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.
- We should always retain the joy we had when we first experienced God. Revelation 2: 3-4 – and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
- When we remember to approach Jesus as a child we will naturally be able to express our faith through the love we give. Galatians 5:6 – For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love. (MSG)
- To become more like Jesus, we may need to give up some of the things we are currently involved with. Lose whatever it is that is keeping you from being like Jesus.
Engage and love those who “creep you out”
- If you want to look like Jesus, love those who “creep you out” the most. Engage people whom you might otherwise avoid.
- We are not defined by our worst day. God the Father doesn’t see our mistakes; He sees Jesus. Likewise, we should see people for what they will eventually become. (If you hear a voice telling you negative things about yourself, that voice isn’t Jesus.)
Know the Scriptures
- We can’t be like Jesus if we don’t know about Him. Read and study the Bible. It is an instruction book. Mark 12:24 – Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?” Galatians 1:8 – But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
- What will get us to Jesus is Jesus. He (through His Word) leads us to Himself, and it doesn’t take many steps to get there.
What Jesus wants us to do
- We don’t have much time in life. It is important to use our time for good purposes.
- The Bible tells us to love those who are not loveable. Matthew 5: 43-48 – You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore, you shall be perfect just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
- The Bible tells us to help those who are in need. Matthew 25: 34-36 – Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.
- Jesus really meant it when He said those are the things He wants us to be doing. Those are the things He wants to talk about with us.
- Don’t just agree with Jesus. Do what is important to Him.
- Love everybody always. If we get this one thing right, then we will get right everything else as well.
Stick with it; don’t quit
- Embrace, and make the best of, every circumstance. Stay at it. Don’t stop expressing your faith through your love.
- When we do this, we ourselves begin to change.
- Jesus will give you whatever you need. Simply tell Him what you would like. Jesus would often ask people what they wanted from Him, and would then give it to them. Mark 10: 48-52 – Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. He is calling you.” And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
- Jesus also gave people a “second touch.” Mark 8:25 – Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everything clearly.
- God uses imperfect people to do marvelous things. Realize how God perceives you, and be willing to ask for a “second touch” if you need it.
- God will use the talents He gave you, and will give you whatever else you ask, when you do the things that are important to Him.
Reflective Questions for Love Does
- What does it mean to “receive the kingdom of God as a little child”? What does one have to give up in order to be able to do this?
- Bob Goff has given love to evil witch doctors. Does this mean he also “likes“ them? Why or why not?
- When you are in a circumstance where you are with people you don’t like:
- What do you need to ask God for at that moment?
- What do you need to tell yourself so you are able to follow-through with love?