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The Practice of Love
February 5, 2023
Pastor Terry Fulks
“Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love.”
– William Shakespeare.
Come, let’s be a comfortable couple and take care of each other! How glad we shall be, that we have somebody we are fond of always, to talk to and sit with.”
– Charles Dickens
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:34–35 (ESV)
- The practice of meeting others needs:
- Jesus meeting needs:
- Jesus feeding people
16 But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Matthew 14:16–21 (ESV)
- Jesus heals a blind man.
22 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” 25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”
Mark 8:22–26 (ESV)
b. The disciples meeting needs:
- Paul was collecting money for the church in Jerusalem:
8 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— 5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 6 Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. 7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.
2 Corinthians 8:1–7
- Timothy, Luke, and Epaphroditus all visited Paul while he was in jail.
25 I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, 26 for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill.
Philippians 2:25–26 ESV
9 Do your best to come to me soon. 10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. 12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.
2 Timothy 4:9–13 ESV
- Practice basic Bible teachings on relationships:
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.
Colossians 3:12–15 (ESV)
- Be compassionate
- Be kind
- Be humble
- Be meek
- Be patient
- Be extra patient
- Be forgiving
- Be loving
- Be peaceful
Do you think any relationship would improve if you wore this wardrobe listed above?
A reminder about words: Words matter and it matters that you pick the right words.
Points to ponder:
- Say I love you, but then back it up.
- Emotions come and go, but love can be acted upon all the time.
- Did God choose to love us, or did God fall in love with us?
- Love works better when it remains as a verb.
- Marriage, friends, family are more akin to being a farm, every morning you wake up and start all over.
- Don’t forget to forget what you need to forget.
- God’s love is what sustains you when the going gets tough.
- To experience God’s love you need to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
- Would you like to take that first step in having a relationship with God?
Connection Prayer: Thank you God that you can help me to walk in love toward others. I now, with what faith I have, confess that you Jesus died on the cross for my sins, were buried, and rose from the dead on the third day. I take you as my Savior, Lord, and Leader. Please forgive me of my sins and thank you for your forgiveness. Help me to follow you all the days of my life. Amen.
- If you prayed with me, then read John 3, three times before you go to bed tonight.
- Read the gospel of John all the way through by reading about ten verses a day.
- Reread the verses in the sermon at least twice this week.
- Read 1 Corinthians 13 three times this week.
- Ask God to help you to put your love into action this week.
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We’d love to pray for you. While you are here, say a prayer for others.
If you prayed the Connection Prayer today let us know! We would love to connect with you and get you a new believer pack. You can send your information to firstname.lastname@example.org