THE GREATEST IS LOVE

THE GREATEST IS LOVE

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” (1 Cor. 13:1-3)

“Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” (1 Corinthians 14:1)

Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

GENUINE LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER IS THE KEY TO UNITY AND KINGDOM POWER

  • God loves every person in the world (John 3:16)

  • Jesus has compassion for the lost, the afflicted and sick

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” (Matthew 9:35-36)

WE ALSO NEED TO HAVE A GENUINE LOVE FOR OTHERS

UNITY BRINGS GOD’S BLESSINGS

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! … It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the LORD commanded the blessing – Life forevermore.” (Psalm 133:1 &3)

THE FIRST CHURCH WAS UNIFIED AND MOVED IN GREAT POWER

“And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.” (Acts 5:12)

JESUS HIMSELF SAID THAT A DIVIDED HOUSE WOULD FALL. (Unity is a key to establishing strong churches)

Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls.” (Luke 11:17)

TRUE AGAPE LOVE HAS THE FOLLOWING ATTRIBUTES:

  1. IT IS ALSO PRACTICAL

“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.

And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked, for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.” (Acts 4:32-35)

  1. IT IS GENUINE

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek it own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

  1. IT DEMONSTRATES FORGIVENESS

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

(Ephesians 4:31-32)

  1. IT IS OTHERS FOCUSSED

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4) AND

  1. IT IS SACRIFICIAL (Like Jesus we must choose to lay down our life for others)

Jesus said, “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28)

IT IS ONLY IN LAYING DOWN OUR LIFE FOR OTHERS (BEING A GENUINE DISCIPLE) THAT OUR LIVES WILL BEAR MUCH ETERNAL FRUIT.

If we do not make a committed choice each day of our life to follow God’s plan for our life, we will be more easily sidetracked by the cares, riches, temptations and pleasures of this life, and bring no or little fruit to maturity in our life here on earth. (Luke 8:14)

Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”

(John 12:24)

ANY CHRISTIAN WHO IS DEVOTED TO SERVING GOD AND COMMITED TO LOVING OTHERS WILL DO GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS FOR GOD’S KINGDOM

WE ALL HAVE THE ABILITY AS BELIEVERS TO LOVE OTHERS UNCONDITIONALLY

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control…” (Galatians 5:22-23)

WHAT CAN STOP THIS LOVE FROM FLOWING OUT OF BELIEVERS

  1. A LACK OF INTIMACY WITH JESUS

  1. We must continually abide in His love. (John 15:4-5)

  1. We need to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit

(Ephesians 5:17-18)

  1. We need to lead a lifestyle of worship (John 4:23-24)

and prayer (involving God in all areas of our life)

  1. OUR ATTITUDES (Walking in the flesh)

  1. Being critical or judgemental of others

(Matthew 7:1-5)

  1. Being envious or jealous of others (James 3:14-16)

  1. Having selfish ambition (Philippians 2:3)

  1. Having pride in our life (Colossians 3:12 & 4:6)

  1. HAVING A FEAR OF MAN (A fear of being rejected)

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)

CONCLUSION

  • Where there is love and unity God’s power can be seen (Acts 4:32-33)

  • We all need to choose to love others (1 John 4:7 & 11)

  • Jesus even commanded us to love one another (John 13:34)

  • If we do not abide in Christ, our lives will bear no fruit (John 15:4-5)

  • When we have intimacy with Jesus, we begin to have His compassion for the lost and hurting in this world (Psalm 37:4)

If we have His compassion and love for others, our lives will make a great difference in this world and help many to receive the gift of eternal life (John 14:12)


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