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The Way of Love

The Way of Love - Never Ends

TRUTH: Love does not expire! • June 24, 2018 • Jason Smith

TRUTH: Love does not expire! Love never ends because… 1. God is love 1 John 4:8 :: Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 2. God is eternal Revelation 1:8 :: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Psalm 90:1-2 :: Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 3. Love is eternal 1 Corinthians 13:8 :: Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. What does this mean for me? 1. As long as there is God, there will be love 2. Since God’s love never stops, I can be assured of it 3. Since love will always exist, the call to walk in it will never cease

The Way of Love - Endures

TRUTH: Love does not retreat in the midst of challenge! • June 17, 2018 • Jason Smith

TRUTH: Love does not retreat in the midst of challenge! I endure because… 1. God’s grace is too great to keep for myself 2 Timothy 2:10 :: Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 2. The reward is too great to miss Matthew 10:22 :: and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 3. It is the example of the One I pursue! Hebrews 12:2 :: looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. What does this mean for me? With Jesus, I’m capable of enduring more than I think

The Way of Love - Is Not Irritable

TRUTH: Being irritable overshadows our attempts to love • June 10, 2018 • Jason Smith

TRUTH: Being irritable overshadows our attempts to love 1. It is self-centered Luke 9:12 :: Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.” 2. It impacts discernment Luke 9:13 :: But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” 3. It robs us of joy Luke 9:17 :: And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces. What does this mean for me? S - Stop, repent, and ask T - Trust a promise O - Obey in faith P - Prepare for the moments

The Way of Love - Does Not Rejoice at Wrong

TRUTH: Love does not take pleasure in evil • June 3, 2018 • Jason Smith

TRUTH: Love does not take pleasure in evil Celebrating a wrong… 1. Brings God’s wrath Romans 1:18 :: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 2. Blinds us to the truth Romans 1:25 :: because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 3. Leads to greater evil Romans 1:28 :: And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 4. Encourages others to sin Romans 1:32 :: Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. What does this mean for me? 1. Love will, with grace, speak truth about a sinful situation or person 2. When I love, I will be broken over my own sin, or someone else’s sin

The Way of Love - Do Not Be Wise In Your Own Eyes

TRUTH: Love takes instruction from God’s Word • May 28, 2018 • Jason Smith

TRUTH: Love takes instruction from God’s Word Being wise in your own eyes means… 1. I have lost my fear of God Proverbs 3:7 :: Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. Proverbs 9:10 :: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. 2. I have forgotten the source James 1:5 :: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. Luke 21:15 :: for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 3. I have become arrogant Romans 11:18 :: do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 4. I have outgrown the need for obedience James 3:13 :: Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. What does this mean for me? 1. My own wisdom will lead to relationships that are broken and marked by sin 2. Godly wisdom will lead to healthy, thriving relationships

The Way of Love - Weep with Those Who Weep

TRUTH: Weeping with another is the overflow of loving well • May 20, 2018 • Jason Smith

TRUTH: Weeping with another is the overflow of loving well In the midst of sharing in another’s sorrow… 1. We demonstrate love John 11:5 :: Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. John 11:36 :: So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 2. We affirm the unity of the church John 11:16 :: So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” 3. We help maintain perspective John 11:25-26 :: Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 4. We stay connected to God John 11:41b :: And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 5. We are a witness to others John 11:42 :: I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” What does this mean for me? 1. The level of sorrow we feel for another is indicative of the depth of our relationship 2. To share in one’s joy will require us to also share in their sorrow

The Way of Love - Rejoices with those who Rejoice

TRUTH: To rejoice at another’s good measure, will require a humble heart. • May 13, 2018 • Jason Smith

TRUTH: To rejoice at another’s good measure, will require a humble heart. Rejoicing with another… 1. Requires us to set aside envy Luke 15:28-29 :: But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 2. Reminds me of God’s goodness Luke 15:31 :: And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 3. Recognizes that we are united Luke 15:32 :: It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’” What does this mean for me? 1. Rejoicing with those who rejoice goes beyond the external 2. Circumstance does not dictate my ability to be joyful

The Way of Love - Is Not Vengeful

TRUTH: Love does not get even • May 6, 2018 • Jason Smith

TRUTH: Love does not get even Reasons to refrain from vengeance… 1. It is not mine to take Romans 12:19 :: Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 2. It will be justly executed Romans 12:19 :: Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 3. It inhibits my witness Romans 12:20 :: To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 4. It puts me in a weakened position Romans 12:21 :: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. What does this mean for me? 1. I should expect to be hurt as a Christ-follower 2. My response to being hurt is an opportunity

The Way of Love - Bless Those Who Persecute You

Bless Those Who Persecute You • April 29, 2018 • Andrew Wauchope

Are Christians in America persecuted? 1. Persecution is normal 2. Christ-followers cannot avoid persecution 3. Suffering for Christ is a privilege How can I love those who persecute me? 1. Pray 2. Seek their salvation 3. Seek peace 4. Be radical

The Way of Love - Is Not Slothful

TRUTH: Love is eager to be diligent! • April 22, 2018 • Jason Smith

TRUTH: Love is eager to be diligent! A love that is eager will… 1. Be visible by action! 2 Corinthians 9:2a :: for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year. 2. Be contagious to others! 2 Corinthians 9:2b :: And your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3. Need encouragement to persevere! 2 Corinthians 9:3 :: But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be. What does this mean for me? 1. A genuine love will seek opportunity, not wait for it! 2. Encouragement of others should be a regular part of my faith walk

The Way of Love - Associate with the Lowly

TRUTH: As we associate with people who are oppressed, we are practicing love. • April 15, 2018 • Jason Smith

TRUTH: As we associate with people who are oppressed, we are practicing love. Associating with the lowly… 1. Separates out fake followers James 1:26-27 :: If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. 2. Gains mercy in judgement James 2:13 :: For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. Reasons we should associate with the lowly… 1. Models faith in Jesus James 2:1 :: My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2. Reveals holy thinking James 2:4 :: have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 3. Mirrors God’s heart James 2:5 :: Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 4. Honors people James 2:6a :: But you have dishonored the poor man. 5. Protects us from evildoers James 2:6b-7 :: Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called? 6. Keeps me from sin James 2:8-12 :: If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. What does this mean for me? 1. External appearance is not the basis for my LOVE 2. My level of Gospel understanding is demonstrated by my action toward the lowly

The Way of Love - Live in Harmony

TRUTH: Loving well includes living in harmony with one another!

TRUTH: Loving well includes living in harmony with one another! Harmony… 1. Embraces differences Romans 15:1a :: We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, 2. Requires building others up Romans15:2 :: Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3. Includes sacrifice Romans 15:1b :: and not to please ourselves. 4. Brings God glory Romans 15:7 :: Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. What does this mean for me? 1. Draw attention to Christ Romans 15:3 :: For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” 2. Get in the word Romans 15:4 :: For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. …it will encourage …it will give hope 3. Pray! Romans 15:5 :: May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,

The Way of Love - Is Constant In Prayer

TRUTH: Love has repeated connection with it’s source • March 11, 2018 • Jason Smith

TRUTH: Love has repeated connection with it’s source Why maintain constant prayer? 1. Because our good God is kind Luke 18:4 :: For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man 2. Because it helps us maintain faith Luke 18:8 :: I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” What does this mean for me? 1. My attempt to be loving may fall short if I disconnect from the source 2. My ability to stay passionate is greater if I stay connected to the source

The Way of Love - Fervent in Spirit

TRUTH: A genuine Christian will be excited to share the love of Jesus with others! • March 4, 2018 • Jason Smith

TRUTH: A genuine Christian will be excited to share the love of Jesus with others! Passion to share God’s love exists when… 1. We taste it for ourselves Acts 18:25 :: He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. Psalms 34:8 :: Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! 2. We speak out about it Acts 18:26 :: He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. Luke 8:39 :: “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him. 3. We serve others in need of it Acts 18:27 :: And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 1 Peter 4:10 :: As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace 4. We boldly champion it Acts 18:28 :: for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus. Ephesians 6:19 :: and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel What does this mean for me? 1. My actions demonstrate to a degree my own understanding of the depth of God’s love for me! 2. As I grow in God’s love, my level of passion to share it will also grow

The Way of Love - Is Not Resentful

TRUTH: LOVE allows hurts and wrongs to be set aside • February 25, 2018 • Jason Smith

TRUTH: LOVE allows hurts and wrongs to be set aside A LOVING stance… 1. Understands that our own wrongs won’t be counted Matthew 18:27 :: And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 2. Sets aside the hurts/wrongs from others Matthew 18:30 :: He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 3. Remembers the reward/consequence Matthew 18:35 :: So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” What does this mean for me? 1. My unwillingness to set aside hurts and wrongs indicate a lack of Trust in God 2. My insistence to seek vengeance will hinder my hope for Heaven

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