First Love Pt 2 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [11/11/2018 AM]
The Greatest Act
1 Corinthians 13:13
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
- The greatest act of love is laying down your life for a friend. Jesus laid down His life for us.
- We need to develop a greater love toward God because of what He did for us.
James 1:12 (NKJV)
12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
- We have to be prepared to endure temptation.
- What blessing there can be in temptation, but don’t feel like that most times. We feel that we have to endure but don’t fail.
- “The only easy day was yesterday.”
- Kerrin’s mate was always quoting that to Kerrin when they were running.
- But he didn’t feel that the easy day was yesterday, he felt it was hard running every time.
- Very often we feel that in order to be approved by God we can’t make a mistake and we always seem to get the ‘unapproved by God’ stamp.
- These are wrong thoughts or concepts.
- We want a promise of achievement.
- In the past, when we were paid wages in cash, our pay packet was a reward for working hard.
- The scripture says that the person who endures will get a reward.
- Those who love Him will receive the reward. Those who hang onto their love for God.
- Abraham – lied twice to God, but God called him a friend, not a failure.
- Moses had an anger problem and suffered the consequences for his actions. He didn’t see the promised land. But he was called a friend of God.
- King David – anger issues, affairs, murderer but was called a man after God’s own heart.
- How can you fail but still be blessed?
- Love the Lord your God with all your heart!
Matthew 22:35-39 (NKJV)
35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’
Revelations 2:2-5 (NKJV)
2 “I know your works, your labour, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have laboured for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place—unless you repent.
- Our life is less about making mistakes, but more about our love for God.
- He never moves from us, but we move from Him.
- Temptation is everywhere, but the key is to keep our love for God. Don’t allow it to go cold.
- We need to choose to keep our love for God.
- Love is a commitment and a choice.
- We can still be blessed because our reward isn’t what we deserve, but about our love of God.
- People give their lives for love – Servicemen and women
Kerrin stopped for 1 minute of silence and remembrance and then prayed for all those past and present affected by war
- Don’t equate our approval with achievement, but with our love of God.
- God cares about what you do.
- We suffer the consequences of our actions, but it doesn’t remove God’s love for us.
- The circumstances don’t have anything to do with having God’s love.
- God loves you and approves of you no matter what your circumstances are.
- His love is outside of the consequences and circumstances.
- Be careful not to allow pride to enter your heart when things are going well. It is a natural outcome of feeling that we don’t need God.
- We look at the outside circumstances, of our successes, but none of that will change God’s view of us. He loves us above every circumstance in our lives.
- God loves you and wants to develop His character in you.
- He will use our circumstances to bring us to a greater love for Him.
- Don’t look at the natural as a goal of our faith, look to the spiritual.
- Keep a soft heart towards God and continue to love Him with all your heart.
- Jesus gave His life for us because of His love for us.
- He was willing to lay His life down for us.
- The Bible says that God laid down His life for us, so we need to lay down our life for Him.
- Water Baptism symbolises laying down our lives and rising up into His Life.
- Don’t be hung up on our mistakes and failures.
- Don’t draw back from God.
- His love goes beyond all things.
- We can access the love of God because Jesus made the way for us.
- This is Amazing Grace – take the truth of that to heart.
- When you look at your mistakes and failures and everything is going well in your life, the love for God can fall to the background of your life.
- Our love for God must be in the foreground of our lives.
- God loves you more than anything and He sent His Son Jesus to die for you!
- Don’t let anything separate you from the love of God.
Romans 8:39 (NKJV)
39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Suggestions for Discussion Questions
- Discuss how we need to develop a greater love toward God.
- How can we relate to Abraham, Moses and King David?
- Discuss love as a commitment.
- Do you feel that people have learned to suffer the consequences of their actions?