Today I want to speak about the importance of working out of love. Working without love is like sailing a competition, without having a clue. Everyone can do it, but you’ll get mixed up. Everyone can do good deeds, but it doens’t mean they do them for the sake of love.
The importance of working out of love
When we say working out of love is essential, why is that? Why is love essential and what about good deeds?
The bible teaches us the importance of working out of love: 1 Cor. 13:1-8a.
– tongues / prophetic powers / all faith / give all away / deliver your body to be burned
If I had not love, I gain nothing.
Love implies a relationship. See verses 4-6.
God is all about relationship: e.g. trinity, Adam and Eve, Jesus’ life for a relationship with us
In John 13:34-35 Jesus sais to his disciples:
“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. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
This is the 1 Cor. 13 love!
The precense of love in our live is an indicator for the presence of God in our lives.
The absence of love in our lives is an indicator for the absence of God in our lives.
e.g. Who do we love? Do we love all people, or just the ones we like, or the ones that like us?
Are we freely pouring out love, without expecting anything in return? Are we e.g. verses 4-7?
Love is the engine of the Kingdom of God. Without it, everything stops.
We live in a dark world where most people look after their own interests only. E.g. burning house and getting beer: you are really crazy to go in, or there’s something really important in there you have to get out, would you agree? He risked his life to fulfill his own desires.
Most people are after their own desires. Not many look after others.
For the church this is a great opportunity! Relationship should be there.
In a dark world Christ and his love are the light. Love will stand out, people will notice a difference. This is not new, the bible teaches this. But there has to be love and there has to be relationship.
Acts 2:44-47: “And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
The result of loving relationships will be that everyone has what they need, the church receives favor of all people and the Kingdom of God will be expanding. All to the glory of God!
God set the example by working out of love
God proved his love to us, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8).
He could have started all over, but He didn’t, becaus of love.
Thanks to Jesus we can still be in a relationship with God and enjoy His love. The intimacy Adam had with God is restored for us by Jesus.
Jesus himself was all about love and relationship:
– Teaching the people;
– Teaching the disciples;
– Seeking the hurt and the lost.
A great example is Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10).
That day a lost person was found and brought into a relationship with Jesus, just because Jesus loved him first.
The beauty of God’s love is that it conquers all fear and that it makes you completely accepted, just the way you are. There’s nothing you can do, to get Got to stop loving you.
Wherever you are in your life, whatever you’ve done, God is after your heart. He is after a relationship with you.
Consequences of working out of love
We now know that what we do is pointless if we don’t do the things we do out of love.
God calls us to love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind. This is the great and first commandment. The second is like this: You shall love your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 2:37-39).
We see two kinds of love:
1. Love towards God;
2. Love towards your neighbour;
How can you fully love God, and still love your neighbour? Within Gods love for you there is room to love love your neighbour.
That’s one of the mysteries of Gods love. It doensn’t empty you, but it fills you and makes you overflow with love.
So if we want to live godly lifes and if we want to be serious followers of Christ, we have to learn how to love. We have to learn how to accept love and how to give love.
A great example of Gods love towards us, is found in the story of the prodigal son.
– Waiting on his son;
– He felt compassion;
– He ran towards his son;
– He showed affection by embracing him;
– He kissed his son;
– He accepted him as a son;
– They celebrated.
A great example of a man who loved God with his whole heart and who also loved his neighbour:
John Paton (Scotland to Tanna, South Pacific in 1858). “He had courage to overcome the criticism he received from respected elders for going to the New Hebrides. A Mr. Dickson exploded, “The cannibals! You will be eaten by cannibals!” The memory of Williams and Harris on Erromanga was only 19 years old. But to this Paton responded: Mr. Dickson, you are advanced in years now, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by Cannibals or by worms; and in the Great Day my Resurrection body will rise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer.
Paton understood true love. He understood his relationship with Christ. That made him go.
True love is not about yourself. It is about loving God and loving your neighbour.
Love can cost you everything. In case of Paton it could’ve cost him his life.
The love of God can also cost you your relationship with people around you. E.g. Jesus and the cleansing of the temple.
Love takes guts and courage. E.g. careerchoices.
Love is about opening your heart to the father and about opening your heart to the ones around you.
How can we work out of love?
1 John 3: 14b-18: “Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
– Whoever does not love abides in death; [prodigal son, coming home to love]
– Let us not love in word or talk;
– Let us love in deed and truth. Action!
We work out love, by being filled with Gods love. We can distribute to others from the love He gives.
He doesn’t give you some love, but He gives you all the love you need to feel loved and to love others in return.
Therefore love is about doing the right things for the right reasons. Not just about doing things.
Love is about coming home to the Father, about enjoying His love and about spreading His love to the world. Love is about the advancement of the Kingdom of God.
Are you in for that kind of love?