Summary: It is amazing how genuine kindness and love touches others! Equally amazing to me is why we fail to express love or receive love until the most desperate kind of circumstances sweep over us.
Series: “Becoming a Complete Christian” Message # 7
TEXT - 2 Peter 1: 3-8
Becoming Complete Disciples, developing conduct and character that reflect those of our Master, Jesus Christ. Complete disciples, the Bible teaches us, must first have a spiritual transformation through a faith encounter with Christ. Then, as an athlete develops her skills, the Believer must work to develop
goodness (the commitment to excellence),
knowledge (an ability to discern and choose),
perseverance ( a long-view perspective that includes eternity), and
godliness ( God-centeredness living).
Today we take note of the last two qualities of the ultimate disciple of Jesus Christ:
“Add to your faith.... brotherly kindness and love.”
(Get congregation responses)
How have you been shown true brotherly kindness and love by another Christian?
How did it effect you?
It is my opinion that we live in a time of increasing isolation, loss of connection.
It’s a paradox to me that we can have so many ways to stay in touch - cell phones, emails, Facebook, Google+, - and yet be so disconnected from each other.
In so many places we are experiencing a loss of civility, of concern for one another. (Illustrate)
This creeps into the church if we are not intentional about caring. But, it also provides an opportunity for us to shine brightly in the world.
It is amazing how genuine kindness and love touches others! Equally amazing to me is why we fail to express love or receive love until the most desperate kind of circumstances sweep over us.
My question is: Why do we wait until there is blood on the floor before we give each other the gift of caring and love?
Why is that we must be wounded before we are willing to accept and/or extend grace to those in the world around us?
For those who know the grace of Christ, who are being spiritually made new day by day, extending grace to others should be a reflex action, as automatic as breathing.
Brotherly kindness and love are an integral part of the complete Christian’s experience. It should be no stretch at all for us to show love.
LOVE IS THE MOST POWERFUL MEDICINE - emotionally, spiritually, and even physically - that we know. God met our GREATEST NEED, not with correction, but with LOVE.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16, NIV)
Have you discovered the power of love - both in the giving and receiving?
At this moment I know that some of us are tempted to turn inward and remember the times when others have failed us. “Go ahead, Pastor. Preach your sappy sermon about the milk of human kindness. You don't know how many times I've been hurt, ignored, trampled, and dismissed. You don't know how badly I wish for a friend.”
I am going to be bold and ask you to forget yourself for a few moments. Don't miss the message by becoming a deflector, hoping that someone else is hearing the truth. God can direct it to every hearing ear.
Hear it for yourself first!
“Add to your faith.... brotherly kindness.”
The NT Greek word is a familiar one – philadelphia. ‘Affection of brothers’
In a healthy family, love is natural. There is a sense of connection and even obligation that grows from our familial love. When first my father, then my mother, grew sick and needed to be cared for, no one needed to tell me, “Jerry, you have a responsibility to set aside your personal priorities to be at their side.” I just wanted to do it because I loved them.
When you born, by the Spirit, into the family of the Heavenly Father, one of the things that should have emerged was a real, deep, and intimate connection to other people.
If that did not happen, I would seriously question the authenticity of your faith. (Ouch!, right?) That sounds so judgmental, but I am speaking straight from the Bible when I say it.
This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. ... We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
What is the quality of the love we now know?
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” (1 Jn 3:11-17, NIV)