Summary: You know you’re supposed to love others - but do you know how?
We’re beginning a new series today on Teamwork. This is ministry month so we want to emphasize how we can bond together and work together as one for Christ so we can help more people.
One of our main goals as a church is to be a people-helping church, a ministering church. We don’t want to be a church that just sits around and moans about the needs around us – we want to roll up our sleeves and get involved in helping others, as God would have us to. We don’t want to just learn all the time and not put the truth into practice. We want to balance worship of God and service to others.
Since that’s our aim it’s essential that we continue to exercise good teamwork. So we’re going to look at a passage of Scripture that remarkably exemplifies the concept of working together as a team.
Simon Peter, the rough-cut, outspoken yet tenderhearted and insightful leader of the twelve apostles of Jesus wrote several letters in his later life to strengthen the church’s teamwork. So we’re going to look at a passage from the first of those letters this month. First Peter, chapter four, verses 8 through 11.
8Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.
10God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you. 11Are you called to be a speaker? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Are you called to help others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then God will be given glory in everything through Jesus Christ. All glory and power belong to him forever and ever. Amen.
Lee Iacocca once asked legendary football coach Vince Lombardi what it took to make a winning team. Lombardi said, "There are a lot of coaches with good ball clubs who know the fundamentals and have plenty of discipline but still don’t win the game. Then you come to the third ingredient: if you’re going to play together as a team, you’ve got to care for one another. You’ve got to love each other. Each player has to be thinking about the next guy. You’ve got to do your job well in order that he can do his. The difference between mediocrity and greatness is the feeling these guys have for each other."
That’s profound and its also very practical.
Great teams in sports, in business, and especially in the church, are formulated when the members of the team love each other. That’s why Peter assigned this principle the "most important of all" status.
"Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other."
Please circle that word "show." That word indicates that it’s not enough to have love in your heart – you must SHOW love in your life!
There’s no question that every one of us wants to be loved and to love others. But it’s not enough for others to know that you love them – you must SHOW you love others! Love is not an abstract idea. Love must be manifested. True love is not just something you feel – it’s something you demonstrate!
Marriages have problems when partners don’t show love to one another. A husband and wife may love each other deeply but have a miserable marriage because they don’t know how to show their love for one another.
You can’t raise kids properly without showing them love. You can’t have true, lasting, satisfying friendships if your friends can’t tell that you love them. You can’t experience relationships in the community or in your church family without showing and receiving love.
So this is a very important topic.
For some of you, showing love is not a problem. For some of you it’s easy to show love. It’s comes naturally to you because of your temperament or because of how you were raised. Others of you have a more difficult time showing love. You don’t feel comfortable showing your love. You may simply have never learned how to show love.
But whether it comes natural or not – we all need to grow in this area because everybody needs to know they are loved. You especially need to know how to show love if you are a follower of Christ because Jesus said, "All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other." (John 13:35 NCV)
What we’re going to do today is see HOW to show love to others.
The good news is - God tells us how in His Word, so we’re going to look at some Scriptures that provide the know-how, the practical wisdom to follow this standard of love that so permeates what following Christ is all about.