Summary: You can’t love God without loving people.
A. INTRODUCTION – ALL ABOUT LOVE
1. Who do people want around them when they are dying? Not the banker, stockbroker, boss, etc. they want people they love and those who love them.
2. You can’t love God without loving people. “Anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8, NLT).
3. Your best indicator of spiritual growth is your ever-increasing love. “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now” (1 John 2:9).
4. Love looks at the past of a Christian and sees “forgiven,” therefore we must love believers. “I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven” (1 John 2:12). Love deals with the past and changes our future actions. “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3).
5. When you understand what you were saved from, you can’t judge others. “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death” (1 John 3:14).
6. Therefore we are containers of God’s love so we must also be conduits to pass His love on to others. “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).
B. EIGHT STEPS TO EXPRESSING LOVE
“Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, ‘Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.’ And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God” (Luke 13:10-13).
1. Look Around. There was a needy woman who had problems for 18 years Questions:
• Why had no one else seen her? (a) They saw her pain, (b) they didn’t see what they could do, and (c) they didn’t connect.
• How do we know Jesus was moved with compassion? His actions shouted loud and clear.
• Who else had Jesus seen that no one else saw? (a) Zacheus up a tree, (b) blind man at the temple’s entrance, (c) a diseased woman who touched the hem of his garment, (c) children he could bless.
• What keeps you from seeing needy people? _______________________________.
2. Attention is one of your most powerful forces.
• When baby needs a bottle, he/she also needs a smile.
• A baby feels the joy or anger of your face. Psychologists call this attunement.
• Your face is what tells the baby the important things.
• How should you feel? “The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face smile upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His grace towards you and give you peace” (Num. 6:24-26, ELT).
• There are people in your world that need your attention.
• You can’t pay attention in a hurry.
• If you want to be like Jesus, pay attention to people.
3. Risk yourself with someone.
• Jesus took a risk by speaking first and called out to her.
• Would Jesus have been embarrassed if she rejected Him? Yes – No
• When you reach out to someone in bold love, it can seem risky.
• Why don’t we risk ourselves with strangers? (rank 1-least, 10-most)
(1) ___ Don’t know what to say.
(2) ___ Afraid they will reject us.
(3) ___ Too busy with our business.
(4) ___ We are just not concerned.
(5) ___ If I don’t bother them, they won’t bother me.
(6) ___ They may need more help than I can give.
(7) ___ I don’t know how to relate to strangers.
4. Reach Out.
• Beginning a relationship is how we begin to love someone.
• Notice how kind Jesus was to strangers. “Be kind to each other, tender hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32, NLT).
• Life is a parade, and we all need someone to stand on the curb and cheer for us.
5. Speak Words that have power.
• Jesus first called her “woman” (6:12), but later He became personal, “daughter of Abraham” (6:16).
• What did she see on her way home? _______________________________.
• What words rang in her ears? ____________________________________.
• Tell people the first law of The Four Spiritual Laws, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”