Summary: How to experience and radiate the supernatural life of Christ.
Series: The Sweet Life
Message: Living Above The Mayhem of Life
Text: Galatians 5:22-23
As we move into this second message in our series The Sweet Life I want to invite you to discover with me how to experience and radiate the fruit of God’s love, joy and peace!
Let’s start by discovering how to:
Experience And Radiate the Supernatural Love of Christ.
Galatians 5:22-23(NIV) 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
John 15:9-11(NIV) 9"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
How do you know If God’s love is controlling your life? Let’s take this inventory. I want you to answer these questions on a scale of one to three. One = never 2= once in a while 3=Usually:
1. Are there ever strings attached to your acts of love towards others?
2. Do you see others as a means to an end or do you see yourself as existing for the good of others?
3. When others hurt you; do you spend more time thinking about getting even or do you look for ways to demonstrate forgiveness towards them?
If those questions made you feel uncomfortable then I’m glad because they are meant to! You see the kind of love we are talking about is not the kind that you can humanly produce. This is a quality of love that only God can generate in and through the life of a believer. The bible boldly states in 1 John:
I John 4:16 (NIV) And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
The word used to describe God’s unique love in the Greek is Agape. It speaks of total unselfishness; it is not like eros love or erotic/sensual love which demands to be pleasured as much as it gives pleasure; neither is it like phileo love which is the love of friendship, a love that seeks compatibility. Agape love is unconditional, relentless and always seeks the best for others with no thought of itself.
Jesus calls Agape love the New Commandment in John 13:34-35…
John 13:34-35(NIV) 34"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
Perhaps the greatest test of Agape love in our lives is our capacity to love our enemies.
In his book Hidden in Plain Sight, author and pastor Mark Buchanan writes about a woman named Regine. Originally from Rwanda, Regine came to Christ while reading her sister’s Bible during the genocide that ravaged her country. When she fled to Canada for refuge, she met her husband, Gordon. They decided to return to Rwanda to show the love of Christ to the people who had once been her enemies. Regine told Mark Buchanan this story of agape love:
A woman’s only son was killed. She was consumed with grief and hate and bitterness. "God," she prayed, "reveal my son’s killer."
One night she dreamed she was going to heaven. But there was a complication: in order to get to heaven she had to pass through a certain house. She had to walk down the street, enter the house through the front door, go through its rooms, up the stairs, and exit through the back door. She asked God whose house this was. "It’s the house," he told her, "of your son’s killer." The road to heaven passed through the house of her enemy. Two nights later, there was a knock at her door. She opened it, and there stood a young man. He was about her son’s age.
He hesitated. Then he said, "I am the one who killed your son. Since that day, I have had no life. No peace. So here I am. I am placing my life in your hands. Kill me. I am dead already. Throw me in jail. I am in prison already. Torture me. I am in torment already. Do with me as you wish."
The woman had prayed for this day. Now it had arrived, and she didn’t know what to do. She found, to her own surprise, that she did not want to kill him, or throw him in jail, or torture him. In that moment of reckoning, she found she only wanted one thing: a son.