Summary: We are called to live in the overflow of God’s love
Living in the Overflow
April 10, 2005
When I was on the high school cross country team, we would do some of our training at a nearby lake. Our coach wanted us to train on the hills so that we could be better conditioned for various meets that required running up and down steep hills.
The lake had an overflow that helped to control the depth and level of the lake. There were times when the overflow was opened and allowed to drain some of the water from the lake. It would be an outpouring of power and strength that made one stand in awe.
As Christians we believe that Christ does many different things that are similar to that overflow at the lake. Christ displays His power by sending various times of outpourings.
• Christ pours out His power to transform
• Christ pours out His blessings to assist
• Christ pours out His Spirit to sanctify
• Christ pours out His grace to forgive
• Christ pours out His presence to comfort
• Christ pours out His love to encourage
The reality is that the love of Christ is so vast that it has to spill out of heaven. We have been called to live in the overflow of Christ’s supreme and divine love. Everything of consequence in this universe flows from the overflow of Christ’s love. When we live in the overflow, it changes our lives. The overflow changes our behavior. The overflow changes who we are and how treat others.
Love is the key. Joy is love singing. Peace is love resting. Long-suffering is love enduring. Kindness is love’s touch. Goodness is love’s character. Faithfulness is love’s habit. Gentleness is love’s self forgetfulness. Self control is love holding the reigns. Donald Barnhouse
Open your Bibles with me this morning to Paul’s great expression of Christ’s love:
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails
The Value of Love (1-3)
There is nothing more important in your life than the love of Christ. It is your most valuable possession. The agape love of Christ is your strength in times of weakness, your hope in times of despair, your glory in times of difficulty, your best when life throws you the worst. The love of Christ is your everything.
The word that Paul uses here is the Greek term agape. Agape is the highest of all Greek words for love. The reality is that God places His love in our heart through the person of Jesus. Agape is love in it’s highest form. It is the divine demonstration of love found only Christ and when that love invades a person’s heart it sweeps all hatred, malice, deception and similar behaviors away.
Paul makes it abundantly clear, agape is a matter of personal choice not a matter of personal strength or of personal ability. It is a personal choice whether or not you will allow God to love through your life. No matter what is done to you allow Christ to love the world through you.
1. Your gifts are meaningless without love
The work of the Holy Spirit brings gifts into the lives of those who place their faith in Jesus. Those gifts are given so that we are able to serve Jesus not in our ability but with the ability he instills within us. We cannot serve Jesus to the level of His strength without having His love living within us.
2. Your life is pointless without love
Paul says that without love: I am nothing. In essence, if we do not possess the divine love of Christ within us, there is no point to our life. Just because you are breathing does not mean that you are really living. The sad fact is that far too many people settle for merely existing rather than living. If you do not have the love of Christ living within you, you are just existing and not really living.