Summary: When the Holy Spirit develops His fruit in our lives He will help us to love, even when it is undeserved.
Love When It’s Undeserved
It’s Time To Grow - 2
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless,
Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:6-8
QUESTION – how did God demonstrate His own love for us?
BY – sending Christ to die for us while we were sinners…
BY – loving us when it was undeserved…. (aren’t you glad that he didn’t wait until you deserved?)
NOW – let’s move on over to Matthew 5 and to some words that Jesus spoke on the hillside by the Sea of Galilee…
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.
But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.
If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even gentiles do that.
But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect…
NOW – last week we kicked off a new series called, ‘It’s Time To Grow…’ It’s a 9 week study of the fruit of the Spirit…
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
– Galatians 5:22,23
THAT – is the fruit of Spirit…
AND JESUS - said in Matthew 7 that there is one sure way to determine who is one of His followers and who is just a fan or an admirer. Here’s the criteria…
By their fruit you will recognize them… -
UNDERSTAND - if we claim to be a Jesus follower then the fruit of the Spirit must be evident in our lives. Amen?
QUESTION - are those 9 Christ-like attributes (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) visible in your life? AND NOT – just to those we find easy to like and be around…
UNDERSTAND - it’s not how we look when we come to church; it’s not how self righteous we appear on the surface when we’re with other Christians; it’s the fruit that we bear… by their fruit you will recognize them.
NOW – last week… WE – said that an obvious but often ignored and overlooked truth about growing the fruit of The Spirit, is that…
We can’t grow the fruit of the Spirit in our lives
until we pull up the weeds of the sinful nature.
REMEMBER – it is more than counter-productive to ask God to grow the Fruit of The Spirit in our lives while at the same time we are watering the weeds.
WE NEED – to pull the weeds.
AND LISTEN…. WEED PULLING…
• Takes time
• Requires that we get down in the dirt and dig down deep
• Is not a one time deal (but requires constant attention)
• AND (the good news is that) weed pulling like growing the fruit of the Spirit) is not accomplished through our own finite human effort but through the power of the Spirit.
YES – both weed pulling and fruit growing are empowered by the Spirit…
NOW – this morning we are going to look at the first quality of the fruit of The Spirit… ‘love…’ IN – a conversation I am calling, ‘Love When It Is Undeserved…’
LOVE – when it is what?
AND – I am going to build this conversation around the answers to 3 questions...
• Why is love so important?
• What is love?
• How do we grow this fruit?
Why Is Love So Important?
Because Everything Is Tied To Love
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:34-40
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.