Summary: 4th in series: Following Jesus in how we as Christians and as a church can and are to make a difference in our communities through practical applications of love that bring Christ glory!
M.A.D. with PRACTICAL LOVE
Fourth in Series: “Love In Action”
Rev. Todd G. Leupold Perth Bible Church July 20, 2008 AM
Important News Flash:
VIDEO: “What Does It Take To Be A Superhero?” (BluefishTv) – 51.8 secs
Last week we learned to better understand the radical love Christ desires of us from a portion of His Sermon on the Mount as recorded by Matthew. This week, we are going to pick up from there in Luke’s account and see that in order for our radical love to be genuine, God-honoring and M.A.D. (something that Makes A Difference), it needs to be something that flows from our heart and then abundantly pours out in self-less and practical action!
SCRIPTURE: Luke 6:31-38
I. THE RULE OF LOVE
A.) The Rule Is Simply Golden v. 31
This “golden rule” that Jesus presents is nothing new. It is a simple, summary re-statement of the Ten Commandments. Which one(s)? ALL of them!
Jesus’ words that we call ’the golden rule’ are just another way of His commanding us to “love (y)our neighbors.” And, loving our neighbor is – in turn – simply a practical application of how we are to tangibly “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind!”
Or, as we paraphrase it in our purpose statement: “Loving God absolutely and Loving Others Sacrificially.”
It is also an action-producing attitude that the LORD Himself demonstrates throughout Scripture.
B.) Flowing From The Heart vv. 32-34
It’s not about WHEN we love, but WHO and HOW!
Even and especially “the ungrateful and evil” who are undeserving!
Illustration: contrasting personal accounts
+ Christian Fellowship friends sticking with me, even when I mocked or embarrassed them
+ leading different people in the missions field. Attitude of Portland Youth (“Spring Break for free and it looks good”) vs. Toni Frusteri (“I’m 76, have no talents or abilities, all I can do is laugh and love”).
Mary Beeke, in her book The Law of Kindness: Serving With Hearts and Hands, describes:
“The roots of a tree lie unseen in the earth, where they do their work of storing food and
drawing water and nourishment from the soil to help the fruit grow. Likewise, themselves
roots of kindness lie deep within the mind and the soul of a person, giving rise to the fruit
of kindness . . . According to Scripture, a good work is defined not only by the visible
behavior (the fruit), but also by the motive of the heart (the root)” (pg. 23).
When YOU (or I) attempt to exercise “The Golden Rule,” what is our true motivation? Is it truly radical, self-less love, or is at perhaps sometimes the thought that: “Hey, maybe if I do this now, this person will owe me and/or someone else will do the same or even more for me another time”?
C.) Pouring Into Action vv. 35-36
“Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.”
How is that?
Father God did not simply feel sorry for us, then look the other way. Wish better for us and hope somebody somewhere someday would do something for us. Or, look down upon our poverty (physical, financial, emotional or spiritual) and determine to figure what is the least He can do for us.
Rather, God felt deeply and determined what was the greatest He can do for us! How can He best save, provide for and bless us beyond even what we could ever deserve and without hesitation! He looked upon us, saw our sin and oppression and then turned to His Son with an unwavering commitment to sacrifice ALL for our sorry, ungrateful and filthy sorry excuses for a creation in His image!
Yes, love flows out from the heart, but then it must also flow TO something else that desperately needs it.
II. MAKING IT REAL
A.) Something Everyone Can Do: Servant Evangelism
That sounds different, certainly not what we’re used to.
Graphic: reverendfun.com (8-24-2005)
How IS it that WE ALL can better love God absolutely by seeing, treating, and loving others sacrificially? Regardless of . . . personality . . . ability . . . gifting . . . finances . . .maturity?
With the Sacrificial love of Christ Himself flowing from us!
We SHOW it, so We can SPEAK about Him!
WHAT is Servant Evangelism?
It is demonstrating the love of God by offering to do some act of humble service with no strings attached!
As Pastor Steve Sjogren, the Christian pioneer who has re-birthed and termed this ancient idea for our time and culture explains: “Free service offers a picture of the grace of God, a priceless gift which can never be repaid.”
Servant Evangelism = deeds of love + words of love + adequate time