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Summary: Part 3 in the "Unify" series we explore how christian unity and forgiveness only works if genuine love for on another practiced.

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Today is the last of our three part series I’m calling “Unify”

We talked about “Unify” under covenant and “Unify” forgiveness over blame.

Colossians 3:12-14(NIV)

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

The first two parts are very important and the last one today is the glue that puts it all together!

We are to be “Clothed in Love”

All of the things we have studied over the last two weeks only work if love is in the mix

• We won’t follow through on our covenant and wear His clothes of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience if we are not first clothed in love (Underalls)

• We won’t Bear with each other and forgive without putting on love

A unified church is vital for real success at making disciples.

I believe is what people are truly looking for…

(Cheers)

Making your way in the world today

Takes everything you’ve got;

Taking a break from all your worries

Sure would help a lot.

Wouldn’t you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name,

And they’re always glad you came;

You want to be where you can see,

Our troubles are all the same;

You want to be where everybody knows your name.

That place shouldn’t be a bar, it should be church!

Ephesians 4:2-3(NIV)

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

As we become, more and more unified as that kind of a church; the world will notice.

• When they walk through that door, they will sense that something is different here; when they go home, they’ll say, "I want that".

• They will want what we have, and eventually we will be able to tell them that what we have isn’t a "what" at all. It’s not a philosophy, it’s not a theology, it’s not a self-improvement program; it’s not a "what," it’s a "who", Jesus Christ, living in us and through us.

Colossians 3:14(NIV)

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

This is the thing that makes us different! This is what will draw people to us, giving us the opportunity to show that what they are really longing for is real love.

We just celebrated Valentine’s Day and St Valentine is considered the patron saint of love.

• He was a Roman Priest at a time when there was an emperor called Claudias II who persecuted the church (Claudias the Cruel)

• He also had an edict that prohibited the marriage of soldiers. This was based on the idea that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers …

• But people were still becoming Christians and desired real marriages in God’s eyes so he secretly performed these marriages knowing it was dangerous.

• Valentine was eventually caught, imprisoned and tortured for performing marriage ceremonies

• There are other legends surrounding Valentine's actions while in prison.

• One of the men who was to judge him in line with the Roman law at the time was a man called Asterius, whose daughter was blind.

• He prayed with and God healed the young girl with such astonishing effect that Asterius himself became Christian along with his household of 49 people

• It is even recorded that He tried on occasions to convert Emperor Claudias II

• In the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution of a beating, stoning, and finally decapitation all because of his stand for the gospel.

• The story goes that the last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius' daughter which he ended by signing it, "from your Valentine."

The Perfect Gift:

It is obvious that the influence of this man is still felt centuries later.

• He believed in Godly romantic love

• He also believed that the love of Jesus was something everyone needed and it was worth risking his life to share that love

• Jesus himself desired that kind of love for us to experience and to give

Today we celebrate by giving gifts…

Have you ever had that wonderful feeling you get when you completely “nail it” on that Valentines gift.

• (Times you miss it)

• You found the gift that they will treasure while letting them know that you love them!

This is supposed to be the season we celebrate love

• It should be about true love (not lustful and cheap)

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