Deliberate Love

We're talking about divine love and that's a conscious willing to open your life to someone else because of Jesus, your blessed Lord.

Scripture: 2 Peter 1:6-7, Ephesians 5:2, Romans 6:4, Romans 8:1, 2 Corinthians 6, Ephesians 4:1


Alright. Thank you very much and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You’re doing all right? Well, I’m fine. Thank you. A little frog in my throat this morning but then that’s how it is. I do these broadcasts for the most part in the mornings because well most of you listen, I think, in the morning although there are a number of afternoon and evening and even one or two late night spots. But for the most part people are listening in the morning and as I’ve often told you I like to feel as you do. That early morning feel is different from how you feel at noon or in the afternoon or at night, isn’t it true? So maybe I can identify with the way you feel when you’re just starting the day. Anyhow, that’s how it is.

A hundred and twenty-nine years ago, the Civil War began at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, and therefore those four years the states were engaged in that fearful struggle, brother fighting against brother. In determining as Abraham Lincoln said at Gettysburg, whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. Well, today we’re one nation under God indivisible, and we’re thankful for that. The war is over. We’re still fighting against some of the injustices that were obvious back then. But we’re making some progress and we can be thankful for that which brings me then to just a little introductory question, beloved. Is the war over in your heart?

Paul reminds us in Romans 5 that “we were enemies through wicked works, enemies in our minds,” he says, “in another place.” There’s a war going on between the unsaved heart or, in some cases, between the redeemed heart and the Savior because you haven’t surrendered all that you are to Him. Romans 5:1 says: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He says, “We were without strength, we were sinners and we were enemies. Much more,” he said, “now we’re justified through His blood, saved by His life.” He died. He rose again. He lives today to be your living Savor and intercessor, your advocate, your high priest and your coming King, and you don’t have to have a war going on.

Paul found that out as he wrote in Romans 7, “That which I would not that I do….for to will is present with me but to do I find not. Oh, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this dead body that I keep dragging around with me?” Romans 7. Well, you have to get out of Romans 7 and in Romans 8, “There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.” How do you get the war over? Surrender? To whom? To the blessed Lord Jesus Christ who by his indwelling Holy Spirit will be the conqueror, will give you the daily momentary victory.

I just spoke to a dear lady whose husband had suffered a stroke and I called to see how he was doing. And she said,” You know all my life I’ve quoted these verses about God’s grace and our Lord being enough.” Now, she says, “I’m living them.” Ah, yes. The way to have the war over is to stop quoting and start living the truth of God by surrendering your life in those areas where there’s been conflict, give it up to Jesus. Well, it’s all free. I threw it in free. Four minutes of introduction. And I trust that you’ll have God’s wonderful victory in your life today.

Corinthians says: “Thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest in us His perfume by in every place.” Always causes us to trimph in Christ and makes manifest by us, the savor, the perfume of His knowledge in every place. You could be God’s perfume today as you let Him make you a victor in spite of all the circumstances. Inner and outside circumstances, he can be the victor.

Well, come with me then to II Peter Chapter 1. We’re just finishing our discussion of that last word in the list of things you can add by faith. By faith you add virtue, knowledge. Temperance, that means inner strength. Patience, that means stay down. Don’t pop or give up or blow up. Godliness, that’s the quality of divine life in your everyday living. Brotherly kindness and then Calvary love. And we were talking about that last verse, that last word “Calvary love.” “Love shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.” Love motivating us, making us do what we do. Love making us serve other people. Love spilling over out of our lives. Abounding. Love as the source of our life rooted in love and love as the stabilizing factor, the foundation of our life, grounded in love.

Then I wanted to just refer you to Ephesians 5:2 where he says, “Walk in love,” where walk means live every day. Live every minute of every day is what that means when he says “walk.” “Walk in love as Christ also hath loved us and hath given himself for us in offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance.” Followers of God, walk in love as Christ loved us, gave himself for us. Now, that’s a big order, isn’t it? But the Bible has a great deal to say about the way we live. The Bible is a practical book to be sure and you take your concordance and just run down some of the references about walking.

Romans 6:4 says: “We can live in newness of life.” Walk in newness of life. Every minute of every day can be a demonstration that you’re living a new life not reacting to the stimuli of life around you in the old ways. But now there’s a new life. Every life has its law. My old seminary professor, Dr. Champion, used to say, “Every life has its law and you’re living according to a new law because you got a new life. “In newness of life.” “You walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit,” Romans 8:1. “We walk by faith not by sight,” I Corinthians 5. We find that God is promising to live in us and walk in us. What a blessed promise that is, God walking in your shoes, II Corinthians 6. “And then good works God has ordained that we should walk in them”. Live every minute of every day in doing good things because not in order to be but because you’re saved. “Walk worthy of the vocation where you’re called,” Ephesians 4:1. “Walk not as other gentiles do in the darkness of their minds.” Your daily life is not to be a reflection of the culture in which you live. We call it acculturation, the creeping effect of the culture around you. He says don’t reflect that. You don’t have to do it that way.

“Living every minute of every day separated unto God, shining for Him, walk circumspectly,” Ephesians 5. Circumspect, if you take it apart, that means looking around you. Alert, watchful, on the job all the time. “And then walk worthy of the Lord.” You have a number of verses that mention that. “Walk worthy of the Lord.” My father used to say to me as he looked at me over his glasses, “My boy, you’re going out tonight. Remember you bear my name.” Oh, I tell you that was some challenge. I never got away from it. You think twice before you do anything that’s going to bring dishonor to the one humanly to whom you belong and so he says, “Walk worthy of the Lord. Walk honestly. A life of every minute of every day, honest living, and then walk in the light as He, Christ, is in the light. Walk honestly as in the day. Walk in the Spirit and not fulfill lust of the flesh. Walk in love. Walk as children of light as you received Christ so walk in Him. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without. Every minute of every day your conduct is to reflect the lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ.” And in particular, for our purposes here, we’re talking about Calvary love. And so you have that in Ephesians 5:2. Walk in love. How? As Christ loved us and gave Himself for us.

What is the essence of a life where every minute of every day is filled with divine love? You want to think about that for a minute? What is the essence of a life where every minute of every day is filled with Calvary love? He says, “Walk in love,” agape, Calvary love, “as Christ.” Now, what happened? He loved us. He gave himself for us. What’s involved in my own life if I get serious about this? You know many people give assent to the truths of the Bible but they never get really serious about it. So if I want to get serious about this, what is it going to mean to me? When Paul said “us,” he is talking about people who weren’t very lovely. “Here in His love,” says John, “not that we loved God but that He loved us.”

“When we were without strength, Christ died for the ungodly, while we were yet sinners Christ died, and while we were enemies Christ died for us.” Read those three passages in Romans Chapter 5. It wasn’t much to be attractive. It wasn’t much to attract divine love but He put His love, set His love upon us. He loved us. That is to say, therefore, that when I deal with other human beings, those that need the Lord Jesus Christ a Savior and indeed those who already have made Him Lord of their lives and Savior by faith, when I deal with them, my relationship with them is to be one of deliberate conscious Calvary love. See, this is not a matter of response. This is a matter of will.

You find that real love, not romantic love now. You find that when people fall in love they oftentimes quickly fall out of love, isn’t that true? So we’re not talking about romantic love here. We’re talking about divine love and that, beloved, is a conscious willing to open your life to someone else because of Jesus, your blessed Lord. Conscious determined personal acceptance and regard. To live every day in love means that you will to open your life to people for Jesus’ sake. Thus, the result of that then is the second phrase, “who loved us and gave himself for us.” And that is to say then that you and I will be giving ourselves in service and in love and in concern for people around us.

We’ll come to this the next time we get together.

Dear Heavenly Father, oh, may we extend Calvary love to people around us as we walk in love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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