What you say and what you do will be tested by the love of Calvary.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Well yes, I wait for you to answer. I know that many of you do too. I think I can hear you answering back, and somebody saying, ‘fine thank you,’ somebody then saying,’ you shouldn’t have asked!’ Somebody wrote me the other day and said that when I say, how in the world are you, and then wait, a little four-year-old said’ yuck.’ Well, it’s honest anyway. He struck a bad day evidently.
However you are and wherever you are and whatever you’re doing just now, God bless you. I pray that His touch may be upon your life-that the love of God may flow from my heart to yours. God’s blessed wonderful Truth may be made clear and that you and I may be enabled to obey Him. Obedience is the key to miracle. When you obey God, you open the door for Him to work.
Love, Spirit, patience, sacrifice. You and I’ve been looking at Colossians chapter 1 and we paused on the eighth verse where Paul says that Epaphras declared unto Paul the love these people had in Colossae, the Colossians love in the Spirit, and we reminded ourselves that love of God is the basis for motivation, “Faith which worketh by love”. It’s the thing that God puts into our hearts, His Presence brings love because God is love. “He that loveth not knoweth not God for God is love”, and so as the Lord Jesus Christ comes into your life to dwell by His wonderful Spirit, He also brings the very nature of God into our lives and that includes, basically and foundationally, the love of God which produces these other wonderful attributes. “Rooted and grounded in love”, and then to know the love of Christ which passes human logic, human knowledge. That’s where we were the last time we got together.
Now, I’m looking at Ephesians 5:2 momentarily, Paul says, “Walk in love. Be ye therefore followers of God’s dear children”, that’s our expression of toddlers, followers of God like a little toddler follows his or her parent, “and walk in love as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us in offering the sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling fragrance”. “Walk”, that means live every day, your lifestyle, every moment of every day to be characterized by the atmosphere of God’s love, “Walk in love”, that means saturated with God’s love. The ambience, the atmosphere, the surrounding of your life is to be the love of God.
I have to tell you, every day that I start these broadcasts, I ask God to fill my heart with His love and to somehow, to bring in my voice the very love of God. How we need that, you and I. It’s a cruel, old world. People can stand a great deal of God’s love, can’t they? Oh, yes. “Walk in love”.
Now, what does that mean? Well, number one it means that in your own heart, the love of God will be real. You can’t talk about love without knowing it. Isn’t that true? Well, you can talk but it doesn’t mean anything. If your words about God’s love are to be meaningful, then there has to be some experience of it in your own life. To know God’s love in your own heart. Now back to what I told you the last time we got together, seek God in your own private devotions and ask Him to fill your heart with His love. He will. “The fruit of the Spirit is love”-when you open your life to the Spirit of God, there’ll be genuine love for God and love for people and it will motivate you in all that you do. That’s the starting point, “Walk in love”.
Now then, I think there’s a sense in which you and I need to evaluate our words and our actions on the basis of God’s love, and we need to ask, is this a loving thing to say? You know, you can say anything that has to be said in love, even though it may be a difficult thing, even though you’re dealing with a very touchy situation, or even though there be elements of real conflict in the situation, yet you could, you can say what needs to be said lovingly, without abrasiveness, without any acid in the mix. You realize that don’t you? He says, “Walk in love”- that means that your words are going to be characterized by a loving spirit and your actions are to be a loving actions.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you will be soft and weak and vacillating and that you be the victim of other people’s ideas. No, you can be a person, a very real person, your own person- you can have your own convictions, you make your own decisions under God, but it does mean that what you say and what you do will be tested by the love of Calvary. is this a loving thing to say, does this action portray the love of God? That’s the test that you begin to apply if you want to fulfill this verse that says, “Walk in love”.
Now, what’s the simile that he uses there, what’s the figure of speech, “Walk in love”, that means live every day in the atmosphere of love. How? “As Christ also hath loved us”, Paul said to husbands, “Husbands love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it”, “As Christ”, Ephesians 5:25. Domestic love has as its example, the Lord Jesus Christ, but in the broader sense back now to Ephesians 5 verse two, “In the broader sense of our relationships with all of the believers”, he says, “as Christ has loved us”.
Did He love only the nice of nice ones of us? No. “When we were yet without strength Christ died for the ungodly. God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The love of God is extended to people who are sinners, ugly, enemies without God, without hope in the world and God loved us in that condition so that He might save us”, you know that.
So he said, “Walk in love as Christ”. What does that mean? There are some people that are difficult and others that are impossible. Isn’t it true? And you don’t always react in friendly fashion to other people because the chemistry of your two personalities doesn’t mix, and some people seem like an accident going somewhere to happen, don’t they? They’ll come up to say you and say, “Well, you’re not going to like this but I’m going to tell it to you for your own good”, and immediately you feel defensive. Oh dear, and other people seem prone to make the same mistakes over and over and over again, they never learn and yet you know they’re going to be in Heaven because they trust the Lord Jesus as Savior. What about it?
You begin by loving them. Yes, you have to cope with their mistakes. Yes, you have to guide them lovingly when you can. Yes, you have to listen to them patiently. All of that is true, but you start with love because if you love a person you will be patient. If you love a person you will be tolerant. If you love a person you will be helpful. If you love a person you will try to keep him from, from tipping the boat over, as we say. You’ll try to be helpful in every point if you love him. “Walk in love as Christ hath loved us”.
Oh that’s a big order, isn’t it? Because I know just as you do that there are situations where normally, humanly we would react with sparks and resentment, and would try somehow to either to get out of it or to change the situation. That’s human nature, but he says, “Live every day in the atmosphere of love, just like Jesus loved you”. You weren’t pretty. You weren’t lovable. You didn’t even love Him. You didn’t want Him. You were His enemy. The Bible says, “When we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son”. That’s the kind of people you and I were when Jesus saved us.
So he says, “Walk in love as Christ hath loved us”. So, that does take in the difficult person and the mistake making person, and the one who never seems to learn and the one who’s critical and the one who is abrasive and the one who is self-centered, one who uses up a lot of your time. I used to have an expression, “People who have nothing to do come and do it in my office”. Well, it takes in all of these kinds of people as well as the ones that normally you respond to with appreciation, “As Christ hath loved us”. When the love of God is in our hearts, you’re going to want to help, we’re going to be patient, we’re going to be tolerant, you’re going to, we’re going to be helpful because we love God and we love people. Make sense to you?
Now, what’s the measure of this love? “As Christ hath loved us and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God”. Love gives for the person to God. Now there is the formula of Divine love as it works in our lives. Love gives for the person as to God. “Christ hath loved us, given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God”.
Now, how does that work? Well, the genius of the Christian life is that what you do for others actually is done for God. Colossians 3:23, “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as for the Lord and not just for people, knowing that of the Lord he shall receive the reward of the inheritance, for ye serve the Lord Christ”, Colossians 3:23 and 24. What you do for people, you actually are doing for God. Jesus said that, didn’t He? “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren ye have done it unto Me”. What you do for people, you’re actually doing for God.
So what is the measure then, of this Divine love? The measure is sacrifice, the giving of yourself for people, as unto the Lord. There are some people who, you would humanly say, well it’s not worth it. You know, of them you would say, it’s not worth the effort. But Paul says, Jesus didn’t do that for you and for me, He didn’t look at us and say, it isn’t worth it. No, “Christ hath loved us and given Himself for us to God”. Try that in your life today, will you dear friend? What you do for people, say, Lord I’m doing this for you. “Whatever you do, do it heartily as for the Lord”, Paul says.
Whatever you do for people, and it may involve sacrifice of time or effort or money, or all three, whatever you do for people, do it for the Lord. Say God, I’m doing this for you, for Jesus’ sake. You’ll be surprised at the difference that it makes, number one in your own attitude, number two in the results of what is done.
The measure of walking in love is sacrifice. The measure of sacrifice is giving yourself and the meaning of sacrifice is that you give yourself for people, but to God. Have you got that? Make it work in your own life today beloved. It will, and your life and your attitude will be transformed.
Dear Father today, fill us with Thy love in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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