Because We Love

Bible Book: Galatians  5 : 22-23
Subject: Love; Purpose; Passion; Love, Christian
Introduction

Christ makes leaders both fearless and strong as well as loving and self-giving.

2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

The strongest power in leadership is love. Jesus alone founded His kingdom upon love, and to this very day millions would die for Him. The love of which I speak is not a sentimental emotion. It is the outpouring of the totality of one’s being to another in beneficence and help. Love as used here refers to a mind-set, an act of the will.

Agape love is Godlike love. He used it to express His own attitude toward all men and women. His love includes unconquerable, considerate, charitableness, benevolence. Love is active. It demands expression. It is never passive. It demands an object. Love is serving. Love is sacrificing.  Beneficence means the practice of doing good.

In Galatians 5:22-23 the Bible teaches us about expressing love. Just as the apple tree expresses its life in fruit, so the Christ-follower expresses his life in love. Paul speaks of the “fruit of the Spirit” and he uses the singular. The eight qualities mentioned are all expressions of love. These eight qualities will express themselves through the person who is presenting love. Here is what an observer will see.

I. JOY IS LOVE’S MUSIC

Only God’s love can keep one cheerful in all circumstances. The reformers referred to having a “happy soul.”

John 15:11: "’These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.’”

Our self-centered nature (me) and our culture has led us to believe that happiness and joy come when we get what we want and our needs and wants are filled.  But the new car, bigger house, healthy children, a bit of fame, never bring joy because we will always want more. Joy comes not from getting but from giving.

EXPRESSION: “Every time we have the chance in any way to flesh out the love of God to others, our joy cycle get fulfilled all over again.”

II. PEACE IS LOVE’S AGREEMENT

The Bible speaks of 2 kinds of peace that come to a person as the result of a loving relationship with God. This is “peace with God” and the “peace of God.”

The first refers to the making of a peace treaty after a war is over.

The second phrase, the “peace of God” refers to the inner tranquility you can have in the midst of a confusing and falling-apart world because you know that God is in charge. The fruit of the Spirit, which is love, produces peace.

Another aspect of peace is to one who brings peace to others in this world of turmoil, for he has been given a “ministry of reconciliation.”

Ephesians 2:14-15: “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,”

III. LONGSUFFERING IS LOVE’S ENDURANCE

To endure with unruffled temper; long-tempered. 1 Corinthians 13 “love suffers long and is kind.”

Proverbs 25:28: “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls.”

Romans 5:3-4: “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

IV. KINDNESS IS LOVE’S SERVICE

Does not refer to sentiment but to service, to helpfulness in small things, doing the little things that help, reinforce, and support.

Speaks of effective, warm heartedness, concern and care. Being friendly, generous and considerate.

V. GOODNESS IS LOVE’S DEPORTMENT

i. Goodness is the manifestation of Godlike virtues in a person.

ii. Goodness is Joseph fleeing from Potiphar’s wife when she tried to seduce him.

iii. Goodness is Jesus’ sharing compassion to the woman caught in adultery without condoning her sin.

iv. Goodness is a high profile person on their knees asking God for guidance and strength to do the right thing.

v. Goodness is one serving a people group on a modest income when he/she could be in a prestigious position.

God himself is referred to as abounding in goodness.

It reveals the strength, which opposes everything, evil and immoral.

It drives the Christ-like person to dependence on God.

The Person With The Fruit Of Goodness:

i. A disposition to hate what is evil.

ii. A compulsion to follow after that, which is good.

iii. Wisdom to judge rightly in all things.

iv. Increased thoughtfulness and sensitivity in dealing with all people.

The Greek word that is translated goodness in the New Testament never appears in secular Greek writing. Neither the Greeks nor the Romans grasped the meaning of agape love, nor of its offspring, goodness. They saw love and goodness as qualities to be avoided. They worshipped the intellect and the Romans worshipped power.

Love is the father of goodness. Goodness finds its anchor in love.

Goodness produces a deportment that is kind but just, tender but tough, fair but firm.

VI. FAITHFULNESS IS LOVE’S MEASURE

Staying true to your trust, your commitment to others, to yourself, and above all, to God.

Faithfulness is Noah building the ark in spite of the jeers and criticism of others.

Faithfulness is Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only son Isaac because he believed God would deliver him.

It’s keeping your promises. It’s paying your bills. It’s honoring your appointments. Your word is your love. You go the second mile.

The attitude of agape love gives vitality and credibility to a person’s influence. Love accomplishes what neither fame nor force, muscle nor manipulation can attain.

The question is often asked, “What do you do when love doesn’t work?” Increase the dosage.

VII. HUMILITY IS LOVE’S MOOD

Gives strength to your ministry. Humility allows you to meet criticism with tranquility and pleasantness. This approach strengthens your spirit and honors God.

Humility is love’s prevailing attitude, spirit, and disposition. He knows he has been the object of undeserved, redeeming love.

Someone asked D. L. Moody, “Are you saying that the humble person doesn’t think much of himself?”

Moody, “No, he doesn’t think of himself at all.”

Humility is unconscious of itself.

VIII. SELF CONTROL IS LOVE’S MASTERY

He does not let his desires master his life. All aspects of your life are brought under the mastery of the Holy Spirit. It means our life is characterized by discipline.

Means “to group” or “to take hold of;” staying in control of himself.

Self-control should result in an attitude of humility and caution. Self-control develops a strong character, which gives you courage.

How to Develop and Exercise Self-Control:

1. Through Dependence on God.

2. Through a Life of Discipline.

Mind the little things.

3. Through Making Decisions Ahead of Time.

Daniel purposed in his heart.

4. Through Gratitude for Adversity.

Can serve as Gods’ refining fire.

5. Through Ruling Your Spirit.

Proverbs 16:32

“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,

And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”

6. Through Controlling Your Thoughts.