Love one another

8 09 2013

This morning in church we started a new series on “the one another commands” which feels like it’s been a long time coming – we’ve had a lot of references to “one anothering one another” and so I’m hoping this is going to be really good. If today was anything to go by it will be! We had a guest speaker who opened with the one mentioned in the title!

“Over every thought
Over every word
May my life reflect
The beauty of my Lord”

“You do not faint
You don’t grow weary”

Love One Another :: 1 John 3 vv 11-24

Loving one another is hard!
You can break it down into it’s elements, but at the end of the day you just have to do it – kind of like learning to swim!

Loving one another is part of salvation
Loving one another is proof of salvation
It’s not an optional extra.

“One another” covers everyone, it’s a mutual thing, it’s 2-way

So often our experience of God’s love is through other people.

Loving one another is about five things

  1. Responding“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” – v16
    Loving comes from being loved
    Hurt people hurt people (that’s hurt (adjective) people hurt (verb) people!)
    Rejected people reject people
    If we know that God loves us, and we know that God loves everybody, then we must love everybody.
    He loves the annoying, the hurtful, and so must we.
    When we experience the love of God in all it’s fullness then that heals us.
    We need to come back again and again to knowing God’s love for us.
  2. Giving“And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” – v16b
    We need an attitude of giving, not getting. Responsibility, not rights.
    Rights are about other people’s duties towards me.
    If you complain that no one is loving you, are you loving others?
    “Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” – Philippians 2:3-4, The Message.
    A servant heart is needed.
  3. Seeing“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” – v17
    We often fall down in loving one another because we don’t see the need
    We ask how someone is, they say “I’m fine”. FINE = Fearful, Insincere, Neurotic, Emotional
    Often our pride won’t allow us to express our need. It takes humility to let others know our need.
    There are all sorts of needs: physical, emotional, material, spiritual.
  4. Opening your heart“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” – v17
    We need to be affected, not indifferent.
    Indifference is the opposite of love. Hate at least still affects you.
    Let someone else’s need touch your heart.
    Listen! When we listen we get to know how people feel.
    If someone listens to you, you feel valued, it helps you unravel the things in your head.
    Anyone and everyone can listen!
  5. Action“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – v18
    “Love is not a feeling, it’s an act of the will”
    We have to choose to do something.
    Love has to be demonstrated in action
    It’s easy to have an intention but not follow it through. If you don’t start immediately you’ll put it off.
    We can feel promptings, but if we don’t act on them immediately we’ll argue our way out of it.

Love has to be done in a way that people will receive it. We all have particular ways we receive love and affection – The five love languages (gifts, time, words, touch, acts of service).
We tend to love other people in the way that we like to receive love. We have to find a way of loving people in a way that they can receive it and know that they are loved.

The world will know God’s love when we love one another, when the world sees that we can love people we don’t like.

“This is my command: love each other” – John 15v17
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” – Psalm 133v1

“Keep us from just singing
Move us into action”

“You have shown us what you require”

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