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Monday, February 13, 2012

LOVE ONE ANOTHER WITH ACTION

                           LOVE ONE ANOTHER WITH ACTION
Watch Video of this sermon
LOVE ONE ANOTHER WITH ACTIONS - PART ONE
LOVE ONE ANOTHER WITH ACTIONS - PART TWO
LOVE ONE ANOTHER WITH ACTIONS - PART THREE


"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
Loving one another with action, is doing things for others that you would want them to do for you. Our Lord and Savior said this: "Therefore, whatever you want people to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12).  You can show your love to others by doing things for them.  Love is not just a feeling, it is action.  “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue only, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).
Loving one another with action is doing something the Lord Jesus Christ both demonstrated and taught us to do. “So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? "You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.” (John 13:12-14).  Today, in our society, we do not demonstrate or love for each other with this custom,  but there are many ways we can “wash each other’s feet” through loving each other with tangible acts of love and service.
Many people are locked into “gender” gaps and “generational” gaps which identify and limit them in the types of service that they are willing to give to those they love.  For instance, some men will not wash the dishes, because their dads never washed the dishes.  They view that service as something the wife should always do.  Some women feel that it is the husband’s job to take out the trash and wash the car.  When we allow ourselves to think and live the way our parents did, we limit our capacity to show our love to others with acts of service.  “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” (Philippians 2:3).  “Remember there are no rewards for maintaining stereotypes, but there are tremendous benefits to meeting the emotional needs of those you love.”  You may do a lot of things right, but if you don’t do it with love, you will not meet the needs of those who need your love. “And though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
Loving each other with action is not limited to the husband and wife relationships.  This command of “loving one another” applies to our friends, fellow Christian brothers and sisters, children, and grandchildren. It is a love language that should be spoken by each of us to each other.  Love is a choice and cannot be demanded or manipulated.  Each of us must decide daily to love or not to love each other.  This is true in all our relationships.  We also can choose to demonstrate our love with our actions.  Good intentions are not enough.  Things we have done for each other in the past cannot substitute for showing actions of love today.  Each day is a new day in which we have the opportunity to be more like our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, by our actions of love. 
One of the best ways to express our love to the Lord is with our actions toward Him.  “Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.” (Psalms 100:2).  This includes attending worship services, giving, praying, and giving testimonies of His goodness.  “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalms 107:8).
Random acts of kindness are ways to show love at unexpected times.  This kind of love can be done without the other person even knowing who is doing it for them.  You can pay for someone’s meal or send them some flowers or a fruit basket.  They do not need to know that it comes from you, but that someone loves them.  It can be as simple as giving a piece of candy to a child or taking a magazine or newspaper to an elderly shut-in.  Random acts of kindness is the way the Lord gives to you and me -often unexpected and with no preconditions.  It is not the kind of love that says that I want something back in return for my kindness. “For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed," Says the LORD, who has mercy on you.” (Isaiah 54:10)
Remember, love is something you do because the Lord has already done it for you. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).  Demonstrating your love for others is not a matter of them deserving it or not, it is a matter of God’s grace in you.  “We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19).   Family and friends can express actions of love for each other in many ways.  If you are not sure what another person would want or need, simply ask.  Another practical way to do this is for two people or a family to write down two to three things they can do for each other to make each one feel more loved.  You can show your love for God by doing meaningful things for one another.   "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."    (John 13:35).  When people see you demonstrate your love with actions, is a testimony to your family, your friends, your church family, and most of all to your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”    (1 John 4:7).
One way to demonstrate your love, is to give gifts to each other.  Gifts may be purchased, found, or made.  They do not need to be expensive nor do you have to wait for a special occasion.  To develop a better and more meaningful relationship with your spouse, your children, or your friends, you need to give physical things to the person you love.
Another action is something that cost nothing, but means so much to those that need our love is kind words and encouragement.  A smile is a gift that cost nothing but will give encouragement to those who are sad and lonely. “Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24.)
The most important action of love you can demonstrate is giving of self, or the gift of your presence.  Your time is something that only you can give.  Your undivided attention is a gift that those you love will appreciate and cherish.  The Lord Jesus appreciates your presence at worship services and the time you spend with Him in prayer and Bible reading.   
Let’s love like our Lord Jesus did with our lives and our actions.

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