THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 8-18-13

LESSON TITLE: “TESTING OUR BROTHERLY LOVE.”

WELCOME

Good morning! Thank you for joining us today for God’s Living Word. I hope everyone had a great week, and I hope your weekend was a profitable one also. Now, here we are on another glorious Lord’s Day morning. What a wonderful opportunity we have again today to join together in the worship of our Redeemer. I hope you are ready to begin this new week with a day of service and offering to your God.

As always, it is our commitment through this program to proclaim the simple truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - which is confirmed for us in the Bible. I hope you all have your Bible’s handy and I hope you are ready to worship God together as we sing praises to His name and study from His wondrous word. Now let’s begin by talking to our Father in prayer! PRAYER: DEAR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS DAY AND FOR THE MANY BLESSINGS IN LIFE FOR FATHER WE KNOW ALL SPIRITUAL AND ALL PHYSICAL THINGS COME FROM YOU AND YOU ALONE. FATHER, WE THANK YOU FOR THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL AND THAT IS YOUR SON CHRIST. HE DIED ON THE CROSS GIVING US THE OPPORTUNITY OF NOT ONLY YOUR BLESSINGS IN THIS LIFE, BUT THE BLESSING AND PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE TO COME. FATHER, HELP US AT THIS TIME TO DO ALL IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH AS YOU HAVE COMMANDED US THROUGH YOUR WORD. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

At this time, we want to sing our first song of the morning. We start with a hymn that reminds us that God has made ready in a Heaven, a place to house all His faithful saints. So we must ask, “Are we obeying God’s Will in order to receive that reward? Let me encourage you all to join in with the congregation at this time as we praise God together with the song, “ ‘The Last Mile Of The Way.”

Isn’t it a great feeling when you are able to do good or help someone? There are not many things in this life which bring us greater happiness than putting a smile on someone’s face, because we were able to assist them in some way. No doubt this is why Jesus encouraged us with His words in Matthew 7:12, there we read, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” We are to treat others in the same way we want them to treat us.

Now consider all of this for a moment, isn’t this one of the main reasons why we have been so blessed by God. That we can do good to our fellow man? We have been given the things we have from God, so that we may in turn live good lives of service toward Him and others.

Read with me from 2 Corinthians 9:11, where we find this same idea being expressed by the Apostle Paul, there it says, “while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.” Here it confirms that our many blessings are for liberality.

I really love the other part of this verse also, because there we read why it really matters. You see, when we do good to others we are doing good to God! Jesus, Himself, made this point in Matthew 25:40, by saying, “…Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”

What a wonderful encouragement this gives us in Jesus Christ to know that when we do good to others and help them when we can, it is as if we are helping Jesus Himself! This understanding should make us all want to do more for others, because we know we are glorifying God when we do so.

Today we will be continuing our study together entitled, “Test Yourselves.” Our specific topic of the day will deal with, “Testing Our Brotherly Love.” So please continue with us this morning and after our next song together I will return with this lesson from God’s Word. It’s now time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, “There Is Sunshine In My Soul.”

LESSON

By Ray Sullins

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CONTINUING WITH US TODAY AS WE NOW GO TO GOD'S WORD AND LOOK AT ANOTHER LESSON IN RELATIONSHIP TO A TEST THAT WE HAVE BEEN CONSIDERING NOW FOR QUITE SOME TIME IN SECOND CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 13 VERSE FIVE WHERE WE LEARN FROM THE APOSTLE PAUL AS HE CHALLENGES THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH TO EXAMINE THEIRSELVES AS TO WHETHER THEY BE IN THE FAITH. THEN HE SAYS TEST YOURSELVES OR PROVE YOURSELVES. THE QUESTION THAT WE ARE ASKING OVER THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS IS ARE WE REALLY TESTING OURSELVES IN RELATIONSHIP TO LIVING UP TO THE STANDARDS AND ARE WE MEETING THE STANDARDS THAT HAVE BEEN SET BY GOD TO BE PROPER CHRISTIANS AND CHILDREN OF GOD IN HIS SIGHT? THIS MORNING WE WILL BEGIN WITH ANOTHER TOPIC IN RELATIONSHIP TO TESTING OURSELVES WITH JOHN CHAPTER 13. I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE START HERE BECAUSE THESE ARE THE VERY WORDS OF JESUS CHRIST. HE'S TRYING TO CHALLENGE THE BRETHERN OF THAT DAY WITH THE GREAT NEED THAT THEY HAD IN ORDER TO BE FOUND PLEASING IN THE SIGHT OF THE FATHER BUT ALSO IN HIS SIGHT. LET'S BEGIN WITH VERSE 34 WHERE HE SAYS: A NEW COMMANDMENT I GIVE TO YOU, THAT YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU THAT YOU ALSO LOVE ONE ANOTHER. THE TOPIC TODAY IS TESTING OUR BROTHERLY LOVE. DO WE REALLY LOVE OUR BRETHERN? IN FACT, JESUS SAID HERE THAT BY COMMANDMENT WE MUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER. HOW IMPORTANT IS THAT? FIRST OF ALL, IT IS SOMETHING THAT GOD HAS COMMANDED BUT IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT BECAUSE OF WHAT VERSE 35 SAYS: BY THIS, ALL WILL KNOW THAT YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES IF YOU HAVE LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER. WHEN WE THINK ABOUT THE NEED FOR LOVE, IT'S NOT ABOUT ONLY BECAUSE OF COMMANDMENT, IT'S ALSO BECAUSE OF THE VERY WAY THAT THE WORLD KNOWS US AS BEING CHILDREN OF GOD. BEING DISCIPLES OF GOD IS WHEN WE LOVE EACH OTHER. IN OTHER WORDS, WE KNOW THAT GOD IS LOVE. IN FACT, YOU MIGHT TURN OVER WITH ME TO FIRST JOHN WHERE IT DEALS WITH THE CONCEPT OF LOVE AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF LOVE. GO TO VERSE 8 OF CHAPTER 3 FIRST JOHN SAYS GOD IS LOVE. WELL, MAYBE THAT HELPS US UNDERSTAND WHY IT IS SO ESSENTIAL THAT WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER. IF WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD, CERTAINLY WE STRIVE TO DO AND BE THAT, IF WE ARE CHRISTIANS THEN WE MUST LOOK TOWARDS OUR CREATOR AND IMITATE OUR GOD. IF GOD IS LOVE THEN WHAT MUST WE BE? WE MUST BE LOVE. WE MUST SHOW FORTH LOVE. NOW, GOD IS NOT HERE ON THE EARTH. WE CAN'T SEE GOD SO CAN OTHERS REALLY SEE OUR LOVE FOR GOD? MAYBE THEY CAN SEE IT IN OUR FAITHFULNESS TO HIS WILL OR THE WORDS THAT WE SPEAK OR GOING TO CHURCH BUT THEY DON'T SEE IT BECAUSE WE ARE DIRECTLY INTERACTING WITH GOD AS HE IS LITERALLY IN THE FLESH ON THIS EARTH. WHAT BETTER WAY THAN YOU AND I TREATING ONE ANOTHER A BRETHERN, AS FELLOW CHRISTIANS WITH LOVE. WHEN I TREAT OTHERS IN THE WAY THAT I SHOULD, WHO DOES IT GLORIFY? IT GLORIFIES GOD. IN FACT, WE DO IT AS IF WE HAVE DONE IT TO GOD HIMSELF. SO WHEN SOMEONE SEES THAT I LOVE MY BROTHER IN CHRIST, WHEN SOMEONE SEES THAT I LOVE MY SISTER IN CHRIST THEN THEY SEE THAT I HAVE THE LOVE OF GOD FOR ANOTHER. THEREFORE, THEY CAN ALSO SEE THE LOVE THAT OTHERS HAVE FOR ME DEMONSTRATING WHETHER THEY ARE TRULY OF GOD AND WHETHER THEY ARE TRULY THE DISCIPLES OF GOD. IF YOU LOOK THERE AGAIN WITH ME IN THE FIRST CHAPTER OF JOHN, THE TEXT HAS MUCH MORE TO SAY. THERE IN FIRST JOHN CHAPTER 4 SPECIFICALLY IS THE TEXT WE ARE IN RATHER THAN THREE. LET'S GO BACK TO VERSE SEVEN AND THEN WE WILL GO TO VERSE EIGHT. HE SAID BELOVED, LET US LOVE ONE ANOTHER: FOR LOVE IS OF GOD AND EVERYONE WHO LOVES IS BORN OF GOD AND KNOWS GOD. WHAT? HE SAYS NOT ONLY IS GOD LOVE IN VERSE EIGHT OF FIRST JOHN CHAPTER 4 BUT HERE HE SAYS THAT WE ARE THOSE WHO MUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER, FOR LOVE IS OF GOD. THERE'S A BEAUTIFUL SONG THAT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE OFTEN SING THAT SPEAK THESE VERY TRUTHS, THESE VERY ENCOURAGING FACTS FROM THE BIBLE, TEACHING US THAT LOVING ONE ANOTHER IS ALL ABOUT DEMONSTRATING THE LOVE OF GOD, WHICH IS ACTUALLY THE FACT THAT GOD IS LOVE. THEN HE ACTUALLY GOES INTO THE TEXT FURTHER AND STATING THE LOVE THAT GOD FIRST HAD FOR US. IF YOU MIGHT NOTE THERE HE SPEAKS OF IN VERSE NINE THE FACT THAT HE GAVE HIS OWN SON JESUS, HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, TO DIE ON THE CROSS TO BE AT PROPITIATION FOR OUR SINS. TO DIE FOR OUR SINS ALTHOUGH HE WAS SINLESS. THINK ABOUT THE POWER AGAIN OF THE LOVE THAT GOD SHOWS THERE. THE DEPTH OF THE LOVE. WHAT TYPE OF LOVE CAUSES THE FATHER TO GIVE HIS OWN SON FOR SINNERS? FOR THOSE WHO ARE ACTUALLY REJECTING HIM IN ACTION AND WORD BECAUSE THEY ARE CHOOSING SIN OVER CHRIST. YOU SEE THE LOVE OF GOD AND THE LOVE THE GOD HAS FOR ONE ANOTHER. THAT'S WHY WE READ THERE IN THE SAME TEXT. IN VERSE 10, LOVE IS THIS: NOT THAT WE HAVE LOVED GOD, BUT THAT HE HAS SENT HIS SON AS A PROPITATION FOR OUR SINS AND HAS WHAT? LOVED US. LOVED US WHAT? FIRST. GOD FIRST LOVED US AND SHOWING HIS LOVE. THAT REALLY OPENS UP A WHOLE NEW FACET TO OUR DISCUSSION. GOD DIDN'T JUST TALK ABOUT LOVE. HAVE YOU HAD PEOPLE BEFORE SAY I LOVE YOU OR I APPRECIATE YOU SO MUCH OR YOU'RE SUCH A GOOD FRIEND AND THEN THEIR ACTIONS REALLY DON'T SHOW IT? THE THINGS THAT THEY SAY AND THE REALITY THAT YOU REALLY CAN COUNT ON THEM. GOD DIDN'T JUST SAY I AM LOVE AND YOU LOVE ME. GOD SAID I AM LOVE AND LET ME PROVE IT. LET ME PROVE IT BECAUSE I GAVE MY OWN SON TO DIE ON THE CROSS FOR YOU WHILE YOU WERE STILL A SINNER. THAT IS LOVE AND THAT'S THE POWER OF THE LOVE OF GOD. THEREFORE, HE SAYS, IN TURN WHAT I WANT IS I WANT YOU TO PRACTICE LOVE TO ONE ANOTHER FIRST AND FOREMOST. IN OTHER WORDS, GOD SAYS I HAVE FIRST LOVED AND THEN YOU RESPONDED WITH LOVE AND THEREFORE WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO IS TO LOVE FIRST THAT OTHERS MIGHT RESPOND TO LOVE AS WELL. ISN'T THAT WHY JESUS IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 7 GAVE THE GOLDEN RULE? WHEN YOU DO GOOD TO OTHERS, WHAT IS YOUR DESIRE? TO DO GOOD TO YOU. IF I SHOW THE LOVE OF GOD TO MY FELLOW MAN AND ESPECIALLY TO MY BRETHERN I AM GOING TO KNOW FOR CERTAIN THAT THEY WILL RESPOND AS THOSE WHO LOVE GOD. FOR GOD IS LOVE. A FEW OTHER IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF THE TEXT THAT I THINK ARE SO BEAUTIFUL, AND AGAIN WE ARE IN FIRST JOHN CHAPTER 4, AND VERSE 7 SPEAKS OF 8:12 CLOSING COMMENTS

What a wondrous time we have had together in participating in the things of God. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.

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Do you truly love your brethren as commanded by God? Oh, how precious the love of brotherhood is. May we never take it for granted, but may we all enjoy it’s wondrous fruit as we live in this life and as we work toward the life to come.