THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 8-27-06
LESSON TITLE: "WALKING WITH GOD: WALKING IN LOVE"
In Hebrews 13:6 we read, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" With God on our side, we will always be victorious! Let me welcome each of you to our program this morning. We are excited that you have chosen to be with us today for this time of offering and encouragement, as we participate in the things of God.
This program remains committed to doing what God wants, in the way He wants. We accomplish this by collectively singing songs of praise to glorify His name, by studying His Word, and by approaching His throne in prayer. So, at this time, let's humbly bow our heads before our God.
How wonderful it is to know that God is willing to do so much for each of us while we were still sinners! That is what our first song of the morning deals with. So, at this time I hope you will join in this the congregation as we together sing, "Just As I Am."
(SONG # 1)
When is the last time you felt like you just couldn't do any more or like you just couldn't go on? I think we have all been there before and wondered what we were going to do to get started up again. It doesn't matter whether you are referring to our spiritual or physical lives, we all have these ups and downs that make us feel like giving up.
If we look in the Bible this problem is nothing new, because we find that even those who lived long ago had the very same problem. For a while they would be strong and faithful to God, but then they would fall away and have to be reminded, before they would turn back to their God. In Lamentations 3:40 we read this statement, "Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn back to the LORD;" Here Jeremiah talks of a need for the people of God to examine themselves, and why? So that they would turn back to the Lord.
To me this is very encouraging to know that when we aren't doing our best or feel like we want to give up that we are not alone. Everyone has been there and experienced the same thing, even many great followers of God in the Bible. I love the way Paul put it when he exhorted the Galatians with the following words, "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." Again, he tells us not to grow weary or give up, and again why? Because if we endure and make it we will reap great things according to the promises of God. But we can not faint or quit on the Lord.
What else does God do to make sure we can make it to the end. Well, as faithful children of God, we know the answer to this one - He is there every step of the way. In fact, in Hebrews 13:5, we have recorded the words of our God, when He said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." You see God is always there to help us when we fall or when we feel like we are alone. So the next time you are down and feel like there is nothing you can do to get going again, remember that God is by your side. And that with His help, all things are truly possible. I can assure you, it will be well worth the effort. Are you standing strong on the Will of God?
We are excited today to have brother Brent Green as our guest speaker of the morning. This is brother Brent's first time to be on the program and we look forward to him leading our thoughts from God's Word this day. Brother Green is presently helping us with our youth at the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ and he is also a full time student at the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank him for being with us this day.
As far as our study of the morning, today we will be considering the topic entitled, "Walking In Love!" This is our next lesson in the series of study which is called "Walking With God." So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together I will return with this study from God's Word. The name of our next hymn is, "No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Brent Green
It is always a privilege to come together and study the Word of God and once again we have that privilege this morning, so I encourage you at home to take out your Bibles and let us look at the Word of God.
If you would, turn to the book of Ephesians chapter 4 and chapter 5 so we will consider several verses here at the end of chapter 4 and the beginning of chapter 5 dealing with a topic of the morning, "Walking In Love." This may seem like a simple topic and one that it wouldn't take very long to talk about, but truly love is something that we need in this world and not necessarily the touchy, feely God is a teddy bear kind of love, but we need the love that God showed us. So let's look there at Ephesians chapter 4 and begin in verse 31. Paul says in writing to the Ephesian Christians, "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice. Does that sound anything like the world today? Well, the world really hasn't changed a whole lot. Yes, we have more material things and different things today that maybe the world didn't have 2,000 years ago, but the problem that Christians were dealing with there in the 1st century in Ephesus were things like bitterness and wrath and anger and malice and it is all here today. We see, as you drive down the road, people shaking their fists and all sorts of anger displayed. You turn on the news and you see people killing each other. For what purpose? Well today, people have the idea and the attitude that the world belongs to me. Let me have what the world can give me. It is all about me and my and all about self. Well this attitude has spawned this attitude of hate, and that's what Christians at Ephesus were dealing with and that's what Paul brought forth to them. Let all these things be removed from you. That's what the world walks in today. The world walks in hate.
We see similar passages there like Colossians chapter 3 and verse 8 that says, "But now you yourselves have put off all these, anger and wrath and malice, blasphemy, filthy speaking from the mouth. Put these things away from you." Not only did those in Ephesus have a problem, but those in Colossi had a problem as well.
It Titus chapter 3 and verse 2, we read there the command is, "Speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men." The attitude there, the command to "be those that are full of love and those that are willing to be kind and do those things for one another that they need to do."
But the world walks in hate despite so much the urging of Paul and Peter and others writing these epistles. Christians struggle with this. Today, Christians and the world still struggle with this same thing. They struggle with hate and yet they need to be those that walk in love. And we have the greatest example that we could ever have and we read from the Word of God that the Bible shows us how we can walk in love and we have the greatest example of all from God Himself.
If you would look in Ephesians chapter 4. Verse 32 of chapter 4 says the following, Rather than being those that walk in hate, rather than being those that are tied up with the evil things of this world... Look at verse 32 of Ephesians 4. We read the following words by Paul to the Christians here at Ephesus. "And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God in Christ forgave you." Rather than be filled with hate consider what God did for you. God forgave you if you were obedient to Him and followed His plan of salvation and he says, "Be kind to one another." Have that spirit of gentleness, willing to do for others what they may not be willing to do for you. Turning the other cheek as it is often referred to in scripture. Being those that are tenderhearted. Having a heart that is open and tender for doing for others what they need done for them. That tenderheartedness is something that is so hard for us to grasp, but something that we need in our lives.
But Ephesians chapter 5 and verse 1 continues with this thought. Paul continues on and he says, "Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children." Therefore this connective word which means "consider what I've just said, consider what was just told to you," Paul said to put away the evil, put away the wickedness and be those that are kind and tenderhearted. In other words, grasp on to love. "Therefore, knowing what I just said, speaking as Paul here, "be imitators of God. Be imitators of God as dear children." A great example that we have, a great example that we should look up to is God Himself, looking to God for that example of how we should live.
Consider John 3 and verse 16, that familiar passage that the world knows and that many people hold up on signs at different baseball games and sporting events, a familiar passage. But it says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son." God's love was so great that He gave His Son to die on the cross for our sins. Did we deserve it? Do we deserve the chance to have forgiveness? No. The wicked sinful way that man is, how we live our lives is not according to Gods' plan so often, but God loved us enough to send His Son on the cross and to die for our sins. That's the example, this willful love that God has. It's not loving just because it's easy love, but it's loving because we should love. God has given us that example in our lives.
If you would consider Luke chapter 6 verses 26-36. It says that Jesus speaks here about love, giving the great example in His teaching about how we should love. There in Luke chapter 6 verse 27, Jesus says, "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you." This is what Jesus did. These weren't just empty words that He spoke encouraging people to do something that He didn't do Himself. Jesus Christ lived this live and He showed us by His example how we should love our enemies, how we should pray for those who curse us and bless those who do evil things to us. The world is like that many times and it spits in our face, but yet, Jesus Christ told us that we need to be those that are about love.
He continued in that passage to say in verse 31, "And just as you want men to do to you, you do also to them." We often call this "The Golden Rule," the rule that says however you want people to treat you is how you should treat them. You know the world hates us many times, but do we want people to hate us because we have hated them? No. Let us be those that love. Be those that shine as lights in this world loving as Christ loved, so that we may see other people love us in return and even if they don't we would follow the commands of God by loving as we should.
Verse 35 of Luke 6 as well, Jesus says, "But love your enemies. Do good and lend and hoping for nothing in return." It is selflessness. It is not this attitude of "What can the world do for me? What can I gain? What do I deserve to bring upon myself? What can the world do for me?" No. Jesus said the attitude that we need to have is not an attitude that spawns and breeds hate and malice and all of these things that we see around us everyday. The attitude that Jesus wanted us to have is the attitude of love, the attitude that gives to others that puts Jesus first, that puts ourselves last and put others in between. We need to be those, as Jesus said, that love.
Jesus finished that passage there in Luke chapter 6 by saying the following in verse 36, "Therefore, be merciful just as your Father is merciful." That's what it goes back to in Ephesians chapter 5 and verse 1 when Paul said to, "Be imitators of God as dear children." Let us remember that God is our Father, that God is the One that set the example and we need to be merciful. We need to be those that love just as God has loved us. Children often imitate and emulate the actions of their parents. When you look at children at a very young age, you see children who may have a father who is a firefighter and that child wants to grow up to be just like Dad. Or you see a young child whose mother is a nurse and you see that daughter wants to grow up just like Mom to be a nurse. Children often look up to and try to act just like their parents. We as well, as the children of God, as dear children as verse 1 of chapter 5 says, we need to look to that example of the Father and to be those that walk in love. It's not easy and it is not something that is easy for us to do necessarily, but something that we must do to walk in love and it is something that we should do.
Once again, look at Ephesians chapter 5, this time verse 2. We see the words here of Paul to the church at Ephesus once again to the Christians here encouraging them. He told them to "put away the hate and the malice and all the evil and to be those that are kind to one another and affectionate, those that hold on to love," and finally to "be those that are imitators of God." But look there at verse 2 of Ephesians chapter 5. Paul says, "And walk in love as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma." Walk in love. A commandment. What it all boiled down to in this passage... What Paul was trying to get across to these people to help them to realize what they needed to do was to walk in love, that simple three words to "walk in love. Not to be those that walked down the path of hate and malice and anger and shaking your fist in road rage and all those things that we get caught up in in this world, but to be those that simply follow these three words to "walk in love." Love is so great.
In John chapter 13 and verse 34, Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you that you love one another as I loved you that you also love one another." Jesus, as we've already said God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, God in the flesh showed us how to love and He says, "A new commandment." Not new in a sense that it was brand new, that it was never a part of Gods' plan before, but new in a sense that it had never been applied in this way. We need to be those that apply this verse as well, those that love as Christ loved, those that love with the greatest love no matter what the world might do to us, but being those that love because God has loved us. That's what Jesus told us to do there.
In 1 Corinthians 12 and verse 31, Paul in writing to the Corinthians had a problem with many different things and they had a problem with miraculous gifts and spiritual gifts and Paul told them that "those things were passing away" and the final verse there of chapter 12, Paul said, "There's a way that will not be fading. There's a way that will not be changing and is a more excellent way..." Not just a way sub par way, not just a way that happened to work some of the time. He said, "A more excellent way that will endure."
Guess what that way was. It was the way of love. That's what Paul throughout the following chapter in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 tried to express and explain that more excellent way of love. 1 Corinthians chapter 13, we see in verse 2 that Paul himself said, "Consider all of the great things that I have done..." Not that he was boasting, but he said, "Look at what I have done. All these things that I have done, if I had done them all but had not love, I would be nothing." And that's what it comes down to. We can live and we can try to serve self and do all these things, but without love, without the love for God, without the love that we find in the Bible that we need to have to teach others the gospel as well, that great love that should be within us, if we do not have that love, we truly are nothing in this world.
But there in chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians, Paul goes on to give us characteristics about love in those great things that we read. Look there starting in verse 4 of 1 Corinthians 13. Paul says, "Love suffers long. Love is kind. Love does not envy. Love does not parade itself. Love is not puffed up. Love does not behave rudely. It does not seek its own. Love is not provoked. Love thinks no evil. Love does not rejoice in iniquity. Love rejoices in truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."
And that's what it is all about. Knowing from the Word of God, the Bible itself, that whether or whatever it may be... You know sometimes we rely on friends, but our friends fail us. Sometimes we rely on a certain co-worker or whatever it may be, we put our trust in those people and those things, but sometimes those people fail us. What did God say about love? Love never fails. If we are those adhere to and hold to the fact that we need to have love in our lives and that will get us through this world, through this world of wrath and malice and hate and anger and all these things that we see about us, if we have love we can make it through. That's the emphasis of this lesson today, to be those that walk in love and follow that commandment of 1 John 4 and verse 7 to "walk in love as God is love."
(SONG # 3 - "Paradise Valley!")
Again, let me thank you for choosing to be with us this morning. 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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Oh, that we would learn to walk in the love of God. For the only way that God and this world can know that we are His true children are if we walk in love!