8/23 Love Does The Actions of Love Hebrews 13:5
This new series that we are beginning- Love Does, stems from a book written by Bob Goff with that title. Our current focus is The Actions of Love. The ultimate action of love that we know of is Jesus willingly dying a sinner’s death on the cross for us, because he loves us. As Pastor George stated Sunday, intrinsically we want to live in such a way to thank him. Jesus in a way says to us, live your life in such a way so that I know it was worth saving.
Actions of Love is this week’s study, our focus is trying to wrap our thinking around just what those words speak of. Actions is a verb, it’s active, current, moving, it’s plural, more than one, multiple, again and again. This means continuous, it’s not a one and done kind of thing. Just as Jesus continues to speak into our lives, to love us continually, we are to do also. The Bible passage from Hebrews 13: 5 says “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. We are reminded again from Sunday’s sermon that God is with us every step of the way. His name, Immanuel – means God with us! We are never alone. Once we accept Jesus into our heart and life, he is there forever! As the spirit lives in us, God is with us. When we personally accept what Jesus has done for us, dying on the cross, our sins are forgiven, and he now lives in us. Wherever we go, whatever we do, daytime, nighttime, God is with us, a trusted friend, our helper, our savior. How do we respond to such actions of love? Pastor George told us on Sunday, Be Jesus with skin on. What he has done for us inspires us to action – to the love He poured into us. Jesus invites us to follow his ways, to rely on his grace, his power, as we are with others, he is with us.
As we are with others? Or are we living our life amongst others? One is active, the other is passive. Love Does – with presence, “with you” is active. In the first series in Love Does this week in Right Now Media, Bob Goff focuses on the first video in this series: I’m with you. He tells of his friend Randy and their story together. Bob learn valuable life lessons through Randy’s presence with Bob during an adventure that Bob thought was best for him to go on. It was Randy’s presence that spoke love into Bob. Randy wanted to be there for Bob. He didn’t just wish Bob well and said good luck let me know how it goes. Instead, Randy dropped what he was doing so to speak, and took off with Bob. It wasn’t about the adventure. Rather it was knowing that being with somebody doesn’t make the adventure quite as scary. That is true in any uncertainty of life that we go through or that we know another may be going through. Knowing someone else is there, then whatever it is …. we are not alone, someone else cares.
Yes, I know that God is with me and that should be all that matters. But God knows that we need someone else to be Jesus with skin on for us. Bob Goff said that, I’m the guy being asked (by God to be Jesus with skin on), and the last thing that I want to do is miss an opportunity or make God mad, so I just keep saying yes. When we get those nudges from God, say yes says Bob, or ignore it, then tell God why he has the wrong person. God gives us opportunities for Actions of Love, lean in toward what is unfolding and say yes, it is our invitation to come and see what God wants to do through you.
Okay, the next time I’ll say yes, then I’ve done my duty, my share. In this kind of thinking are you treating someone as a project or treating them as a friend? Would you like to be considered a project, or considered a friend of someone? We also learned from this study that being engaged isn’t just an event, being engaged is a way of doing life, a way of living life and loving the people you meet along life’s paths. Bob asked the question, are we too busy doing stuff that we miss opportunities that God is bringing to us? He suggested that we quit the wrong thing – just don’t quit Him. It’s suggesting that we refocus our life and energy on what is most important. We learned that God usually choses ordinary people like us to get things done. Bob says, get to the “do” part of faith, love DOES!
Another series that we watched this week was Love Works by Joel Manby. Manby’s focus is on leading with love, practicing his faith in the marketplace through the essence of what God is. Referring to 1 Corinthians 13 as the Words of Love. It’s living out Agape Love, unconditional, in how you treat people regardless of how you feel about them. He briefly talked on 7 words of Love in every circumstance. Patient, Kind, Trusting, Unselfish, Truthful, Forgiving and Dedicated. Patient with people, praising in public, admonish in private, but praise more than admonish and always remember where the learning focus is.; Kind is not being nice all the time rather be an encourager to make people better. We have an impact to make their day better or worse.; Trusting is to put confidence in someone, clarifying the decision making and stick to it.; Unselfish is to think about yourself less. We need to be unselfish with our time, treasure, and talent. Use our time investing in other people, helping them to grow; Treasure is what we’ve been blessed with. Are we giving it? Talent, volunteer your talent in other organizations and charities. Joel said that everybody has something going on, giving support verbally or through assistance or through outreach programs available to them is love in action.; Truthful, corporately, and individually be truthful about the individual. Be open to hearing of our own individual shortcomings. Be helpful to others, help them forward by being present for them. The I am with you kind of support we all need.; Forgiving, release the grip of the grudge. Have a forgiving spirit. Joel uses the acronym MAMO, Minimize and Move On, it’s second chances. Mistakes happen, move forward with a serving of I can be there to help attitude. Dedicated, Joel Manby says that he focuses on these principles to be content. I can control these, he says. We all can do the same. Living out these seven Words of Love are what we as leaders at work, at home, and in our volunteering need to engrain on our hearts. He went on to say Jesus’ number 1 commandment is Love God and Love others, then we are doing what God commanded on this earth. It’s caring, having an impact on those around us. These are timeless principles that are taught in the Bible and work everywhere.
Pastor George teaches us to remember that God came to be with us and for us, receive it and follow me, Jesus says. Just live it out. Love does something by simply being with them, people for whom we can be present. Can you now say, “I am with you”, it’s a Christ follower phrase we now learned. As Christ followers we look for extraordinary ways to live life in an ordinary world. Answer those nudges, actively involved in Actions of Love, Always in service, Jesus with skin on. What a difference we can make in someone’s life.
Larry and Darlene