LOVE IN ACTION – EDIII- ’07

Ephesians 3.14-21 For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Genesis 1.26-27   Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”  

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him;male and female he created them.

God is in constant relationship, the Trinity and ministering angels.  We are also called to unity and relationship, with others and him.

Genesis 2.18   The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Genesis 2.24-25 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.  The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

Naked, no shame… Man sins, disobeys God, separation. Fall. Shamefully hides, “Where are you?”Man clothes himself. – good.

Genesis 3.7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

God clothes Man. – best.

Genesis3.21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

Covering was a right response, not in man’s way, but in God’s; not to conceal, but to confess.

Clothes were created not to reveal what was underneath, but to cover for a purpose.

Reference: Piper’s sermon:  Staying married is not about staying in love.  See Naked and not Ashamed and Then God Clothed them…http://www.soundofgrace.com/piper2/piper2007/2-4-2007.swf

Genesis 3.15-16 (CURSE OF THE SERPENT) And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

 To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.  Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

Women tonight admitted a struggle to trust, to have faith in man, probably because we are all manipulators… but their curse is for their desire to be for their husband… my thought, probably because of the enmity between the Serpent and woman, woman looks to man, men fail-misrepresenting God and representing the serpent, causing this distress.  If a man were to represent Christ, a woman would surely trust him.  My theory… to be proven wrong.

If they would have known he was Messiah they surely would not have killed him.

Colossians 3.12-19 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

Psalms 91.14-16 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.  

With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Exodus 34.5-10 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”

Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped.  “O Lord, if I have found favor in your eyes,” he said, “then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance.”

Then the LORD said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the LORD, will do for you.

The Revelation of God… God’s love… calls us to a covenant relationship with him.  Interesting how the attributes of God, relate to the humility of Christ(Phil 2), Fruit of the Spirit(Gal. 5-6), Wisdom(Proverbs 4,8)… If I am body, mind and spirit… God is Love, Wisdom/truth, and Spirit.
Corinthians 13.4-8 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Anything is nothing, without love.  Gain itself is nothing without love.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Substitute God’s name for LOVE, in the above section… now substitute your name.  Does it match?

I John 4.7-21 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
 

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Is there Fear in love?  Prov. 1.7

John 13.34-38 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?”
Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”
Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”

Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!

Jeremiah 9.23-24 This is what the LORD says:
       “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength
       or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
       justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,”
       declares the LORD.

Phil 2.3-14 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. 

CLOTHE YOURSELF- With Compassion, Kindness, Gentleness, Humility, Patience and Christ (See also Zac. 3)

 I Peter 5.5-6 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
   “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 

Galatians 3.26-29 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. 

Romans 12.3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 

Colossians 4.6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. 

I John 3.16-18 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. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 

 I venture today to say… The highest love of God is neither intellectual, nor physical, it is spiritual. Question is, where does obedience lie?  Is that the message of the Sermon on the Mount? 

John 15.13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 

I would even venture today to say that the WORD of God is spoken.  For the Lord your God, the consuming fire is a jealous God, ever present…. Eternal, immutable, omniscient…  God spoke the world into existence, laid the foundations, laid the law of the harvest, and the law of nature.  The heavens proclaim the glory of God.  They don’t write.  They speak.  God speaks.  When the dove descended in Matthew 3… a voice from heaven said… Interesting the passing down of Jewish tradition was mainly through spoken word and memorization.  The fire brought down on the hilltop at Siani, the fire at Pentecost, tongues, the word laid on Isaiah’s tongue, the spoken word of God, is more powerful then a double-edged sword… It has the power to speak life or death… today I Choose Life.

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