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   True Christian Love Is
   Longsuffering And Kind

John 5:39, "Search the scriptures; for ... they ... testify of me." --- Jesus
   

Travis Case, Pastor/Teacher          Northgate Baptist Church          F.E.A.S.T Ministries
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:"   (Prov. 17:22)
"... the joy of the LORD is your strength."   (Neh. 8:10)

1 Cor. 13:4, "Charity suffereth long, and is kind;"

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
          Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
          Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
          Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
          Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
          Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
          Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
          Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
          Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
          It was never between you and them anyway.
                    -Mother Teresa

Why Are There So Few:
Mother Teresa(s) --- Amy Carmichael (s) --- Corrie ten Boom(s),
John Bunyan(s) --- Hutson Taylor(s) --- George Mueller(s)?

Is The Day of Great Men & Women of God Gone?
What Is It That Makes A Man Great? --- Love!

Introduction:

A. Love is far More Necessary and Excellent than any of the extraordinary Gifts of The Spirit.

1. It Far Exceeds all External Performances and Sufferings.

2. Love is the sum Total of all that is Distinguishing and Worthwhile in the Christian life.

B. True Godly Love Is:

1. Longsuffering --- Which is our response to the Evil or Injury Received from others.

2. Kindness --- Which is our response by the Good to be Given to others.

C. Meekness is a great Characteristic of the Christian Spirit and is Necessary in order to be Able to practice Longsuffering and Kindness.

1. Matt. 11:28-29, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."

2. Gal. 5:22, "But the fruit of the Spirit is ..... longsuffering, gentleness, ..."

3. Eph. 4:1-2, "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;"

4. Col. 3:12, "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;"

I. There Are Various Kinds of Evil, Injuries, And Hurts That We Will Receive From Others.

A. Unfairness, Dishonesty, Fraudulent and Deceitful in their dealings with you.

1. They will take advantage of and Cheat you because of your lack of knowledge in Business Dealing.

2. They will Oppress and charge Unreasonable Prices taking advantage of Your Necessities.

(Tornados, Floods, etc.)

3. They will be Unfaithful to you in Not Fulfilling their Promises.

4. They will Withhold What Is Due and Neglect to Pay their Debts to you.

They will cause you a great deal of Trouble and Difficulty when you try to collect what is due you.

5. By their Crooked and Perverse ways they will Provoke and Irritate and Injure you.

B. Evil Speaking and spreading False Reports and Gossip about you behind your back.

1. They will Slander you for their own benefit --- Personal Attacks .....

2. Even many Christians have a Willingness To Think And Speak The Worst about others.

3. James 3:10, "Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be."

4. In Job 5:21 it is call, "... the scourge of the tongue: ..."

5. Psalm 140:3, "They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; addersí poison is under their lips. Selah."

C. They have a very Selfish, Haughty and Proud Spirit, apparently having No Regard for the good or benefit of their Brother.

1. They have a very Willful Spirit, being Desperately set on Having Their Own Way.

2. They Shut Their Eyes and Minds to the Light or Motives that Others may offer.

3. They act, not so much from a regard for the public good, but rather from a Spirit of Opposition to you or others.

4. They may have a Malicious and Wicked Spirit against you Without Cause.

D. The World and Carnal Christians will have Great Opposition to the Bible or Spiritual Christian.

1. They Cherish a Wicked and Malicious spirit against Christians, whether With or Without Cause.

2. They do Not Cherish Anything Like Love to each other in their hearts --- they desire Control.

3. They have No Delight in each Otherís Honor and Prosperity --- they are Selfish.

4. They are Pleased when You Are Cast Down --- it makes them feel Victorious.

5. The show a Spirit of Envy --- Cherishing Ill-Will Toward Others.

6. They have a Spirit of Revenge, deliberately returning Evil For Evil.

a. As long as they live, they will keep up a Grudge In Their Hearts against their brother.

b. Whenever an opportunity arises, they will Act Out An Injury to their brother in the Spirit of Malice.

E. Yes, this is the Type of People we are to Love and be Longsuffering and Kind to!

II. What Is Meant By Meekly Bearing or Responding To Such Injuries?

A. Godly Love causes us to Respond to injuries Without doing anything to Revenge ourselves either by our Speech or Behavior.

1. We should Not Gratify The Bitter Spirit we feel in our hearts toward the one who injured us by Speaking Reproachfully of him to others.

2. Love will cause us to bear the injury Without Revenging or Retaliating with Bitter Words or Deeds.

3. We should do nothing that would show a Spirit of Resentment.

4. Our Heart is generally Revealed by our --- Revengeful Spirit and Words or Action.

B. The Godly Christian will receive evil and injuries with a Calm, Undisturbed Countenance and a Spirit full of Meekness, Quietness, Goodness and Gentleness.

1. Eph. 4:1-2, "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;"

2. Col. 3:12, "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;"

3. James 3:17, "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."

C. The Christian Spirit will Not manifest a Bitter, Exasperated Countenance.

1. The Countenance, Words, and Demeanor of a Christian Spirit will manifest:

Peaceableness --- Calmness --- Gentleness --- Politeness --- etc.

2. There will be a Continuance of Love in the Heart as well as in our Words and Actions.

3. We will Not Lose the Quietness, Rest, Calmness and Peace of our own Minds and Hearts.

Psa. 119:165, "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them."

D. To be Offended and Revengeful and Unforgiving is to put your Soul In Turmoil.

1. This is Contrary to Longsuffering and Kindness.

2. Our souls should be Serene and not like the Unstable surface of the water --- Disturbed by Every Wind That Blows.

Luke 21:19, "In your patience possess ye your souls.

3. We should be Willing To Suffer Wrong rather than Take Advantage of the Opportunity we may have to Defend ourselves.

1 Cor. 6:7, "Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?"

E. Why is it called "Long-Suffering" or suffering long.

1. We should meekly bear not only a Small injury but also Large wrongs.

2. We should Persevere and Continue without ceasing to still love our brother whether they Injures us A Little or Much.

3. The spirit of Longsuffering should Never Cease.

III. How Does Godly Love Help Us To Meekly Bear Such Injustices?

A. Our Love for the Lord Jesus Christ will cause us to Imitate Him.

1. Rom. 2:4, "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"

2. Paul --- 1 Tim. 1:12-16, "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting."

B. Our Love for the Lord Jesus Christ will cause us to Express Our Gratitude for His Long-Suffering and Kindness toward us By being longsuffering and kind to Others.

1. When we Refuse To Exercise Longsuffering toward others that have injured us --- It is because we Disapprove of Godís Longsuffering Toward Us.

2. When we truly Approve of something --- we will Gladly Practice that same thing with others --- Paul is an example .....

C. Our Love for the Lord Jesus Christ tends to Exalt Him --- and tends to Lower Thoughts And Estimates of Ourselves --- leads to our Humility.

1. Our love for the Lord Jesus Christ causes us to be Sensitive To The Hatefulness and Vileness of Our Sins committed against Him.

2. It is Pride and Self-Conceit that is the Foundation of a High and Bitter Resentment and of a Unforgiving and Revengeful spirit.

Eph. 4:32, "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christís sake hath forgiven you."

Matt. 18:32-33, "Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?"

3. When We Love Our Brother, We Will Be Toward Him As Christ Is To Us --- Longsuffering --- Kind

Prov. 10:12, "Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins."

The people that we have a great and Strong Love for, we always Bear A Great Deal More from, than from those that We Dislike, or to whom we are Indifferent.

Eph. 4:1-2, "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;"

D. Our Love for the Lord Jesus Christ will cause us to Trust Him To Take Care of Our Enemies --- and realize that All Things Come From God.

1. God is a great deal More Concerned about what happens to His children than we are.

2. If we understand that our Hurts and Injuries are Not From Man but rather From God Himself --- It would keep us from a Resentment, Unforgiving and Revengeful spirit toward he who did the wrong.

3. All Things come our way through the Directive or the Permissive Will of God:

Check Out David --- 2 Sam. 16:5-13, "And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still as he came. 6 And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. 7 And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial: 8 The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man. 9 Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head. 10 And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so? 11 And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it? let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him. 12 It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day. 13 And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hillís side over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust."

David Was Longsuffering And Kind --- Trusting God To Take Care of The Problem.

E. Our Love for the Lord Jesus Christ will cause us to Rise Above The Injuries Caused By Others.

1. Nothing can ever really hurt those who are the True Friends of God.

a. 1 Peter 3:13, "And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?"

b. David --- Psa. 119:165, "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them."

c. How Easily you are Offended tells us a lot about Your Love or Lack of Love For God.

2. The more we love God, the more we will Place All Our Happiness In Him.

a. The more we love God, the Less We Set Our Hearts On Worldly Interest, which are the Only Things That Our Enemies Can Touch.

b. Men Can Only Injure Godís People With Respect To Worldly Things.

c. The More we love God, the Less Our Heart Will Be Set On The Things of The World. --- and the Less We Feel The Injuries that our enemies may inflict.

3. If we are Not Prepared to meekly bear injuries, we are Not Prepared to live in this world --- In this world we must Expect to meet with many injuries from men.

a. We do Not dwell in a world of Purity and Innocence and Love.

b. The world we live in is Fallen, Corrupt, Miserable and Wicked.

2 Thess. 3:2, "And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith."

Matt. 10:16, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."

c. When some Christians are mistreated, their Spirit Rises In Bitter Resentment as if some Strange Thing happen unto them.

1 Peter 4:12, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:"

4. In the Same Proportion that we allow our minds to be disturbed and angered by the injuries --- we place ourselves Under The Power And Control of Our Enemy.

5. A Mark of True Greatness is our ability to maintain Calmness of Mind in the midst of Injuries and Evils. --- Longsuffering

Prov. 16:32, "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city."

Prov. 19:11, "The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression."

Prov. 14:16-18, "A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident. 17 He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated." --- V. 29, "He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly."

F. Paul Set The Example For Us.

1 Cor. 4:11-13, "Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; 12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: 13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day."

G. God Will Deal With Us As We Deal With Others.

Psa. 18:25-26, "With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; 26 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward."

Matt. 6:14-15, "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." --- 7:2, "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."

IV. You May Object --- "The Injuries, Hurts, And Wrongs That I Receive From Others Are Intolerable" --- I Canít Take It Anymore!

A. Are the Injuries You Have Received from your fellow-man More Than You Have Done unto the Lord.

1. Have Your Enemyís Offences been more Heinous or Aggravated, or more in number, than Yours have been Against Your Savior.

2. Have your enemyís offences been more Provoking and Exasperating than your sinful conduct has been to the Christ Who Suffered For You.

B. Do You Not Hope that God will have Mercy upon you and that Christ will Embrace you in His Love and Mercy --- even though you have injured Him so greatly?

1. Do you not think that you should Do Likewise To Those Who Offend You?

2. Is it Less Heinous To Offend The Lord of heaven and earth, Than For A Man To Offend You?

3. Would you be willing for God to deal with you in the future in the Same Way That You Deal with those who offend you?

Luke 6:38, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

4. While on this earth, did Christ Turn Against those who injured Him --- was He not injured Far More Grievously than you have ever been?

a. Have You Not Trodden Under Foot The Son of God More Than You Were Ever Trodden On By Others?

b. Is it a More Grievous Sin for men to tread on and Injure You than for you to tread on and Injure Christ?

C. You may say, "But those who have injured me have Not At All Repented and they Continue to do the same things.

1. What Opportunity would there be for you to Practice Longsuffering if they did not persist in doing evil to you?

Rom. 5:3, "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;"

2. Was not God Longsuffering with you when You Persisted in offending Him?

3. When you were Obstinate, and Self-Willed, and Persevering in your Rebellion against God, did He cease to be longsuffering toward you?

D. You may say, "But my enemies will be Encouraged To Continue with their injuries toward me."

1. First, you donít know that.

2. Second, God Is More Able to put a stop to them than you are.

Rom. 12:19, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."

V. Godly Love Causes Us To Do Good --- Be Kind --- Unto Others --- Even Our Enemies.

A. Matt. 5:44-47, "... I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" --- "V. 46, "For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?"

1. Doing good to the Souls of Others is a Greater Good than if you have given them the Riches of the Universe.

2. Doing good to others may come by way of:

Instructing --- Counseling --- Warning --- Reproving --- As Well As Providing Deeds of Kindness.

3. Comforting and Establishing one another --- Strengthening one another in Faith and Obedience --- Edifying one another; may include:

a. Helping one another out of a Dull and Dead Frame of Mind.

b. Helping one another out of Temptations,

c. Encouraging one another in Depression and Trial,

d. Promoting each otherís Spiritual Joy and Strength.

4. We should also aid their Good Name and thus promote their Esteem and acceptance among men.

B. We should also Do Good (be kind) to other in Outward Things of this material world.

1. By Giving to them those things that they need, and we possess.

Luke 6:38, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

2. By Doing for them, and Taking Pains To Help them and Promote their Welfare.

1 Thess. 2:9, "For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God."

Heb. 6:10, "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister."

The Greatest Position You Can Have Is --- "Minister of God"

3. By Suffering for them, and aiding them in Bearing Their Burdens and doing all in our poser to Make Those Burdens Light.

Gal. 6:2, "Bear ye one anotherís burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."

1 John 3:16, "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."

C. To Whom should we do all this Good --- Be Kind?

1. Luke 10:29, "But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?"

2. We should do good (be kind) to both the Good and the Bad.

Matt. 5:43, "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

We should be diligent to Benefit The Lost that we may Win Them To Christ.

Rom. 2:4, "... the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"

Gal. 6:10, "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."

3. We should do good (be kind) both to Friends and Enemies.

Matt. 5:44, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"

Rom. 12:17, "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men." --- V. 21, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

1 Thess. 5:15, "See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men."

1 Peter 3:9, "Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing."

4. We should do good (be kind) both to the Thankful and the Unthankful.

Luke 6:35, "But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil."

We should do good Even If They Never Thank Us for it, but rather they Return Abuse And Injury, and then Expect Us To Do More.

D. In What Manner should we do all this Kindness?

1. There is no proper kindness in the doer of it, unless it is done Freely.

Matt. 10:8, "... freely ye have received, freely give."

1 Cor. 2:12, "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."

Rom. 8:32, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"

2. Our kindness should Not be in a Mercenary Spirit.

Luke 6:35, "But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil."

Luke 14:12-14, "Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. 13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just."

3. Our kindness should be Cheerfully, Heartily and with real Good Will or Delight and not with a reluctance of spirit.

Col. 3:23, "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;"

1 Peter 4:9, "Use hospitality one to another without grudging."

2 Cor. 9:7, "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."

Rom. 12:8, "Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness."

Deut. 15:10, "Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto."

4. Our kindness should be Liberally and Bountifully not scant or sparing.

Deut. 15:8, "But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth."

Prov. 11:25, "The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself."

2 Cor. 9:6, "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully."

E. A True Christian Spirit will result in us doing good to other.

1. Love is Benevolent and has Good-Will toward Others.

a. This is a Desire for and Delight in the Good of another person.

b. Conclusive Evidence of our wishing or desiring to do good to others, Is To Do It.

c. The Act Always Follows The Will, where there is the Power To Act.

d. Doing Good is the Evidence of our Love.

1 John 3:18, "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth."

James 2:15-16, "If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?"

2. A Spiteful, Malicious, Closed, or Selfish Spirit is the very Opposite of Love.

a. They are Only Interested in their Own Profit and are Unwilling To Forego their Own Benefits for the sake of others.

b. They take every opportunity to Get All They Possibly Can from others.

c. They practice the very Opposite of the Christian Spirit.

3. If we are Spiritually Mature in our Love, we Will:

a. As we have opportunity, we should seek to do good to the Spirit and Bodies of others --- to be a Blessing to them for Time and Eternity.

b. Be willing to Give, to Do, or Suffer, that we may do good to both Friends and Enemies --- the Evil and the Good --- to the Thankful and the Unthankful.

c. This is Essential for True Love, and Required by the Commands of Christ.

VI. Godly Love Is Mature And Can Be Longsuffering And Kind Because It Is Grounded In Knowledge & Insight.

Phil. 1:9-11, "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."

A. True Godly Love must be Mature as it relates to everyday life --- it must live day to day with people.

1. Mature Christian Love which is grounded in knowledge and insight is Not to be longsuffering and kind To Sin but to the sinner.

2 Tim. 2:25, "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;"

2. Longsuffering & Kindness does Not Tolerate Sin or Doctrinal Error --- nor anything else that would dishonor our Lord.

3. True Godly Love must abound in longsuffering and kindness Based Upon Knowledge and Judgment.

Remember our Scripture Phil. 1:9.

B. Love must be able to Discern what is Best.

1. We must live lives filled with Righteousness and Truth to the Glory and Praise of God.

2. Paul, in sharing his short prayer, is encouraging us to Act Upon It --- it is a small prayer but it contains huge Life Changing Requests.

3. Paul wants our love to Richly Abound To Others --- It is a Certain Kind of Love he has in mind.

a. It is Not just a Warm Sentiment --- That's Teenage Puppy Love.

b. It Not a love that is divorced from Practical Wisdom, Truth, and day to day living.

c. It Is a love that is based on Knowledge and Judgment or Insight.

d. It Is a love that is based upon a Knowledge of God and Biblical Truths as they apply to every day situations --- personal spiritual wisdom for godly living.

4. We need to learn to "Live Out Biblical Truth In A Practical, Every Day Kind of Way."

a. Aristotle said, "Generalities Are The Refuge of The Weak Mind."

b. Paul wants us to abound in love so that we might be able to Discern What Is Right or Best.

c. Decide / Discern (dokimaxein) means "to prove something as credible, worthy, or true by testing it."

C. Heb. 5:13-14, "For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

1. Spiritual Discernment gives us Vision and Regulates Our Moral Lives.

2. The discerning person Asks Questions about Beliefs and Actions.

a. Is what I believe about God based upon Deep Personal and Accurate Knowledge or is it merely Academic and Powerless.

b. Just because something is Permissible for me, does that mean it is Beneficial?

c. Is what I am doing Mastering Me and, therefore, rendering me an Idolater.?

d. Is what I ant to do going to Help or Hinder someone elseís Walk With The Lord?

Blameless (aproskopoi) --- We should take great pains Not To Cause someone else to Stumble in their Christian life.

e. Do I count My Freedom in gray areas More Important than the Faith of Another Christian?

f. Am I acting out of Love For Others, or out of Selfish Desires?

3. Discernment is the art of Separating the Best things from the Good things.

D. Sincere (eilikrineis) --- "without spot" --- refers to moral purity.

1. The term was derived from two words: "Sun" and "Judge."

2. Together the sense was "Tested Against The Light of The Sun" --- "completely pure" --- "spotless."

3. The picture was of someone bringing a garment out Into The Sun to see if there was any stain or spot on it.

E. Then there are some Christians who are "Professional Babies" or "Grace Killers."

1. They Will Never Grow Up in the Truth, Emotionally or Spiritually.

2. They want (need?) You To Stay Where They Are.

3. Nothing makes them happier in discussions of liberty than to Limit Your Freedom According To Their So-Called Freedom.

4. They can easily Evaluate where you fit and Whether You Pass Their holiness/spiritual measuring test.

5. They Stopped Growing Spiritually years ago and have No Desire To Grow spiritually today.

6. We must Not Allow Our Freedom or Spiritual Growth To Be Limited by such Christians --- To do so is Not true love toward that person or to God.

Eph. 4:13, "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:"

Col. 1:9-10, "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"

F. If we want our life to result in the Glory of God when Christ returns --- we must lead a Pure and Blameless life through Discernment, which Arises Out of Love.

VII. There Are Three Things We Need To Consider:

1. Consider how Great An Honor it is for God to use us as an Instrument of Good --- to be a Blessing To The World, like Abraham.

Gen. 12:2, "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing."

a. Has God been a Blessing to you? --- Have You been a Blessing to others?

b. Even the heavenly bodies --- the Sun --- the Moon --- the Stars --- are a blessing to the world.

c. Even Angels are Ministering Spirits to others for their good.

2. Consider how Kind God and Christ have been to us --- how much Good We Have Received from Them.

a. God's Divine Mercies are New to us every morning and Fresh every evening --- for our Spiritual and Eternal good.

b. He has given to us what is of More Value than all the kingdoms of the earth --- His only-begotten and well-beloved Son.

c. He did this Without Grudging.

2 Cor. 8:9, "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich." --- 9:19, "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift."

1 Peter 1:4, "To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,"

Rom. 8:32, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"

3. Consider the Great Rewards, which are awaiting those who Freely Do Good To Others.

Acts 20:35. "... It is more blessed to give than to receive."

Eccl. 11:1, "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days."

Luke 6:38, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

Prov. 11:24, "There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty."

2 Cor/ 9:6-8. "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:"

Prov. 10:22, "The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it."

Psa. 112:5-9, "A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. 6 Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. 7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. 8 His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies. 9 He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour."

Matt. 25:34-40, "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."




If You Are Not Saved, Nothing Else Matters
There Is No Second Chance After Death!
Hebrews 9:27

                                                          

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