Faithlife Sermons

IfWeEverNeededLove

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ƒ üœ! ÝÔ USUS., ÔÝ ÝÔ_ ÔÑ 8€ ©¨ X X dìdÈ8ÑÌÌIF€WE€EVER€NEEDED€LOVE,€IT€IS€NOWÐ < Ø ÐRobert€WalkerÐ ( Ä ÐPHIL€1:6Ð

° ÐÌINTRODUCTIONÐ ì ˆ ÐÌMilton€Grannum€(Philadelphia)€had€a€life-changing€Ð Ä

` Ðexperience€as€he€visited€a€leper€colony€in€South€Ð ° L ÐAmerica.€He€would€visit€the€people,€pray€with€them,€Ð œ 8

Ðsing€with€them,€read€scripture€to€patients.Ð ˆ $

ÐÌMilton€met€a€woman€named€Rose.€Her€eyes€had€rotted€Ð ` ü

Ðaway,€leaving€her€blind.€Her€hands€&€feet€were€only€Ð L è Ðstumps.€There€was€blood€on€her€face€from€mosquitoes€Ð 8 Ô

Ðbiting€her,€because€she€couldn't€swat€them€away.Ð $ À ÐÌYet,€when€Grannum€was€getting€ready€to€pray€for€her,€&€Ð ü ˜ Ðhe€asked€what€she€would€like,€she€asked€him€to€pray€Ð è „ Ðthat€God€would€help€her€show€the€doctors€that€Christ€Ð Ô p Ðwas€alive€in€her€life.Ð À \ ÐÌShe€wanted€the€doctors€to€know€God's€grace.€Her€Ð ˜ 4 Ðconcern€wasn't€for€her€own€health€&€comfort.€Her€real€Ð „ Ðpassion€was€the€love€of€God.Ð p ÐÌOn€another€occasion,€minister€named€Jack€Hinton€was€Ð H ä Ðleading€worship€at€a€leper€colony€on€the€island€of€Ð 4 Ð ÐTobago.€A€woman€whose€back€had€been€to€the€pulpit€Ð !¼ Ðsuddenly€turned€around€&€he€saw€what€he€describes€as€Ð "¨ Ðthe€most€hideous€face€he€has€ever€seen.€"The€woman's€Ð ø"” Ðnose€and€ears€were€entirely€gone.Ð ä#€ ÐÌShe€lifted€a€fingerless€hand€in€the€air€and€asked,€Ð ¼%X " Ð"Can€we€Sing€Count€Your€Many€Blessings?"€Hinton€was€Ð ¨&D # Ðovercome€with€emotion,€and€had€to€leave€the€service.Ð ”'0!$ ÐÌA€team€member€followed€him.€He€said,€"I€guess€you'll€Ð l) #& Ðnever€be€able€to€sing€that€song€again."€"Yes,€I€will,"€Ð X*ô#' Ðsaid€Jack,€"but€I'll€never€sing€it€the€same€way."Ð D+à$( ÐÌÐ -¸&* ÐThe€church€has€become€so€good€at€pronouncing€Ð d Ðcondemnation€to€those€who€have€done€wrong€that€those€Ð P ì Ðwho€need€God€most€never€hear€the€message€of€God's€Ð < Ø Ðlove.Ð ( Ä ÐÌ"But€Pastor,€hasn't€God€called€the€church€to€prick€the€Ð œ Ðconsciousness€of€this€world€and€to€point€out€sin€when€Ð ì ˆ Ðsin€arises?"€Absolutely,€but€the€problem€is€we€think€Ð Ø t Ðwe€do€that€best€through€judgment€and€condemnation.Ð Ä

` ÐÌBut€nowhere€does€God€grant€us€the€power€to€condemn.€He€Ð œ 8

Ðonly€grants€us€the€power€to€love.€Love€has€a€far€Ð ˆ $

Ðgreater€power€to€change€the€world€than€condemnation.Ð t ÐÌÌILLUSTRATIONÐ 8 Ô

ÐÌHow€come,€when€the€world€thinks€about€someone€caring€Ð ¬ Ðfor€the€old€&€poor€&€sick,€the€name€of€Mother€Theresa€Ð ü ˜ Ðcomes€to€mind?€Why,€when€we€hear€of€hospitals€&€Ð è „ Ðorphanages€through€out€the€world,€do€we€discover€that€Ð Ô p Ðthe€majority€of€them€began€through€the€efforts€of€Ð À \ ÐChristians€seeking€to€help€the€helpless?Ð ¬ H ÐÌHow€come,€when€famine€arises€&€people€are€starving€by€Ð „ Ðthe€hundreds€of€thousands€that€the€Red€Cross,€Church€Ð p ÐWorld€Relief,€World€Vision,€&€IDES€are€names€that€pop€Ð \ ø Ðup€over€&€over€again?Ð H ä ÐÌWhy?€Jesus€Christ€is€our€Lord,€&€He€has€told€us€to€Ð !¼ Ð"love€one€another."€In€fact,€He€even€went€a€step€Ð "¨ Ðfurther€&€said,€"You€have€heard€that€it€was€said,€Ð ø"” Ð'Love€your€neighbor€&€hate€your€enemy.'€But€I€tell€Ð ä#€ Ðyou:€Love€your€enemies€&€pray€for€those€who€persecute€Ð Ð$l ! Ðyou,€that€you€may€be€sons€of€your€Father€in€heaven."€Ð ¼%X " Ð[Matthew€5:43-45]Ð ¨&D # ÐÌPaul€says€I'm€giving€you€something€out€of€my€heart€as€Ð €( "% ÐI€sit€here€in€this€prison.Ð l) #& ÐÌ€€€€€The€rats€run€across€my€feetÐ D+à$( Ѐ€€€€I€hear€the€cursing€of€the€men€around€meÐ 0,Ì%) Ѐ€€€€Men€who€are€sentenced€to€deathÐ -¸&* Ѐ€€€€I€don't€know€how€far€my€death€is€off-Ð d ÐÌPaul€says€to€you€"I€want€to€pray€for€you€for€three€Ð < Ø Ðthings"€in€verse€9€-€If€you€have€your€bibles€ðE ð€"this€Ð ( Ä Ðis€what€I'm€praying€for€you€about"€-€Paul€says€"first€Ð

° Ðof€all€I'm€praying€that€you€will€haveð! ðÐ œ ÐÌÌI.€PROFUSION€WHICH€IS€A€MARK€OF€LOVEÐ Ä

` ÐÌA.€Love€that€FlowsÐ œ 8

ÐÌ1.€Paul's€prayer€was€that€there€love€would€"abound,"€Ð t Ðoverflow,€and€notice:€"yet€more€and€more."€He€was€Ð ` ü

Ðpraying€for€a€growing€love.€What€a€great€petition€for€Ð L è Ðour€prayer€list:€"Lord,€let€my€love€for€God€and€others€Ð 8 Ô

Ðgrow€and€grow€and€grow.Ð $ À ÐÌ2.€I€want€your€love€to€break€out€of€its€banks.€I€want€€€€€€€€€Ð ü ˜ Ðsomething€to€happen€inside€of€your€hearts.€€€Isn't€Ð è „ Ðthat€what€we€need€(an€explosions€on€the€inside)€of€us.Ð Ô p ÐÌ3.€Isn't€that€what€needs€to€happen€in€our€lives?€That€€€€€Ð ¬ H Ðsomething€would€take€place€that€we€wouldn't€understand€Ð ˜ 4 Ðinside€of€our€own€hearts.€Actually€the€word€is€a€Ð „ Ðpicture€of€a€river€out€of€its€banks€and€it€removes€Ð p Ðevery€barrier€in€its€way.€This€explosion€on€the€inside€Ð \ ø Ðcan€change€a€person€life€completely.Ð H ä ÐÌILLUSTRATIONÐ !¼ ÐÌI€read€the€testimony€of€a€man€that€is€a€great€writer.€Ð ø"” ÐHe€told€that€when€he€was€young€he€was€very€(very€shy,€Ð ä#€ Ðvery€inferior)€and€he€just€couldn't€seem€to€get€any€Ð Ð$l ! Ðthing€across.Ð ¼%X " ÐÌHe€was€afraid€to€write,€he€was€afraid€to€speak.€He€Ð ”'0!$ Ðcould€stand€before€a€mirror€and€speak€eloquently.€€But€Ð €( "% Ðif€he€got€out€of€his€bedroom€-€he€just€turned€to€Ð l) #& Ðjelly.Ð X*ô#' ÐÌHe€could€write€beautiful€essays€-€but€he€was€afraid€to€Ð 0,Ì%) Ðturn€them€in.€€Then€he€found€the€day€that€Christ€came€Ð -¸&* Ðinto€his€life€and€he€said,€"Something€exploded€inside€Ð d Ðof€me."Ð P ì ÐÌ"I€had€a€confident€power€that€Jesus€Christ€could€speak€Ð ( Ä Ðthrough€me!"€-€and€since€that€time€he€has€turned€out€Ð

° Ð1800€books€that€touch€and€blessed€the€hearts€of€many€Ð œ Ðpeople€because€something€happened€on€the€inside.Ð ì ˆ ÐÌÌ2.€Here's€what€can€Happen-€your€love€can€abound€more€Ð ° L Ðand€more€-€what€does€it€mean€to€abound.€It€means€to€Ð œ 8

Ðflow€freely€-€it€means€to€break€out€of€its€banks-€it€Ð ˆ $

Ðmeans€to€beyond€the€barriers€and€that€love€should€flow€Ð t Ðfreely€in€two€ways.Ð ` ü

ÐÌ3.€Not€something€you€know€about-€but€experienced€€€€Ð 8 Ô

Ðknowledge€-€that€you€have€had€in€your€own€heart.€€Ð $ À ÐSomething€that€you€can€know€for€yourself.Ð ¬ ÐÌ4.€Something€that€you€can€experience€in€your€own€Ð è „ Ðexpression,€in€your€own€being.Ð Ô p ÐÌÌB.€Love€that€Knows€€-€"In€Knowledge€and€in€all€Ð ˜ 4 ÐJudgment."Ð „ ÐÌ1.€€As€Paul€Rees€has€said,€"Light€without€love€can€be€Ð \ ø Ða€forbiddingly€cold€as€an€iceberg€in€moonlight.€Love€Ð H ä Ðwith€out€light,€on€the€other€hand,€can€be€flamingly€Ð 4 Ð Ðdestructive€as€a€forest€fire€in€the€dry€season.Ð !¼ ÐÌ2.Real€love€is€always€responsive,€but€responsive€based€Ð ø"” Ðon€all€the€facts.€Real€love€operates€according€to€a€Ð ä#€ Ðfull€understanding.Ð Ð$l ! ÐÌ3.€Knowledge€gives€one€judgment€that€prevents€one€from€Ð ¨&D # Ðacting€the€wrong€way,€saying€the€wrong€thing,€and€Ð ”'0!$ Ðallows€them€to€do€the€right€thing€and€say€the€right€Ð €( "% Ðthing.Ð l) #& ÐÌILLUSTRATIONÐ D+à$( ÐÌJust€a€few€weeks€ago€there€was€a€tragedy€in€Olmito€as€Ð -¸&* Ð3€people€were€killed€when€their€car€tried€to€outrun€Ð d Ðthe€train€at€a€railroad€crossing.€Now€the€parents€of€Ð P ì Ðthe€15-year-old€driver€are€grief-stricken€over€the€Ð < Ø Ðloss€of€the€son€they€loved.Ð ( Ä ÐÌIn€fact,€they€loved€their€son€so€much€that€they€bought€Ð œ Ðhim€his€own€Trans-Am€before€he€was€legally€old€enough€Ð ì ˆ Ðto€drive.€And€they€let€him€drive€the€car€illegally€Ð Ø t Ðwhile€he€was€still€underage€&€didn't€have€a€driver's€Ð Ä

` Ðlicense.€Then€he€races€a€train€&€loses,€&€now€the€Ð ° L Ðfamily€is€suing€for€millions€over€his€loss.€Indulgence€Ð œ 8

Ðis€not€love.Ð ˆ $

ÐÌÌ1.€Then€it€can€go€in€all€judgment-which€means€a€Ð L è Ðsensitive€moral€perception.€Love€not€lust.€So€I€want€Ð 8 Ô

Ðit€to€start€in€your€heart€so€that€your€love€will€break€Ð $ À Ðout€its€banks.€It€will€flow€out€of€its€boundaries-€it€Ð ¬ Ðwill€go€beyond€its€barriers.Ð ü ˜ ÐÌ2.€And€it€will€reach€out€and€touch€the€life€of€every€Ð Ô p Ðperson€near€you.€What€would€happen€if€that€beginning€Ð À \ Ðwould€happen€in€your€life?€An€explosion€took€place.€Ð ¬ H ÐAnd€the€power€of€God€would€gush€out€of€you€like€a€Ð ˜ 4 Ðgushing€gizer.Ð „ ÐÌILLUSTRATIONÐ \ ø ÐÌAccording€to€church€tradition€St.€Valentine€was€a€Ð 4 Ð Ðpriest€near€Rome€in€about€the€year€A.D.€270.€At€that€Ð !¼ Ðtime€the€Roman€Emperor€was€imprisoning€Christians€for€Ð "¨ Ðnot€worshipping€the€Roman€gods.€During€this€Ð ø"” Ðpersecution€Valentine€was€arrested.€Some€say€he€was€Ð ä#€ Ðarrested€because€he€was€performing€Christian€Ð Ð$l ! Ðmarriages,€but€others€say€it€was€for€helping€Ð ¼%X " ÐChristians€escape€prison.Ð ¨&D # ÐÌDuring€the€trial€they€asked€Valentine€what€he€thought€Ð €( "% Ðof€the€Roman€gods€Jupiter€and€Mercury.€Of€course€Ð l) #& ÐValentine€said€they€were€false€gods€and€that€the€God€Ð X*ô#' Ðthat€Jesus€called€Father€was€the€only€true€God.€So€the€Ð D+à$( ÐRomans€threw€him€in€prison€for€insulting€the€gods.Ð 0,Ì%) ÐÐ -¸&* ÐValentine€while€in€prison€continued€to€minister.€He€Ð d Ðwitnessed€to€the€guards.€One€of€the€guards€was€a€good€Ð P ì Ðman€who€had€adopted€a€blind€girl.€He€asked€Valentine€Ð < Ø Ðif€his€God€could€help€his€daughter.€Valentine€prayed€Ð ( Ä Ðand€the€girl€was€given€her€sight.Ð

° ÐÌThe€guard€and€his€whole€family,€46€people,€believed€in€Ð ì ˆ ÐJesus€and€were€baptized.€Because€these€people€had€come€Ð Ø t Ðto€know€Jesus,€Valentine€praised€God€right€there€in€Ð Ä

` Ðhis€prison€cell.€When€the€emperor€heard€about€this€he€Ð ° L Ðwas€furious€that€Valentine€was€still€making€converts€Ð œ 8

Ðeven€in€prison,€so€he€had€Valentine€beheaded.Ð ˆ $

ÐÌÌLove€is€laying€down€one's€life€(v.€16)Ð L è ÐÌJesus€stated€the€essence€of€love€in€John€15:13€when€he€Ð $ À Ðsaid,€"Greater€love€has€no€one€than€this,€than€to€lay€Ð ¬ Ðdown€one's€life€for€his€friends."Ð ü ˜ ÐÌOur€Savior€didn't€just€say€this€to€impress€his€Ð Ô p Ðdisciples;€he€literally€acted€it€out.€As€verse€16€Ð À \ Ðsays,€"He€laid€down€his€life€for€us."€Jesus€Christ€Ð ¬ H Ðdied€on€the€cross€that€we€might€have€life.Ð ˜ 4 ÐÌHe€did€this€because€he€considers€those€of€us€who€Ð p Ðbelieve€in€him€his€friends.€He€became€the€sacrifice€to€Ð \ ø Ðtake€our€place€in€death€when€we€should€be€the€ones€to€Ð H ä Ðdie€for€our€sins.Ð 4 Ð ÐÌÌWhat€does€love€mean?Ð ø"” ÐÌILL.€We€see€two€people€locked€in€an€embrace€underneath€Ð Ð$l ! Ða€palm€tree€on€a€beautiful€night,€&€we€hear€him€say€to€Ð ¼%X " Ðher,€"I€love€you."Ð ¨&D # ÐÌILL.€Again,€we€see€a€couple€eating€in€a€Mexican€Ð €( "% Ðrestaurant,€&€one€of€them€says,€"I€love€fajitas."€It's€Ð l) #& Ðthe€same€word,€but€surely€a€different€emotion.Ð X*ô#' ÐÌILL.€And€of€course,€as€we€drive€around€we€see€all€Ð 0,Ì%) Ðthose€bumper€stickers€proclaiming,€"I€love€the€Ð -¸&* ÐCowboys."Ð d ÐÌILL.€Ralph€Sockman€said,€"Love€is€an€overworked€word€Ð < Ø Ðfor€an€underemployed€emotion."€He's€right.€We€use€it€Ð ( Ä Ðall€the€time,€but€we€really€don't€employ€the€emotion.€Ð

° ÐNo€wonder€society€misunderstands€what€love€really€is!Ð œ ÐÌÌThe€very€word€"sacrifice"€portrays€the€meaning€of€Ð Ä

` Ðagape€love.€The€word€means,€"something€given€up€or€Ð ° L Ðlost."€When€we€love€someone€unconditionally,€it€means€Ð œ 8

Ðwe€will€sacrifice€or€give€up€our€own€welfare€that€Ð ˆ $

Ðanother€person€will€gain€or€prosper.Ð t ÐÌÌThis€is€the€kind€of€love€we€are€to€remember€and€Ð 8 Ô

Ðpractice€on€Valentine's€Day€and€all€the€days€of€the€Ð $ À Ðyear.€This€is€the€same€kind€of€love€that€St.€Valentine€Ð ¬ Ðpracticed.Ð ü ˜ ÐÌÌ3.€What€would€happen€if€you€would€just€unleashed€€€the€Ð À \ Ðpower€that€God€has€put€in€you€until€your€love€just€Ð ¬ H Ðabounded€in€something€you€experience.€SOMETHING€YOU€Ð ˜ 4 ÐKNOWÐ „ ÐÌ4.€You€see€that€is€the€kind€of€love€Stephen€had€when€Ð \ ø Ðhe€stood€there€and€they€were€trying€to€stone€him€to€Ð H ä Ðdeath.€He€was€ultimately€stone€to€death€and€he€cried€Ð 4 Ð Ðout€lay€not€this€sin€to€their€charge€Father.Ð !¼ ÐÌ5.€The€Lord€let€him€look€into€heaven€and€he€could€see€Ð ø"” ÐChrist€at€the€right€hand€of€the€father.€Love€broke€out€Ð ä#€ Ðthat€day€and€Jesus€stood.Ð Ð$l ! ÐÌ6.€That's€the€kind€of€love€that€Christ€had€when€he€Ð ¨&D # Ðhung€on€the€cross€and€there€power€at€his€finger€tips€Ð ”'0!$ Ðthat€he€could€call€the€angels€of€heaven€he€could€have€Ð €( "% Ðdestroyed€all€of€his€adversaries€and€Christ€calls€out€Ð l) #& Ð"Father€forgive€them€for€they€know€not€what€they€do."Ð X*ô#' ÐÌ7.€You€can't€touch€me€because€there€love€flowing€out€Ð 0,Ì%) Ðof€my€being.€And€that€is€the€kind€of€love€we€hath€to€Ð -¸&* Ðhave€in€our€hearts.€This€world€can't€touch€me€because€Ð d Ðthere€is€love€flowing€out€of€my€being.€There€is€an€Ð P ì Ðexplosion€taken€place€inside€of€me€that€where€it€all€Ð < Ø Ðstarts.Ð ( Ä ÐÌ8.€So€I€want€you€to€see€what€could€happen€in€you€if€Ð œ Ðthe€explosion€took€place€inside€of€you€and€really€blew€Ð ì ˆ Ðit€out.€If€love€and€power€inside€of€you€really€Ð Ø t Ðabounded-€really€let€€€itself€out€of€its€boundaries-€Ð Ä

` Ðreally€overflowed€the€barriers€and€you€started€sharing€Ð ° L Ðthe€person€you€really€could€be.Ð œ 8

ÐÌILLUSTRATIONÐ t ÐÌI€heard€the€story€of€a€man€that€had€been€in€prison€and€Ð L è Ðwas€released€from€prisonðI ðhe€had€a€drinking€problem€Ð 8 Ô

Ðdrinking€problem-and€the€Lord€saved€him.€He€Ð $ À Ðexperienced€an€explosion€on€the€inside.Ð ¬ ÐÌHe€was€walking€down€the€street€and€old€enemy€came€up€Ð è „ Ðand€just€verbally€curse€him€and€called€him€everything€Ð Ô p Ðin€the€book.€€He€experienced€an€explosion€on€the€Ð À \ Ðinside.Ð ¬ H ÐÌAnd€he€stood€and€just€lookedðI ðhe€was€praying€"help€me€Ð „ Ðbe€a€Christian"€ðE ð€tears€well€up€in€his€eyes.€He€was€a€Ð p Ðbig€raw€-€bone€man.€€He€said,€"Jake,€everything€you€Ð \ ø Ðsaid€was€probably€true€at€one€time.€€For€everything€Ð H ä Ðyou€said€there€was€a€time€in€my€life€when€I€would€had€Ð 4 Ð Ðalready€responded€and€we€would€have€been€in€a€bad€Ð !¼ Ðfight.Ð "¨ ÐÌ"But€Jake€you€are€looking€at€new€man€and€I'm€not€the€Ð ä#€ Ðman€I€use€to€be.€Whatever€I€did€that€made€you€feel€Ð Ð$l ! Ðthat€way€about€me€I€want€you€to€forgive€me€because€Ð ¼%X " ÐJesus€is€my€life.Ð ¨&D # ÐÌ"WHEN€YOU€LOOK€AT€ME€YOU€THINK€YOU€ARE€SEEING€THE€MAN€Ð €( "% ÐI€USED€TO€BEðI ðYOU'RE€SEEING€HIM€(JESUS)."€AND€IT€SET€Ð l) #& ÐTHAT€MAN€BACK€AND€HE€STOOD€THERE€LIKE€HE€HAD€BEEN€HIT€Ð X*ô#' ÐWITH€A€MACK€TRUCK.Ð D+à$( ÐÌHE€SAID€ðE ð€"ARE€YOU€SURE?€IT'S€YOU?€I'M€SURE."€"I€DON'T€Ð -¸&* ÐBELIEVE€IT€-€I€DON'T€BELIEVE€IT."€"IT'S€TRUE.€BUT€JAKE€Ð d ÐYOU€CAN€HAVE€IT€TOO."Ð P ì ÐÌGUESS€WHAT?€He€accepted€Christ-€Jake€is€a€minister€Ð ( Ä Ðnow...Ð

° ÐÌSomething€exploded€in€the€heart.€SOMETHING€EXPLODES€Ð ì ˆ ÐINSIDE€OF€YOU€AND€YOUR€LOVES€BREAKS€OUT€OF€ITS€BANKS.Ð Ø t ÐÌILLUSTRATIONÐ ° L ÐÌCorrie€Ten€Boone€ðE ð€she€stood€before€a€congregation€to€Ð ˆ $

Ðspeak-€she€looks€out€and€there€is€her€prison€guard.Ð t ÐÌFirst€impulse€was€go€down€there€and€claw€his€eyes€Ð L è Ðout...Ð 8 Ô

ÐÌShe€said€"Lord€I€can't€love€that€man...€I€can't."€ðE ð€Ð ¬ Ðetc.€"I€know€you€can't,€but€Jesus€my€Son€can€love€him€Ð ü ˜ Ðthrough€you."Ð è „ ÐÌAnd€she€stood€there€and€loved€him€through€Christ.€WHEN€Ð À \ ÐSHE€FINISHED€SPEAKING€HE€RUSHED€TO€HER€AND€ASKED€FOR€Ð ¬ H ÐFORGIVENESS...Ð ˜ 4 ÐÌ"I'VE€FOUND€THE€LORD€ðE ð€I€USE€TO€STAND€OUTSIDE€YOUR€Ð p ÐDOOR€AND€LISTEN€TO€YOU€HOLD€THOSE€BIBLE€STUDIES.Ð \ ø ÐÌ"AND€I€BECAME€LIKE€A€MAD€MAN€AND€I€USE€TO€CAUSE€YOU€Ð 4 Ð ÐALL€KINDS€OF€PAINðI ðBUT€PLEASE€FORGIVE€ME."Ð !¼ ÐÌAND€CORRIE€LOVED€HIM€THROUGH€JESUS€CHRIST.Ð ø"” ÐÌÌILL.€I€recently€heard€of€a€New€Ager€talking€about€her€Ð ¼%X " Ðrelationship€with€her€crystal,€&€the€love€she€receives€Ð ¨&D # Ðfrom€it,€how€she€sleeps€with€the€crystal,€&€when€she€Ð ”'0!$ Ðwakes€up€in€the€morning€she€can€feel€love€emanating€Ð €( "% Ðfrom€it.€I€thought,€"How€sad,€to€be€so€starved€for€Ð l) #& Ðlove€as€to€sleep€with€a€rock,€&€to€think€that€it€is€a€Ð X*ô#' Ðsource€of€love."Ð D+à$( ÐÌÐ -¸&* ÐII.€THE€PERCEPTION€WHICH€GUIDES€TRUE€LOVE€ðE ð€V€10Ð d ÐÌ1.€In€verse€10€that€you€may€approve€the€things€that€Ð < Ø Ðare€excellent,€that€you€might€be€sincere€and€with€out€Ð ( Ä Ðoffense€until€the€day€of€Christð! ð€repeat€it.Ð

° ÐÌ2.€Now€what€Paul€is€really€saying€is€ðE ð€something€can€Ð ì ˆ Ðhappen€inside€of€your€brain€after€it€happens€in€your€Ð Ø t Ðheart.€It's€got€to€get€to€your€head.Ð Ä

` ÐÌ3.€Now€isn't€that€where€most€of€the€problems€come€in€Ð œ 8

Ðour€day.€Our€stinking€thinking.€Our€stupid€thinking.€€Ð ˆ $

ÐIn€our€paganictic€thinking,€in€our€non-€programmed€Ð t Ðthinking.Ð ` ü

ÐÌÌThat€is€probably€why€Prov€23:7€says€as€a€man€thinketh€Ð $ À Ðin€his€heart€so€is€he.€And€that's€why€Paul€got€so€Ð ¬ Ðupset€when€people€didn't€think€right...€because€he€Ð ü ˜ Ðsaid€look-€there€a€lot€of€options€to€you-Ð è „ ÐÌAnd€the€mind€is€a€tricky€thing€and€there€is€such€a€Ð À \ Ðthing€as€a€REPROBATE€MIND€IN€Romans€1:20...€He€said€Ð ¬ H Ðthe€heathen€were€give€over€to€a€reprobate€mind.€€Ð ˜ 4 ÐBecause€they€did€not€retain€the€knowledge€of€God€in€Ð „ Ðtheir€thinking.Ð p ÐÌÌAnd€Romans€8:7€he€said€ðE ð€watch€out€for€the€carnal€mind€Ð 4 Ð Ðbecause€the€carnal€mind€is€at€war€with€God€ðE ð€it€is€not€Ð !¼ Ðsubject€to€the€law€of€God€and€neither€can€it€be.Ð "¨ ÐÌHe€told€the€Eph€ðE ð€don't€you€walk€as€the€gentiles€walk€Ð ä#€ Ðin€Ephesians€4:17€for€they€walk€in€the€vanity€of€their€Ð Ð$l ! Ðmind.Ð ¼%X " ÐÌHe€wrote€to€Titus€1:15€and€he€said€look€ðE ð€to€the€pure€Ð ”'0!$ Ðall€things€are€pure€but€to€them€that€are€unbelieving€Ð €( "% Ðand€defiled€it€is€not€pure€because€even€their€mind€and€Ð l) #& Ðconscious€is€defiled.Ð X*ô#' ÐÌÌAnd€it's€a€premise€that€we€behaveðI ðwe€act,€we€feel€and€Ð -¸&* Ðour€circumstances€are€consisted€with€our€own€self-Ð d Ðimage€and€our€own€self-esteem,€the€way€we€see€Ð P ì Ðourselves,€the€way€we€think.Ð < Ø ÐÌIf€we€see€ourselves€as€failure€types€we€are€going€to€Ð

° Ðoperate€in€ways€to€bring€failure€about.Ð œ ÐÌ€€€€It€doesn't€matter€about€the€potentialities.€Ð Ø t Ѐ€€€It€doesn't€matter€about€our€good€intentions.Ð Ä

` Ѐ€€€It€doesn't€matter€about€our€will€powerÐ ° L Ѐ€€€It€doesn't€matter€about€opportunities€that€come€Ð œ 8

Ѐ€€€€€€€our€wayÐ ˆ $

Ѐ€€€We€still€are€going€to€act€like€failures.Ð t ÐÌÌA.€"Approve,"€dokimazoÐ 8 Ô

ÐÌ1.€€€€You€hath€to€approve€the€things€that€are€Ð ¬ Ðexcellent.€€You've€got€to€learn€to€discriminate.€€Ð ü ˜ ÐApprove€means€to€put€to€the€test.€To€set€the€seal€of€Ð è „ Ðapproval€on.€Every€day€we€live€there€we€process€all€Ð Ô p Ðkinds€of€stimulus.Ð À \ ÐÌ2.€€€€We€are€bombarded€with€stimulus€everyday.€Things€Ð ˜ 4 Ðthat€flood€our€hearts,€our€lives,€our€minds.€There€is€Ð „ Ða€real€battle€for€the€mind.€The€battle€ground€is€for€Ð p Ðthe€mind.€That's€why€advertiser€will€pay€millions€for€Ð \ ø Ðjust€a€few€moments€of€time.€If€they€can€control€your€Ð H ä Ðmind€they€can€control€what€you€buy.Ð 4 Ð ÐÌ3.€€€€Don't€be€a€garbage€wagon.€Don't€allow€people€to€Ð "¨ Ðuse€your€ears€as€garbage€cans.€Don't€load€yourself€Ð ø"” Ðwith€all€of€the€things€of€this€world.Ð ä#€ ÐÌ4.€€€€Learn€to€test€and€approve€the€things€that€are€Ð ¼%X " Ðworthwhile.€€You€hath€to€learn€to€discriminate.€You€Ð ¨&D # Ðhave€got€to€make€a€decision.Ð ”'0!$ ÐÌ5.€€€€The€battle€is€not€between€what€is€good€and€bad.€Ð l) #& ÐThe€real€battle€is€between€what€is€good€and€what€is€Ð X*ô#' Ðbest.€Learn€to€discriminate€ðE ð€what's€bad,€what's€good.€Ð D+à$( ÐWhat's€appropriate,€what's€unapropriate?Ð 0,Ì%) ÐÐ -¸&* Ð6.€€€€Most€of€us€get€into€trouble€because€of€the€Ð d Ðscreening€process.€That's€why€Paul€says€you€have€got€Ð P ì Ðto€have€the€right€perception.€€Power€to€control€your€Ð < Ø Ðmind.€Most€of€our€problems€come€from€our€stinking€Ð ( Ä Ðthinking.€If€we€were€to€think€the€right€thing€then€we€Ð

° Ðwon't€think€the€wrong.Ð œ ÐÌ7.€€€€God€has€designed€you€where€you€can't€think€two€Ð Ø t Ðthoughts€at€the€same€time.€Discriminate.Ð Ä

` ÐÌÌB.€"Sincere"-€to€be€tested.Ð ˆ $

ÐÌ1.€€€€I€want€you€to€be€with€out€offense.€What€does€it€Ð ` ü

Ðmean€to€be€sincere?€It€means€to€be€without€mixture.€It€Ð L è Ðmeans€to€be€unadulterated.€Literally€the€word€means€Ð 8 Ô

Ðpure.€In€the€original€it€means€to€be€clear€when€Ð $ À Ðexamine€in€the€sunlight.€Without€wax...Ð ¬ ÐÌÌC.€Without€Offense-€"without€stumbling".Ð Ô p ÐÌ1.€€€€In€the€Greek€this€means€uncut,€not€to€stumble.€Ð ¬ H ÐPaul€is€saying€we€should€be€unmarred,€unscarred.€We€Ð ˜ 4 Ðare€living€in€a€world€that€has€been€booby-trapped€by€Ð „ ÐSatan.€€Don't€want€you€to€be€scared€up€by€the€things€Ð p Ðof€this€world.€The€blood€of€Jesus€Christ€has€taken€Ð \ ø Ðaway€the€scars,€take€away€the€marks.Ð H ä ÐÌ2.€€€€You€don't€need€to€be€as€one€that€is€all€cut€up€Ð !¼ Ðand€scared,€marred€and€beaten€by€the€things€of€this€Ð "¨ Ðworld.Ð ø"” ÐÌ3.€€€€First,€you€discriminate€the€things€which€are€Ð Ð$l ! Ðexcellent.€You€become€sincere,€clear€when€examine€or€Ð ¼%X " Ðanalyzed€in€the€sunlight.Ð ¨&D # ÐÌ4.€€€€The€Perception€which€guides€us.Ð €( "% ÐÌILLUSTRATIONÐ X*ô#' ÐÌI€heard€the€story€of€a€young€girl€who€was€very€Ð 0,Ì%) Ðsuicidal,€very€depressed€high€school€girl.€She€was€at€Ð -¸&* Ðthe€point€of€flunking€in€a€certain€course€when€her€Ð d Ðteacher€assigned€her€the€topic€"The€Art€of€Joyous€Ð P ì ÐLiving."Ð < Ø ÐÌDepressed,€discouraged,€and€defeated€she€began€to€Ð

° Ðresearch€the€topic€and€she€ran€across€the€Bible€and€Ð œ Ðbegan€to€talk€about€Jesus€Christ.€She€began€to€read€Ð ì ˆ Ðabout€him€and€the€life€that€he€made€possible€through€Ð Ø t Ðthe€new€birth.Ð Ä

` ÐÌWhen€researching€for€that€paper,€"The€Art€of€Joyous€Ð œ 8

ÐLiving,"€she€had€an€encounter€with€Jesus€Christ€that€Ð ˆ $

Ðwould€change€her€life.Ð t ÐÌYou€know€you€can't€meet€Jesus€without€changing.€If€Ð L è Ðyour€religion€hasn't€changed€you€then€you€better€Ð 8 Ô

Ðchange€your€religion€because€it€won't€take€you€to€Ð $ À Ðheaven.Ð ¬ ÐÌShe€had€life-changing€encounter€with€Jesus€Christ€and€Ð è „ Ðshe€wrote€a€prize-winning€term€paper.€It€was€later€Ð Ô p Ðpublished.€She€sums€up€her€article€in€a€few€words€by€Ð À \ Ðsaying€"The€Art€of€Joyous€Living€comes€from€having€the€Ð ¬ H Ðright€perception€about€Christ.Ð ˜ 4 ÐÌÌII.€€THE€PERFECTION€WHICH€IS€THE€MUST€OF€TRUE€LOVEÐ \ ø ÐÌA.€Live€for€Him€ðE ð€verse€13Ð 4 Ð ÐÌ1.€€€€Notice€the€verse-€that€the€fruits€of€Ð "¨ Ðrighteousness€by€Jesus€Christ€can€be€known€to€the€Ð ø"” Ðworld.€€Notice€the€word€fruits.€The€word€means€is€good€Ð ä#€ Ðand€does€good.Ð Ð$l ! ÐÌ2.€€€€But€notice€carefully€that€this€fruit€is€the€Ð ¨&D # Ðproduct€of€a€mastered€life:€"by€Jesus€Christ."€It€is€Ð ”'0!$ ÐChrist€being€Lord€of€the€life€and€Him€filling€the€life€Ð €( "% Ðwith€the€fruits€of€righteousness.Ð l) #& ÐÌ3.€€€€You€can't€show€fruit€you€do€not€have.Ð D+à$( ÐYou€can't€share€love€you€don't€possess.Ð 0,Ì%) ÐYou€can't€share€peace,€faith€that€you€don't€have.Ð -¸&* ÐYou€can't€give€somebody€something€you€haven't€got€Ð d Ðyourself.Ð P ì ÐÌFriends,€when€it€is€in€the€heart,€when€it€is€in€the€Ð ( Ä Ðhead,€the€fruits€are€there.Ð

° ÐÌÌB.€Look€for€Him-€until€the€day€of€Christ€Jesus€ðE ðv€6€We€Ð Ø t Ðare€to€be€looking€and€longing€for€Jesus€to€come€back.€€Ð Ä

` ÐAre€you€watching€for€the€Lord€to€return?€Are€you€Ð ° L Ðliving€in€expectation€that€He€could€come€back€any€Ð œ 8

Ðmoment.Ð ˆ $

ÐÌ1.€€€€I€think€one€of€the€greatest€sermons€I€have€ever€Ð ` ü

Ðheard€is€one€by€Dr.€Adrian€Rogers€on€the€second€coming€Ð L è Ðof€Jesus€Christ.€He€says€every€believer€ought€to€be€Ð 8 Ô

Ðlooking,€longing,€loving,€laboring€and€learning€until€Ð $ À ÐJesus€Christ€comes€back€to€this€earth.Ð ¬ ÐÌ2.€€€€He€will€come€again€He€always€keeps€His€word.€€Ð è „ ÐThis€hour€will€fill€some€hearts€with€dread,€distress€Ð Ô p Ðbut€others€with€delight.€€His€coming€is€sure,€it€will€Ð À \ Ðbe€sudden.Ð ¬ H ÐÌ3.€€€€Dr.€James€Merritt€in€his€sermon€"When€the€Baby€Ð „ Ðis€Due"€says,€"It€will€be€a€time€of€deception,€Ð p Ðdisruption,€and€destruction."€€Just€pick€up€the€Ð \ ø Ðmorning€paper€and€that€is€exactly€what€you€read€about.Ð H ä ÐÌ4.€€€€There€will€be€the€removal€of€the€saints,€the€Ð !¼ Ðreunion€of€the€saints,€the€retribution€of€the€sinner.Ð "¨ ÐÌÌILLUSTRATIONÐ Ð$l ! ÐÌThe€story€is€told€of€a€preacher€riding€on€a€bus,€&€a€Ð ¨&D # Ðdrunk€comes€stumbling€on,€sitting€down€beside€him.€The€Ð ”'0!$ Ðpreacher€immediately€took€out€his€Bible€&€began€Ð €( "% Ðreading€scripture€to€the€man.€Then€he€announced€to€the€Ð l) #& Ðdrunk,€"Do€you€know€that€you're€going€to€hell?"€The€Ð X*ô#' Ðdrunk€said,€"Oh,€no!€I€got€on€the€wrong€bus€again!"Ð D+à$( ÐÌThe€world€needs€to€know€it's€going€to€hell,€but€the€Ð -¸&* Ðbest€way€to€lead€the€world€away€from€hell€is€to€show€Ð d Ðthem€how€to€get€to€heaven.€We€need€to€communicate€a€Ð P ì Ðmessage€of€love,€for€love€leads€people€to€Christ.Ð < Ø ÐÌÌCONCLUSIONÐ œ ÐÌI€want€this€church,€more€than€anything€else,€to€be€a€Ð Ø t Ðcommunity€of€love.€More€than€anything€else,€I€want€to€Ð Ä

` Ðbe€able€to€come€here,€&€I€want€you€to€be€able€to€come€Ð ° L Ðhere,€&€feel€totally€&€completely€loved.Ð œ 8

ÐÌIf€we€love€each€other€as€God€has€loved€us,€then€we€Ð t Ðwill€become€the€society€of€love€that€will€serve€like€a€Ð ` ü

Ðmagnet,€drawing€a€world€that€is€starving€for€love€into€Ð L è Ðthe€presence€of€Jesus€&€the€salvation€that€He€offers.Ð 8 Ô

ÐÌIf€you're€here€this€morning€&€you're€not€a€Christian,€Ð ¬ Ðwe€extend€to€you€the€opportunity€to€accept€Jesus€as€Ð ü ˜ Ðyour€Lord€and€Savior.€So€we€invite€you€to€come€forward€Ð è „ Ð&€join€us€here€in€front€as€we€stand€as€we€sing.Ð Ô p ÐÌÌÌÌÌCOPYRIGHT€DISCLAIMER:€Ð \ ø ÐThe€text€contained€in€this€database€is€protected€by€copyright€Ð H ä Ðand€International€Law,€and€is€solely€owned€by€it's€authors.€Ð 4 Ð ÐThe€reproduction,€or€distribution€of€this€product,€or€any€Ð !¼ Ðportion€of€it,€without€the€expressed€written€authorization€Ð "¨ Ðfrom€the€contributing€authors€is€forbidden.€€Ð ø"” ÐRemember,€this€database€is€to€inspire€the€development€Ð ä#€ Ðof€new€messages€to€further€the€kingdom's€work.Ð Ð$l ! ÐÌÌ

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