Faithlife Sermons

How to Love Well While Standing Firm

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Intro -
Daniel stood firm in a foreign culture, but he had great influence in that culture. Today, the prevailing thought is that that you have to be one or the other.
Other’s thing that you can love well, but you have to throw out all of the Bible, especially anything that requires people to adjust your behavior.
Galatians 5:6 NIV
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

We cannot antagonize and influence at the same time.

You will never win your enemies to Christ. How do we have influence and stand firm at the same time?
Jesus did this pretty well.
John 13:34–35 NIV
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
By this they will know you are my disciples, if you …
Simple isn’t it. A lot of people want me to go deep. Deep means for the most part, a little confusing. I can do that. I could stand here and tell you “the greek word means...” or the Hebrew word means… I could use big words and some of you would go… wow, that was deep. What did he say? Don’t know, but it was deep.
Here is what I know, if someone is drowning, they don’t care what the Greek word for life raft is, they just want a life raft.
You want deep…
Love your enemies...
Pray for those who persecute you.
Bless the mean person next door.
You want deep, but you are not doing the basic things that Jesus tells us to do… forgive others, bless thouse who curse you, etc.
1 Corinthians 14:1 The Living Bible
1 Let love be your greatest aim; nevertheless, ask also for the special abilities the Holy Spirit gives, and especially the gift of prophecy, being able to preach the messages of God.
Let Love be your greatest aim.
We are going to look at some principles from the most famous love passage.
If you look at it verse by verse, you will learn...

Without Love All I say is ineffective.

You might think you are right, but that doesn’t matter. You might be right but no one like to hear you. It’s not about winning arguments, but it’s about winning hearts.
1 Corinthians 13:1 NLT
1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
You might be the most eloquent and smartest person there is, but if you don’t love people, you are nothing.
Our culture is so toxic. If I disagree with you, then I hate you. We have to stop this. This church needs to be committed to never doing this.
ILL - a Child is killed in an accident and people on FB begin telling them that they are bad parents. Or a child is sick and dies and people say it’s because of the parents sin or lack of faith.
This has to stop. We have to stop the language coming out of our mouths.
You could be right, but it doesn’t matter.
Ephesians 4:15 NLT
15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
Ephesians 4:29 NLT
29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Everything that comes out of our mouths either builds people up or it tears them down.
Church, let’s commit that we will not say anything unless it builds people up. (home, office politically)

Without Love, All I know is insignificant.

No one cares how much you know… if you don’t love.
Knowledge is doubling every few years.
1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV
2 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 do not have love, I am nothing.

Without Love, All I believe is insufficient.

You might believe is Jesus, but so does the devil. You have to attach some behavior to our belief.
1 Corinthians 13:2 NLT
2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.

Without love, All I give is incomplete.

You are an amazingly generous church. The amount is not what matters, its the heart and love in giving that matters. You are loving people. When we send food to these 15 children down the street each week, you are showing love.
1 Corinthians 13:3 NLT
3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Pic of the giving of the food

Without love, All I accomplish is inadequate.

We will all face Jesus one day. Once we get to heaven, we will be judged for rewards at the judgement seat of Christ. He is not going to look at our accomplishments. He will look at how we treated people.
1 Corinthians 13:3 NLT
3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Life minus love = 0

1 Corinthians 13:4–8 NIV
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 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.

Loving Well

Daniel 6:1–5 NIV
1 It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, 2 with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. 3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. 5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”

1. We love well when we serve them.

We can choose to serve people.
1 Corinthians 9:19 NIV84
19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.

Jesus connected before He corrected.

story of Zaccheaus. Jesus came by, and looked at this thief, this crook… he didn’t say, You are at thief. He said Zach, let’s go eat. After lunch, Zach was a different guy.
Connect before you correct.

2. We love well when we set an example for them.

You may not be where you want to be, but most of you are no where near where you used to be.
Jesus -
Matthew 5:13–16 NLT
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. 14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

The greatest influence we can have on our world is how we live our lives.

3. We love well when we share Christ with them.

When you dod a good deed, they see it and want to know why… When you tell them you are helping them because of Jesus, they will want to know your Jesus.
1 Peter 3:15–16 NLT
15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.
Whenever you are helping people, make sure to let them know it’s because of Jesus.
St Francis of Assissi

Preach the Gospel and if necessary, use words.

We do have to use words. But

How I act is more important that what I say.

We have to let God’s word live through us.
For some of you, that’s a problem. You don’t have a relationship with Jesus.
If you try really hard to act better, you won’t be successful. But if you grab hold of the power of God it will work.
We love because He first loved us. When you experience his love, you will receive the capacity to love others.
Romans 5:8 NIV
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
I love you guys, but I don’t know if I love you enough for my daughter to die for you… God does love you that much.
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