Cultivating Love (02/19/23)

Declare the Gospel  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:34
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Text Reading: Acts 8:1-4.

Title: Cultivate Love

Review & Summary

Saul made havock of the church.

Last week, I turned my attention to the brief phrase in vs. 3:
Acts 8:3 (KJV 1900)
As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
I then went on to begin to challenge you with this:

_______________ made havock of the church!

Make sure that our name never needs to be put in that blank!

Cultivate Love

Jesus spoke these words:
John 13:34–35 KJV 1900
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
And yet, He also warned:
Matthew 24:12 KJV 1900
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
We live in a world and a society where iniquity is abounding. We are surrounded by wickedness and filth every day. Because of that, has our love for one another begun to cool?
We want to turn our attention, once again, to Romans chapter 12 and 13.
Turn to and read Romans 12:9-10.
One commentator said:
The Book of Romans 1. A Selfless Affection (Romans 12:9, 10)

The subject of these two verses is “brotherly love.” This is one of the finest expressions that the New Testament uses to express the nature of our relationship to each other in the church. We are as concerned about each other as are members of a closely-knit family. In fact, the Christian fellowship is a family, and these ties often outweigh flesh-and-blood family ties.

Be sincere.

Romans 12:9 (KJV 1900)
Let love be without dissimulation....
I said last week that this is the reason why we must keep a tender heart so that we can be sincere in our love toward one another!

Hate evil; Rejoice in the Truth

Romans 12:9 (KJV 1900)
...Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
An American Dictionary of the English Language (ABHOR)
1. To hate extremely, or with contempt; to lothe, detest or abominate.
2. To despise or neglect.
3. To cast off or reject.
Psalm 97:10 (KJV 1900)
Ye that love the Lord, hate evil...
Proverbs 8:13 (KJV 1900)
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil...
Amos 5:15 (KJV 1900)
Hate the evil, and love the good...
Christian love faces the facts, sees the good and the evil in those loved, and responds properly to both.
Exploring Romans: An Expository Commentary B. In the Exercise of Grace (12:9–13)

True Christian character is founded on true Christian love and is expressed in a hatred of evil and a love for good

1 Corinthians 13:6 KJV 1900
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
However, I again want say that Christian love faces the facts, sees the good and the evil in those loved, and responds properly to both.
One commentator said:
The Book of Romans An Honest Love (Verse 9)

Unpretentious love sees the evil in a brother, mourns over that evil, rejects that evil, and spares no energy toward rescuing the fallen brother.

It is generally easier to respond properly to the good in others than it is to respond properly to the evil in others.
So I caution us all that we respond respond properly to both - the evil and the good - in the lives of others!
Before I leave this point I think that it is appropriate that we acknowledge that this truth must also be applied to our own lives. We must hate evil and rejoice in the Truth - God’s truth!
This week, how could you rejoice in the truth that you see in the life of another in this church family?

Remember that we are a family…Be kind.

Romans 12:10 (KJV 1900)
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love...
Ephesians 4:29–32 KJV 1900
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Not sure how to show kindness to others? Google it! I Googled the phrase demonstrations of kindness and the very first article/website that came back was one entitled, Random Acts of Kindness: List of 99+ Ideas & Examples
There’s no lack for ideas on how to demonstrate kindness; the question is whether or not we will be intentional in doing just that - demonstrating kindness!
An old Scotch pastor used to frequently say to his congregation:
Lectures on the Epistle to the Romans (Lecture X: The Walk of the Christian in Relation to His Fellow-Believers, and to Men of the World (Chapter 12))
“Remember, if you are not very kind, you are not very spiritual.”

Remember that we are a family…Value one another.

Romans 12:10 (KJV 1900) honour preferring one another;
Real Christian love is selfless. It is more interested in promoting others than ourselves!
Philippians 2:4 KJV 1900
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Real Christian love will consider the needs of others before considering our own selfish desires. Real Christian love does not take advantage of another. Instead, real Christian love serves the other because they value the other!
Jesus Christ showed this by example in John chapter 13:
John 13:14–15 KJV 1900
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

Stoke the fires of service!

Romans 12:11 KJV 1900
Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
In context, this verse is not speaking of secular work but the exercise of one another’s spiritual gifts in service to the Lord.
Hebrews 10:24–25 KJV 1900
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Charles Spurgeon wrote:
It is not the work of the minister alone to exhort, but the brothers, and the sisters, too, should exhort one another and seek to stir each other up in the faith and fear of God.
Provoke: to call into action; to arouse; to excite; to challenge; to stir up
After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, hundreds of thousands of Americans were stirred up and rushed to enlist in the armed forces so much so that some recruiting offices stayed open 24 hours a day in order to accept enlistments!
Are we stoking the fires of service in the lives of others?
Charles Spurgeon went on to write:
Hebrews Exposition

I do not know how we can do that better than by being very loving and very full of good works ourselves, for then others will be likely to say, “If these people are helped by God’s grace to love like this, and to labor like this, why should we not do the same?” A good example is often better than a very proper precept.

Are we stoking the fires of service in the lives of others by stoking the fires of service in our own lives?
Our upcoming faith promise mission revival is a wonderful opportunity to stoke the fires of service in our own lives.
David Livingstone, missionary to Africa, wrote:
“God, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. And sever any tie in my heart except the tie that binds my heart to Yours.”
May I encourage you to make that your prayer in this coming week?

Comfort and encourage one another.

Romans 12:12 KJV 1900
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
1 Thessalonians 5:11 KJV 1900
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
Rejoicing in hope: Jesus is coming again!
1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 KJV 1900
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Marvelous message we bring Glorious carol we sing Wonderful word of the King Jesus is coming again
Coming again coming again Maybe morning maybe noon Maybe evening and maybe soon Coming again coming again Oh what a wonderful day it will be Jesus is coming again
1 Thessalonians 5:11 KJV 1900
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
Let’s say it together: Jesus is coming again!
Patient in tribulation: Endure affliction!
Patient: The Greek word used here literally means to stay under
Tribulation: affliction; distress
1 Thessalonians 5:14 KJV 1900
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
It goes both ways! There are going to be times when we need someone to be our cheerleader and there are going to be times when others need us to be their cheerleader!
There will be times when we are going to need someone to say, “Don’t give up!”
There will be times when someone else is going to need us to say, “Don’t give up!
On which side of the equation were you this past week? On which side of the equation will you be in this coming week?
Let’s practice: Turn to the person next to you and simply say, “Don’t give up!”
Continuing instant in prayer: Maintain an attitude of prayer for one another!
1 Thessalonians 5:25 KJV 1900
Brethren, pray for us.
Note: 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, in many ways, seems to be a parallel passage to Romans chapter 12.
Here, I would love to encourage more of you to begin using the Echo prayer app! It has been a wonderful way to pray for others and to be an encouragement to each others!

Meet the needs of others.

Romans 12:13 KJV 1900
Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
Galatians 6:10 KJV 1900
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
This demonstration of Christ-like love was seen, first-hand, in the first century church in Jerusalem:
Acts 2:42–45 KJV 1900
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
Don’t just wait for opportunities to fulfil this command. Actively look for opportunities to fulfill this command.
It could be...
fixing a flat tire
fixing a broken dryer knob
opening your home to the youth group for a Progressive Dinner
taking dinner to a shut in
trimming someones bushes
taking coffee to someone
driving someone to a doctor’s appointment
giving a bottle of water to someone on a hot day
Look for opportunities to meet the needs of others!
Because we should be cultivating love within our church family!

_______________ made havock of the church!

So that our name never needs to be placed in that blank!
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