Oct 20 8:19 AM
Oct 20 8:19 AM
Oct 20 8:19 AM
Wednesday, October 19, 2021
Today, I want to talk to you about the lost art of loving. Unfortunately, more and more people are losing an ability to love, they're losing the desire to love, and they're losing the willingness to love. Jesus even said, as we draw closer to the end the love of many will grow cold. Interesting, isn't it? Well, today, I want to dig into, and kind of build off what I wrote about last time,which was about living with an attitude. The attitude God wants us to live with is the fruit of the Spirit. So each time I'm doing this, we're going to talk about one of those fruit. Not one of those fruits, but fruit, because it is the fruit of the Spirit. Today, I want to talk to you about the first fruit of the Spirit. It comes from Galatians 5:22, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love..."
What is love? There are so many misconceptions about love. Some people think love is a feeling, that it's nothing more than feelings. That's not true. Love does involve feelings, but love is not primarily a feeling. Another is that love is a falling. People say, "I've fallen in love with somebody," you know? It's like, "Help me, I've fallen and I can't get up!" I mean, that's about the equivalent of that definition of love. It's not really love, falling in love, because if you can fall in love then you can fall out of love. Then, it's out of your control. So, love isn't a falling either. Here's the third: love is not a fantasy. Love is not a fantasy. Sometimes on my day off, we'll watch the 12 o'clock news at noonday. They still have soap operas (I think they should be called dope opera because really, I think they're dopey). In these soap operas, everybody's having an affair with this one, everyone's cheating this one in business, it's just crazy. That perpetuates this whole idea that love is a fantasy. In love, you just get swept away, and all these crazy things. So, love is not a feeling, it's not a falling, and it's not a fantasy.
The proper concept of love, the fruit of the Spirit type love, has three parts. First is that love is a choice. Colossians 3:14 says, "Put on love." In other words, make the choice to operate with an attitude of love. Second, love is also a matter of conduct. Love is an action, it's not a feeling. We choose to love. 1 John 3:17-18 says, "If anyone has material possession 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."Love is an action. And then third, love is a matter of commitment. If you read the great love chapter, First Corinthians 13:4-8, you can look at the 15 traits of love there. You see that love is a commitment. So what do I want to say to you? There's a lost art today. It's called The Lost Art of Loving. We get a chance to squash the false views of love - feeling, falling, and fantasy - and embrace true love to show Jesus' love in a dark world. We can show love by being kind to somebody who maybe doesn't look like they're having a good day at the grocery store. Or, by just helping somebody financially, or just having a great conversation with your next door neighbor, or just being a great coworker. Whatever it is, you can show love.
I had a great conversation with one of our members. He was talking to me about a dilemma he was facing at work. He might even lose his job over the dilemma. It was amazing, when we are as we were talking the individual kept saying, "Well, with every decision I make, I want to be a great witness for Christ, whether I'm working there or not." I was so impressed by that. What was his main concern? It was showing the love of Jesus to other people. I hope that will be your concern. Here's what I know: the darker the darkness gets, the brighter the light shines. In other words, when there's less and less love, then the more people see love, the more it stands out and differentiates from everything else. So, let's be the kind of people who are loving. That's the first fruit of the Spirit. The first fruit of the Spirit is love. By the way, the more you're loving, the more you're living in the Holy Spirit, since it's one of the fruit of the Spirit. The less you're loving the more you're living, as we talked about last time, in the old person. The old person is bad. The Holy Spirit is good. Choose the Holy Spirit. Let's pray. Father, I pray that you'll help all of us improve our ability and our expressions of love. It's a decision, it's an action, it's a calling, it's a commitment. Help us to do that in Jesus' name. Amen.