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Let Love Be Without Hypocrisy-Part II

Let Love Be Without Hypocrisy-Part II
25-Ways to Honor God-Number 1

 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you," Matthew 5:43-44 (NKJV)

We are looking at a series of devotionals which are revealing 25-ways to honor God - these are actually duties or responsibilities, and they bring great honor to God when we apply them to our lives.  We can find these 25-ways in Romans 12:9-21.  We have been looking at the first of our "Personal duties" as Christian men and women.  This first of these duties is to:

1.    Let love be without hypocrisy (Rom 12:9a)

Before we can truly say that we love without hypocrisy, we need to find out what it means to "love."  We've learned that this type of love is not a natural love, or one that can be done by an unregenerate man.  We must have God's power delivered through His Holy Spirit to be able to love in this way.  This is an "Agape love."

Some would contend, "I know that God has told me that I should love my neighbor as myself, but it isn't easy.  I try at times to do this, but it's just too hard." Not so!  God will equip us to do "Every good work" that He has called us to do.  So there is no excuse - we simply need to purpose within our hearts and our minds that we are going to "Love" others as an act of respect to God, and then ask Him to meet whatever strengths and spiritual gifts that are needed to do the job.

Q:    Is it really all that important if we don't love those who are unlovable?

A:    Yes it is, because this is how we know that we are spiritually alive.  You see, if a person shows no evidence of Agape Love, then they need to look hard at their walk with God.  Remember God is love, and as Christians, we are now in Him, and He in us.  If He is in us, then Agape Love should be in us, and flowing outward as we imitate Him.

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. 1John 3:14 (NKJV)

So now that we know that we must possess and show "Agape Love" to others, let's answer a few questions as to what it is.  Some common questions that are asked about this love are:

Q:    So what does Agape Love look like?
Q:    What attributes does Agape Love portray?

A:    As I said before, Agape love is not natural; in fact it is a supernatural type of love.  Our society confuses the word "Love" with the word, "Lust."  These two words are so opposite.  Lust seeks to serve oneself, whereas "Love" seeks to serve others.  It will only be possible to display this kind of love with the help of God.  We need to put aside our differences and/or our natural fleshly tendencies so that we can give this love to others and expect absolutely nothing in return.

Let's take a look at the attributes that we should possess with Agape love.  We can find these attributes in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  We call this the "Love" chapter of the bible.

1.    Love suffers long (v.4)
This means that we keep forgiving when others offend or hurt us (Mt. 18:22).

2.    Love is kind (v.4)
This means that we are kind to those who hurt or offend us. We'll discuss this more later.

3.    Love does not envy (v.4)
This means that I am happy for you and what you have - I don't desire your stuff.

4.    Love does not parade itself (v.4)
This means that we aren't going to build ourselves up with boasting or bragging about ourselves.

5.    Love is not puffed up (v.4)
This means that we don't think that were better than others - we don't look down on others.

6.    Love does not behave rudely (v.5)
This means that we're not going to draw attention to ourselves - we're not going to act weird in showing our love for God.
7.    Love doesn't seek its own (v. 5)
This means that we don't demand our own way.  Instead, we say, "What would you like?"

In our next devotional, we will look at 9-more attributes and characteristics of what Agape Love is.

I want to encourage you today to look at these 7-characteristics and to meditate upon them.  Ask your self if you possess and are displaying these attributes in your Christian walk.  Remember, we need to love even those who aren't lovable.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about "True Love" by looking at verses 4 & 5 of 1 Corinthians 13?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Can you see areas for improvement in your ability to love others?

APPLICATION: Pray about these things, and ask God to remind you of them when you are faced with the temptation to pay back evil for evil.

Father, Thank You for Your Agape Love in my life.  Thank You for showing and showering me with that love as an example to follow.  Lord, I would pray that You would remind me of these things that I am studying in Your Word.  Help me to become more like You and less like me.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000