Why should we walking in love?
We see a great deal of conflict in our world today. Can you think of some frequent causes of conflicts?
Behind most of the causes of conflict is self-interest. Pursuing one’s interest is not wrong in in itself, but it is how we conduct our selfs that can lead to disputes and confrontations. Read Matthew 15:17-19. What is the source of man’s foul behavior?
Next read Matthew 12:33-35. According to Jesus, what determines the quality of the words that come out of our mouth?
It is what is in our hearts in abundance that is the determining factor. Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. According to Paul, it is possible to do the right thing but with the wrong motives?
What motive is God looking for in our actions?
And without the motivation of love what does all our ability and activity amount to?
Read Galatians 5:6, 14. According to Paul, what does demonstrating love to one’s neighbor accomplish in relationship to God’s law?
And what ingredient does Paul say is necessary to make our faith work?
Faith is having and demonstrating confidence in God. It plays an important roll in the life of a believer: we live by faith, receive what we ask by faith and our faith is the victory that overcomes the world. Yet, our faith can loose its effectiveness when we fail to demonstrate love towards others. Would It not be sad to miss out on all the blessings available to the believer simply because he or she never understood the importance of walking in love? But does the believer have any excuse? Read John 13:34, 35? What did Jesus command his followers to do?
Read 1 John 2:9-11. In the first chapter of 1 John, John said the God is light and that there was no darkness. Light represents purity. And those who walked in the light had fellowship with God and each other. But what does John say is taking place in the life of the believer who does not love his or her brother or sister?
So will such believers loose their direction in life?
So then we understand that demonstrating and practicing love towards others is not optional in the life of believers. Let’s now turn our attention to how we can learn to walk in love.
How can we walking in love
Read Ephesians 5:1, 2. Paul tells us to walk in love like who?
And to what extend did Christ love us?
And following his example, who are we imitating (see verse 1)?
That is correct, when we are walking in love we are imitating God. Remember John 3:16; what did God have so much of that it cause him to send his son into the world?
Read 1 John 4:8. How does the Apostle John describe God?
What John is saying is that love is the essential aspect of God’s nature and that there is no greater expression of love than God. God defines what love is. Read Ephesians 5:1 again. What does Paul call the readers of his letter?
Yes, children; of whom? Children of God. Then do you think then since we are his offspring, that we too would have a similar nature to his?
Read 2 Peter 1:3, 4. According to the Apostle Peter, what are we partakes of?
And then read Romans 5:5. What has God poured into our hearts?
With his love in our hearts is it possible for us to love like God?
Read 1 John 2:5, 6. What can we do to increase the practice of love in our lives?
So staying in God’s word and obeying it will also help us fulfill Jesus’ command to love others.
Let’s now look at some practical ways for us to demonstrate God’s love.
Practical ways to love others
I. Think well of others. Every word we say or action we take begins with a thought. Read Philippians 4:8. What type of things does Paul tell us to think on.
Notice that all these are elements are positive. What kind of attitudes would we develop if we were in the habit of focusing on the negative traits of others?
Thus, positive thought give birth to positive attitudes and in turn these feelings will be reflected in our interactions with others. Should we then give in to the tendency to believe in rumors or false accusations about others?
II. Speak well of others; Read James 5:9. What does James instruct us to say about others?
When you talk about others do you speak about the faults and short comings? You do pass on negative information about others? But, if you care about the feelings and well being of others you will learn to hold your tongue. And do not forget you always reap what you sow; if you speak negatively about your brother or sister in Christ, it is likely that some one with speak negatively about you.
III. Speak well to others; Read Ephesians 4:29. What does Paul tell us should be our aim when speaking to others?
IV. Prayer for others and look for opportunities to do good to others; Read Luke 6:27-28.
We can show love to one another by praying for each other. We should hold others up in our prayers just as we desire for them to pray for us. And if we have a complaint about someone or if we think we should confront a person about some deed they have done or some word they have spoken, the thing for us to do is to pray about it rather than take action. You see, in our own strength and wisdom, we can not change another person. We may often see something that needs to be changed, but we should take the issue to God because only he has the power to change an individual. So make the issue a matter of prayer. Then if God wants us to get involved in the situation, he will instruct us. And remember to always be looking for opportunities to do good to others. Solomon warns us in Proverbs 3:27, “Don’t withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.”
V. Serve others; Read Galatians 5:13. Here Paul states that we are called to be free. In what ways has God made us free?
In Acts 10:38 the Apostle Peter describe the life of Jesus saying, “…how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. Jesus understood that he was anointed to minister to the needs of others. And so are we. Each of us occupies a unique place in the world and have been anointed by God’s Spirit with our own particular abilities to serve those around us. We no longer exist for ourselves but we have a part to play in the lives of others which we can discover when we are motived by God’s love.
Thus the five ways we can practice love for others are:
- Think well of others
- Speak well of others
- Speak well to others
- Prayer for others and do good to them
- And serve others
None of these things will happen unless we take time to consider how we can love those around us. We need to consider their needs and the feedback we receive from others, especially about thing that we do that annoy them. Also we need to listen to and obey the direction that the Lord gives about how we can show his goodness to them.
But what stands in the way of us incorporating these practices into our lives? Read Romans 7:19, 20. The answer is our selfish flesh; it is our own self-interest again! Is there a remedy? Yes, read Romans 6:11 and 8:13. What does Paul say we have to do?
Yes, we have to consider ourselves dead to our own wants and desires; we put the needs of others before our own. Through this practice we will become a blessing to others and bring glory to God.
Finally, the need for Christ’s followers to practice loving others is greater today than it was ever been. Read Matthew 24:12. What did Jesus say would happen in the last days to the love of most people?
Do we want our love to grow cold? No? Without love we will amount to nothing. So then let us resolve to put these principles in to practice and remember the words of the Apostle Paul:
Be therefore imitators of God, as beloved children. Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance. Ephesians 5:1, 2
Copyright © 2009-2011 by Alan Pasho, www.disciplepedia.org. All rights reserved.
Recommended Memory Verses on Love
You will receive insight, comfort and encouragement from memorizing verses such as these along with their scripture references. Go over them twice a day until you can quote them word for word. Then review them once each month.
Luke 6:27,28 – But I tell you who hear: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you.
John 13:34, 34 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just like I have loved you; that you also love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
Galatians 5:6 – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision amounts to anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith working through love.
Galatians 6:2 – Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Ephesians 5:1, 2 – Be therefore imitators of God, as beloved children. Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance.
2 Timothy 1:7 – For God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.
1 John 4:8 – He who doesn’t love doesn’t know God, for God is love.
1 John 5:3 – For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. His commandments are not grievous.
Jude 21 – Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
Scriptures taken from the Word English Bible (WEB)