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Returning to first works

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.

Revelation 2:4-5

What were the church of Ephesus first works?

  • Acts 19:6 Spoke in tongues and prophesied
  • Acts 19:19 Radical stand against false teaching, religions and doctrines
  • Acts 19:27 Reject false Gods

They struggled with the follwing culture.

  • grace was license to sin Eph 5:6
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Defining the beatitudes what they are.

The 8 attitudes of the kingdom – Gearing Up

  • In the sermon on the mount Jesus is committed to equipping us for adverse life situations without the feelings of defeatism and hopelessness.
  • If we are overrun with emotional negativity we wont have the capacity to love well.
  • The Sermon on the mount gives us 8 Beautiful truths that equip every believer to walk in victory over emotional distress, self hatred, anxiety, depression but also teaches us to walk in humility and love at the highest levels.
  • He equips us to with these 8 beatitudes as tools that we can use to ascend the mountain called life.
  • After teaching the 8 beatitudes Jesus will describe the most common problems that confront us in life and how we are are to responds as citizens of his kingdom. This is how we become salt and light.
  • The evidence that we have the spirit operating in us is that we respond life circumstances issues as Jesus describes and become brighter examples of Love and a family of affection.
  • because of our familiarity with this sermon, it is common to be passive about it’s contents and presume that we are adhering to it without giving it any special attention.
  • We are not automatically awesome at following the sermon on the mount, nor are we expected to be.
  • Jesus gives us this sermon and a point of conversation that the Holy Spirit is delighted to have with us. The catch is that we need to be willing to ask.
  • Jesus’s vision and desire for us is found in Peter?
  • Because of the amount of content the scripture provides it is easy to become overwhelmed.
  • I imagine the word of God like a galaxy and Jesus reaches up into the vortex of the galxay and grabs a piece of it and gives it to us in the sermon on the mount.
  • Another analogy is like a wagon wheel. The sermon on the mount is the hub and the rest of the bible are the spokes. Every truth in the epistles finds its center point in this sermon.
  • When we talk to Jesus through the scriptures it is like giving him home field advantage, its truth on his terms.
  • This sermon answers the cry of the philosophers, what is our purpose, why are we here and how do we please God.
  • This sermon answers the wound of the poor, why is my life this way, how should I live and what should I expect.
  • This sermon brings peace to the wealthy and the weight they carry from the responsibility of earthly authority.
  • This sermon came from the most important person in human history to display the perfect strategy to bring freedom to the human heart.
  • This sermon is not only the most important sermon ever spoken but quite possibly the most important words ever written.
  • Confronts our independence.
  • Its contents brings peace to the conflicted.
  • Brings and end to racism and war.
  • Ends hatred for our brothers.
  • Teaches love with no limit and no end.
  • This sermon contains the contents of what the holy spirit wants to talk to us about most and the rewards that the human heart does not even know it desires.
  • This sermon I believe will heal the doctrinal and denominational divides.
  • This sermon I believe will confront and heal the issues of sessationism.
  • This sermon I believe will heal the divide caused by poor doctrinal practices and theological abuse.
  • In this sermon Jesus is describing what a citizen of the Kingdom looks like.
  • The sermon on the mount is describing what it looks like to abide in Matthew 22:37-38.
  • The sermon on the mount can be mistakenly read as, if you want to be saved this is how you do it. No!
  • The Sermon on the mount is, if you want to live with a vibrant heart and feel the benefits of the kingdom, this is how you live.
  • Most of our problems in live come from neglecting, ignoring or mitigating the 8 beatitudes.

The Beatitudes define

  1. The eight beatitudes define first commandment love John 13-17
  2. They define the kingdom lifestyle
  3. They define what ministry impact is

Jesus settles the issue of Legalism and Love

The 8 beatitudes, when expressed sincerely, through a believer can often times be off-putting and seemingly promote legalism. However, Jesus makes a clear distinction on the difference between whole hearted obedience and legalism. The beatitdues are the 8 virtues that Jesus is leading every believer into so we can be the salt and light of the earth v.13. Make no mistake, the man we love and worship is calling us to obey these commandments whole heartedly and to promote them in others.

The sermon on the mount is the intended fruit that the mosaic law was intended to produce through responding to the Lord in relationship. The religious leaders turn the law into an observance instead of invitations to the Fathers heart.

To walk in the full obedience of the kingdom values laid out in Matthew 5,6, and 7 we voluntarily give ourselves to the beatitudes of Matthew 5

Matthew 5:13 Being the Salt and Light will be burdensome if the 8 beatitudes are not operating in your life to some degree. Not perfectly, but the reach in our heart for them is sincere and determined.

If you make the 8 beatitudes the preoccupation of your mind and heart your life will naturally become a salt and light to this world. You won’t have to try, you will naturally exhibit and demonstrate the character and culture that Jesus promotes in his kingdom. You will in effect, be most effective.

  1. If you want to embrace what Jesus wanted you to embrace in terms of lifestyle choices. Sermon on the mount.
  2. If you want to disciple people in Kingdom values. Sermon on the mount.
  3. If you want to know how to be a faithful disciple. Sermon on the mount.
  4. If you want to know how to overcome anxiety, fear, and depression. Sermon on the mount.
  5. If you want to know how to live a life of peace, happiness, and satisfaction. Grab ahold of the sermon on the mount and never let go!

The sermon on the mount is the summary message of the most important things Jesus wanted us to receive in his teaching.

The Supernatural power of the beatitudes

  • The sermon on the mount is the most masterful teaching  He plants the beatitudes and seeds
  • The human heart is naturally bothered and unsatisfied. These virtues are the best medicine for depression, anxiety, worry, fear…
  • Every human heart longs for happiness the beatitudes lead us into a life of peace.
  • Our hearts and minds are constantly preoccupied with other things.
  • We have to be patient. The beatitudes grow
  • The 8 beatitudes are like a table of contents. Learn and teach them in almost every Bible narrative.
  • The Blessings are not generic. They are designed invitations.

It’s not too much to think about or remember. These are the keys to personal emotional freedom. Set your mind on what is pure, right and holy. We want these 8 beatitudes to become the preoccupation of our mind.

If you worry and you judge it will completely shift the inner dialog that you have with God about the virtues to the negative circumstances of everyone elses lack of commitment. It will steal the life out of the message and you will lose your salt and your light.

Jesus is not asking us to intellectually agree with what he deems as healthy lifestyle choices he is inviting us to a real culture of change and humility where we go low and lift up others, impacting everyone and the culture around us. He is inviting us into a radical commitment of humility and life style choices.

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The Constitution of the Kingdom and the Peril of Legalism

A. Introduction

Part two of my last sermon October 27. Cooperating with Grace.

  • The Question is. Now what? How does Jesus want us to respond?

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6:33
  • Jesus tells us to seek first the kingdom
  • What is the Kingdom? The Infiltration of Jesus influence over the nations. Haggai 2:7.
  • Jesus tells us the first commandment is the highest priority Matthew 22:37-38
  • Which is it? Jesus describes what it means to walk in these two truths with the Sermon on the Mount.

The Kingdom is most effective when
We have to refuse to abandon any of these three truths.

  • His Word is obeyed – Luke 8:21, Luke 11:28, Jesus quotes the OT 78 the Apostles quote it 209.
  • His Will expressed – Matthew 6:10
  • His Power Displayed – 1 Thessalonians 1:5
  • These 3 points are Jesus’ Long term discipleship plan for every believer.

B. John the baptist describes Jesus ministry

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

Luke 3:4-6
  • John the Baptist is quoting Isaiah 40:3
  • John is not describing topological changes to the terrain
  • John is describing Jesus’ new testament ministry to transform the human heart.
  • Jesus will raise valley’s (self hatred, depression and anxiety) lower every mountain of (pride and arrogance)
  • Jesus honors Isaiah 40:3 by preaching on a plain (valley) Luke 6 and on a mountain Matthew 5,6,7.
  • This message reaches the heights and depths of the human heart.
  • The (beatitudes) in the SOTM transform our emotions so we love Him and people on a deeper level.

but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

1 Peter 3:4
  • To understand how Jesus and John the baptist preach and what Jesus wants us broken free from you have to go back about 600yrs.

C. Babylonian Siege

  • To understand Jesus and John the baptists ministry on earth we actually need to go back 600yrs BC
  • Seige of Babylon in 586BC , Habakkuk 1:6; Joel 2:1-11; Leviticus 26
  • This information sets the stage for how Jesus and John the Baptist minister

23 Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, 24 because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers’ idols.

Ezekiel 20:23-24
  • Final prophets Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
  • Jerusalem under rule by Persians, Greeks, Macabbean Revolt and then Rome
  • From Malachi to Matthew approximately 500 yrs.
  • No known prophets bringing word of the Lord.
  • legalism and religious leaders become more corrupt in this time. No Prophets.
  • 613 commandments in the Old Testament Civil, Moral, Ceremonial
  • In comparison we have 15,000 to 50,000 Federal laws
  • Because of 70 yrs of captivity the pharisees put an emphasis on the Oral law.
  • Talmud and mishnah combined 6 Orders, under the 6 orders, each order contains 7-12 Tractates. Each tractate contains multiple chapters.
  • They believed this would prevent them from going into exile again.
  • The idea is to create”hedge laws” that would prevent society from breaking the laws found in the torah.

“You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take anything from it, that you may keep the command­ments of the Lord your God which I command you”

Deuteronomy 4:2
  • After 500 with no prophet, 2 radical prophets appear on the scene. John the Baptist and Jesus.
  • Jesus and John are in opposition to the oral law and the Jewish way of life because it is oppressive.

D. Traditions of the Elders/Oral Law/Traditions of Men

  • A Fundamental understanding of the oral law is key to understanding the gospels.
  • Jesus “breaks” the sabbath?

And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?”

And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,

(Jesus Quotes Isaiah Isaiah 29:13)
“‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!

Mark 7:5-9 ESV

They (Pharisees) crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.

Matthew 23:4 NLT

The confusing thing about the Life of Jesus

  • His rejection of the Religious leaders (mistaken for rebelling against the laws of Moses)
  • Jesus opposed the Traditions of the Elders not the Torah Law.

Jesus breaks the sabbath?

  • Mark 7:1-3 Eating with unclean hands
  • Matthew 12, Mark 3 Healing the withered hand
  • John 5 Jesus heals at the pool of Bethesda
  • John 9 Jesus heals the blind man with dirt and spit
  • Mark 2 Picking grain in the grain fields
  • Penalty for breaking the sabbath? Death or Excommunicated! Numbers 15:32-36

Why is this important?

  • Exile becomes a symbol of the way life is. Though life is full of Gods goodness it is also full of pain and hurt.
  • We try to build walls of protection to prevent us from falling into unfavorable circumstances again. We then have to create systems to keep the walls of protection in place.
  • Jesus warns us that when storms come, not if they come.
  • When we respond with our flesh we build walls of self preservation.
  • We protect ourselves from relationships, circumstances so we wont experience or have to relive the pain of our history.
  • A hedge of protection and self preservation.
  • Jesus wants to teach us how to deal with life’s Exiles (storms) without loosing our emotion stability. Depression, Anxiety, Self Hatred and un-forgivness with 8 life virtues.
  • Many in the Body of Christ think that there is a different strategy for their emotional freedom. There is only one strategy. There isn’t another one.

E. Quotes on Sermon on the Mount

Certainly these are great words, words lifted to cosmic proportions. And over the centuries, many persons have argued that this is an extremely difficult command. Many would go so far as to say that it just isn’t possible to move out into the actual practice of this glorious command. They would go on to say that this is just additional proof that Jesus was an impractical idealist who never quite came down to earth. So the arguments abound. But far from being an impractical idealist, Jesus has become the practical realist. The words of this text glitter in our eyes with a new urgency. Far from being the pious injunction of a utopian dreamer, this command is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. Yes, it is love that will save our world and our civilization, love even for enemies.

-Martin Luther King Jr. November 1957

“Humanly speaking, we could understand and interpret the Sermon on the Mount in a thousand different ways. Jesus knows only one possibility: simple surrender and obedience, not interpreting it or applying it, but doing and obeying it.”

“The Sermon on the Mount is not a statement to be treated in cavalier fashion– by saying that this or that isn’t right or that here we find an inconsistency. Its validity depends on it being obeyed. This is not a statement we freely choose to take or leave.”

—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

F. The Beatitudes

  • Jesus wants to create a family culture with no walls.
  • Jesus wants to create a family culture with no emotional hedges of protection. (Unforgivness/Space)
  • Jesus wants the 8 beatitudes to be the highest values of the church.
  • Jesus wants us to lay down our personal philosophies, strategies, doctrines and theologies.
  • Jesus wants us us to pick up his strategy called the narrow way of the 8 beatitudes.

The Holy spirit is always leading us to the 8 beatitudes.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven..

Matthew 5:3-10

G. Implications of the Beatitudes

  • Jesus follows up the beatitudes by stating if we embrace these 8 things we will become salt and light Matthew 5:13-14

Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:19

The six negatives to reject are in Matthew 5
1. Anger (5:21-26) criticism and murder 2. Immorality (5:27-30) 3.Disregarding the sanctity of marriage (5:31-32) 4.Not keeping our commitments(5:33-37) 5.Retaliating (5:38-42) self defense, enemies etc 6.Being passive in our love to our enemies (5:43-47).

The Five positives are to embrace in Matthew 6
serve 2. give charitable deeds: giving service and/or money, (6:1-4, 19-21) 3. life of prayer (6:5-13) 4. bless our adversaries (fullness of forgiveness, 6:14-15; 5:44) 6. fasting (6:16-18).

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Abiding in Love – Notes

A. Introduction – Experience Is Essential

It is difficult to articulate something that needs to be experienced in order to understand (Ephesians 3:18-19)

18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Ephesians 3:19

B. The First Commandment

37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.

Matthew 22:37:38
  • We are called to love this way because this is the way God loves. It’s the only we He loves, in fullness.
  • The first commandment is not a kingdom ethic, a simple moral code; it is of an entirely different order.
  • The first commandment has been a burning reality since before the foundations of the earth. It is the only way God has ever loved, and we are invited into this dynamic, multi-faceted display of love.
  • This is the highest calling of every believer’s life.
  • What is our calling? Many believers will say their calling is what they do, their ministry. It’s an unfortunate and tragic misunderstanding. Our highest calling is who we will become, not what we do.
  • Love in this dynamic way frees us from negative emotions: boredom, hopelessness, depression, anxiety, low self-worth, jealousy…

C. The Three Pillars of God’s Love: John 15

  • John 13-17 is what some scholars call the “holy of holies” of Jesus’ teaching. These chapters record Jesus meeting with the disciples in the upper room where He discloses teachings and discipleship lessons that He did not teach in His public ministry.

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”

John 15:9
  • Pillar #1 God loves God
  • Pillar #2 God loves people the way He loves Himself
  • Pillar #3 Because God loves God and God loves people the way He loves Himself, we can love God, ourselves, and others

Pillar #1 God loves God

7 testimonies of love from the father
Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5; Mark 1:11; Mark 9:7; Luke 3:22; Luke 9:35; 2 Peter 1:17
7 testimonies of love from the son
John 3:35; John 5:20; John 10:17; John 15:9; John 17:23, John 17:24, John 17:26,

  • Why is this important? Parents who love each other and have respect and affection for each other instill an sense of well-being and value in their children. Children feel the atmosphere is safe and good and, therefore, feel more secure about a bright future.

Pillar #2 God loves people the way He loves Himself
John 3:1; 1 John 4:19; Galatians 2:20

  • We seek to understand the depth of God’s love for people (me included) by studying it, praying it, saying it, and asking the Holy Spirit to teach us.

Pillar #3 Because God loves God and God loves people the way He loves Himself, we can love God, ourselves, and others

  • We have the ability to love God because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19-20
  • We can only love ourselves to the depth that we understand we are loved. Matthew 22:39
  • We will love others with a deeper quality of love when we see how valuable we are in God’s eyes. Matthew 22:39

D. Our love matures and is tested through His commandments

We have to break any agreement with the lie that to obey commandments will result in legalism. This mindset will leave us with a bankrupt version of Christianity that is powerless to overcome negative emotions and circumstances.

  • In John 13-17 Jesus makes seven references to abiding in God’s love by obeying His commandments.
    John 13:34; 14:15; 14:21; 14:31; 15:10; 15:12; 15;17
  • Grace makes obeying His commands possible, not excused. We say, “I’m aiming my heart in the direction of Your commands and will never settle for less than what You made possible by grace.” We don’t say, “Because of God’s grace, it does not matter if I obey His commands.”

15″If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

John 14:15

“10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. “

John 15:10

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

1 John 5:2-3

21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me

John 15:21-24

F. The Eight Beatitudes: Being inspired to love through Jesus’ commandments

  • Matthew 5:19 links John 15:9 to Matthew 5:3-10
  • The Beatitudes, when viewed through the proper lens of love, become a delight and an expression of loving God and people the way God loves God and God loves people.
  • If, in our walk with the Lord, we are not operating in the dynamic of John 15:9 love, the Beatitudes become a burden and a snare. The Beatitudes are expressed best by those who go deep in love with Him.
  • The Beatitudes are the fundamental instructions on abiding in love in a deeper way.
  • We do not simply seek to walk in the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are an expression of the Father’s heart. We pray them, meditate on them, speak them, and ask the Lord where to apply them in our lives.
  • Jesus wants to free us in the areas of the Beatitudes so our hearts feel love (John 15:23)
  • Jesus makes a startling statement in Matthew 5:19. He reveals that we can choose to reject Jesus’ leadership (commands) and make it to heaven but be called least in the Kingdom. Or we can say “yes” to His leadership, teach others to do the same, and be called great.

19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:19
  1. Blessed are the poor in spirit
    Recognizing we have all things in Christ yet we walk in only a fraction of “all things”.
  2. Blessed are those who mourn
    Spiritual mourning is seeing the gap between what we have (fullness of Christ, Philippians 4:13) and what we currently walk in spiritually.
  3. Blessed are the meek
    The meek are those who recognize that all they have and own are from God and they use it for God.
  4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
    We view righteousness to the spirit like food to the body. When we view righteousness as a requirement to spiritual nourishment, we will hunt for, defend, and protect it.
  5. Blessed are the merciful
    How we treat people when they have wronged us or when they make mistakes that are costly. This applies even In the small parts of life. We must be eager to be merciful. John and James want to call fire down from heaven, Luke 9:51-56
  6. Blessed are the pure in heart
    To be pure in heart is to be pure in thought, word, and deed. We are determined to contend for purity even in the secret places of our heart that nobody can see.
  7. Blessed are the peacemakers
    A peacemaker does not allow the momentum of slander pass from ear to ear but does everything to snuff out that flame of criticism by introducing reconciliation to all situations.
  8. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
    As you embrace these attitudes you will be challenged and tested in each one and often.
  • Being salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) – This is how the world will see that first commandment love we are invited into.
  • Jesus is inviting us to to be salt and light on His terms, not our own. To be salt and light requires that we are growing into deeper levels and revelations of His love so that we delight in doing good works for the kingdom.
  • The way He makes us great (Matthew 5:19) is that He brings us deep into the fellowship of His love. The way we are least is if we reject the terms to go deep in love.

The six negative things that destroy a heart seeking to love God and people

  1. Anger (criticism and murder) (Matt 5:21-26), 2. Immorality (Matt 5:27-30), 3. Disregarding the sanctity of marriage (5:31-32), 4. Not keeping our commitments (Matt 5:33-37), 5. Retaliating (self defense, enemies etc.) (Matt 5:38-42), 6. Being passive in our love to our enemies (Matt 5:43-47)

The five positive actions that grow our hearts in deep levels of love and revelation

  1. Serving, 2. Giving charitable deeds; giving service and/or money (6:1-4, 19-21), 3. Prayer (6:5-13), 4. Blessing our adversaries (fullness of forgiveness, 6:14-15; 5:44), 5. Fasting (6:16-18)
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Abiding in Love

A. Introduction

Revelation 2:20-21 – Jezebel Matthew 12:31 – Blasphemy

The purpose of this sermon is two fold.

  1. To break off the mindset that God is mostly disappointed, disenchanted and at a distance from with his people.
  2. To release the revelation of God’s tender love, affections, friendship to his people and how to abide in it with perseverance.

18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Ephesians 3:19
  • It is difficult to articulate something that needs to be experienced in order to understand (Ephesians 3:18-19)
  • Being called to the deeper levels of Love. Conviction is not rejection, it is a deeper call to love.

B. The First Commandment

37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.

Matthew 22:37:38
  • The first commandment is not a kingdom ethic, it is of an entirely different order
  • The first commandment has been a burning reality since before the foundations of the earth. It is the only way God loves, and we are invited into it.
  • This is the highest calling of every believers life. All believers are invited into this dynamic of love.
  • Many believers if you ask them what their calling is they will tell you what they do.
  • It’s a massive disconnect. Our highest calling is who we will become not what we do.
  • Many believers live with the full benefits of cross in regards from eternity but they never tap into this reality. Of being loved and loving God.
  • This is the subject that frees us from negative emotions. Boredom, hopeless future, depression, anxiety, low self esteem.

C. The Three Pillars of God’s Love

  • John 13-17 is what some scholars call the “holy of holies” of Jesus’ Teaching. These chapters contain Jesus meeting with the disciples in the upper room where he discloses teachings and discipleship lessons that he did not teach in his public ministry.

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”

John 15:9
  • Pillar #1 God loves God
  • Pillar #2 God Loves people the way he loves himself
  • Pillar #3 Our Love for god, love for ourselves and love for other people

Pillar #1 God loves God

7 testimonies of love from the father
Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5; Mark 1:11; Mark 9:7; Luke 3:22; Luke 9:35; 2 Peter 1:17
7 testimonies of love from the son
John 3:35; John 5:20; John 10:17; John 15:9; John 17:23, John 17:24, John 17:26,

  • Parents who love each other and have respect and affection for each other instill an sense of well being and value in there children. Children feel as though the atmosphere is safe and good.

Pillar #2 God’s Love for His people
John 3:1; 1 John 4:19; Galatians 2:20

  • We seek to understand the depth of Gods love for people (me included) by studying it, praying it, saying it and asking the holy spirit to teach us.

Pillar #3 Our love for ourselves, Our love for God, and our love for people

  • We have the ability to love God because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19-20
  • We can only love ourselves to the depth that we understand we are loved.Matthew 22:39
  • We will love others with a deeper quality of love when we see how valuable we are in Gods eyes Matthew 22:39

D. Our love matures and is tested through His commandments

We have to break agreement that obey commandments is for the religious legalist
This mindset will leave us with a bankrupt version of Christianity that is powerless to overcome negative emotions and circumstances.

  • In John 13-17 Jesus makes seven references to abiding in Gods love by obeying his commandments.
    John 13:34; 14:15; 14:21; 14:31; 15:10; 15:12; 15;17
  • We say I’m aiming my heart in the direction of your commands and will never settle for less than what you made possible by grace.
  • We don’t say “Because of Gods grace it does not matter if I obey his commands”

15″If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

John 14:15

“10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. “

John 15:10

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

1 John 5:2-3

21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me

John 15:21-24

F. The 8 Beatitudes, inspired to love, Jesus’ Commandments

  • Matthew 5:19 links John 15:9 to Matthew 5:3-10
  • The beatitudes when viewed through the proper lens of love. Become a delight and expression of loving God and people the way God loves God and God loves people
  • If in our walk with the lord we are not operating in the dynamic of John 15:9 love the beatitudes become a burden and a snare. The beatitudes are best expressed by those who go deep in love with him.
  • The beatitudes are the fundamental instructions on abiding in love in a deeper way.
  • We do not simply seek to walk in the beatitudes. The beatitudes are an expression of the Fathers heart.
  1. Blessed are the poor in spirit
    Recognizing we have all things in Christ yet we walk in very little of it.
  2. Blessed are those who mourn
    Spiritual mourning is seeing the gap between what we have (fullness of Christ Philippians 4:13) and what we currently walk in spiritually.
  3. Blessed are the meek
    The meek are those who recognize that all they have and own are from God and they use it for God.
  4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
    We view righteousness to the spirit like food to the body. When we view righteousness as a requirement to spiritual nourishment we will hunt for, defend an protect it.
  5. Blessed are the merciful
    How we treat people when they have wronged us or when they make mistakes that are costly. In the small parts of life. We must be eager to be merciful. John and James want to call fire down from heaven. Luke 9:51-56
  6. Blessed are the pure in heart
    To be pure in heart is to be pure in thought word and deed. In the secret place in our heart that nobody can see we are determined to contend for purity.
  7. Blessed are the peacemakers
    A peacemaker does not allow the momentum of slander pass from ear to ear but does everything to snuff out the flame of criticism by introducing reconciliation to all situations.
  8. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
    As you embrace these attitudes you will be challenged and tested in each one and often.
  • Matthew 5:13-16 Salt and Light This is how the world will see the love we are invited into in the Firs commandment.
  • Jesus is inviting us to to be salt and light on his terms not our own. To be salt and light requires that we are growing into deeper levels and revelations of his love so that we delight in doing good works for the kingdom.

19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:19
  • Jesus makes a startling statement in Matthew 5:19. Revealing that we can chose to reject Jesus leadership and make it to heaven but be called least in the Kingdom. Or we can say yes to his leadership, teach others to do the same and be called great.
  • The way he makes us great is that he brings us deep into the fellowship of his love. The way we are least is if we reject the terms to go deep in love.

The six negative things that destroy a heart seeking to love God and people

  • Anger (5:21-26) criticism and murder, Immorality (5:27-30), Disregarding the sanctity of marriage (5:31-32), Not keeping our commitments(5:33-37), Retaliating (5:38-42) self defense, enemies etc, Being passive in our love to our enemies (5:43-47).

The Five positives that grow our hearts in deep levels of love and revelation

  • Serve, Give charitable deeds: giving service and/or money, (6:1-4, 19-21), Prayer (6:5-13), Bless our adversaries (fullness of forgiveness, 6:14-15; 5:44), Fasting (6:16-18).