Galatians 5:22-23
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Known by Our Love….
Operating in Love
Peace is a LOVE gift from God
Scripture Reading: John 13:34-35
Known by Our Love….
A song in the 60`s told us “What the world needs now is love sweet love…”.  Yet four decades later, the world is no better for the physical love that has been promoted and abused by society.
What the world needs NOW is the love of God in their hearts and minds, and it is the job of the Church to be vessels of that love.
Jesus gave us a new commandment, “…love one another as I d you” (John 13:34).  When we operate in His love, man will know that we are followers of Christ.
As the world celebrates it`s own form of love, how about you and I celebrating the love of God that is shed abroad in our hearts (Romans 5:5)?  Let`s share it with the world and show them the Christ who dwells within us. (jw)
Operating in Love
by Pastor Jim Wandell
Scripture Reading:  I Corinthians 13 (The word “charity” in this passage, translates to “love”).
Today, let`s take a look at what God`s Word tells us about operating in love.  Our scripture reading tells us a lot about love, doesn`t it?  In fact, verse 13 tells us that the greatest out of faith, hope, and love, is LOVE!  Why do you think that love is called the greatestOperating in Love ?
Look at some of the attributes of love found in I Corinthians chapter 13.  (The references below are from the NIV translation of the Bible).
Verse 4:  Love is patient, and love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
Verse 5:  Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs.  (Remembering the past hurts and failures that others have had or have caused you!  It doesn`t hold a grudge!  Love is forgiving!)
Verse 6:  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Verse 7:  Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.
Verse 8:  Love never fails…
In Ephesians 5:1-2 we are told the following:  
“Be ye therefore followers (imitators) of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us
an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.”
We hear loudly and clearly from this verse that we are to be imitators of God.  We are to act like He acts, and we are to speak His Words and do the things that He does.  Now with that in mind, look back at the attributes of love.  As true imitators of God, can we find ourselves in this list?  Do we possess any of these qualities?  Are we operating in the attributes of love in our lives?
Love is a binding element in life.  God is bound to us by His love.  Husbands and wives, families are bound together by love.  If it weren`t for God`s love for us, faith and hope wouldn`t be available to us.  If God didn`t love, then He never would have sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins, and salvation through His shed blood wouldn`t be available to us.
There are different types of love.  There is the love between a husband and a wife, which contains the physical and emotional aspects.  The world has its own perverted idea of love.  But the love we are to operate under is the “agape”, God kind of love.  That love carries with it:
· Understanding (being compassionate and caring)
· Forgiveness
· Kindness
· Peace and harmony (strife free!)
Operating in love opens the door for God`s richest blessings to flow and pour out upon believers.  Why?  Because love is an act of obedience to the Father and He has promised blessings to those who are obedient to His Word.
With Valentine`s Day coming up very soon, the world will turn to its definition of love and celebrate a “Hallmark Holiday”.  They will put all their energy and efforts into a one-day celebration of love their way.
We (believers), on the other hand need to take the love that we have in us and use it every day.  
Do you tell your children that you love them?  How about your parents?  Do you tell your spouse that you love them, and do your children hear you say it to each other?  It is important that they do because if they see mom and dad operating in love every day, they will follow suit and become imitators of you as you imitate Christ.
So the challenge is before us.  If we have not been operating in love, then we need to get started and be obedient to God`s Word.
Remember that Jesus loved us in spite of our downfalls.  Even before we loved Him, He loved us.  What an awesome opportunity we have to imitate Him and operate and walk in love.  
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 53:5
Peace is a LOVE gift from God
How often have you read Isaiah 53:5?  Many times we skip over most of the verse and zero in on the “by His stripes you are healed” part of the scripture.  The truth is that we cannot ignore the rest of the verse, because it all goes together.
When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He also died for everything else we would go through in life.  “Transgressions against God and one another, iniquities (which is knowingly sinning over and over again), robbery of our peace in all aspects of life, and sickness that destroys life”.  
See God loved us so much that He sent us His Peace to dwell in us through His Holy Spirit.  If you are at odds with someone, sick or in need of anything, you are not at peace.  In fact, you are living the exact opposite -chaos and unrest.  Living a life not settled causes us to waver and walk out of faith. Receive God`s love gift of peace right now. (cw)
“love one another as
I d you.”
 John 13:34
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