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Monday, May 4, 2009

Love Is a Habit - Rick Warren 01 May 2009

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them” (Luke 6:32 NIV).

If you only love on and off like a light switch, you do not love others like God wants you to love. Jesus said, “If you only love those who love you, what credit is that to you?” (Luke 6:32 NIV).

His point is this: anybody can love those who love them in return. Becoming a master lover means you learn to love the unlovable. It’s when you love people who don’t love you, when you love people who irritate you, when you love people who stab you in the back or gossip about you.

This may seem like an impossible task and it is. That’s why we need God’s love in us, so we can then love others: “We know and rely on the love God has for us” (1 John 4:16 NIV).

When you realize how much God loves you—with an extravagant, irresistible, unconditional love—then his love will change your entire focus on life. If we don’t receive God’s love for us, we’ll have a hard time loving other people. I’m talking about loving the unlovely, loving the difficult, loving the irritable, loving people who are different or demanding.

You can’t do that until you have God’s love coming through you. You need to know God’s love so it can overflow out of your life into others.

Love must become your lifestyle, the habit of your life. But it starts with a decision. Are you ready?

Your life is worth far more than you think, and by learning to love others with the love God gives you, you will have an influence far greater than you could ever imagine. If you will commit to this, you will experience love as God means it to be, filled with hope, energy, and joy.

My prayer for you is “that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love…” (Philippians 1:9 NCV).

2 comments:

A. Christian said...

Here are a few other passages that support the idea that love is a habit, and a good one for all those who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. It was most assuredly the Lord’s habit to command us to love everyone, including our enemies and especially each other.

"But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and [to] the evil." Luke 6:35

The degree of love was to be the same as the love of Christ toward us. He loved us when we were “yet sinners”. (Romans 5:8).

Men will know that we are “disciples of Christ” when we truly love one another. For this is one major difference between Christianity and all other religions on earth. Our religion requires that we love our enemies and each other as our Lord loved us. Other religions may offer much wisdom and good benefits that can be derived from philosophy. But only Christianity can provoke such universal love for all men. Only the Disciples of Christ will even attempt to so love their fellowmen.

And any man or group of men claiming to be Christian that does not universally and genuinely love ALL men is deceiving themselves and no one else! Those who do this are not “Disciples of Christ” no matter how staunchly they may lay claim to Christianity.
And none are more treacherous to the faith once delivered to the saints than are those that claim to be “Disciples of Christ” while demonstrating hatred toward anyone on earth.

No other religion so adamantly demands love. Love is not only the habit of Christians it is their habitat. It is indeed the very essence of Christianity. And this is the reason that there can be “no divisions” among us. (1 Cor. 1:10). So, if one finds those of us who claim to be Christians lacking in love, let them not blame the Christ and Christianity. Let them instead acknowledge that they have yet to meet a genuine Christian. Let him see clearly that he has meet only men who, however sincerely they desire to follow Christ, simply cannot be justly called Christians. There is most assuredly a clear distinction between those that are genuine followers of Christ (those who love everyone). and those who would like to follow Him but just cannot do it.

Who can find a more practical religion than one that makes the following requirements of its followers:

"A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. "John13: 34,35

"If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15

"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. " John 14:21

"And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment."1John 3:23

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God."1John 4:7

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. "1john4: 20.21.

Let us become true Christians by determining in our hearts to love every person on earth, both good and evil, those who love us and those who hate us. It is difficult, but if we cannot do it let us not continue to pretend that we are Christians thereby letting our Savior take the blame?

A. Christian said...

Here are a few other passages that support the idea that love is a habit, and a good one for all those who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. It was most assuredly the Lord’s habit to command us to love everyone, including our enemies and especially each other.

"But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and [to] the evil." Luke 6:35

The degree of love was to be the same as the love of Christ toward us. He loved us when we were “yet sinners”. (Romans 5:8).

Men will know that we are “disciples of Christ” when we truly love one another. For this is one major difference between Christianity and all other religions on earth. Our religion requires that we love our enemies and each other as our Lord loved us. Other religions may offer much wisdom and good benefits that can be derived from philosophy. But only Christianity can provoke such universal love for all men. Only the Disciples of Christ will even attempt to so love their fellowmen.

And any man or group of men claiming to be Christian that does not universally and genuinely love ALL men is deceiving themselves and no one else! Those who do this are not “Disciples of Christ” no matter how staunchly they may lay claim to Christianity.
And none are more treacherous to the faith once delivered to the saints than are those that claim to be “Disciples of Christ” while demonstrating hatred toward anyone on earth.

No other religion so adamantly demands love. Love is not only the habit of Christians it is their habitat. It is indeed the very essence of Christianity. And this is the reason that there can be “no divisions” among us. (1 Cor. 1:10). So, if one finds those of us who claim to be Christians lacking in love, let them not blame the Christ and Christianity. Let them instead acknowledge that they have yet to meet a genuine Christian. Let him see clearly that he has meet only men who, however sincerely they desire to follow Christ, simply cannot be justly called Christians. There is most assuredly a clear distinction between those that are genuine followers of Christ (those who love everyone). and those who would like to follow Him but just cannot do it.

Who can find a more practical religion than one that makes the following requirements of its followers:

"A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. "John13: 34,35

"If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15

"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. " John 14:21

"And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment."1John 3:23

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God."1John 4:7

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. "1john4: 20.21.

Let us become true Christians by determining in our hearts to love every person on earth, both good and evil, those who love us and those who hate us. It is difficult, but if we cannot do it let us not continue to pretend that we are Christians thereby letting our Savior take the blame?

E. Lee Saffold

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