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Pray for Love - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
July 23, 2021 2:00 am

Pray for Love - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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July 23, 2021 2:00 am

Love is the subject of more songs than any other topic. It's a word that falls off countless lips effortlessly and often without thought. In the message "Pray for Love," Skip shares how your love can be pure and purposeful.

This teaching is from the series Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians .

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Knowledge needs love, but he also says love needs knowledge for that love to be responsible love. Remember when Paul spoke about a zealous group of religious brethren of his?

He said they have a zeal for God, but it's not according to knowledge and he faulted them for that. It's pure emotion, but no knowledge. Now, if you diminish your need for knowledge and you place feeling above knowledge like so many people do, just do what's in your heart, man, whatever you feel like doing.

That is the most dangerous, irresponsible thing you could ever do. People sometimes use the word love flippantly, but God calls us to a higher love that involves sacrifice, a love with purpose. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip shares how you can take your love to a higher level, but before we begin, did you know you can get more inspiring teachings from Skip on his TV show? Here's how. Catch my program Connect with Skip Heitzig on the Hillsong Channel on Saturdays at 4.30 p.m. Mountain Time, or watch it on TBN on Sundays at 5.30 a.m. Eastern.

Remember to check your local listings. Now we want to let you know about a resource that will help you live in the power of the Holy Spirit. Counselor, Comforter, Advocate, Helper. These are some of the names for the Holy Spirit found in the Bible. The Holy Spirit isn't a warm, fuzzy feeling or a vague cosmic force. He's a person who loves you, cares for you, and wants to empower you to be everything God calls you to be.

Here's Skip Heitzig. I think there's a lot of Christians who have heard the term Holy Spirit, obviously, but they have a very vague idea of who the Spirit of God is and what he's supposed to do in their lives. We want to help you better understand the Holy Spirit by sending you Expound, Holy Spirit, a DVD study from Pastor Skip. And for a limited time, we'll also send you a booklet by Lenya Heitzig called Empower, Discover Your Spiritual Gifts. Both resources are our way to say thanks for your gift of $25 or more to help keep this Bible teaching ministry on the air, connecting you to God's life-changing truth.

Call now to request your copies of these resources, 800-922-1888, or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer. Okay, we're on Philippians chapter one as Skip Heitzig gets into today's message. If you know anything about Paul's writing, you know that Paul will often take love and knowledge and combine them. Sometimes he'll oppose them.

He'll show the difference between them. For example, in 1 Corinthians chapter 8, he says knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. He's contrasting love and knowledge. Or 1 Corinthians chapter 13, though I speak with a tongue of men or of angels, but I have not love, I've become like a clanging cymbal sounding brass. And though I can understand all mysteries and have all knowledge, but I have not love, I have become nothing. So he says knowledge needs love, but he also says love needs knowledge for that love to be responsible love. Remember when Paul spoke about a zealous group of religious brethren of his?

He said they have a zeal for God, but it's not according to knowledge, and he faulted them for that. It's pure emotion, but no knowledge. Now, if you diminish your need for knowledge and you place feeling above knowledge, like so many people do, just do what's in your heart, man, whatever you feel like doing. That is the most dangerous, irresponsible thing you could ever do.

And you would be a dangerous person to live that way. Why do I say that? Well, you can feel out of love with your spouse and feel in love with somebody who's not your spouse. A parent can feel they ought to give something, whatever the child wants, to their child. Just, I'm going to give it, because I feel that that's the loving thing to do.

Well, that could be the worst thing to do, to give them whatever they want. You may feel that love is letting another Christian do whatever he or she wants to do. That's where you need knowledge. The knowledge of Matthew chapter 18, where Jesus said sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to confront another brother or sister, and that's love.

So, mature love is not sentimentality, nor is it emotion. It has banks, and the first bank is knowledge. In 2 Peter chapter 1, he says, Make every effort to add to your faith goodness, and to goodness, knowledge. So, follow me, our love should be growing, but our love should also be knowing. Knowledge is one of the banks that allows the free flow of love. There's another bank I want you to notice, also in verse 9, and that is discernment. That your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment. Discernment means insight, mature insight, or sensitive moral perception.

Allow me to explain. We might have an affection for somebody else, but that doesn't mean we have the right to express that affection any way we see fit. We need to bring discernment into it. See, there are moral and ethical considerations that are to govern the overflowing expression of our love to people.

To discern something is to distinguish, to make a difference. And so, every parent knows this, that love is expressed in different ways at different times to the same child. One day a parent will give a gift to a child.

Another day a parent will spank a child. Both are legitimate expressions of love. Another example is that of Jesus Christ. Sometimes He'd heal a person. Another day He would overturn the tables in the temple and with a whip drive out the money changers. Both are expressions of love, but in two different contexts. One day Jesus would say to the crowd, you are blessed, blessed are you.

Another day He'd look at another crowd filled with Pharisees and say, you whitewashed sepulchers. Both are expressions of love from the one who is the author of love himself. Now most of us know that the most frequently used Greek word for love in the New Testament is what? Tell me.

Shout it out. Agape. Agape is the Greek word for love that expresses God's love for us.

Generally love for one another is to be at that supreme, superior, that's what we aspire to, agape love. Well, make sure that your agape isn't sloppy. Don't love with sloppy agape. Sloppy agape is saying you love somebody, but it's really a selfish love. I'm going to do something or say something because I don't want to be disliked by that person.

That's sloppy agape. 1 Corinthians chapter 13 verse 6 sums it up. Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but it rejoices in the truth. So, our love should be abounding, plentiful love, but it should also be perceptive, having run within the banks of knowledge and discernment.

Now look at verse 10. That you may approve the things that are excellent. That you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. You see where it begins, the sentence with the word that? Everything that follows is a purpose clause, it is called, a purpose clause. In other words, it means so that, or in order that. Or, Paul is saying, here's the reason you need these two riverbanks of knowledge and discernment.

Here's why. Here's the purpose for it. It's so that you can approve the things that are excellent. Now that little word, approve, was a word used in ancient times to test metals, to approve metals. To take a coin and determine how much real metal versus alloy is in it. You would examine it, you would test it.

And you would test it for purity. So, he uses that word, approve, and he means this. We must carefully examine every expression of our love in the light of God's word.

Because then it becomes a different issue. No longer is it an issue of how do I feel, but it becomes an issue of what does the Bible say about how I feel. Does the Bible say this is a legitimate expression, an illegitimate expression? Does the Bible prohibit this?

Does it encourage this? So there was a mom in Walmart with her screaming little girl in her cart. And the girl was throwing stuff and complaining and yelling and just the volume was going up and up.

And that mom was feeling like expressing her love with a slap to the backside right there in public. But instead, she said out loud, calm down, Ellen. It'll be alright, Ellen. You'll be home soon, Ellen. And as she got up to the clerk, the clerk said, ma'am, I've just got to congratulate you on how patient you are with little Ellen. And the mom turned to her and said, I'm Ellen. See, there's a lady debating, approving, what's the proper expression of my love?

Talking to herself through. So our love should be plentiful, our love should be perceptive. There's a third quality, a third attribute of mature love and that is our love should be pure. Also, verse 10, that you may approve the things that are excellent. And notice the next phrase, that you may be sincere and without offense until the day of Christ. You see that second that in the sentence begins with the word that. And there's a comma and there's another that. I'm showing you all this because that's another purpose clause. It means in order that.

All I have to say this, Paul is praying for one thing. One thing, their love. The expression of their love. I want it to abound, I want it to overflow, but within the banks of knowledge and discernment.

So that you can approve the things that are excellent and so that it's all about the same subject. This is a purpose clause, so that or in order that you will express your love in the right way, in a pure way. Look at the word sincere.

You know what that is. When we say a person is sincere, usually that we're paying them a compliment. To us for some reason sincerity is like the highest virtue a person can have. It doesn't matter what they believe in, they're sincere.

That's what a lot of people say. The word sincere in English comes from a Latin word. Actually two words that sound very much like our word sincere.

I'll say it. Cine sera. Cine sera. Two Latin words. Cine sera.

That's where we get the word sincere. Cine sera literally means without wax. Cine without sera wax. I'm praying that your love would abound and be within the banks of knowledge and discernment so that you can approve the things that are excellent and so that you may be without wax.

You're going I don't get it. Well in ancient times porcelain dealers and statue makers would carve their wares and sell them and if they wanted to sell them so that the buyer would know it's real, pure, legitimate through and through they would say it's without wax. Here's a plate of porcelain or a statue of marble that is cine sera. It's without wax. In other words it didn't break and we added dust and wax and patched it back up.

It's a pure work through and through. Now you could tell if it was with wax you would just hold it up to the sun. It'd be sun tested. You'd hold it up and you could see the crack running through it and you'd feel the wax mixed with the porcelain or marble dust and you'd say this is a fake. This thing's busted.

They patched it up. And if you bought a statue for your husband's birthday and it's July and you have it in the backyard and you have a garden party and you're all happy, everything's good until the nose falls off. And the arm falls off and then he says that is an insincere expression of love.

It has wax in it. That's the idea of sincere. So the idea means pure. That you may be sincere and without offense.

So the idea is this. Don't let your love be phony. Don't let it be mixed.

Don't let it have an impure motive. Like a little boy, his mom said, you know, you've been a bad boy lately. You need to get on your knees and pray that God would make you a better boy. He got right down on his knees, bowed his head and goes, oh Lord, make me a better boy.

And Lord, if you can't make me better, don't worry because I'm having a real good time just the way I am. Amen. Sometimes our life, sometimes our love, sometimes our prayers can be insincere.

There's wax inside. Romans 12, 9 says, let love be without hypocrisy. That is, don't just pretend to love, really love. Best example of insincere love is Judas Iscariot. Betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and betrays him with a what? A kiss, an expression of love. Walks up to him in the Garden Master, goes over to him and kisses him. Jesus even remarked and says, you betrayed the Son of Man with a kiss. That was insincere, impure love. So let's personalize it. Let's say you give a compliment to somebody, a word of encouragement.

What could be better? Well, did you really mean what you said? Or are you saying that because you want something from that person? Now it's impure, now it's insincere.

When you go up and hug a person, is it because you're genuinely showing brotherly love or you want to get physically close to that person? That's an insincere expression of love. Matthew Henry said, hypocrisy is to do the devil's work in God's uniform. So he says, I'm praying for your love, that it keep on growing and overflowing, but not in a destructive way, but within the banks of knowledge and discernment so that you can test it and prove that it's according to God's will and word and so that it's the real deal. It is sincere, without wax. And, notice what else, without offense until the day of Christ. In other words, the best testimony is a life that is a genuine, authentic Christian life without hypocrisy. When you have a hypocrite showing impure love, it brings the offense factor front and center.

It turns everybody off. So it would be sincere and without offense until the day of Christ. So, let's sum it up. Our love should be plentiful. Our love should be perceptive. Our love should be pure. There's a fourth mark and we'll close with this and with this last verse, verse 11. Our love should be purposeful.

You say, well it sounds purposeful so far. Why do you need another purpose? Because Paul always has a higher purpose and I want you to see what it is. Verse 11, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God. What does all that mean? It simply means this is the kind of love that is the fruit of righteousness by which God is glorified.

That's all it means. So, when our love abounds but it's kept within the banks of knowledge and discernment, it's a pure love. God is glorified. And that is, by the way, the purpose of all love. The purpose of marital love or boyfriend-girlfriend love or friendship love isn't just so you feel better. The purpose of all love as a Christian is to glorify God.

You know how I know that? Because that's the purpose of all life. All of life is to glorify God. I exist to glorify God.

I do. In Revelation chapter 4, the 24 elders bow down saying, For thy pleasure all things were created. That's why I exist. 1 Corinthians chapter 10, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God. Last time I checked, love is under the category of all. Whatever you do, all things for the glory of God.

Loving is under the category of all things. Whatever you do, do all for the glory of God. So now, we have the ultimate test to know if this expression of our love is approved or not.

And it's simple. Does it glorify Jesus Christ? If it does, then everyone around us is going to be loved and we're going to stick out like a sore thumb in this world. We're going to be like that early church that the spy came in and said, My how they love Him and my how they love one another.

Because people just don't do that. But when we do it with the responsible kind of mature love, people feel loved around us, cared for, invested in, secure, and God gets the glory. So, to sum it all up, our love should be growing, our love should be knowing, and our love should be showing. Do you ever pray for love? Oh yeah, I pray that people will love me all the time. No, I mean, do you pray for your own love for them?

That's what Paul is saying. I'm praying for your love for one another. Do you ever pray that your love would flow out because people around you would be soaked? Wonderfully soaked. They get around you and go, Man, I'm all wet.

I'm soaked. That guy loves so much. She loves so much and it's such a pure, godly love.

I feel so cared for. My challenge then, as we close this week, is that you be a person. This week you start praying for your love, the expressions of your love to be mature, like what we just prayed for. I'm praying that for you this week. That's my commitment as I pray for you this week. And I'll pray for myself. This kind of prayer. And here's why we need to pray for it. Here's why Paul prays for it because, you know, I just want to bring this up because sometimes people go, Why did he pray for that?

Of all the things to pray for, why that? Well, you know, in the physical world, we have a law called the Second Law of Thermodynamics. And the Second Law of Thermodynamics basically states that all matter and all energy in the universe is subject to and in a constant state of entropy.

That is continual degradation, ongoing deterioration, decay. In the spiritual life, it's like there is a form of spiritual entropy that pulls us backwards. So as we go through the day and through the week, we get pulled back to the values of this world, the ideologies of this world expressed in their music, their news articles, their messaging along the freeway. Our friends, we get pulled back to it. The only way to counteract that spiritual entropy is to be infusing ourselves with new energy.

And so we get together a lot. And that's why the book of Hebrews says, Fellowship, come to church a lot, especially as you see the day of Christ approaching. Do it more often. Pray more often. Bible study more often. You need to counteract the spiritual entropy. So I'm praying for you, but I'm not praying for you like Jaron Lowenstein said, wherever you are in your car, I'm praying for you, crash. I'm praying for the long haul, that your love, your expression toward one another would be this kind of mature love as expressed in these four ways.

That concludes Skip Heitzig's message from his series Technicolor Joy. Now, if you love Bible study, a trip to Israel is a life changer. Your Bible study will never be the same. Skip has lived in Israel and led tours many, many times. Here he is to invite you on his next tour. You know, there's always something new to see and experience in Israel. And I'm so excited to let you know that I'm taking another tour group to Israel next spring in 2022. You're in for an incredible time as we travel throughout Israel and experience the culture that's so unique to that country. We'll start on the Mediterranean Sea and head north, seeing places like Caesarea and Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River. We'll spend several days in and around Jerusalem and see the Temple Mount, Calvary, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Mount of Olives, and much more. This remarkable itinerary is made richer with times of worship, Bible study, and lots of fellowship. Now, I've been to Israel a number of times over the years, and I can honestly say that visiting the places where the events of the Scriptures unfolded, where Jesus lived, taught, and healed, it just never gets old. I can't wait to see you in Israel.

Start planning and saving now to tour Israel with Skip Heizik. Information at inspirationcruises.com slash C-A-B-Q. That's inspirationcruises.com slash C-A-B-Q. The world is constantly trying to pull you away from God's will.

That's why we need God's word as our foundation and why we bring you these teachings to connect you to God's truths. And today, you can help keep these messages coming your way and encouraging others through your gift of support. To give a gift right now and keep this broadcast going strong, just call 800-922-1888.

Again, that's 800-922-1888. Or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. Connectwithskip.com slash donate.

Thank you. Now, before we go, did you know that you can watch Skip's messages from the comfort of your home with your Roku device or Apple TV? Just search for his channel and watch thousands of powerful Bible teachings and live services.

Find more information on the broadcast page at connectwithskip.com. Join us next Monday as Skip Heitzig explores the best thing you can be passionate about, the Gospel. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection, a connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-20 12:27:47 / 2023-09-20 12:37:21 / 10

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