“Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about” -
Genesis 22: 11-14
“ But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns.He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
Many times when God asks you to give something up it’s because we’ve allowed that to take preeminence in our heart.
How to walk in fearless trust:
Have your ears attentive to the Father
Abraham had his ears attentive to the Father’s voice. If he had been distracted he could of missed a chance to fully surrender or he could have also missed God’s grace in not having Isaac killed.
Allow yourself to be a burnt offering
- When the aroma of our offering goes up it is a pleasing aroma to the Father. Every breath in was a “Thank you” from his child.
Romans 12:11 Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive. Serve the Lord.”
Genesis 22:3 “Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey.”
Remember God is worthy of your trust
Genesis 22: 6-8
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.” -
- Abraham trusted that if he sacrificed Isaac he’d still provide a way for the promise to be fulfilled
Allow room for God to speak His promises to you
- When we allow ourselves to lay down on the alter and become burnt offerings we make room for God to speak his promises.
Things to get rid of so you can fearlessly trust God:
1. Other idols
-1 John 5:2 “Dear children, keep yourself from idols”
- How can you look at your unfulfilled promise when the Promise Fulfilled, Jesus, is walking with you?
2. Our flesh
Romans 8:13 “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” -
Luke 9:23 “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” -
- Once your flesh is out of the way obedience is the only answer.
- Abraham went from fear to faith
Genesis 12:12-13 “As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”
Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect Love casts out fear.”
- There can be no fear when you are completely consumed with Love Himself.
Luke 24:32 "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"
1 Corinthians 13:1-8 (NIV) 1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
Love is gentle
Patient: Love is the long road and we are willing to suffer-long.
Kind: Seeking to be radically unfair in kindness
Not rude: Not harsh or easily agitated.
Not easily angered: Doesn’t live in reaction.
Keeps no record of wrong: Those that are forgiven by God find joy in forgiving others.
Love is selfless
Does not envy: Loving well celebrates what others have, even if it’s something we long to have.
Does not boast: Love is not puffed up or inflated.
Not proud: Humility is a prerequisite for perfect love.
Not self-seeking: Love is not about personal happiness.
Does not delight in evil: Never glad to participate in sin or affirm sin in self or others.
Rejoices in truth: We embrace and speak the truth tenderly in Love, understanding that truth sets people free.
Always protects: We defend, protect, and provide safe spaces for others.
Always perseveres: Love always sticks around, stays faithful and fervently fights for. Love outlasts evil.
1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV) It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLT) Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
- Love always protects
-We live with intent to trust.
-Love is easily persuaded.
“Our faith in other is never a waste, it’s an investment.”
3. Always Hopes
-Hope sees the best in others.
-Hope sees potential.
“Love believes the future is more powerful than the past!”
4. Always Perseveres
5. Love Never Fails.
-If we fail to love we have failed.
-Love never fails because it bears all things, believes all things never loses hope, and carries ON!
Growing in believing love.
1 John 4:7-13, 16-17 (NLT) 7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. 13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. …16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
- Spend time with Jesus.
- Trust him where you lack trust.
- Commit to nurture Love not justify complacency.
- Put your mouth on watch
Ephesians 4:29-32 (NKJV) 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.
John 5:35 (NIV) John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.
Love prepares the way
John 3:30 (NKJV) He must increase, but I must decrease.
1 Corinthians 13:4-13 (NIV) 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Love is Selfless
1. DOES NOT ENVY
Envy is at the core of comparison.
WARNING: Envy can nurture a bitter spirit.
Proverbs 14:30 (NIV) A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
James 3:14-16 (NIV) 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.
“When I am loving well I celebrate what others have, even if it’s something I long to have.”
2. DOES NOT BOAST/ IS NOT PROUD
Envy is focuses on what I don’t have, pride is bragging in what I do.
Pride: (KJV) Puffed up. gk Inflated.
Gifts are meant to speak of the giver of the gift not to puff the pride of the recipient.
2 Corinthians 10:17-18 (NLT) As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.” when people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.
Although gifts emphasize our value they also reveal our lack.
“Humility is the prerequisite of perfect love.”
Matthew 6:1 (NIV)"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
Philippians 2:3-8 (NIV) 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!
“You cannot love someone that you put yourself in front of.”
Both of these things (envy, boasting proud) are very self-focusses….
3. NOT SELF-SEEKING.
At the heart of self-seeking is Narcissism.
Many confuse love with happiness.
Ephesians 5:21(NIV) Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
1. See yourself Investment not a waste.
“When I realize I have something to offer, I find joy in offering it.”
Matthew 16:24-26 (NIV) Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?
2. Go First. Be the first to be last.
“We experience love the most when we are showing it.”
John 15:11-13 (NLT) I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! his is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
3. Have confidence in God’s love
1 John 4:16-17, 19 (NLT) 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. …19 We love each other because he loved us first.
Isaiah 60:1-3 (NIV) 1 "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. 2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. 3 Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
- Love is not a fleeting feeling, it’s the fervent fight of faithfulness.
1 Corinthians 13:4-13 (NIV) 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
1. Does not delight in evil
ESV-“it does not rejoice at wrongdoing.”
Love does not do “Whatever makes you happy.”
Love does not affirm sin
Unconditional love is not unconditional affirmation.
“At the heart of the Gospel is God who is deeply in love with humanity yet abhors sin.”
Romans 12:9-10 (NIV) 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves
We honor virtue not vices.
We don’t celebrate nor tolerate evil.
Revelation 2:19-20 (NIV) 19 I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.
“We hate sin because it is destructive to our selves our society and our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit!”
Love does not delight when evil happens to others.
2. Rejoices with Truth
Embracing the Truth
2 Thessalonians 2:12 (NLT) They will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.
Expressing the Truth
“If you are not speaking the truth in Love you are misrepresenting it.”
Ephesians 4:14-16 (NLT) 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Experience the fruit of Truth
“Love opens the door but it’s the truth that sets them free!”
John 8:31-32 (NLT2) 31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
3. Always Protects
Stegō to roof over.
1 Peter 4:8 (NLT) Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
Genesis 3:7-10 (NLT) 7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. 8 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees. 9 Then the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”
Genesis 3:21 (NLT) And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.
4. Always Perseveres
Endures all things.(hypo-meno)
Love always sticks around, stays faithful & fervently fights for!
1 John 4:10 & 11 (NLT) This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together...
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves...
2 Timothy 4:5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Watchfullness means looking for what God is doing.
John 4:35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
There is a GO in the Gospel!
John 5:4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.
John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
God isn’t a thief!
Religion will have you waiting to walk for the rest of your life, but JESUS says the time is now!
Religion forfeits the love of God for a method. But JESUS will walk into your mess, offend religious sensibilities and leave you healed.
You have no idea what God will do with one little mustard seed of faith.
Our decision to let love be louder then fear will bring God’s activity into our lives.
Matthew 14:14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.
Love on Fire HAS Something to say!
Ephesians 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry...
The offices of ministry are to equip us to do the work of ministry. We’re to do the stuff too!
Mark 16:17-18 says these signs will follow those who believe! You will lay hands on the sick and they will recover. You’ll tell demons to go and they will! You don’t have to have a special office, you just have to believe! We can all be believing believers.
Matthew 13:3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow... 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them...22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
What am I living for? Am I living to bear eternal fruit? TO bring people into the Kingdom, to share God’s love with the world around me.
Or am I living to make the mortgage and get out safe?
Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT) 14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
1 Corinthians 12:31 (NIV) But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way. 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
LOVE IS GENTLE
Colossians 3:12 (NLT) Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
- Love is Patient
2 Corinthians 6:3-6 (NLT) 3 We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. 4 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 5 We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. 6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.
Ephesians 4:2 (NLT) Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
2. Love is Kind
“Kindness is not reacting to the treatment of others but reflecting the heart of Jesus.”
We want to be radically unfair in our kindness!
3. Love is Not Rude
James 3:17-(NLT) But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.
4. Love is not easily angered.
Psalm 145:8-9 (NIV) 8 The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. 9 The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.
5. Love keeps no record of wrongs
2 Corinthians 5:19 (NIV) God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.
Ephesians 4:32 (NIV) Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
The test of genuine gentle love.
Jesus always takes it a step further….
Matthew 5:43-48 (NIV) 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
“We are most like Jesus when we lay down our lives and love our enemies.”
Romans 5:10 (NIV) When we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son,…
- That means laying down our agendas, our opinions, in order to express love for those he oppose us.
Growing in gentleness.
1. Slow down
Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
A reaction motivated in anger is a violation of love.
2. Remember your forgiveness
Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV) 14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
4. Never assume motivation.
5. Learn form Jesus
Matthew 11:29 (NIV) Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart…
Galatians 5:22 (NIV) The fruit of the Spirit is love…
1 John 4:19 (NIV) We love because he first loved us.