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.
- Hurt people Hurt people.
We need to make the switch from cope to hope.
Romans 5:2-5 (NIV) …We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
2 Kings 5:1-8, 9-14 (NLT) 1 The king of Aram had great admiration for Naaman, the commander of his army, because through him the LORD had given Aram great victories. But though Naaman was a mighty warrior, he suffered from leprosy. 2 At this time Aramean raiders had invaded the land of Israel, and among their captives was a young girl who had been given to Naaman’s wife as a maid. 3 One day the girl said to her mistress, “I wish my master would go to see the prophet in Samaria. He would heal him of his leprosy.”
9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and waited at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy.” 11 But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the LORD his God and heal me! 12 Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?” So Naaman turned and went away in a rage. 13 But his officers tried to reason with him and said, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’” 14 So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. And his skin became as healthy as the skin of a young child’s, and he was healed!
From Hurt to Healed.
1. Admit you got issues
Romans 12:3 (NIV) 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
Self-preservation does the opposite of what it implies.
2. Talk to Somebody
“Sometimes the answer we seek are hidden inside the lives of those God has placed around us.”
“Naaman had to come clean if he was going to get clean.”
James 5:16 (NIV) Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
3. Humble yourself
Flip the switch from Haughty to Humble
Sometime the difficult thing is the necessary thing to position us for the healing thing.
1 Peter 5:5-6 (NIV) All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Submission is proven by when we do what we don’t want to do.
Zechariah 4:6 (NIV) 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.
5. Take off your Armor.
If you continually justify your armor on you will never get healed.
The greatest expression of courage is vulnerability.
- “You can’t put on his armor until you take off yours”.