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Led By The Spirit Summer Challenge #2 Love

Week 2 Challenge: Look for ways to demonstrate your love for those God has placed in your life. Don’t just tell them you love them, show them! Put your words of love into action!

Okay girls so how did last week’s challenge go? Were you able to memorize Galatians 5:22 and start hiding God’s Word in your heart?

This week we are going to focus on love. No, not the romantic love between a husband and a wife but agape love, the type of love that comes from God. In Galatians 5:22, God lists love as the very first fruit. Why? Because loving others is the key to developing the other Fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Think of agape love as the fuel that gets everything moving. Without love the other Fruit of the Spirit can’t operate effectively.

1. Love is an act of obedience, not a feeling
In John 13:34 Jesus states  “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Jesus calls us to love others. Loving others is a choice. We may not always feel like loving someone, but when we choose to obey God rather than our feelings, God will bless that and help us turn our act of obedience into feelings of love. It might not happen over night, but God will start working in our hearts to bring the two together.

2. Love is an action
In 1 John 3:18 John states “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” Are your words and actions measuring up? How are you showing those around you that you love them? In Romans 5:8 Johns states that “God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus didn’t just tell us that he loved us, he showed it by dying for us on the cross!

What are some ways you can put your words of love into action? We need to live our faith out by first loving those God has placed in our homes and in our lives. Is there anyone God is bringing to mind that you can show your love to? Don’t delay….do it today!!

3. Love is loving those who don’t love you
I’m going to be real honest with you on this one, I find this hard to do. It hurts and doesn’t always seem fair. But you know what? Jesus did it for us. He loved us before we ever loved him. He went as far as to die for us……because he loved us. “For God so LOVED the world that he GAVE….” In Luke 6:27 Jesus states “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”  Jesus is a beautiful example for us. He did just that, dying on the cross he prayed for those very people who nailed him there. He stayed on that cross, not because of the nails but because he LOVED those who didn’t love him back. If Jesus tells us to love our enemies then Jesus will give us the love we need for them. It’s un-natural to love our enemies, we can only do it with God’s help.

4. Love is expecting nothing in return
What are your motives when you love someone? Are you expecting something back from them in return? In Luke 6:35 Jesus states “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back”.

5. We need God’s help to love others
Does this all sound impossible to do? Take heart my sweet friends its not! In Romans 5:5 we read that “…God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” What wonderful news! As we stay connected to the vine, to Jesus, God pours out his love into where? Into our hearts! God gives us the love we need in order to love those he has placed in our lives. He will give you the love you need! With God’s help we truly can love those in our lives who seem unloveable!!!

If you have someone in your life who you are struggling loving, pray to God about it. Confess your struggles to him. Share with him that you desire to obey and love those who are unloveable in your life but you need his supernatural love……..the agape love that only he can give you!

Week 2 Challenge: Look for ways to demonstrate your love for those God has placed in your life. Don’t just tell them you love them, show them! Put your words of love into action!

Chat with me in the comment section:
How are you demonstrating your love for those in your life this week?

Love God Greatly,



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Comments

  1. Whew!
    I’ll take it on… the "when it doesn’t always seem fair" hit home. Thanks.

  2. I feel like I very easily show love to my husband and children and I readily embrace all of my friends. But at times I struggle with point #2 – Love is an action.

    I find it difficult to find time to take a meal to a sick friend (which by the way, one of my good morning girls just had surgery and I have yet to take her a meal – ugh – bad friend see?) I am bad at sending out encouragement cards and letters of thanks.

    I love to chat and listen and hug my friends and I easily tell them I love them BUT the action part for me is so hard because it takes TIME!

    When I think of my sweet Grandma R who I love dearly – I feel that tinge of guilt for not visiting more, for not calling more, and then there’s all my neighbors. I did just take one of my neighbors cookies last week – but still I should be doing more to reach them – like having them into my home.

    I truly love people – which is why I love to blog – but have trouble finding the time to express it in action (maybe I should blog less lol!).

    Just being honest tonight.

    And by the way, Angela is amazing at expressing love – her gift of hospitality and the way she opens her doors to her home to anyone humbles me and inspires me!!

    Much Love,
    Courtney
    http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com

  3. Becca, I wrote that because I’ve BEEN there!!! ;) I’m praying for you and ALL the girls who choose to do this challenge this week. It’s not always an easy one depending on who you choose to demonstrate your love to, but my prayer is that God will give you His agape love when you put your love into action. :)

    Courtney, You KNOW I’m bad at sending out encouragement cards and letters of thanks. I’m so much better in person. It’s not that I don’t care or am not thankful…..just the opposite, I just struggle with what to say at times.

    For those of you who choose to do this challenge, I’d LOVE to hear how you put your love into action!!!

    Praying for ALL of you DAILY!!!! For those of you who listed some areas that you struggle with last week, please know that I am praying with you concerning those areas of your life. Also know that you are NOT alone in your struggles!!! There are many of us that struggle with the same issues but with God as our focus, we will over come them with His help!!!

    Love,

    Angela

  4. Barbaranne says:

    I am going to show my love for my family this week by doing their laundry. I know that this sounds small, but I have four beautiful blessings who are all old enough to do and iron their own laundry. One day very soon – I will miss having them in the house, so this week – I am going to take care of this chore for them and pray for them each as I fold their clothing. I need to remember that to "love in action" means to do the things that people could do for themselves and love them through it.

    ~BA~

  5. Ohhh BA I think that sounds wonderful! :) I love it that you’ll be praying over each one as you do his/her clothes! Great way to put your love into action and pray over them at the same time!

    Love,

    Angela

  6. I say that I love (my husband, children, friends) very often. But showing love is often difficult. I am so occupied with MY priorities, My time, My needs that I forget to serve others and show them just how much I care about them. This will be a necessary challenge for me. To show love and to also not expect it in return!

  7. So true Tiffany! I think you are in the same boat as many of us! I’m looking forward to hearing what you choose to do! :)

    Love,

    Angela

  8. Arrrrgh!!!! I know I know…

    It’s easy to think of yourself as a pretty loving and caring person being in full-time ministry. But yesterday I was confronted with how little love I have for those who don’t seek it. I was doing a Sidewalk Sunday School site in one of our areas… long story short – this man started threatening me. I was so frustrated and did not know what to do. I was so angry at him that he would disrespect my team so much and just be plain mean and think it’s cool. As I returned home I was confronted that I had no love for that man in my heart – I was angry and ready to call the cops (nothing wrong with calling the cops when you’re in danger but I tuned off the Holy Spirit). I did not pray and ask Him what to do. I was scared and reacted in the flesh. My heart was saddened that his sorry spiritual state leading straight to destruction did not break my heart earlier. I will be praying for this man this morning asking God to give me wisdom how to deal with him should I ever see him again.

    As for the challenge – I have 4 people on my ministry team and I think I’ll just do something nice for each one to show my love and appreciation for them.

  9. Helen,

    Loving those who don’t love us or our Lord is VERY hard. The situation you were in was not only difficult but scary as well.(and it was okay to call the cops if you felt you were in danger) I think you came to the right solution though….you started praying for him! That’s wonderful!!! God soften your heart and you came to realize that the path his is on right now leads only to destruction. God has taken a scary situation, changed your heart, opened your eyes to pray for him and caused you to share it so that others can pray for this man as well!!! :) You never know, maybe he has never had anyone in his life pray over him before! I will join you in praying for him and that God will bring other Christians into his life who will show him agape love. Thank you so much Helen for sharing your story with us!!!

    Love God Greatly,

    Angela

  10. I find this one hits home terribly for me. On June 9th, we will be going to court to see the "hammer drop" on the people that broke into our home over Thanksgiving holiday. Our state is a no tolerance state when it comes to home burglary. With no priors, they will receive a minimum of 4 yrs of prison with no option for parole. While we were in CA visiting family, our home was being broken into and our belongs were being taken. Why, because someone could not pay their herion debt, so in exchange for actual money, they were led to our home to collect whatever they would like to pay for this person’s debt.

    The hard part….the leader of the pack was also family. Family that we have helped more times that I can count on both hands and feet. Fed, clothed, provided Christmas and opened our home to the entire family (two adults/two children).

    I struggle with showing that TRUE love. That AGAPE love. My heart wants to see justice done. My husband and I struggle with the "after all we have done" attitude.

    In the end, I know we can’t think that way. God allowed us the means to provide and our job was to do just that….LOVE them and show them. Its so difficult though after all this has happened (it actually goes deeper) to show that kind of love.

  11. Hi Rene,

    Ohhh how my heart goes out to you! To be betrayed like that……I know you are hurting. I"m sooo very sorry this person did this to you and your family. All I can say is I have a very similar story, I truly do know the pain and hurt that you are experiencing. I also know all to well the struggle you are facing, wanting to love them but finding it difficult to do so. I have been in your shoes and am actually still there at times.

    First of all you can’t possibly love them on your own, so pray that God will change your heart and love them THROUGH you. This is NOT going to happen over night. You need time to heal and to grieve, but DAILY pray over all of this. Be real honest with God, tell Him you are struggling with loving them, with forgiving them and tell Him how much they have hurt you. Tell Him how angry you are at them. Be honest when you pray, He knows what’s going on inside your heart anyway. Allow God to cleanse your heart as you confess to Him all these hurts and painful emotions. What you don’t want is to let this harden your heart.

    Be obedient to God and love them with the love that He gives you for that day….even though you don’t feel like it. Just your act of obedience, choosing God over your pain, God will honor that. God can and will change your heart toward them.

    Rene, I will join you in praying over this individual. My prayer is that he/she has finally hit rock bottom and that God will do a mighty work in this individuals life. I pray for restoration for your family and I will also be praying for you!!! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I have written the court date on my calendar and will be covering you in prayer on the 9th! God Bless!!!!

    Love,

    Angela

  12. Rene,

    Just wanted you to know that I’ll be praying for you and your whole family tomorrow!

    Love,

    Angela

  13. I have a friend that had a baby a month or so ago. Her family is going through a lot because she and her husband both losts jobs in the past year and don’t have any income. I can’t believe I haven’t been over there to encourage her and welcome the new baby. I’m going be intentional this week about getting there!!!

  14. Thanks so much for posting this, to be honest Angela my problem isn’t struggling to do these as much…what my real problem is to keep it persistent. I can love and love and love and love and do great! (for a month or 2) lol…and then I am like all discouraged and cranky and selfish and tired the next month. I just don’t know how to keep going and to keep loving without feeling discouraged and unloved and yucky and lazy. I know all of those feelings are just from Satan. I know that they are lies that the enemy is using to trip me up and cause me to waver in my faith walk. I know. But yet, even knowing that it seems really hard sometimes to push past those feelings…and keep on keeping on. How can you keep a persistent everyday 247 love routine! lol. I want to love ALL the time and ALWAYS even when things aren’t going right, or everything is stressful and tense…how do I truly love in those situations– without getting high blood pressure because of me trying to be patient, loving and careful and biting my tongue? Thanks :)

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