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Authentic Love

February 18, 2018 Speaker: Dan Davis Series: Hopevale DNA

Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Romans 5:6–5:8, 2 Timothy 3:16, 1 Timothy 2:5, Ephesians 2:8–2:9, 1 John 3:16–3:18, Matthew 23:1–23:3

Authentic Love 2.18.18

A five-week series diving deep into our five defining values as a church--the distinguishing characteristics that shape Hopevale.

Four Types of Love

The Ancient Greeks talked about four different kinds of love.

philos love = friendship love
storge love = family love
eros love = romantic love
agape love = unconditional love

These four different kinds of loves are gifts from God for us to experience and enjoy, but it’s only this last kind of love (agape love) that gets to the heart of Christianity and explains why Jesus came to this earth and died in our place.

Romans 5:6-8 NIV

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Hopevale DNA: Our 5 Defining Values

“Hopevale DNA” answers the “how” question. What’s most important to us as a church in how we approach life and ministry? These values shape things like how we conduct ourselves, how we treat others, how we function as a church family, how we live out our faith beyond the four walls of our church. Here are our 5 defining values:

1. Focused Faith
2. Authentic Love
3. Mutual Respect
4. Shared Ministry
5. Servant Leadership

These are the qualities that make us us.

Review: (1) Focused Faith

FOCUSED FAITH means keeping the main thing the main thing. We can’t let secondary issues distract us from what matters most.

Review: Focused Faith - 3 Core Beliefs

The Hopevale "die fors":

The BIBLE is the only WORD of God. The Bible is our final authority in faith and practice. (2 Timothy 3:16)

JESUS is the only SON of God. Jesus is fully God and fully man, uniquely qualified to be the Savior of mankind. (1 Timothy 2:5)

His GOSPEL is the only WAY to God. We experience salvation and receive forgiveness by God’s grace alone, through our faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Review: Focused Faith in the Church

In essentials, unity;
In nonessentials, liberty;
In all things, charity.

We need to be united in the essentials and keep the main thing the main thing. Beyond that, we’ve got to give each other the freedom in the non-essentials to have beliefs and convictions that might be different than ours. Then in all things, when we can love each other through those differences, that’s when Jesus shines the brightest.

This Week: (2) Authentic Love

AUTHENTIC LOVE means we practice what we preach and put feet to our faith. We don’t just talk the talk, but we also walk the walk.

1 John 3:16-18 NIV

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

The Challenge of Hypocrisy

The opposite of authenticity is hypocrisy--one of the biggest problems that plagues the Christian church. When people say one thing, but do another... when they appear to love with their words, but don’t follow-up with their actions, it creates a barrier for those genuinely seeking God. It's why those outside the church think the Good News isn’t all that good. When hypocrisy trumps authenticity, the cause of Christ and the beauty of His Gospel suffer. That's why loving authentically is so important.

Matthew 23:1-3 NIV

1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

Trusting God & Loving People

Loving others authentically is risky. So what can help us step out in faith and take the risk to love? We need to see the link between trusting God and loving people. Here are three examples:

1. We can love in sacrificial ways, because God provides for our needs. When we're open-handed and generous when it comes to meeting needs in the name of authentic love (as opposed to being tight-fisted and stingy), God will take care of our own needs as well.

2. We can love without seeking credit, because God sees and honors what we do. We need to resist the temptation to draw attention to ourselves for the good we do for others. Jesus assures us that God notices every little thing we do in His name and that He will reward those acts of love.

3. We can love without strings attached, because God changes hearts. Loving others authentically is not a manipulative tools to get others to do what we want: "I'll do this for you, but you better change for me." No, we love because that's what God commands us to do and we trust Him to bring about change in another person's life.

Authentic Love

We’re able to love others authentically, because God loves us recklessly.

Lyrics from the song,"Reckless Love"

There's no shadow You won't light up
Mountain You won't climb up
Coming after me
There's no wall You won't kick down
Lie You won't tear down
Coming after me

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn't earn it, I don't deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

 

Connections Questions

The second defining value of our church’s DNA is Authentic Love—we practice what we preach and put feet to our faith. We don’t just talk the talk, but we also walk the walk. Pastor Dan

1. In honor of celebrating Valentine’s Day last week, tell about a special Valentine you have given or received. What makes it still so special for you?

2. Describe ways in which your group expresses or has expressed philos (friendship) love and storge (family) love to others inside and outside of the group. How do these actions of love help us to live out our church’s “focused faith” of “In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things charity.”

3. Why is it so difficult for us to love others unconditionally? Read 1 John 3:16-18, how is the Lord’s agape love reflected in Jesus? What do these verses teach us about our own capacity for showing agape love to others?

4. How are we to live out the second essential value of our church, Authentic Love? Consider these scriptures:

• James 2:14-17—

• Matthew 5:46-47—

• John 15:12-14—

5. To love authentically means we must love others and trust God. Which of these three statements is the hardest for you to trust God? Why do you feel this way?

1. We can love in sacrificial ways, because God provides for our needs.
2. We can love without seeking credit, because God sees and honors what we do.
3. We can love without strings attached, because God changes hearts.

Reckless Love

Here's a link to the song, "Reckless Love," that we featured on Sunday.

More in Hopevale DNA

March 11, 2018

Servant Leadership

March 4, 2018

Shared Ministry

February 25, 2018

Mutual Respect