When You Don't Know How to Love

Steve Viars September 8, 2013 1 Peter 1:17-2:3

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When You Don't Know How to Love

Isaiah 55:8-9 – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

3 actions to take when things are not going your way

I. Choose Your Response to Trials Carefully

A. You are not a passive victim of your circumstances

v. 17 - conduct yourselves

B. Nor are you enslaved by your past

v. 18 - …redeemed…from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers…

v. 14 - As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,

C. Nor are you going to face this trial forever

v. 17 - …during the time of your stay on earth;

v. 6 - …for a little while…

v. 17 - …conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;

D. Letting the fear of God guide you

Proverbs 1:7 - The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

E. Assuming you are part of the family of God

v. 17 - If you address as Father…

v. 14 - as obedient children…

v. 17 - the One who impartially judges according to each one's work…

F. Remembering the price of your redemption

vv. 18-19 - redeemed…with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

G. Marveling at the power of your redemption

v. 21 - …believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory…

H. Fulfilling the purpose of your redemption

v. 21 - …so that your faith and hope are in God

 

II. Learn to Practice Fervent Love

1 Peter 1:22 - …fervently love one another from the heart…

A. A love that sacrifices

agapao – "that which is exercised by the will rather than emotion, not determined by the beauty of desirability of the object, but by the noble intention of the one who loves." (John Macarthur, Commentary on 1 Peter)

B. A love that extends

fervent – ektenos – stretch to the furthest limit of a muscle's capacity

John 13:35 - By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

Galatians 5:13-14 - For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

C. Because of what Christ has done and continues to do in you

1. v. 22a - your soul has been purified

2. v. 22b - your love can be sincere

III. Cultivate a Longing for the Word

A. Let the nature of Scripture motivate you to follow its path

v. 23 - the living and enduring Word of God

v. 24-25 - For, "All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass.  The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the Word of the Lord endures forever.”  And this is the word which was preached to you.

B. Let the purifying effect of Scripture cleanse you of "wrong response to trials" landmines

v. 2:1 - Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander…

C. Let the uniqueness of Scripture motivate you to hunger for its message

1 Peter 2:2 - like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,

D. Let the productive nature of Scripture cause you to grow in Christlikeness

v. 2:2 - so that you may grow in respect to salvation

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987.  He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and they have three children. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church.  He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of Vision of Hope and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video