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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

Today we continue our series titled The Spiritual Struggle for the Renewal of the Church.

We need to cooperate with the Father God, who would prune out those branches, attitudes, ambitions, and actions that are counter productive, so that the church might bear much fruit.

Today we are talking about Renewing the Church’s Most Important Quality.

Prayer

Holy Father, help us this day to receive the gifts that you have for us.

Help us to know that only what we put into eternal things will remain with us for eternity.

Help us to lay up many treasures in heaven by investing our time, talents, and energy in the hearts and should of people.

Help us, Father, to so give ourselves to You that we will be pleasing in Your sight. 

In Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

Text

Revelation 2:4 AMP

4 But I have this [charge] against you, that you have left your first love [you have lost the depth of love that you first had for Me].

1 John 4:19 AMP

19 We love, because He first loved us.

Scripture Reading

1 John 4:7-19 AMP

God Is Love

7 Beloved, let us [unselfishly] love and seek the best for one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves [others] is born of God and knows God [through personal experience]. 

8 The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.] 

9 By this the love of God was displayed in us, in that God has sent His [One and] only begotten Son [the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind] into the world so that we might live through Him. 

10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [that is, the atoning sacrifice, and the satisfying offering] for our sins [fulfilling God’s requirement for justice against sin and placating His wrath]. 

11 Beloved, if God so loved us [in this incredible way], we also ought to love one another. 

12 No one has seen God at any time. But if we love one another [with unselfish concern], God abides in us, and His love [the love that is His essence abides in us and] is completed and perfected in us. 

13 By this we know [with confident assurance] that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given to us His [Holy] Spirit. 

14 We [who were with Him in person] have seen and testify [as eye-witnesses] that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

15 Whoever confesses and acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 

16 We have come to know [by personal observation and experience], and have believed [with deep, consistent faith] the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides continually in him. 

17 In this [union and fellowship with Him], love is completed and perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him]; because as He is, so are we in this world. 

18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love]. 

19 We love, because He first loved us.

Revelation 2:1-7 AMP

Message to Ephesus

2 “To the angel (divine messenger) of the church in Ephesus write:

“These are the words of the One who holds [firmly] the seven stars [which are the angels or messengers of the seven churches] in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands (the seven churches):

2 ‘I know your deeds and your toil, and your patient endurance, and that you cannot tolerate those who are evil, and have tested and critically appraised those who call themselves apostles (special messengers, personally chosen representatives, of Christ), and [in fact] are not, and have found them to be liars and impostors; 

3 and [I know that] you [who believe] are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name’s sake, and that you have not grown weary [of being faithful to the truth]. 

4 But I have this [charge] against you, that you have left your first love [you have lost the depth of love that you first had for Me]. 

5 So remember the heights from which you have fallen, and repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, your sinful behavior—seek God’s will] and do the works you did at first [when you first knew Me]; otherwise, I will visit you and remove your lampstand (the church, its impact) from its place—unless you repent. 

6 Yet you have this [to your credit], that you hate the works and corrupt teachings of the Nicolaitans [that mislead and delude the people], which I also hate. 

7 He who has an ear, let him hear and heed what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes [the world through believing that Jesus is the Son of God], I will grant [the privilege] to eat [the fruit] from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.’

Introduction

Renewal in the Christian life must not overlook the renewal of its most important quality, love.

Love is essential in the life of a Christian and of the church.

Ephesians 4:15-16 calls attention to our “speaking the truth in love” and “editing of the church in love.”

Without love there is no true growth.

The church at Ephesus left its first love.

The Lord Jesus Christ reveals how important “first love” truly is.

According to 1 Corinthians 13, a church may have many things, but without love it is nothing!

If Jesus desires and demands that first love be returned to the Christian’s life, how can it be renewed?

The answer is by observing the order of love.

1 John 4:19 says, We love, because He first loved us.

First love is His love for us.

First love is so full of His love for us that love is our response to Him and to others.

How is our first love lost?

By forgetting His love for us.

We begin to think only of our love for Him and for ourselves.

This is not enough.

We get the love relationship reversed.

How is our love renewed?

By concentrating on God’s love for us.

By thinking, reviewing, and meditating on His first love.

As we do this, we become so full of His love for us that we have a new love inside us.

Our love begins to be renewed and restored.

Notice two basic thoughts about love.

  1. God’s unconditional love for us.

Anything that is unconditional is not subject to conditions or limitations.

It does not depend on certain responses being produced.

How does God love us unconditionally?

God does not love us sentimentally.

His love corrects us and disciplines us.

In love He corrects us.

Revelation 3:19 says, Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I rebuke and discipline [showing them their faults and instructing them]; so be enthusiastic and repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, your sinful behavior—seek God’s will].

God loves us whether we respond or not.

God’s unconditional loves no limits.

He loves all people everywhere.

His love is not limited to friends, it also includes enemies.

It is also not limited as to how long it loves.

God’s unconditional love is not based on our performance.

He loves us inspire of our disobedience, rebellion, selfishness, and weakness.

God’s unconditional love cares for each of us as someone special.

2. Our unconditional love for others.

If God loves us unconditionally, we ought to love ourselves and others without strings attached.

When we love unconditionally, we do the following.

We love others whatever their response.

We love others without setting limits for our love.

We love everyone.

We refuse no one.

We love constantly, even as Jesus loved His disciples.

He loved them to the end.

We love others based not on what they do but on who they are.

We all make mistakes.

Our love is not based on another person’s performance.

We love others without expectations.

When we love with expectations and those expectations are not fulfilled, we tend to become inwardly hurt.

So we love according to their needs and not our expectations.

If we yield our expectations of the other person to God, not only are we set free to love, but the other person is free to respond.

What if we expressed true unconditional love in our families, in our communities, and in our churches?

This is the way we are supposed to love, but how is it possible?

First let us admit that we cannot love this way.

We must admit our inability yet realise it is God’s command.

Second, the only way we can love as God loves is to have His love in us.

We are to yield ourselves to the Lord to let His love flow through us and onto others.

This is how His love is perfected in us.

His ability is released by our availability.

Conclusion.

The we are full of God’s love for us, our love is renewed with all its capabilities.

Why not make the decision now to let God’s love in you love someone else?

Write down the name of the person that comes to mind and let God’s love in you tell you how to love that person.

You will be amazed at what begins to happen!

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

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© www.refinerylife.org  2021 All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968, no part of this Article may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, communicated or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission. 

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