“That You Love One Another”, from L.Willows (John 13:14, Puritan Prayer)

LoveoneAnotherBeloved5

John 13:34 “A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

Puritan prayer from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions.

My Father,
Enlarge my heart, warm my affections, open my lips,
Supply words that proclaim ‘Love lustres [shines] at Calvary.’
There grace removes my burdens and heaps them on thy Son,
Made a transgressor, a curse and sin for me;
There the sword of thy justice smote the man, thy fellow;
There the infinite attributes were magnified,
and infinite atonement was made;
There infinite punishment was due,
and infinite punishment was endured.
Christ was all anguish that I might be all joy,
cast off that I might be brought in,
trodden down as an enemy that I might be welcomed as a friend,
surrendered to hell’s worst that I might attain heaven’s best,
stripped that I might be clothed,
wounded that I might be healed,
athirst that I might drink,
tormented that I might be comforted,
made a shame that I might inherit glory,
entered darkness that I might have eternal light.

My Savior wept that all tears might be wiped from my eyes,
groaned that I might have endless song,
endured all pain that I might have unfading health,
bore a thorny crown that I might have a glory-diadem,
bowed his head that I might lift up mine,
experienced reproach that I might receive welcome,
closed his eyes in death that I might gaze on unclouded brightness,
expired that I might live forever.

O Father, who spared not thine only Son that thou mightest spare me,
all this transfer thy love designed and accomplished;
help me to adore thee by lips and life.

O that my every breath might be ecstatic praise,
my every step buoyant with delight,
Satan baffled, defeated, destroyed,
sin buried in the ocean of reconciling blood,
hell’s gates closed, heaven’s portals open.

Go forth, O conquering God, and show me
the cross, mighty to subdue, comfort and save.


 

“Quotes on Spiritual Gifting and Service”, Pastor Tom Holliday, APC sermon notes (Kingdom hearts, perspective, serving God)

cropped-4a1fe45d2c0e94653b997fcd8701b5bb

Notes on Spiritual Gifting with Pastor Tom Holliday

(Alexandria Presbyterian Church): Sermon Quotes and Notes from Sunday 1.19.20; for a deeper dive, the full sermon will be available on the website beginning 1.21.20, see link at bottom of the page.

Welcome. These notes were written while listening so there may be some slight differences in the wording. I recommend the link at the end if you enjoy these quotes. I hear so many of the themes in the scripture.

The verses were identified throughout the sermon in addition to these quotes so that we could each make the connections to scripture. I was writing but my heart was sparkling with a big “yes, this is who we are, this is what I need to be reminded of, this is scripture –  and here are some quotes that wake my heart in a joyful way!”

Sermon, “Serving God and others with our Gifts” Pastor Tom Holliday

1 Peter 4:7-11 Scripture

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

“Let your spiritual calling be the height of your future.

“Don’t judge your future by your past. Experience is not our barometer.”

“God says, show me what you are capable of.

“Get in the game. Make a difference in His Kingdom.”

“The verb is ‘receive’. We have received gifts from God. They are to be used for His Glory and with His Strength.”

“You will not, or may not see most of the fruits of your ministry in this life. If you need to see it in this life, if you are living for praise; if you need to be propped up; if you need it for your identity – you will suffer.”

“We are blessed so that we might be a blessing to others.”

“When we don’t use our Spiritual gifts, they atrophy just like muscles that are not used. Sometimes we need a spiritual surgery to save our hearts, to renew us and to give us “spiritual physical therapy” so that we are more able to serve God.”

“What is living in light of His Second Coming? Why must we be sober-minded? The Bridegroom is Coming. Your life is not about you, it is about His Glory.”

“We are all given spiritual gifts but the power and strength to serve are from God. We are the stewards of these gifts. As stewards, we will need to account for how these gifts have been spent. The gifts are spent only by God’s strength, not on our own. When we try to use our own strength we become stressed, depleted, discouraged.”

“Make your life count.”

“Pray. Make me desperate God. (for You) He will answer that prayer.”

Love each other deeply. Constantly.”

Don’t be easily offended. Don’t be a baby Christian.”

“This is God’s Grace. He has forgiven you. God stretches our love. Have perspective. Have Kingdom Hearts.”

“Kingdom Power comes from Kingdom Hearts.”

Put down your scorecard and pick up your gifts.

“Don’t say I can’t, say I won’t.”

The Body of Christian Service looks like Joseph and his coat of many colors. Play your position and play it well.”

“Ask God to give you Joy. Ask him to give you Peace. Ask, the Power of the Holy Spirit.”

“Pray.”

(if you would like to hear more go to Alexandria Presbyterian Church Sermon Archives)

After the sermon ended we stood up and sang one of my favorite songs — (Take my Life and make it Yours…)

“Loving our Neighbors as Ourselves”, from award-winning Christian youth leader, Christopher Witmer (Love, Law, God’s Dance)


This article is written by award-winning 23-year-old Editor-in-Chief of TheRebelution.com, Christopher Witmer. He and another Christian teen created a blog that grew to become an international movement that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for missions and charity, won prestigious film festivals, earned Grammy Award nominations, fought human trafficking around the world, and was invited to speak at the White House on multiple occasions.

Why “Loving Your Neighbor as Yourself” is So Important to Christianity by Christopher Witmer

The dance is beautiful.

One glimpse of the rhythm and movement fills your heart with such wonder that you lose all sense of time and self.

Such power emanates from the dancers moving one around the other that it seems as if shots of electricity surge out of their fingertips wrapping the others in glory and delight.

It doesn’t take long before you find yourself swept into the magic of it all. One step, two steps, circling around.

There is no pretense, no withholding of joy and sheer love. Radiant, glorious, love completely concentrated outward until sparks and thunder burst like little combustion engines in mid-air.

It is the cosmic dance of the Trinity. The eternal rhythm and song set in motion by God himself–Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

Like a magnet stronger than a trillion planets drawing the sons of earth into its everlasting dance–its relationship. They beckon to us teaching us the dance a step at a time.

One step–Do to others what you want them to do to you. Two step–Don’t break trust by lying. Three step–Don’t take what isn’t yours.”

And by this we learn how to live and be in relationship–we learn how to love.

Love is the rhythm of the dance. It’s what keeps it all together. Relationship is the dance itself. Without rhythm there is no dance, only confusion. Without love, there is no relationship, only chaos.

Love–the rhythm–defines the dance. It’s the law. Break it, and you fall out of step with God himself–and you hurt others in the process.

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF

Love is important. We know that. Jesus called “loving your neighbor as yourself” the second greatest commandment.

Over the next several days, I’m going to dig into what it really means to “love your neighbor” because if we miss this simple command, everything we do is completely meaningless.

First, though, I should start by simply explaining why I think love is so foundational to Christianity.

For example, if we can’t love, I believe we may as well shut down this entire website and throw away all of our copies of Do Hard Things (1 Corinthians 13).

Why do I believe so strongly that young people should love their neighbors? Why is loving your neighbor as yourself so important to Christianity?

BECAUSE THE WORLD REVOLVES ON LOVE

I like the picture of love being the rhythm in God’s divine dance (inspired by Timothy Keller’s chapter 14 in Reason for God).

Rhythm is so important to a dance that if you break from the rhythm, you cease to be a part of the dance.

It’s the same in relationships. If you break from love, your relationships will splinter and in the process, you’ll quit dancing with God.

If “love thy neighbor” is the rhythm to God’s dance, anyone who doesn’t love their neighbor isn’t dancing with God.

If “love thy neighbor” is the rhythm to God’s dance, anyone who doesn’t love their neighbor isn’t dancing with God.

Let me put it in clearer terms: If love is not a growing theme in your life, you don’t know God (1 John 4:8).

I’m not saying as a Christian, you will love perfectly. We all stumble in the dance because we’re human and imperfect. But if you’re aiming to learn the rhythm of the dance, it will become a theme. There will be stretches where you start to pick it up and your feet begin to move effortlessly in step with God.

LOVE FULFILLS GOD’S MORAL LAW

Earlier, I said love is the “law” of the dance because I wanted to foreshadow the idea that God’s moral law is really just a detailed explanation of what it means to “love your neighbor.”

Jesus said as much when he said the greatest commandments were to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. He concluded by saying “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).

Interestingly, the Apostle Paul actually took it a step further and essentially made these commandments one and the same.

“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:8-10; emphasis mine).

Of course, there are many other verses I could quote, but you get my point.

The Law of God, the rhythm of his dance, love–comes down to this simple idea: Do no wrong to your neighbor.

God’s moral law is just like the laws of physics which he set in place from the very foundation of the world. You can scream that you’re free from the law of gravity as loud as you want, but if you jump off a two-story building you’re still going to break something.

In the same way, you can scream that you’re free in Christ, but if you lie to your friend, you’re still going to break your leg relationally.

It’s a law established from the beginning of time. It’s how relationships work. Obey it or face-plant relationally (stumble in the dance).

What you can’t do is ignore it and expect to have healthy relationships. Rebellion and disobedience to God’s law is death to your relationships. This isn’t about salvation, but simple relational science.

Are you beginning to see why love is so important?

RELATIONSHIP CAN’T SURVIVE WITHOUT LOVE

The whole point for God creating the world and for Jesus dying on the Cross and for the church’s continued testimony was to expand God’s divine dance–his relationship.

And the rhythm of that dance is love. Therefore, without love, you have no dance–you have no relationship–and that was the whole point from the very beginning.

But here’s the thing. I’ve been stressing the importance of staying in the rhythm of God’s dance (loving your neighbor). Unfortunately, we can’t. We can’t stay in rhythm on our own strength. Yet, there is a way.

Let me put it to you another way.

WITHOUT LOVE, WE ARE NOTHING

If the Trinity were a set of magnets, love would be the everlasting, unbreakable magnetic power holding them together.

In this picture, we are like BB’s around these three strong magnets: having no magnetic power of our own but being magnetized and drawn into this divine relationship.

Without that everlasting, unbreakable, magnetic love, everything falls apart. Without it, churches splinter, families disintegrate, and communities devolve into endless cycles of pain and distrust.

Why? Because we have no power on our own to hold things together. Separate from God’s divine, magnetic love, nothing holds together.

(Just like a dance turns into chaos if no one follows the rhythm.)

But, as we experience God’s magnetic love, he invigorates us and we become magnetized and able to draw others in by the love flowing through us.

And thus, we can love our neighbors and fulfill the entire law of God.

IT’S SERIOUS BUSINESS

“Loving our neighbors” is serious business because it’s the basic physics of relationships. If we hope to develop healthy friendships or marriages, reconcile social injustices, unify churches, or “do hard things,” we absolutely need to take learning to love seriously.

In fact, if we don’t it’s as good as not doing anything at all, because anything good not done with love is totally worthless.

The world literally runs on love.

Source: The Rebulution

CHRISTOPHER WITMER

is the 22-year-old Editor-in-Chief for TheRebelution.com. Originally from Northern Minnesota, he lives with his family in Los Angeles where they moved to plant inner-city churches. He loves sports, travel, and music, but his passion is writing for God and lifting high the name of Jesus through his writing.

The photos, added by L.Willows- sharing the uplift of dance to this inspirational article.