Sabbath: A Love Response
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Read for This Week’s Study:

1 John 4:18-19Rom. 3:19-20John 15:13Rom. 5:6–8John 6:28-29.

Memory Text:

“ ‘If you love Me, keep My commandments’ ” (John 14:15, NKJV).

Key Thought:

We should work to win souls to Christ; the question we need to ask ourselves is, What motivates us to do just that?

Although our memory text is most often considered to refer to the Ten Commandments, there are other commandments, as well, not the least being “ ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations’ ” (Matt. 28:19-20, NKJV).

Our motivation for witnessing and evangelism should be primarily God’s grace to us and not a sense of guilt, mere obligation, or debt. One doesn’t need to be a behavioral psychologist to know that pretty much everything we do as humans we do in response to something. This will be true also of our involvement in witnessing and evangelism. We can discover our motivation simply by asking why we do what we do. Why do we become involved in the church’s witnessing and evangelistic strategies? Or indeed, why don’t we?

This week we will explore the right motivation for getting involved in the Lord’s work, and also expose the dangers of working with the wrong motivations, such as obligation, guilt, or shame. We will explore why evangelism and witnessing should be our love response to God’s gift of salvation to us.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, June 9.

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Sabbath: A Love Response — 26 Comments

  1. God is love. Even the commandments are also promoting love. If we can love our neighbours, we must share with them that light we've got.

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  2. I share Christ with other people because I want them to know the joy in His love for us. I desire for them to know their Creator and how much He cares.

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  3. Christ demonstrated His love by dying for us. We demonstrate our love to God by expressing His love to each other.

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  4. It is very easy to say things like "God is love" and we should "love one another, but there is much more to this than reciting Christian slogans and catch phrases. I remember the time when I fell in love for the first time. It was great heart-thumping stuff. To hold a girl's hand and to kiss her was just magic. As we all learn eventually love is more than the romantic stuff. Ultimately there are the tough, painful times. For me there was a period of 12 months when we were physically separated because circumstances forced my fiance and me to live in different countries. Our love had to survive that, and the pain of that time was tangible. Then we married and our love was tested by the arrival of kids, who grew into teenagers! Now that was a real test of love. I still enjoy the kisses, but I have survived the pain and the hard work of love as well. (I even claim to have done my turn dealing with dirty nappies - although Carmel, my wife says I should have done more than just pay for them!) We have shared the burden of one another's illnesses, and supported one another when the going was tough. And perhaps I am just a little glad that love is a bit blind to start off with. I don't think I knew about nappies when I first fell in love.

    God's love is not all just "Hallelujah and praise the Lord". It involves the tough stuff. And that sometimes means that we have to get out of our comfort zone to share that love with others. True Christian love means that we are Christians 24/7, and that we get our hands dirty, rather than just talking about what we should do.

    I would like to hear experiences of practical application of Christian love. It does not have to be something big. Often it is the little things that make a difference.

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  5. Your experience is a classic manifestation of God's love.

    But for your sake, let me share with you my experience i wrote in my journal when I was younger...
    --------------------------------

    “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things...” 1 Cor 9:24-25

    When I was a child, I had a very unique way of celebrating the New Year’s Eve. During this time, I would write on a piece of paper, a list that I would like to change in my attitude and this would be my new year’s resolution. Five minutes before midnight, I would read loudly my resolution and made sure that I finish reading it at exactly 12. Just when the whole world is in jubilation, I would burn the list of resolution, believing that its magic would start changing me. I kept on doing this year after year, until I realized, that the resolution I made that year would be the same wishes I would write the next year. Finally, I accepted that there was no magic in this ritual.

    One day, while I was walking downtown, I passed by a church and on its entrance, I saw a man with amputated hands and legs, selling sampaguita lei to churchgoers. I admired his self-reliance, there he was, seated on a wooden box, would offer churchgoers to buy his lei. I observed him intently, and admired his skillful way of giving the lei and accepting the payment; he was also able to give change! Then when I was about to leave, I saw him moved down the wooden box and take a mat inside it, and place it on the pavement. He has to bend over in order to neatly spread the mat on the cement, and from time to time, he would straighten the creases or pull the corner of the mat.

    Afterwards he got his lunch box, placed it in front. For a while I wondered how he could open the lid, it was tightly closed. What he did was to bend over, placed one of his forearm on one side of the lid while the other on the opposite side. Carefully, the forearm away from his body slowly moved the lid upward. When a little displacement was made, he would turn the lunch box on the next corner and then repeat the process. I noticed that, little by little, the lid was popped open. There, after 15 minutes or so, he was ready to eat!

    I said to myself, “he would have a hard time eating because he doesn’t have any hand.”

    Amazingly, he was able to eat. What he did was, his right forearm would separate a portion of rice and fish just near the corner of the lunch box. Then he would compress them against both forearms, and until it was cupped or mound, both his forearms raised the food into his mouth.

    “What a feat!” I marveled at the stupendous sight. I told myself, “...this man had carefully disciplined himself to learn this skill...” I could not help it, so I went to him to ask how he was able to develop the skill.

    He simply smiled and retorted, “...faith, focus, sacrifice, discipline and God”

    I fathomed what I had seen that day. Clearly, I could see that a man, who would like to change his lifestyle or even master a skill, must focus his mind into it. Then he must possess the determination and discipline. And the last ingredient to success is to practice it; this will ultimately strengthen your resolve and finally faith. Never had I appreciated God’s guidance and love than this sight.

    From then on, I never write any new year’s resolution again.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing your story, Rhoy. :)

      There's a lesson in it for us who want to respond to the love that Jesus demonstrated for us. It doesn't come automatically or magically. We must decide to respond and then act on that decision.

      In the case of sharing the Good News of the gospel, again we must decide and act. It will take determination and discipline, just like any other real accomplishment in life.

      That's not so different from Maurice's example of marriage. While, at the beginning, we may do a lot of things without consciously focusing on building our marriage, there comes a time when we need to consciously focus on nurturing our relationship. The same is true of our relationship with Christ. We need to nurture it by spending time with Him -- by talking to Him, listening to Him and working with Him. That's how we will grow in Him and bear fruit.

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  6. I found out its the little things that usually make the diffrence. A hug, a smile, a listeing ear, Jesus had compassion on us not condemnation. Loves covers sin, It does not always call it out. That's what the Law does.

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    • John, it is my understanding that the law itself does not cover sin but exposes it. As Paul said, "What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator." . . . "Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith" (Gal 3:19, 24 NKJV). And especially, "for by the law is the knowledge of sin" (Rom 3:20 NKJV). "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet. But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead" (Rom 7:7-8 NKJV).
      James also likens the law to a mirror that reflects what we actually are (James 1:23-24).

      However, I think I understand what you are saying, that if we are in line with the law then the love we manifest covers sin because love is not in the business of trying to expose everyone's sin but is trying to reconcile everyone to God instead.

      Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18-19 NKJV).

      Besides, the law is a transcript of God's character because the law shows us what God is like. The law is about love because God is love (1 Jn 4:8). And Peter would add, "above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins" (1 Pet 4:8 NKJV).

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  7. Love is from God, and it is certainly not an easy thing to love each other, as Christ loved us. When God is asked to give us that love, beautiful things happen. My husband chose to forgive his brother's murderer because of that love. I chose to forgive my husband and work on our marriage because of God's love. (over 30 years married now). Enemies have become friends because of that love. Battles to addictions have been won because of that love. The love of God is not a pleasantry or far off wish; it's real, transforming, life renewing and worth everything it takes to possess it.

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    • I understand that sort of love. Forgiving someone when that person has kicked you in the gut is tough love. If there is one thing that reminds me of why I am a Christian, it is the many times I see Christians forgiving those who have wronged them. Our Christianity makes an impact, not by doctrinal purity, or hermeneutic ingenuity, but by forgiving those who have wronged us. And that forgiveness goes beyond saying the words. To live forgiveness is the toughest test of all. That is a measure of our Christian love.

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  8. Witnessing as a love response..... : ) We had planned to do an outreach program but when it came to door to door invites, we had hardly anyone willing to go. I was kind of annoyed. Especially with the fact that I was one of the unwilling ones to go ; ) I realised that I feared the devil and the "dangers" of meeting unknown "threats" more than Jesus' command to go and teach all nations the gospel..... I asked God to help me meet this fear and to let me see His blessing on me as I submitted and went forward.... He helped me! Guess what that did to my relationship with Him?! Witnessing had been scary, now it's wonderful : )
    "Fearing God" to me means caring more for what God wants me to do, than what the devil wants me to fear.

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    • Thank you, Maggie, for that wonderful testimony!

      That is exactly how God works. It's a bit like the Israelites at the Jordan river. They had to put their feet in the water before the path was made.

      We need to begin to do the "impossible" before God makes it possible. :)

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  9. This first lesson is important because we are called to serve God not out of obligation, guilt and other reasons but we should be willing to do it because of his unending mercies towards us which are renewed every morning. The love of God cannot be explained or quantified therefore this should humble us, for he cares even when we don't worry about how our actions will affect him.

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  10. Hi every one, Jesus is love, as we all are familiar that Jesus died for our sin, the love that Jesus shows us is really love and we can also show it to other people if we take care of others even Jesus Himself will take care of us until his coming back.

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  11. God's love for us is so so powerful. Satan knows that if we keep focused on Christ's sacrifice we'll certainly respond aright. Hence he (Satan) works to distract us in every way from the love of God. Let's keep focused and attracted to what Christ did for us.
    Thanks and God bless.

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  12. This is powerful love is being out of your self and out of your mind, meaning what the world terms foolishness is great in GOD'S EYES. lets raise the banner of Christ.

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  13. I enjoyed the comments made by our brethren really iron sharpen iron with the unconditional love that Jesus had for us when He went to the cross each and everyone of us was on His mind so we in return have to love others as He loved us.

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