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October 11, 2020 12:01 am
Carter Conlon from the historic Times Square Church in New York City.
So am I ever going to do this, ever going to love people the way Christ loves me. Thank you for joining us on a call to the nation with Carter Conlon in John 1512 Jesus tells us this is my commandment that you love one another as I love you. Jesus instructed us to do this so we could have is joy in us, and hence our joy will be made complete overflow as will learn today by ourselves, we can't love the way Jesus loves us.
It's something that God must do for us. Here's Carter to explain further. I want to speak to you today about the willingness to love now. I have to be honest with you I'm a student of this is much as you are today. I feel like the apostle Paul. Even addressing this topic saying while leaving the past behind. I press on toward the high mark of the calling of God in Christ Jesus is not easy to love people. I don't love anybody before he got sick, very little of myself and love anybody didn't trust anybody that I got saved and I trusted everybody. I didn't get very far without and found out that I thought a fool people were honest in the house of God, loving and kind would never say anything hard wooden backs to help and I didn't get very far in that and then I reverted to trusting diffuse some of the time it's been a battle in my life to love the way Christ is called me to love you see in the Scripture very clearly is a greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. It implies a complete giving of ourselves for other people, irrespective of whether or not there's any reciprocation if it comes back our way or doesn't and he says if you do these things might joy will be in you and your joy will be full and he takes it even another step and so this is not a suggestion. This is the 11th commandment is a debt you know there's 11 commandment I give you new command that you love one another as I have loved you, know quite often as you are like I am when you hear a message like this inserts you get all inspired to run to an altar.
There's this overflowing feeling about going to love everybody. I love you and I love you and I love you and we start loving everybody we walked out of the church we get to the corner of Broadway. We love everybody we give five blocks to the poor guy that is begging outside on the corner. We walked down we get to 52nd, 53rd we meet some nasty person in all of our love just begins it's it's it's now down to 90% we get to Monday morning were down to 75 by Tuesday were down to 60 by Thursday were gasping, we have become the Thursday night prayer by Friday. We want to kill a person works next to us in the office, and unbiased on the concerns completely condemned feeling this is utterly hopeless.
How am I ever going to do, ever going to love people the way Christ loves me it's it's hopeless really. Apart from the beginning of the chapter in John 15 raises a view of binding me and I abide in you, it requires another natured requires me to just open my heart and say, God, you got a common bill in the while I can't do you know there's a lot of things you can do in the natural or certain behaviors that you can altar in the natural.
There are certain's sins or habits of you have walked away from legitimately before even became a Christian. So there are things we can walk away from. And we can do it in the natural but there's a there's a certain thing. We can't walk into in the natural, we cannot love the way Christ loves us. It's an impossibility I can do it. You can't do it there's nobody in this place you can do it. It has to be Christ in us. There has to be this newness of life in this newness of nature flowing in us and through us. Jesus said in Matthew 2412 iniquity is going to abound in the last days and it is abounding every day is just bringing in new disclosure of another corruption, incredible betrayal at every level in society, greed and self focus is taken over our generation to the exclusion of other people here you can see the self focus innocent. Because of this iniquity, abounding the love of many shall wax cold. That agape love this red riddled means it's it's that love that caused God to become a man come into the world and being given for our sins.
God so loved the world gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life is is this love is giving love of ourselves is going to wax cold. There's going to be a breakdown in family affection received in our generation are ultimately were moving to a lawlessness that's going to stagger the imagination of even the most skeptical people in this love watching cold drinks to refrigerate with cold air of exactly what the definition is Mr. blow cold air on something. I dare not extended this fall. But if I'm not willing to be what God calls me to be, or I will just refrigerate you a residence there be an animation coming out of my mouth but it will produce a coldness in your heart and a strange and inexplicable coldness that causes your heart not to burn for the things of God and ultimately lose total focus of what the kingdom of God is about and I think we live in a generation that is largely lost its focus the theological focus and you heard me speak it.
Probably 100 times from the spoke about the theological focus of our generation. At some point years ago, turned inward and we became as a church body at large, victimized as it is by the same spirit that's in society today theological self focus is the road to deception in the church of Jesus Christ dispassionate breath of God for the souls of men that we see in John 316 will be less and less filed in the earth is the last days. Come upon us as Paul says in second Timothy chapter 3, even that which professes to be the church will be preoccupied with itself in this preoccupation will only bring for the passion was deadening religion known contrast to this, Jesus Christ speaks about in John 15, of finding a source of meaning in our lives in the love of God in verse 11 talks about that.
There will be joy come because of this is almost an oxymoron. In a sense whether or not we are trampled by the people that were giving ourselves to the Lord says will produce a joy in no we think that doing it as occlusion produces joy or creating a 3 foot circle around ourselves and we will allow a select few to get maybe largely within and we think that will bring us joy look of identity verbally away from going to be happy. I don't I don't see your hands like those people like that in this century to take just a way for me and let me words of God's doubt in my circle don't bug me.
Don't look at me and when it's over. Don't talk to me and I can walk out and I'll be so happy, so filled with joy. It wouldn't it be wonderful if it just wasn't for people. I would really enjoy church but Jesus speaks about this joy that comes because we chose to be given for others, and it finds its that's where it finds its greatest expression. It's in the complete giving of ourselves for the good of others.
This is my commandment that you love one another as I blogged you greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Now it's been preached easily. It's hard to live.
It's hard you know it's hard it's hard to love people who don't reciprocated. It's hard to love the person that you know is speaking about you behind your back. It's hard to be given but yet it's a command of God and in the inference is clear. If we will not obey this command.
We moved to an absence of joy. We moved into her religiousness that becomes cold because ultimately Christianity is about God giving himself for us and we are supposed to be the ambassadors of the heart of God in the church first and secondarily into the world were supposed to be the ambassadors of that very fact that God gave himself to the last drop of God on the cross. This is supposed to be the sign to the world that we truly are of another spirit we truly do represent God.
But how do we do this like I'm not interested in you and I coming to an alternate having of a kind of a flash in the pan experience of of love going out and doesn't last. Once the practical outworking of this. How is the love of God to be expressed in my life and function realistically if you think I can explain it all due.
I can't explain the love of God is like. If I'm going to an ocean on taking a thimble taking a scoop of water in trying to explain you what the ocean looks like you and I will never fully realize or understand the love of God until we actually stand in heaven and the Bible says we we will know as we are no no wonder if we have such a thing as a crown on her head will take it off immediately and throw it at his feet when we see the incredible depth of the slob.
I was praying is a God, you want me to speak on this trip together. Just show me some some some practical ways. How did Jesus love those around him. How did he love because he commanded. He said no you walk with me you seen my love I want you to love the way I love what you love others where love you. So I prayed notes. Obviously this is not all-inclusive, it can be just a starting point. I guess for some of us go back to John chapter 11 with me please I want to stray just a couple of practical ways that we can learn to love others as Christ loves us. John chapter 11 verse three there is sister sent to him and said, Lord, behold, he whom thou lobbyist is sick you love this man. They knew that Jesus loved Lazarus and the sent word to her was a demand that you love is sick. Verse six is when he heard therefore that he was sick, he bowed two days still in the same place where he was.
That's an amazing governor.
Agape love does not give somebody what they think they need agape love gives people what God knows that is necessary in the situation now being 11 in mind with his father.
He knew that a higher purpose was at work in this purpose are to be fully realized before he could stand and speak in the authority of God faucets it's a simple Lazarus had to die for the glory of God to be revealed in and through his life or his heirs oxen to be open. I think truly loving somebody is having this deep inner trust in God. The no matter what they are going through that God is in control of the situation that God is going to be glorified.
A lot of times we circumvent the work of God by rushing into somebody's life too soon. We we tried to badger our husband or wife into walking with God instead of doing what the Scripture says, remember, Peter said if a wife. If you have a husband that is not walking with God. B13.
Your silence of your quiet confidence in God's funding. We know this and that's what the love of God is. It's the willingness to back away and say God I love this person. I want this person walk with you now, Lord, you gotta show me how you're doing this you have to give me the grace not to try to be God.
In this person is likely to back away from the situation and believe that something in this person has to die before their going to be able to hear the voice of God before their rates are going to get up and begin to walk towards that one that is calling them into eternal life.
True love moves throughout the day with an understanding and compassion, not compulsion.
If I love you. There's a time to speak and there's a time to be silent. There's a time to have an opinion there's a time to say nothing. There's a time to let the Holy Spirit say the door is not open don't speak in the situation. There's a death at work here on taking this person to a place and in that place is going to look hopeless and everyone around him or her is going to think it looks hopeless.
Then at the appropriate time when all else seems to be gone and everybody but God will even of lost hope. God says I'm going to give you Lord and you're going to speak at work, your son or daughter going to come out of the grave under the walk towards the voice of God spoken through you and you'll find them in search go see her hands raised in the air. You will trust me with them in the future you will love them as I have loved you. If you have the courage to trust God the courage to stop speaking.
The Bible says a fool is known by his many words the courage to back away and say God I have put this person into your hand, and I am entrusting this to you and no matter what it looks like to my eyes. No matter what I hear with my ears. No matter what any voice around his sake I haven't trusted this into your hands, and I believe the God Almighty you will call this person at the appropriate time out of the grave of their experience or wherever it is that they're living true love has this ability. I love that I love the practicality of the fact that everyone is single Jesus. You gotta go now you gotta go now we gotta go now. Lazarus is sick and everyone on the other is waiting, waiting, waiting, and he just stays where he is and lets him die. I commendably said to love one another as I have loved you, he will not love us to sick. I guess the bottom line of this particular point is just be quiet. Be still and know that I'm God we still you pray, believe I'll put a word into your heart and that the appropriate season sits in quietness and confidence. He said to the people to Isaiah the prophet that your strength would have been found, but you wouldn't come there is so many people today are running around in the body of Christ just as nervous and just as fearful as the people in the world about everything and brings no glory to God whatsoever. It's quietness and confidence in God that what he said he will do he will do. Paul spoke to the jailer and he said believe you will be saved and your house. I see no evidence in Scripture that the jailer had much to say.
He went home made the wounds of Paul most likely such a change man that his sons and daughters were stunned when they saw this hard man turned to the compassion of God that was now flowing through his hands into his voice and ensuing this composite of God in seeing this confidence in seeing this new strength given to their father. They turned and praise be to God. The glory of God was manifested in that home.
Thank you Jesus.
John chapter 13 verse 23 at the Last Supper. The Scripture says, leaning on the bosom of Jesus was one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Here's the point. Loving is Christ's love is letting people enclose who, for whatever reason just need somebody to lean upon this were guitar Psalm 55 Mesilla David says if it was an enemy. I could propose not go to Barnett but it was you it was my friend was my counsel.
It was my God walked into the house together and company.
It was an enemy he said I could've borne it but it was a wound so deep to let people enclose is to become vulnerable to love as Christ loved us to become vulnerable folks at the table were people that were going to do things are going to say things Peter with all of his bravado and all this talk of his own loyalty was going to deny that it never known the man. It was noted that I am within visual distance. It was going to deny him with the words of his lips a deep, thank God, not a lasting betrayal to love as Christ loved us to let people enclose in Genesis 45 the Bible says Joseph made himself known to his brother and he wept aloud. They cried do not think it was hard at that moment.
Do not think is his brother and he saw the repeatedly comment for provision and he knew what they done to him and it experience that anguish of imprisonment and hardship and betrayal, and the abuse he suffered for over 13 years, do not think all of a sudden it is welled up and when he finally made himself known to them.
It's as aware of the whole house of Pharaoh heard it is wailing.
There's there's a pain I'm not even suggesting that you will not go into this situations with the pretended happiness.
Sometimes it's pain sometimes get close involves pain but Jesus I want you to love others as I've loved you the letting enclose to the heart can involve some of the deepest pain. Malachi says in the last days. This voice of God is going to be hard again in the church and the parts of the fathers are going to be drawn to the children in the hearts of the children will be drawn back to the father's again. Don't tell me for five seconds at one involve the measure pain. It doesn't seem to be drawn back if the other person reciprocates but there will be a drawing back when it involves pain because you have to let people enclose again when we let them enclose one time we were hardly wounded. We were betrayed. We formed this bubble around us and nobody could get it and we have a religious protectiveness. Yes, I love you it's great on Sunday morning.
Great hi. God bless you and all of this, but I'm talking about something deeper than theirs. I'm talking about the giving of ourselves. In spite of the fact that it may or may not be returned on John chapter 21 when Jesus rose from the dead. He was standing on the seashore.
He called out to his disciples, he called them to himself and then he began to have an interaction with Peter.
This interaction was all based on love because every question was do you love me do you love me you know I love you do love me, do you know I love you dear lovely you know I love you.
Yes I love you and in verse 18 Jesus says to Peter on the paraphrase of this is when you're young man.
He said it was stubborn as it is, you dressed yourself and you went wherever you wanted to go. You did what you wanted to do. He said, but as you get older you want to stretch out your hands and you are going to be led into places you don't want to go, you naturally don't want to go there but you will spiritually want to go there.
I do believe this is so important today. What I'm speaking. It's the foundation actually forgetting through the coming days you and I've got to learn to be given to other people. That is the source of joy. That is the source of the joy that Jesus Christ speaks about this interaction with Peter basically speaks about her willingness to tell others what they need to hear, but only after they are aware that you and are fully committed to the too many people too many opinions.
For too many other people shouldn't have anything to say to you the correct you until you know that I'm fully committed to until you know that I will go the last mile to help you try to pull you out of your situation. That's what Jesus was saying to Peter year's government. Peter even stop it all your life, you dressed yourself and you went where you wanted to go give the event an ungovernable man. Peter. But there's going to be a change in your life, the one who was speaking to him had died for an Inuit nominally died, but it just made him breakfast is fully committed to put colds and biscuits in a fire. He called admin he was standing before them are sitting with him, however, that this unfolded and he spoke hard truths into his heart, but he was fully committed to him and using there will be an authority given us when we are fully committed one to another, fully committed means I'm committed to you and spite of your response to me is not just as a pastor or pastor's true congregation. It's the person beside you and behind you in front of you in this congregation today that you and I can sound on going to love in the power of God. I'm going to love as Christ has loved me. I'm going to trust God for this power of God to be released in my life in the coming days in John 15 in verse 12 he said this is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you know I don't know any other way to do this but to understand it in verse two he says in John 15, every branch in me that bears no fruit he takes away, and every branch adversity purges it may bring forth more fruit. And here's the way I see it, God saying to us today. Every branch in new that is not a to love, for whatever reason, bring it to me just bring it to me. Then he says in verse seven. If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask what you will and it shall be done to you and this is the I guess the miracle of the whole interaction. My part is just to bring the fruit was this of my life to him. His part is to abide in me, and to begin to do through me what I can't do and myself to talk about the release of joy when you and I begin to realize were being given the supernatural ability to love people you don't know because you know it's not coming from your you know all of a sudden you got a new heart, your mind is changing your spirit is changing that you been released to love people and the way that you've never known you've never had the ability to love people. This way, this unconditional giving of yourself to other people and he said it is it is the basis of joy my joy will be in you because it was the joy go for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the same nine set at the right hand of all authority over the joys of my joy will be a new and your joy will be full. Praise be to God. I see the danger now of an inward focus the incredible danger of focusing inward theologically in the church board becomes all about ourselves. When the gospel is about others is that you just go towards others and I'll do in you what the miraculous. Your joy will be full. God gave me the power to love my father folks after years of a very difficult relationship with my own earthly father. The Holy Spirit gave me the power to love and respect him gave me the power to speak tenderly back no matter what kidnapping I was able to respond with kindness and ultimately gave me the power to lead them to Christ.
One hour before he went into unconsciousness and left this earth to go to heaven. Praise be to God, joy unspeakable and full of glory, glory, glory and praise be to God, why would I ever want to live life any other way but to be for the good of other people around me. You been listening to Carter Conlin from Times Square Church in New York City. For more information and resources to help you in your walk in Christ. Log on to TSC.NYC that's TSC.NYC, be sure to be with us next week for a call to the nation with Hunter,