Toward a Deeper Prayer Life

Many prayer meetings in churches have grown cold.  I fearfully believe that the root cause of this is that we have whittled down and limited our concerns to the health issues of the members and friends of members.

The health of people should not be marginalized.  Health is a deep-rooted concern.  God often uses the diminished health of people to draw them back unto Him.  In the Scriptures, Jesus did heal.  Often, His work of healing was to prove His divinity and authenticate His message. But prayer meeting should go way beyond the concern for such comfort. The need to pray amongst spiritual warfare is a prime example found in Ephesians chapter 6.

The church was told by our Lord that it would have power. To get that power, the church prayed earnestly. In the opening chapters of Acts, they held a ten-day prayer meeting.  Imagine, ten days of corporate prayer.  I would love to know exactly what that looked like.  I wonder who prayed, did they huddle in groups, was there teaching, did they take breaks, was fasting involved, and many more inquires of what they prayed about?

As I write this blog, I am concerned mainly with the corporate prayer within our churches. My particular church has been hit very hard by the Covid 19 disruption.  Typically, on Wednesday nights we would meet to pray at 6:30 PM.  After announcements, and a short lesson from the Scriptures, we would take requests. After going over requests and the prayer sheet we would often huddle in groups of three to seven and pray, each taking turns.  The beauty of God’s people huddled together in intercessory prayer is amazing. It is seeing God at work.  The prayers of the saints are powerfully birthing an awareness of the glory of God. Unfortunately, such gathering is on hold for now.

When a church meets corporately for prayer, one aspect that we must take into consideration is that it is more important to pray for holiness than for happiness. That is what I am alluding to when I say we need to pray for more than just health.  Health concerns in and of themselves are concerns for our happiness. They sympathetically work to relieve someone’s suffering.  This is truly noble; however, we need to be reminded that suffering is God’s way of purging a person of selfishness, worldliness, and a reliance on their own strength.  Suffering is the furnace of spiritual refinement. It is a classroom. Thus, when we pray for health concerns, pray first that the person endures and grows closer to Christ in their time of trials and temptation.  Next, pray for their holiness, followed by health concerns.

To pray for holiness is to pray for two things directly.  The first is holiness in the sense of being righteous, without sin.  Pray for conviction by the Holy Spirit for repentance. Second, holiness also means to be separated unto God, for His good works.  Pray for this. We are commanded to be holy for He is holy.

Then, in our prayer meetings, we need to pray to be people of praise, that is worship.  Jesus spoke to the woman at the Samaritan well in John 4, noting that the Father is seeking worshippers who will worship Him in Spirit and in truth.  That is to say with heartfelt emotion that is guided by His standards and teaching. This is our calling, to worship Him, glorifying Him, and enjoying Him forever.

We need to pray about our practice, our letting our light shine that all the world may see our good works and be drawn unto Him. When we pray for practice, that means to pray about missions, the sharing of the gospel. We should pray for missionaries, at home and abroad, by country, city, and personal name.  We should also pray that God would open our eyes and create opportunities for we ourselves to share the gospel. This very aspect should not be a casual request.  We must earnestly seek to have hearts that love the building of God’s church and kingdom.

In that same regard, pray for workers of the harvest.  For explicitly, Jesus commands that we pray for the workers of the harvest, for the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

Therefore, we must also pray for hearts of faithfulness.  The old hymn describes it well

Prone to wander Lord I feel it

Prone to leave the God I love

Take my heart Lord take and seal it

Seal it for thy courts above.[i]

Pray that our affections for God would be greater than our desires for the world.  Truly the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life are constant enemies to our sanctification.  The puritans were very well known for praying for holiness in this regard. Corporate prayer meetings need a DNA of praying for such resolute surrender unto God, seeking His strength in our great weakness.

As we live in a world that is often shouting its philosophies for living, it would be very easy to be lazy and go with the flow.  This is why we must also pray for wisdom.  We are sheep among wolves.  Jesus told his disciples that they are going out in the midst of wolves, therefore be as shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.  We are no different.

We also need to pray that we are a people of love. Not just a love toward those who will love us back; “For even the gentiles do that.” But rather, pray that just as Christ loved us while we were yet enemies, we too would love our enemies, do good to them, and pray for them.

We need to pray for religious affections as Jonathan Edwards emphasized in his book by the same name.  Pray that we would be increasing in our love for Christ.  Salvation is not about a ticket to Heaven, but more about an ever-sanctifying love for Christ.

Pray that the church itself would be a people that operate as a group that loves.  This will cover the need for harmony, unity, and perseverance. A church that loves is willing to get involved in the messy lives of individuals.  A church that loves will speak gospel truth, practice church discipline, defend the faith, and will love lost people.

By definition, love is a verb. So pray that this love will begin in the heart and then bear fruit through action. A great place to start is loving each other and then loving the community.

As we pray about the religious affections, realize that our prayer may be weak and ineffectual because of our heart condition.  It is a severe condemnation when Jesus looked over Jerusalem and announced, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”  Pray that truly our hearts would beat for Christ.

A second cause of ineffectual prayer maybe we emphasize the wrong things.  We choose to be good at things that do not matter. I am reminded of Pilgrim’s Progress where Christian gets caught up in “Busy Work.” One saint once said that they feared becoming successful at the wrong goals. We must be seeking first the Kingdom of God and focus on a Christ centered life.

A third hindrance is simply sin. Our prayers ought to include prayers of repentance.  In repentance, we pray for God to change us that we despise sin and cling to Him.  We want to hate what He hates and love what He loves. We pray not just that we are sorry, but that He would so change our desires that the draw of sin is taken away and replaced with a longing for Jesus. We pray like David, “Search me and try me and reveal any wicked way.”

We simply sin because we fail to take God at His word and try to live on our own abilities.  This has been the way since the fall. Oh that the Spirit would move to bring repentance of the assuredness of our own flesh.  May we truly abide in Him, longing for true fruit.

One last category of that which hampers our prayers is that of asking wrongly. We are told that we ask with the wrong motives, that we may have requests granted to satisfy our flesh. Another way of saying this is that our focus is on joy from a source other than Christ. This circles back to our attitude about God.


So, in our prayer meetings, we must seek first the Kingdom of God.  That is that we hold fast to His ways and His person.

Would you join me in seeking that God would transform our church prayer meetings?  It is my hope that the emphasis becomes more on Christ and our obedient abiding in Him rather than on comforts that are fleeting.



[i] “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is a Christian hymn written by the 18th century pastor and hymnodist Robert Robinson who penned the words in the year 1758 at the age of 22. As per Wikipedia.

Wes Pinkley Videos

Did you know you can find Wes Pinkley, Pastor of Poplar Springs North Baptist Church on video? There are several sources.


Sermons can be found on YouTube at the Poplar Springs North Baptist YouTube channel

A Dublin, GA TV35 interview discussion of how the Corona Virus has impacted church life can be found here on TV35;s YouTube channel

Several videos of devotions, teaching and prayer meetings are here at the Poplar Springs North Facebook page.

And finally, the original TV35 interview from August of 2019, as part of his early ministry in the Dublin community.

March 22 a poem

March 22

No sounds of church bells

No children heard

No hugs

No clamor of the classroom

No choir singing His praises

Yet, the church resounds wherever we may be

The gathering may be stilled

But this time will make us stronger

To appreciate what fellowship we had

That in days to come

It will be more about Him

As precious


And the Father to what matters most.

Websites for Boredom While at Home

Need more Jesus?  With extra time on our hands here are a few ministries that I want to encourage you with.

Start with these

The International Mission Board

The North American Mission Board



Martyn Lloyd-Jones if my favorite preacher to listen to.  You can find him at

Alistair Begg is one of my favorite preachers today .

John Macarthur is another

H B Charles Jr is wonderful.,_Jr.



Interested in apologetics/Dinosaurs/ and culture try

Baptist news

Christian Post

Our own Georgia Baptist newspaper



What I read in 2019

Every year I try to read 52 books.  Once the holidays hit the pace slows considerably.  With a move from Kentucky to Georgia, I still managed the following.

Good and Angry.  David Powlison
Leading the Unleadable Alan Willett
Q B Q the Question Behind the Question John G Miller
Shout Sister Shout Gayle Wald
In Remembrance of Me. Jim Henry
Prince Caspian. C S Lewis
The History of Poplar Springs North Baptist Church
Honor for Aging Parents. Judy Hale
Pixar Storytelling. Dean Movshovitz
Nighthawks Charles Johnson
The Sinking of the Indianapolis
The Ghost Ships of the Arcangel William Geroux
The Gospel Ministry Thomas Foxcroft
God, Greed, and the Prosperity Gospel. Costi Hinn
The Heart of Domestic Abuse. Chris Moles
All the Songs The Beatles
The Jesus You Can’t Ignore.  John MacArthur
The Gospel and Personal Evangelism. Mark Dever
Facing Snarled and Scowls. Croft & Carroll
Passions of the Heart.  John Street
The Fellowship of the Ring. J RR Tolkien
Talking to Strangers. Malcolm Gladwell
The Gospel Comes with a House Key Rosaria Butterfield
Prayer, it’s Not About You. Harriet Michael
A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens

Love For God Colossians 3:1-17

Dear Saints,

Attached are my rough draft notes from the sermon for Sunday, November 17th, 2019. Please realize that these will differ from what was actually presented, But as in times before, I share them with you for the purpose of your own Bible study.




Love For God

Colossians 3:1-17

Wes Pinkley

November 17, 2019



Exo 20:3-7  “You shall have no other gods before me.  (4)  “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  (5)  You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,  (6)  but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.  (7)  “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

God is a jealous God.  Idolatry has no place.



We turn to the admonitions of Exodus, to love God as He should be loved.


He is to be loved from a pure heart.

1Ti_1:5  The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

2Ti_2:22  So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

1Pe_1:22  Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,


Our focus today is Colossians 3:14-15  Love for God vs Idolatry & Lust

Put on love

Let peace rule your hearts

Be thankful


Love for God vs Idolatry & Lust

God puts it this way;

Jer 2:13  for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.


Idolatry (Methods)                            Lust(Demands)

Anger                    to get                                    Power/control/peace

Sex/Porn             fantasizing                          Respect and dominance

Gossip                  manipulating                      To be feared and idolized

Education            seeking                                 approval and competency

Perfection           to say that you                  Are better than others


We want Idols, wherein I do X and you provide for me Y

Idolatry & Lust are the method and motivation to a craving desire of the self.


It is replacing God with some aspect of creation, Broken cisterns.

Idolatry replaces God for

  • Joy and Satisfaction
  • Solutions to life
  • Strength to be
  • Sanctification to grow and change


This is why battling temptation is hard.

To not battle is to give in.

Christians hate sin and long for God.

Therefore, we do engage in the battle of the spirit over the flesh.


It is easier to turn to things for temporary pleasures rather than glorify God by holding out and fighting.

We turn to (List from Dr. Nicholas Ellen)

People, places, products, perspectives, positions, power, platforms, politics, money, medication, media and ministry.


God calls idolatry harlotry.

Jer 3:6-8  The LORD said to me in the days of King Josiah: “Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the whore?  (7)  And I thought, ‘After she has done all this she will return to me,’ but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it.  (8)  She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore.

In judgement, He destroyed Israel and Judah for chasing false idols and looking like the people of the land.

We must repent. This is very much the church today.

To fail to turn to God is a failure to glorify Him. It is glorifying to creation rather than the creator. It is being in control rather than submitting to and loving God.


Lusting is a heart issue. It is a craving to be self-governing.

It is worship without God. self-pleasing, self-glory. It is what Satan offered Adam and Eve as well as Jesus.

Jas 1:12-15  Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.  (13)  Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.  (14)  But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  (15)  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully grown brings forth death.


Gal 6:7-8  Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.  (8)  For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.



What do we lust for?

Acceptance, approval, security, freedom from hurt, to be served or significant, to be loved by peers and people, to be famous and favored, to have revenge.

These heart desires are evidenced by

Motivations, mindset/worldview/values, talk/speech, thoughts/meditations, what we keep or give, treatment of people, use of time and money.

Php 3:17-20  Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.  (18)  For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.  (19)  Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.  (20)  But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Jas 3:13-18  Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.  (14)  But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.  (15)  This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.  (16)  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.  (17)  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.  (18)  And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Gal 5:16-21  But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  (17)  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  (18)  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  (19)  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,  (20)  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,  (21)  envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.


Questions to ask yourself?

Are you willing to sin to get it?

Do you attempt to hide it?

Do you justify your actions by saying “God will understand?”

Do you hear yourself saying, “Just one more time?”


But let’s find our hope

Col 3:1-17  If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  (2)  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  (3)  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  (4)  When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.  (5)  Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  (6)  On account of these the wrath of God is coming.  (7)  In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.  (8)  But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.  (9)  Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices  (10)  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.  (11)  Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.  (12)  Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,  (13)  bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  (14)  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  (15)  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.  (16)  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  (17)  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.



Rom 8:1-6  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  (2)  For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.  (3)  For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,  (4)  in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  (5)  For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  (6)  For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.


Who is Jesus? Lord’s Supper Sermon notes for Sunday, September 15, 2019

In order to help the listener keep up with the sermon, I am providing these rough notes for your further study.


Colossians 1:15-23

Who is Jesus?

Lord’s Supper (Sunday, Sept 15, 2019)

Remember and know the Lord

You can only remember what you know and have experienced. (Steadfast continuance v23)

Value in meditation/remembrance


Creator (15-17)

Col 1:15-17  He is the image of the invisible God,               Represents God, a revelation to man.

the firstborn of all creation.

(16)  For by him all things were created,                                Authority/Sovereignty

in heaven and on earth,                                                             Dominion

visible and invisible,

whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— Empowered to do His will (Romans 13)

all things were created through him and for him.

(17)  And he is before all things,                             Governrn before place and time existed

and in him all things hold together.                       Laws of physics


Authority (18)

Col 1:18  And he is the head of the body,               Individual as well as collective churches

The church.                                                         Christ dies to create the church. He loves her.

He is the beginning,                                           He is the cause of the church existing

the firstborn from the dead,                             Birthrights/from the dead (Overcame death)

that in everything he might be preeminent.


Overcoming death     As seen in The LWW; “It means that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.”

―Aslan describing the Deeper Magic (Chapter 15).[src][1]


Work of Christ (19-22)

Col 1:19-22  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,

Jesus sacrifice a choice by God (Rom 5) Pleased indicates an INTENTION to do such a thing. Reflects the nature of God.

(20)  and through him to reconcile to himself all things,

to reconcile, to set up a relationship of peace not existing before, in that apokatallássō is the restoration of a relationship of peace which has been disturbed.  It is opening the relationship to understanding its depths.  The testing provides evidence. Fear is removed, love is verified.

Whether on earth or in heaven,                           Unlimited extent of His grace.

Making peace by the blood of his cross.             Ceasing hostilities (Remove wrath)

(21)  And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind,  (Passively estranged & hostile rebels)

Doing evil deeds,                                                     Wicked influence (dragging others along)

(22)  He has now reconciled                                   (See above)

In his body of flesh by his death,

In order to present you holy and blameless          In God’s presence consecrated

And above reproach before him,                               Not merely unaccused, but unaccusable


Our Response (23)

Col 1:23  if indeed you continue in the faith,              Persevering not falling away

Stable and steadfast,                                              Foundational/ seated mind and purpose

Not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard,    Not falling away to other teaching

Which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven,              Staying in the Gospel.

And of which I, Paul, became a minister.





Ten Things to Do in a Hospital Visit

Ten Things to Do in a Hospital Visit


Often as ministers, deacons, or church members, we may make a visit to a church member who is in the hospital. Lately, I have given this some thought. Such visits can be a remarkable time for blessing, bringing comfort, and strengthening a person’s faith.  Here are ten observations to help us all with those goals.

  1. Be sensitive to the situation. Get a feel for the patient’s condition, stresses, willingness to have visitors. While in the hospital myself, I had a well-meaning pastor friend come to visit. However, I was in great pain and being tended to by nurses. We actually had to ask him to leave. If a doctor comes in, you should excuse yourself from the room.
  2. Listen to the patient. This visit is about them.  By listening you will be able to pick up on ways to bring about hope.
  3. Give them Scripture. Use the promises of God to weave hope throughout your conversation.  This will help them in those moments that they will have in which to think about life. Scripture is the foundation of their greatest need, the spiritual side of life.
  4. Don’t stay too long. Be aware of the patient getting tired or uncomfortable. Some may be in a state to stay for a longer visit, but as a general rule, leave well before your welcome is worn out.
  5. Have compassion. Ask God to give you a sensitive heart to truly love the patient and empathize with them. Think through what they must be suffering, the fears, waiting, disruption of life, the chronic setbacks, and inabilities that they are going through will help you to better pray and minister.
  6. Bring materials from church for them to read. Often a bulletin from Sunday will make their day. Furnish a prayer sheet or a church magazine to help them with boredom and to give a spiritual compass to their thoughts.
  7. Keep things private. Ask permission to share their condition or requests.  I have often had church members who do not want anyone to know that they are even in the hospital.  Some conditions may be personal or embarrassing.
  8. Don’t barge in. Knock on the door. If there is no response, ask a nurse to go in before you do.  Some ladies have wanted to fix their hair, adjust their sheets, and put on lipstick before guests come in.  If you cannot see the patient for whatever reason, leave a card so they know you came by and are praying.
  9. Care for others in the room. Reach out to family members. Great fear may exist in the lives of those staying with the patient. Include everyone in conversations. If the room is shared, pray for the person in the other bed.
  10. Prayer ought to be the one thing that you do in a visit. Even if the patient is in ICU and unresponsive, stand in the room and do spiritual warfare for them. Pray and pray boldly.

A Cornucopia of Websites that You Should Know About

Lately, I have been asked about the websites that I use.  Week after week, I find that the list below is a good base to research when I have a need for news, doctrinal explanations, or even swag.








Apparel and Home Décor and other Swag

Sermon Notes of the series: 10 Things for the church; What is Distinctive about Christian Love 1 Corinthians 13



Again,  in order to help the listener at Poplar Springs North Baptist Church, I submit these rough draft notes from the sermon. Often, the sermon with deviate from this text.  You can find us online at 


Jim was passionate about God.  His whole life was reconciled to the fact that God had saved him and a world needed to be saved.  He did EVERYTHING to the glory of God.  School, speaking, sports all mattered to make him useful for the Kingdom.  He almost did not marry because he thought he could serve God better as a single man.

Hungering for more than a mediocre existence, and believing the United States were well fed with the gospel, Jim moved to Ecuador on February 1, 1952.  But on Oct 8, 1953 he would marry his equal, Elisabeth. There, in the jungle, along with friends Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, Pete Fleming, and their pilot, Nate Saint along with their wives and families, they sought to take the gospel to the Auca people, a savage tribe.

On January 8, 1956. Jim Elliot was the first of the five missionaries killed when he and Peter Fleming were greeting two of those attackers that showed themselves pretending they were interested in taking plane rides with them. Elliot’s body was found downstream, along with those of the other men, except that of Ed McCully which was found even farther downstream.

He gave his life, in love for the Father that others would know Him as well.




Wikipedia (Just for reference)

Ancient Greek philosophers identified five forms of love: essentially, familial love (in Greek, Storge), friendly love or platonic love (Philia), romantic love (Eros), guest love (Xenia) and divine love (Agape). Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of love: unrequited love, infatuated love, self-love, and courtly love. Asian cultures have also distinguished Ren, Kama, Bhakti, Mettā, Ishq, Chesed, and other variants or symbioses of these states.[8][9] Love has additional religious or spiritual meaning. This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.


Today, we are looking at the love that Christ wants of the church.

Yesterday, much love.  I am overwhelmed at the love that you all have shown my family.

Now today, I do not offer criticism, but I offer a target, a goal that Christ has set before us as Saints to reach.

Yesterday, your love for us impacted several people.  They were overly impressed that so many FRIENDs would aid us. 



Paul writes about the spirit of Christian love in 1 Corinthians 13.

1Co 13:1-13  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  (2)  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  (3)  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.  (4)  Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  (5)  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  (6)  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  (7)  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  (8)  Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  (9)  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  (10)  but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.  (11)  When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  (12)  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.  (13)  So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Explain Passage

  • Ability without love is annoying
  • Power without a heart of love is not honorable
  • Sacrifice without love is selfishness
  • Love is not about self.
  • Love is thinking about the other person for their joy more so than your own.
  • Love loves growth in truth and sees falsehood as harm.
  • Love deals with problems, setbacks, and the various stages of life with perseverance, bringing hope.
  • Love looks to the future, expecting greater treasures ahead.


You have already demonstrated a love for the Saints, a love for the church body locally, and a love for Christ.


Love expecting nothing in reward.

“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (Luk 6:32-36)

  • Love is its own return. We love others and benefit them because it brings us joy ourselves.  Not a selfish love, but a love of unity, relationship.
  • If sinners can love each other, our goal is to out-love them. Demonstrating, that the love of God is worthy, compelling, and transformative


Love your enemies

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? (Mat 5:43-47)

  • Christian love requires action. We must initiate love especially to those who have wronged us, because the hope of our Master is greater that self-serving vengeance or insult.
  • This love does not ignore the wrong, rather it acknowledges it and chooses to act in a way that shows the superiority of Christ.


Love the unloveable

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Mat 9:35-38)

  • He was moved with compassion
  • The church is to do the same, there is a harvest of sinners to love.

“To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’ For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.” (Luk 7:31-35)

  • Jesus was moved of heart for sinners. That is good news for me, for you, and all who call upon His name.



Christ like love benefits others.  It is sacrificial, messy, and costly. Think of the good Samaritan.

Love is a heart issue.  The love you give reveals the condition of your heart.

Loving in Christian love is all about becoming like Jesus.  It is what we hold onto rather than the old man, we put on the new. We identify with His sufferings in our suffering in order to let His spirit work in us to recognize pain, abandonment, ridicule, misunderstanding, gossip, slander, and all the ills that came upon our Lord.



Jim Elliot once said “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

Christian love is sacrificial because, ”while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

The love He has, has transformed our hearts, that we are now being made like Him.  And that transformation comes only through loving as He has.  Loving without expectation of return, loving enemies, and loving the unlovable.

To be on mission with God is to love without expectation of return, to love our enemies, and love the unlovable.