What Is Love?! Baby, Don’t Hurt Me
Obviously, we are having some fun with that title…
But we’ve been asking the question, “What is love?!”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. [love never fails]
**Notice “Love is always hopeful”. Something the Lord showed me recently… Waiting will always be apart of the Christian experience. Why? Because HOPE is a big deal to God. And hope always involves waiting. God cannot develop hope in us if we never have to wait for anything.
So, boil down all of those virtues listed in 1 Corinthians 13 and you come up with a working definition for love…
GUIDED BY WISDOM,
FUELED BY FAITH
So if we are growing in love, then we are gonna be increasing in SELFLESSNESS towards others. Increasing in WISDOM. And increasing in FAITH (our ability to give things over to God. To let go and trust God with our selves. Our wants our dreams etc)
I want to teach on tonight…
RENEWING THE MIND
Because that’s how we grow. It’s been said “the mind is the battlefield”.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
How are we transformed? By the renewing of our minds; we are changed as we change our thought-life.
But I want to look at something first and ask you a question. What does this Scripture mean then?
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
How have all things become new if our minds are still jacked up?
Good question: If any person is truly a Christian, they have been BORN AGAIN. More than having your sins forgiven. More than getting to go to heaven when you die. YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN A NEW NATURE.
YOUR SPIRIT—THE VERY ESSENCE OF YOUR BEING—HAS BEEN CHANGED BY GOD. And the Spirit of love and joy and peace resides at the deepest part of you. You are a new creature at the very CORE of your being.
THIS IS IMPORTANT!!! We need to know: we are in a battle, but we are starting from a place of victory.
We are fighting from victory, not for victory.
Yes, we might have a lot of work to do in the realm of our mind, BUT even deeper than our mind is our spirit man—which has been brought alive in Christ.
So with that said, I want to give you 4 very practical things to help you win the battle for your mind.
- Realize the importance of your thought life
Proverbs 23:7— “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he”
People know “AJ”. And what they know as “AJ” is a culmination of my thoughts.
Proverbs 4:23— I love this other translation: “Be careful how you think, your life is shaped by your thoughts.”
It’s been said, “where the mind goes, the man follows. ”
Our thoughts determine our life. If we have stinking thinking, our lives will stink. And people will be affected by our stinkyness.
2. Think about what you are thinking about
Phil 4:8— Paul is saying to purposely take an inventory of your thoughts, and then think good things.
Sounds simple, but for me this was a revolutionary concept. To pay attention to what was going on in my head.
**Big idea: You don’t have to think on every thought that pops in your head.
3. Realize you have an enemy
1 Peter 5:8-9— Notice Peter doesn’t say the devil is God’s adversary, he says he is YOUR adversary. The devil is not God’s equal. The devil is merely a chess piece in God’s master plan. But seeks to devour you. The enemy is opposed to God and anything God is doing.
Two extremes among Christians I notice when talking about the devil…
a. Don’t really believe the devil is a threat to them. Think of him as something out in a voodoo hut in africa. Or something out there somewhere. Or maybe he is just a symbolic representation of evil in the world.
b. Other extreme is over fixation of the devil. Super DEVIL-CONSCIOUS. The enemy is EVERYWHERE. Behind every bush and on every doorknob.
We want to be balanced and be like Paul who said we should not be ignorant of the Satan’s devices and tactics. (2 Corinthians 2:11)
4. Resist the lies and confess Truth
LIES! This is the devil’s tactic. WE EMBRACE AND CONFESS THE TRUTH! This is what we do in response to the enemy. Embrace Truth and learn to actively resist lies. And we steadily expose lies that we believe in our souls.
John 8:44— If the devil is speaking, then he is lying.
**BIG IDEA: The devil throws the sentence, but we write the paragraph.
He might inject some goofy thought, temptation, speculation or doubt against God, but we are the ones that embrace and believe that lie. We add to the lie and write the paragraph… and then page… and then the chapter… and then the BOOK. Once we have written an book (or entire encyclopedia!!!) in thinking, this is what the Bible calls a “stronghold” in the mind. A stronghold is an entrenched pattern of stinking thinking.
How do we fight?
John 8:31-32— Because we have been born again, because we have already won, God will see us through!! We just need to ABIDE in his Word. We will continue to overcome lies and obtain freedom through revelation from His Word. Little by little, lies that we believe about God, ourselves, others, and the world around us will be exposed by the Light! And our minds and hearts will come into alignment with His Truth more and more.