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Faithlife

Cultivating Christian Love

1 Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Cultivating

Many of you grew up understanding what it meant to have a garden or perhaps even to work a farm. You fully understood that in working that land, you had to work the soil so that seeds could be sown, plants could grow and the crops could be harvested. You had to cultivate the land. Cultivation means to prepare the land for the production of crops to rearrange the soil so that it can be ready for seeds to be planted.
You wait until the weeds are growing! Depending where you live, this process happens before the spring and even perhaps now, some are turning their soil now to put the nutrients of the harvested plants back into that soil.
Our passage today is a how to approach to cultivate our spiritual soil if you will, to prepare that spiritual soil for the planting of spiritual seeds that will indeed help us to grow and mature as Christians.
1 Peter 3:
1 Peter 3:8–14 NIV84
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.”
Just like you have have to make sure that your tractor is ready with the right implements to get your land ready, there are things you have to do in order to cultivate Christian love.

It begins with a RELATIONSHIP

First and foremost, you and I must understand that we can do anything and everything but it will not matter if we do not have a relationship with Christ.
God’s purpose was that you and I were created to have fellowship with Him.
Our problem is that as good as we can be, we are not good enough and cannot in anyway be good enough to enter into a relationship with a Holy God.
Romans 3:23 NIV84
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 3:23 NIV84
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
God’s provision for us is that an ATONEMENT could be made for you and me.
Romans 6:23 NIV84
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 NIV84
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6
Romans 6:23 NIV84
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 3:3 NIV84
In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
John 3:3 NIV84
In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
John 14:6 NIV84
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:6 NIV84
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:
God designed us to have the freedom of choice. He is not going to make us do anything, but but tells us if we want to be in a relationship with Him, we must respond to the gift of His atonement.
Romans 10:9–11 NIV84
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
Romans
Revelation 3:20 NIV84
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
So the invitation to a relationship must be dealt with first in order to cultivate Christian love.
What’s in your life ought to make you different! There should be an observable difference on you on the outside because of what Christ has done for you on the inside!
Our starting point has to be Christ has done for us!

Live in Harmony

1 Peter 3:8 NIV84
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.
1 Peter 3:8
Other translations tell us to be of one mind. If you are in Harmony, you are focusing and moving purposeful, and that purpose is focused on God’s plan and His desire. There are so many people today that that call themselves Christians and they are fussing and fighting and splitting theological hairs that they are not of one mind and they are not in Harmony!
So what do you do?
Remember last week? It starts with me. I have to ask myself, “am I doing anything that would cause disunity among my Christian brothers and sisters?”
Some of us wear our feelings on our sleeves, and we are easily hurt. “Well, you don’t know what they have done to me. They hurt my feelings.”
Really? Toughen up butter cup!
We are called to live in harmony with each other because there is a world out there that needs to know that you and I are different because of what Christ has done!
We are going to have different beliefs on some issues. We are not called to be carbon copies of each other, but we are called to imitate Christ!
Romans
Romans 15:5 NIV84
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,
Do you know what it means to be in harmony?
Romans 15:5–6 NIV84
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 15:5 NIV84
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,
Ephesians
Ephesians 4:2 NIV84
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
John 13:35 NIV84
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Charles Sheldon coined the phrase in his book IN HIS STEPS first published in 1896, What would Jesus Do?
John 13
WE MUST CONSTANTLY AND CONSISTENTLY ASK, “WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?” He would abide by God’s word, He would do what He is called to do, and He would be in constant prayer.
Ask God show you how to live in harmony, and HE WILL SHOW YOU!

Be Sympathetic

1 Peter 3:8 NIV84
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.
Sympathy means “harmony of or agreement in feeling, as between persons or on the part of one person with respect to another.”
Sometimes we limit sympathy to when someone has passed.....but as you can see from the definition above that it simply means agreement in feeling. Are you striving to be sympathetic, are you striving to be in agreement in feeling, or are you always going against what a Christian brother or sister is saying?
I urge you to look at yourself and see if you are being sympathetic?

Be Compassionate

1 Peter 3:8 NIV84
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.
“Compassion is a strong feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by a misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.”
Are you compassionate in all you do? Are you compassionate for the sake of the kingdom?
If not, why not? What is making you harsh or cruel?

Be Humble

Next Peter implores us to be humble.
David Jeremiah said he read of a man who once wrote a book about being humble. The title was something like “The World’s Top 10 Most Humble People and How I Picked the Other Nine”
Oh Lord its
Humble means “not proud or arrogant.”
Are you a person that cultivates Christian Love by being humble?

Love Life

Peter gives us an example of what to do: He quotes from the scripture he has access to and has shared with us what we know at right here in the middle of this text:
1 Peter 3:10–12 NIV84
For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
1 Peter 3:10-
Sometimes stuff happens and we get bogged down with the day to day grind, and we struggle with the things that we are constantly bombarded with in our daily life. There are several things you and I can do to help us love life:
Keep my tongue from evil and my lips from deceitful speech
Turn from evil and do good
Seek Peace and pursue it
Do good and do not be afraid....
You and I are called to cultivate Christian Love. After studying this for several weeks, I am convinced of a few things...
I am convinced that my cultivation begins by me drawing a circle around myself.
I am convinced I need to pull some weeds, get my spiritual soil primed for the right seeds to be planted, and grow, grow, grow!
I am convinced that for a great revival to begin in our church and across our land, that I have to pray for it to begin in that circle I just mentioned...
Oh yea, when I am going to cultivate Christian love, I don’t have to wait until the right season....I can start right now!
What about you?
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