Hello, and welcome once again, everybody to Thy Kingdom Comma. I am your host, Anthony Russo. And I’m so glad you’re joining us this week. This week, I’m going to do something different. I’m going to get right to it. This is going to be a little devotional I prepared for and gave at a nursing home this past Sunday, in fact, February 23. It’s a really sweet group of people. Just so you know, they are, I guess you could say… I don’t I don’t honestly know what the right clinical phrase is, they are “low functioning”. I don’t know if that’s appropriate or not, so forgive me.
But anyway, our church goes in every Sunday and gives a church service. And usually we give like a little 15-20 minute devotional kind of thought, and I’m on a rotation. This was my Sunday. So I thought I would share what I gave them with you. So without further ado, out of 2 John 1:5-6, here’s me giving the devotional on “Walking in Love.”
Well, now we’re going to move to our our sermon, or devotional, whatever you want to call it. We’re going to see what the Lord has for us in His Word. Today, we read from the little letter of second john, it’s at the end of the New Testament. And in verses five and six, I’ll read those and then we’ll take a look at them.
“And now dear lady, I am not writing you a new command, but one that we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you are heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” – NIV1984
We’re going to be focusing on that last little part there “his command is that you walk in love.”
The Distinguishing Mark of a Christian
What is the one distinguishing characteristic of a Christian? What should be the one thing that really sets us apart from everybody else in the world. Easy, good. works. No, right? because anybody can do good works. Is it knowing the Bible? Is it being able to quote the whole Bible? No, because even somebody with a awesome memory could do that. Learn to do that. Is it being a nice person? Is that what makes us a Christian? Right now? No, I mean, that’s part of it. But no, because again, everybody can be a nice person if they want to. How about going to church? Right? No, that doesn’t do it. Plenty of people in church who really aren’t Christian. In fact, there was an old saying that said that “going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than going to McDonald’s makes your hamburger.” So that’s not it. How about giving, what if we give or we give all money? Does that make us a Christian? No. Right?
Over and over again God’s word makes it clear. The mark of a true Christian is love. It’s love.
In this general letter, right? It’s not a letter to a specific church not like the letter to the Romans or to the Corinthian church. This is a general letter. The Apostle John, he writes it later in his life. And he’s writing we don’t know if it’s to a literal lady and her children or if he’s using kind of a language, a picture language there have to a church and its members. Now, I tend to think that it’s the church and its members. It’s OK.
Nevertheless, He’s writing to remind them that the mark of a Christian is to obey God’s commands. That’s the mark of a Christian. And the greatest command is to walk in love. So, we’re going to think about this today we’re going to look at this and say, Well, what does what does God mean when he says I am to walk in love? I have found a supposed to obey God’s commands as a market I, I’m a Christian. Well, what does that mean? How do I do that? Well, the Lord in His kindness never leaves us without knowing.
Of course, the walk is a metaphor, right? It’s a word picture. JOHN is saying that every Christian should be living their life day to day in such a way that their love is obvious to everyone. But what kind of love The word that John’s using here, he’s not saying it’s just mere human kindness kind of goes back to that idea with not just being a good person or a kind person. It’s this word love that God uses in the Bible to express not only the Father’s love for Jesus within the Trinity, but also God’s love to us. So it’s a selfless love. It’s a giving love it’s a it’s a it’s a caring love beyond just human kindness. It’s much, much greater.
As we begin to think about how do we then walk in love, right, because a lot of people can walk in different ways you can walk in, there’s people that don’t they walk in bitterness all their lives are walking, anger, walk in. jealousy or, or greed. God calls us to walk in love. Well, how do we do that?
Well, of course, the greatest example… Every time God gives a command, we see it in Jesus modeled for us, demonstrated for us.
Jesus: Our Model for Walking in Love
I think back to two in the gospels were in Mark chapter five, where Jesus is stopped by Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, and he says, My daughter is sick and you can come and you lay hands on her, she’s, she’s sick, she’s dying. Now Jesus is, you know, there’s a crowd around him. He doesn’t say, “Well, look, I’m kind of I’m tired up until two.” Jesus doesn’t say, “Look, I’ve got a really full day of ministry here, check with Peter, he’ll get you on my calendar. We’ll get you squared away.” No, the Bible says that Jesus, he goes, and he so he right away, he goes with him. Jesus is modeling, walking in love, where he’s willing to go and do that immediately.
On the way, what happens, a lady who has a flow of blood for many years comes and says, If only I could touch the hem of Jesus’s robe, I’ll be clean. You might remember that because when I preached on that a couple months ago, and sure enough, she was healed. And Jesus stopped and he talked with her. And he told her woman, your your heel, and he walked in love, even then just stopping and addressing her.
And then the story picks up with the synagogue ruler and Jesus goes and goes to his house, but now the little girls dead. She did die. But Jesus walking in love modeling that for us goes and he heals her, and he raises her up, you know, right. from the dead.
So Jesus is always patient, always kind, always willing, right? Someone will say, Lord, if you’re willing, you can do this. And he says, If I’m willing, you know, and he does it. So Jesus is our model, always. And he’s our model today is we think about walking in love. And of course, the greatest example that Jesus gave us about walking in love is when he walked the very steps to the cross, and he died for our sins, and he died to pay the penalty for your sin and for my sin, and all that he went through during his crucifixion.
So Jesus modeled love for us. The Bible says that “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus is our model for walking in love.
So what John is saying then is that as Jesus showed us what it means to walk in love, and commanded us to walk in love, we show the world now that we love God, by loving others, loving God and loving others. Make sense.
You might be sitting here thinking, “I’m, I’m very sick. I don’t have a lot of energy. I can’t go doing very much. I can’t do things for others here. So how can I walk in love? What does that– how do I, how can I do that?” Well, we can all do something. We can all Love God and love others in some way.
That’s the beauty of the gospel that you know, when God gives a command. There’s always some way you and I can aim to fulfill it to obey it. So as we think about how do we walk in love, and we try to apply that to our lives today. Let’s think quickly, of three ways we can apply this to our lives. Okay, this is for all of us here, no matter where we’re at, no matter how healthy we are, how or how sick we are, or whatever.
1. Be Willing to Walk in Love
Number one: BE WILLING. Are you willing, as a Christian, to walk in love? Are you willing? You say, Lord, I can’t do this thing. But I sure would like to. If I had more strength, I certainly would. Here’s the thing. Jesus is so good. Good and so kind and tender to us that even if the weakest of his children can only want to do a thing for someone, the Lord Jesus takes that and says, I see that, that counts to me. Thank you. And he sees what we want to do for him even if we don’t have the strength to do it. So even if you have no strength, to serve others, be willing to and the Lord sees that and he’s pleased by that and you know, you make him happy because he sees your heart in that. The Bible says “he knows our frames, he remembers that we are dust.” He knows our weaknesses. We just sang that. So BE WILLING, number one, to walk in love.
Secondly, PRAY. All of us can pray. Right? Children can pray. You can pray. You can, even if your your prayers are just a word or even a groan if they’re just the hearts cry to the Lord, and that is your, your prayer. The Lord hears it to you. We can pray. You want to walk in love? Pray, pray, what do I pray? Well, you can worship the Lord, you could thank him. You can talk to him and thank him and worship him for who he is what he’s done. How about praying for your roommate? If you have a roommate here? How about praying for your neighbor? How about praying for someone in the hall, or if you hear someone hurting, you can pray for them. That’s walking in love for someone. So we can pray. How about praying for the staff? Have you thought about that. You know, these are these are folks that they work so hard. And they could probably, you know, make more money doing something completely different. But they have a heart to serve people. That’s how God wired them. And so you can pray for the staff. Because remember, they have lives outside of here as well. They have problems, they have bills to pay, they’ve got family situations. So pray for your staff. So important, and that’s a way that you can love them and walk in love. And you can even tell them, I pray for you. That would mean a lot to them. I bet. You can pray, to walk in love.
3. Do What You Can
Thirdly, you can DO WHAT YOU CAN. Can you help a fellow resident? Can you do something for them? How about an encouraging word to someone? If you’re able to do that, can you offer an encouragement to someone, either another resident or one of the staff? Do what you can. Can you smile and thank the staff. That’s something you can do to walk in love. And you say, well, maybe you say, I had a stroke. I can’t I can’t smile anymore. That’s okay. You know what? All of us in some way can, can still smile, right? You can’t see that I’m really smiling but I am because you see it my eyes. So you can smile with your eyes to someone. And that’s the way you can fulfill the command of God and walk in love to the people. All around you, and share the love of God and do what you can.
And of course, as we think about all this, we can only fulfill the commands of God through the power of the Holy Spirit in us. And he only comes into us when we’re born again, we have repented, and believe the gospel believe that Jesus died and paid for our sins. And we confess that, and we repent of our sins, and we believe, then the Holy Spirit comes into us, fills us and empowers us. And then we want to love others. We want to love God.
So these are some ways that we can walk in love.
Homework: Walking in Love
I’m about out of time. I’ll leave you with one thing. You remember when you were a little boy or a little girl, and you were in school, and you had homework? I didn’t really like homework growing up. I don’t know. Maybe you did. But I shorted Well, I’m going to give you some homework today. But hang on, it’s it’s okay. It’s it’s easy homework.
Your homework is to think this week, “How can I walk in love?” If that’s the main command that the Lord gives me as a Christian– See, if you’re not a Christian, your first command is repent and believe the gospel–but as a Christian, then your main command is to love God and love others. So your homework this week is how can I as a Christian, walk in love this week? What can I do?
And think about think you think what what are you able to do this week to walk in love? Can you pray for someone? Can you be willing? Can you can you do something? Can you say something? Can you say to someone, to the staff, “thank you.”?
[Think of ] some way that you can walk in love this week, that’s that’s your homework so that we can share the love of Christ. That’s in us with others. Pretty good homework, right? That’s not too bad. Pretty fun, actually. So I hope you’ll do that this week. And I hope you’ll you’ll, you’ll think about how much God loves you. And then share God’s love with others as you walk in love.
Lord God, thank you. Thank you for teaching us about walking in love and Jesus, thank you that you showed us how to walk in love. Lord, you you walked in love your whole time here on Earth right up to the cross, where you died for us. Lord, would you show us this week how we can walk in love? Holy Spirit, we look to you for the strength to do it to obey your commands.
Lord we pray that others would see that and that you would be glorified Lord. We thank you for all this. Thank you for the staff here. pray that you would work in their lives and bless them and help them Lord with whatever struggles they’re dealing with. And, Lord, we thank you for for each and every person here and those who are in the rooms who couldn’t make it. We love you, Lord. We thank You. In Christ’s name, Amen.
Well, that wraps up our show for today. Be sure to join us next time as we dig deeper into God’s word. Apply it to our lives. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard, please tell others you can visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/ThyKingdomComma or you can visit us on the web at https://www.thykingdomcomma.com.
Until next time, I’m your host, Anthony Russo, and Jesus changed my life.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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