“23 Things Love Is”

Yesterday in worship (11/11/18) we used this explanation of love by Paul Tripp to confess our sins and give thanks to God for his eternal love for us through Christ. And again, below is another reason to keep reading Paul Tripp. But before you read below, this is what Jesus said in John 15:12-13: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus does not merely present himself as a role model. But more importantly, as our Redeemer and Savior who lays down his life to give us the grace, the ability to love others the same way he loves us each day, all-day-long.     

  1. LOVE IS being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of others without impatience or anger.
  2. LOVE IS actively fighting the temptation to be critical and judgmental toward another while looking for ways to encourage and praise.
  3. LOVE IS making a daily commitment to resist the needless moments of conflict that come from pointing out and responding to minor offenses.
  4. LOVE IS being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding.
  5. LOVE IS being more committed to unity and understanding than you are to winning, accusing, or being right.
  6. LOVE IS making a daily commitment to admit your sin, weakness, and failure and to resist the temptation to offer an excuse or shift the blame.
  7. LOVE IS being willing, when confronted by another, to examine your heart rather than rising to your defense or shifting the focus.
  8. LOVE IS making a daily commitment to grow in love so that the love you offer to another is increasingly selfless, mature, and patient.
  9. LOVE IS being unwilling to do what is wrong when you have been wronged, but looking for concrete and specific ways to overcome evil with good.
  10. LOVE IS being a good student of another, looking for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs so that in some way you can remove the burden, support them as they carry it, or encourage them along the way.
  11. LOVE IS being willing to invest the time necessary to discuss, examine, and understand the relational problems you face, staying on task until the problem is removed or you have agreed upon a strategy of response.
  12. LOVE IS being willing to always ask for forgiveness and always being committed to grant forgiveness when it is requested.
  13. LOVE IS recognizing the high value of trust in a relationship and being faithful to your promises and true to your word.
  14. LOVE IS speaking kindly and gently, even in moments of disagreement, refusing to attack the other person’s character or assault their intelligence.
  15. LOVE IS being unwilling to flatter, lie, manipulate, or deceive in any way in order to co-opt the other person into giving you what you want or doing something your way.
  16. LOVE IS being unwilling to ask another person to be the source of your identity, meaning, and purpose, or inner sense of well-being, while refusing to be the source of theirs.
  17. LOVE IS the willingness to have less free time, less sleep, and a busier schedule in order to be faithful to what God has called you to be and to do as a spouse, parent, neighbor, etc.
  18. LOVE IS a commitment to say no to selfish instincts and to do everything that is within your ability to promote real unity, functional understanding, and active love in your relationships.
  19. LOVE IS staying faithful to your commitment to treat another with appreciation, respect, and grace, even in moments when the other person doesn’t seem deserving or is unwilling to reciprocate.
  20. LOVE IS the willingness to make regular and costly sacrifices for the sake of a relationship without asking for anything in return or using your sacrifices to place the other person in your debt.
  21. LOVE IS being unwilling to make any personal decision or choice that would harm a relationship, hurt the other person, or weaken the bond of trust between you.
  22. LOVE IS refusing to be self-focused or demanding, but instead looking for specific ways to serve, support, and encourage, even when you are busy or tired.
  23. LOVE IS daily admitting to yourself, the other person, and God that you are unable to be driven by a cruciform love without God’s protecting, providing, forgiving, rescuing, and delivering grace.

          

Wow! Do I Love This Book

I’ve been encouraged and instructed by many books on pastoral ministry but not like this one. It’s so good that those who are not pastors and do not preach sermons would benefit greatly from it because it would help them see what God wants in their pastor and in their church. This would go a long way in helping the church to seek and pray for this kind of ministry. Here is a paragraph from Paul David Tripp’s new book, “Dangerous Calling.”

“I am more and more convinced that what gives a ministry its motivations, perseverance, humility, joy, tenderness, passion, and grace is the devotional life of the one doing ministry. When I daily admit how needy I am, daily meditate on the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and daily feed on the restorative wisdom of his Word, I am propelled to share with others the grace that I am daily receiving at the hands of my Savior. There simply is no set of exegetical, homiletical, or leadership skills that can compensate for the absence of this in the life of a pastor. It is my worship that enables me to lead others to worship. It is my sense of need that leads me to tenderly pastor those in need of grace. It is my joy in my identity in Christ that leads me to want to help others live in the middle of what it means to be “in Christ.” In fact, one of the things that makes a sermon compelling is that the preacher is worshiping his way through his own sermon.” pg. 35