Love in Action

Jesus & Peter

The following is from T. Austin-Sparks and says so well what has been on my heart as well as many of you. God is calling us into His kingdom in action and not just in word or theory and that requires that we love others more than we love ourselves. Sacrificial love is that which loves others even though it is humbling and it may hurt. Father, give such a strong love for one another that the world might once again say of the saints of God, “Behold how they love one another!” Amen.

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them… Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. (Romans 12:9,10 NLT)

“He loved them unto the uttermost.” And I think in that statement, there is the most wonderful thing that ever came into this world. Jesus had had a lot of trouble with those men. They had often misunderstood Him. They had often disappointed Him. They were really a very poor lot of men…. He knew what a poor lot of men they were, but He loved them unto the uttermost. That is the first thing about this love. It is not offended by our failures. He does not withdraw His love because we make mistakes. We may often disappoint Him, we may often fail Him, we may often grieve His heart, but He goes on loving us. He loves us unto the uttermost, right to the end. He is not offended by our failures. That is a very different kind of love from our love. This is God’s love in Christ….

You know, it is so easy to talk about love, to pretend to love, to use the language of love, to sing hymns about love, and it can all be sentimental; perhaps we all know people who have told us that they love us, but very often they are the very people who have hurt us most. Now, the love of Jesus was not sentimental, it was practical. He did not go in with His disciples and say, ‘Brothers, I do love you very much.’ He showed that He loved them by what He did for them. It was not sentimental love, it was practical love. And this is the love with which He loved them unto the uttermost…. These things which characterize the love of Christ for His own ought to characterize us in love for others. That is why the Holy Spirit has come. So that as He loved us to the uttermost, so ought we to love one another.


By T. Austin-Sparks from: “That They May All Be One, Even As We Are One” – Meeting 3 

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13 comments on “Love in Action

  1. Pat Orr says:

    Amen. I can not add anything to the message. I pray that I don’t refuse any part of the message.

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    • Michael says:

      Pat, that is what is so wonderful about Sparks’ writings… he is so concise and covers the ground so well on the things he addresses. Yes, I will be keeping you in my prayers, dear sister.
      Michael

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  2. Joanie says:

    Dear Brother,
    May our prayer be that He open our eyes to recognize Him in others….that we would not hurt Him by hurting his Body with any unkind thought, word, or action. We truly do unto Him whatever we do to others in His Body. “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. In love of the brethren be tenderly affectioned one to another; in honor preferring one another; . . .serving the Lord; Be of the same mind one toward another.. .” Romans 12:9-11; 12:16 “Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you have done it to Me.” Matthew 25:40
    May our hearts be led by His loving Spirit in dealing with others….Joanie

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    • Michael says:

      Joanie, Thank you for you kind reminder of how we are to love one another in some very practical ways.
      It was good to hear from you again and see you comment on her, my dear sister.
      Michael

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  3. Great post, Michael!! Thank you! Mr. Sparks speaking about those sparks that have been caused by the flames of the Holy Spirit (Song of Songs 8:6-7). No pun here… 😉

    It cannot be emphasized too much that a normal human being can NEVER love as God loves. Whatever we try, we cannot change our thought life, neither can we produce positive feelings by exercising positive thinking, nor do we have perfect control of our behavior which springs from our thoughts and feelings. Only God can help us here. Honestly, it is sooo RELIEVING to experience God’s freeing power which changes all our thoughts and feelings so that our behavior, finally, can mirror the LOVE of God. Or in other words,

    “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (Jn 15:5 KJV)

    “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Rom 5:5 KJV)

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    • Michael says:

      Dear Susanne, You have said it so well regarding from where love comes. Apart from God there is no real unconditional love. There is an amazing thing I have discovered. Paul says in Ephesians that husbands are to love their wives just as Christ loves the church. I have discovered that in the heart of every woman is a desire to be loved as ONLY Jesus can love! But here is the catch… men are not born with this kind of love in their hearts! You see, since the fall of man there has been a vacuum caused by a lack of love — both not being received by women and not available in the men that they fall in love with. God has put in women this deep need and in man is this a deep lack forcing him to go to Christ to get what he is missing. He either surrenders to the Lord and gets a new heart filled with Christ’s love or he has a marriage that is empty and lacking.

      As for the other commandment in Ephesians, wives obey your husbands… When a woman is loved like Christ loves the church she might not at first be obedient, but eventually this love that loves even the unlovable unconditionally wins over and she will surrender to his love, the love that she has always longed for it is here the obedience becomes natural to her.

      It is the same for all of us when it comes to the love of Christ. We love Him because He first loved us. Jesus bids us to obey His Spirit’s leading and that is a lifetime process, first learning to HEAR His voice and then finding out what happens when we don’t and that it is always better to listen to go with the God’s wind wherever it blows. We, like the household slave who falls in love with his masters house, finally ask the master to take us to the doorpost of the entrance (and exit) and have the master pierce our ear with an awl to the door frame. We give up his final chance to be free and yield our hearts totally to the Master as His love slave. Love is a powerful force that brings all things in God’s creation back into its proper alignment and is the glue that keeps it there… even our hearts for Him and for one another.

      Thank you, my sister and friend for sharing your heart on here and hard won wisdom on here.
      Michael

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  4. kenneth dawson says:

    very good Mike–a lot of humans say they are Christian and if its really true then the love of God will be coming out of them–if not then they ought to just shut up with their talk.because being a genuine Christian will mean that Christ is living inside you and with him being inside of you then he will come out of you in a loving way…how do I know?by experience…I have had lots of people do me wrong in the past 39 years as a professing Christian and it shocks me that I don’t hate them,instead I find myself feeling compassion and forgiveness towards them–I know that’s not me–its him causing me to love them with his loving being–and I like it.i like the way its stated in first john 4:12–though God has never been seen by any human,God himself dwells within us and when we love each other with his love then his love is uncovered by our actions.

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    • Michael says:

      Yes, Kenneth, as the saying goes, “All that glitters is not gold.” The church is a mixture of spirit and flesh, God’s wheat (sheep) and tares (goats). But in the wisdom of our Father He said let it be. Let them all grow up together and He would sort it out at the end. Somehow all this persecution and rubbing we go through with or fellow humans is all part of the process to bring forth Christ in those who are His. When we start seeing them with the eyes of Jesus, we start feeling His compassion for them for they do not know what they are doing whether they are in the flesh of being moved by the devil to act. Like Paul said, the flesh wars against the flesh and the flesh against the spirit so that we are not free to do what we would. The only REAL freedom in this world is when we are brought back into alignment with the will of our Father and are filled with His love for all. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us. Yes, “If we love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us.” This is the perfection of the saints of God.

      Thanks, Kenneth, for sharing your experiences and your victory.

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  5. Skylla Moon says:

    Mr. Sparks nails it again!! Only through Him, I find….only through Him. Not I, But Christ. Yet I try n try to do it myself and that is another gospel, another god a false one. Even in our failures He is kind and there for us. Thanks Michael.

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  6. wayne roper says:

    So many times when we speak of love and relationships we speak of our being used and abused in our past walk and relationships. our responsibility in this is to forgive ( by Gods grace ) and move on knowing that without forgiving our love is bound and another part is to realize that we also did some using and abusing ourselves which without repentance ( again it’s the goodness of God that leads us to repentance ) will also stifle our love for others. i guess that what i am saying is that keeping our heart right before God is a big part of our loving others because it keeps our bowels of compassion open so that God’s love might flow through us.

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    • Michael says:

      So true, Wayne. We can bind things in our hearts that bind our walk in Christ by simple unforgiveness toward those who wound us. But forgiving and blessing those who sin against us, just as Jesus said, moves us into a higher order, living as… “Children of our Father who is in heaven.” Thank you for the reminder, my brother

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  7. Michael says:

    Yes, Skylla, Getting beyond all our self efforts is that place that God calls His rest. He is so gracious to help you get there,

    And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 KJ2000)

    Good to see you on here! I hope the move went well for you two!

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