Zion Baptist Church
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Baptist Missionary Association of America
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By Mrs. Connie Reifsteck - Oct 2010



L earning

Proverbs 15:31-33
Proverbs 23:12
Proverbs 1:7
Matthew 13:11

O ptimism

Philippians 4:13
II Timothy 1:7
Psalm 23:5-6
Romans 8:25

V ictory

I Chronicles 29:11
I Corinthians 15:57
I John 5:4
Revelation 15:2

E nthusiasm

Ecclesiastes 3:12 -13
Ecclesiastes 3:22
Ecclesiastes 9:10
Romans 12:10-11
Colossians 3:23
The act of love has many components.  Love involves being kind, generous, thoughtful, obedient, contented.  Love even takes some work.
Using this simple acrostic (an acrostic is assigning a word to each letter of another word), let’s look at four components (or parts) that could be attributed to the act of LOVE.
First of all, Jesus said “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”  (John 14:15)
Jesus gave a lot of instructions about love.  He instructed us to love our neighbors as ourselves.  We are instructed to love our enemies. Husbands are instructed to love their wives, as Christ loved the church.
To love involves learning.  Proverbs has a lot of instruction about handling various things in our lives, including knowledge.   If we are to grow as Christians we need knowledge and understanding.   Our textbook is the Bible.  Wisdom in found in God’s Word. Wisdom is passed along from parents to children, from friends to friends, from bosses to employees.  Knowledge is the book learning we get to educate us.  This is head stuff.  Wisdom, or learning from God, is not only head stuff, but heart stuff.   Heart stuff shapes our lives, knowledge guides our lives.  “The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise.  He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.  The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility.”  Prov. 15:31-33
 “Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge.”  Prov. 23:12
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”  Prov. 1:7
“He answered and said to them, ‘Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.”  Matt. 13:11      A “mystery” in Scripture is a previously hidden truth now divinely revealed.   Jesus was instructing His disciples.  Those instructions were not available to everyone, only the believers.   Whatever knowledge we gain is not whole unless God has given us enlightenment to understand that knowledge.
Optimism -  Sometimes, even though we have a firm belief system, we fall into spiritual traps of frustration, or worry, or anxiety, and even plain old just being tired.  At those times, looking to God’s Word will provide us with our needs.  We may need rest, physical and spiritual.  We probably need to examine our perspective on the situation at hand.  This is where optimism comes in.  In order to exhibit love, and gave the proper attitude about love, we need optimism.
We should be hope-filled Christians.  Our lives, our jobs, and our future can all be viewed in an optimistic manner.  We need to build up our hopes in order to defeat our fears.  By filling our hearts with gladness and hope, we can share our optimism with others.
A Christian’s lifestyle doesn’t have to be full of absolute dos and don’ts.  It should be attractive, joyful, and positive.
Philippians 4:13   “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
II Timothy 1:7   “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Psalm 23:5-6
Romans 8:25
Victory – What place does victory have in love?  God created a perfect earth for the man created in His image.  He owns that man and all His creation. “Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:   for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine;  thine  is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou are exalted as head above all.”  II Chron. 29:11
All that is in heaven and earth belongs to God.  In any confrontation with evil, God is the winner.  He has the victory over all the things in the world, because He is the Creator of all the things in the world. 
If not for the love of God in providing the perfect plan of salvation, and showing us an example of love we can’t even pretend to copy, we would not have victory over death. 
I John 5:4 says “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world:  and this is the victory that  overcometh the world, even our faith.”
Revelation 15:2   “And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire:  and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.”
The last word in our acrostic is enthusiasm.  Sometimes enthusiasm will work hand in hand with optimism.  Think about a project you may work on.  You plan the project, what you will need to work the project, how the work will flow to complete the project, and especially if it is something you enjoy, you are enthusiastic about the whole thing.
Love needs our enthusiasm also.  What do you get out of luke-warm love?  If you love something, show it.  Let others see by your action how much you love. 
Eccl. 3:12-13   “I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives,  and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor – it is the gift of God.”
Eccl. 3:22    “So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage,  For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?”
Eccl. 9:10   “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might;  for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.”
Romans 12:10-11   “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;  not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving he Lord.”
Col. 3:23   “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.”`
When knowledge seems too heavy, and our optimism is at a low point, and we can’t see where victory is possible, and our enthusiasm is lagging, we need to seek strength from the Source that never fails.  Sincerely petition God to give you the strength you need to be an example of the love He has commanded us to show.