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The Love Expression

In this world, believers must be the agents of love.

Introduction

(Read 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5)

God is the source of love, Jesus is the proof of love, and believers must be the agents of love in this world.

This biblically accurate statement must be the standard for our living, both within and outside of the church. We must show love to the lost in order to influence them with the gospel. But we must also share love with each other in order to encourage one another to keep the faith. God has done his part, Jesus is doing his part—are you doing yours? The love expression moves what's in our hearts and minds to how we speak, serve, and suffer, both for the good of others and to the glory of God.

Here in our text, Paul continues to show us his heart after expressing his love for the Thessalonians in the previous verses (while also affirming his inability to return). Now he remarks: "But my love wouldn't let me just do nothing. We decided to send Timothy to check on you and to minister to you because even though I couldn't come, I had to know how you were doing." From this deeply moving expression of Christian love we learn a timeless truth: Our concern must manifest itself in selfless behaviors that prove love amidst difficulty.

Godly compassion, authentic devotion, and real love are best demonstrated in the storm, not in the sunshine. There is no room on the walk of faith for fair-weather friends. If we plan to be together, we have to be prepared to love one another when times get hard. There are too many people who will stand with you in the sunshine and leave you alone when it starts raining.

What behaviors demonstrate Christian concern based on Paul's transparency here in the text? There are four behaviors in the text that you and I need to examine and incorporate into how ...

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Romell Williams is the senior pastor of Lilydale Progressive M.B. Church in Chicago, Illinois.

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Sermon Outline:

Introduction

I. Honest affection

II. Deliberate sacrifice

III. Emotional identification

IV. Protective reasoning

Conclusion