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CMF eZine


The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship.


The Way of Love Our Path

The Way of Love Our Path

The Way of Love Our Path

(Take a break and read how agape is expressed in the New Testament).

One author defined agape love as:  love for others that’s inclusive of a love for God, nature, strangers, or the less fortunate.  It’s generally an empathetic love toward humanity itself and is sometimes connected to altruism since it involves caring for and loving others without expecting anything in return.  This sort of pay-it-forward love—people helping others selflessly—is the foundation of great societies and communities.  As for our native tongue, I find it lacking in its ability to covey the length, breadth, and depth of Christ’s love to us and through us to a lost and dying world.  For we see before us and in us the outpouring of what is referred to as the total depravity of man!

The contextual pericope for the verse visually displayed might be:  The Way of Love Our Path. However, there are 56 other passages using the word agape that are included below if you dare to read them!  Better yet, pray that Christ would give each of us an eternal appointment to share His agape love today!

“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:1–13, NLT)

ἀγάπη in ESV

 

Matthew 24:12

 

And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

 

 

John 15:9

 

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.

 

 

John 15:10

 

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.

 

 

John 17:26

 

I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

 

 

Romans 5:5

 

and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

 

 

Romans 12:9

 

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

 

 

Romans 13:10

 

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

 

 

1 Corinthians 4:21

 

What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?

 

 

1 Corinthians 8:1

 

Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.

 

 

1 Corinthians 13:4

 

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant

 

 

1 Corinthians 13:8

 

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

 

 

1 Corinthians 13:13

 

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 

 

1 Corinthians 16:14

 

Let all that you do be done in love.

 

 

1 Corinthians 16:24

 

My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

 

 

2 Corinthians 5:14

 

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;

 

 

2 Corinthians 6:6

 

by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love;

 

 

2 Corinthians 8:7

 

But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.

 

 

2 Corinthians 13:14

 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

 

 

Galatians 5:22

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

 

 

Ephesians 1:4

 

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love

 

 

Ephesians 3:17

 

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

 

 

Ephesians 4:2

 

with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

 

 

Ephesians 4:15

 

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

 

 

Ephesians 4:16

 

from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

 

 

Ephesians 5:2

 

And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

 

 

Ephesians 6:23

 

Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

Philippians 1:9

 

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,

 

 

Colossians 2:2

 

that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ,

 

 

1 Thessalonians 3:12

 

and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you,

 

 

1 Thessalonians 5:13

 

and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.

 

 

2 Thessalonians 1:3

 

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.

 

 

1 Timothy 1:5

 

The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

 

 

1 Timothy 2:15

 

Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

 

 

1 Timothy 4:12

 

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

 

 

2 Timothy 1:13

 

Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

 

 

2 Timothy 3:10

 

You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,

 

 

Titus 2:2

 

Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.

 

 

Philemon 7

 

For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.

 

 

1 Peter 4:8

 

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

 

 

1 John 2:5

 

but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:

 

 

1 John 2:15

 

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

 

 

1 John 3:17

 

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

 

 

1 John 4:7

 

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

 

 

1 John 4:8

 

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

 

 

1 John 4:9

 

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.

 

 

1 John 4:10

 

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

 

 

1 John 4:12

 

No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

 

 

1 John 4:16

 

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

 

 

1 John 4:17

 

By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.

 

 

1 John 4:18

 

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

 

 

1 John 5:3

 

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

 

 

2 John 3

 

Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love.

 

 

2 John 6

 

And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.

 

 

3 John 6

 

who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God.

 

 

Jude 2

 

May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

 

 

Jude 21

 

keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

 

 

 

HOW To Share Christ With Someone

HOW To Share Christ With Someone

NOTE: What follows has been adapted from several lessons contained in Alistair Begg’s “Crossing the Barriers” series of lessons in personal evangelism.

“Christ is going after His lost sheep, and He wants to use our lips that they may hear His voice today, and our hands that they may feel His touch. He is the soul-winner. People are not won by us for Him. They are won through us by Him. He can win them without us, just as He can speak to them through the Bible quite apart from anything we might say. But He has chosen to work through us and with us.” - -Leith Samuel

In previous CMF Newsletters we ran a 4-part series called “Sharing Christ in a Hostile Culture” In Part 1, Be Available, we shared real examples of how doors seem to just ‘open up’ for sharing the message of the gospel, and what can happen when there’s a willing and available gospel messenger ‘on location’. In Part 2, Situational Awareness we compared our ‘Situation’ as believers in Christ – our status and true citizenship, with our condition (situation) before repenting of sin and believing in Christ. In Part 3, Our Duty, Our Great Privilege, Our Highest Calling the focus was on understanding the nature of the believer’s role in sharing Christ with the world around us. In Part 4,  How’s Your Weep? we talked about maintaining a heartfelt burden for the lost souls all around us.

Now that we talked ABOUT sharing Christ, it’s time to tackle HOW. Hopefully this article will be of help to you.

Concerning his followers, Jesus said, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” Jesus (John 17:15 NIV)

If we to draw a picture of that, it would look like this:

Following Jesus’ model of Christians ‘In Contact’ with the world, think of your gospel audience in terms of long-term and short-term contacts. Long-term contacts could be family, friends, co-workers, or neighbors. Short-term contacts could be those we meet standing in lines, shopping, travelling, bus stops, waiting rooms - people we might not ever see again.

Before you just jump in the deep end of the pool, remember this:

“We should remind ourselves frequently that effective witnessing begins when we are on our knees, not when we are on our feet.” – Alistair Begg

 

 

EXPLODING SOME MYTHS

1. IT TAKES A CERTAIN KIND OF PERSON. You don’t have to be a gifted evangelist or a natural extrovert. Think of Jesus’ first disciples. He chose all sorts of men to train and send to the mission field!

2. YOU NEED TO BE A WALKING BIBLE DICTIONARY. Anyone can share how his/her life has been changed by Christ, but it doesn’t stop with a changed life. The changed life testimony leads naturally to the message that discusses our sinful helpless condition before God and the answer found in repentance and believing in the one God sent.

3. I AM PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE TO SPEAK TO EVERYONE. That myth leads to guilt and depression. You will feel compelled to speak to everyone you meet/see! We are to be fishermen, not salesmen.

IMPORTANT GUIDELINES

1. BE NATURAL.  Don't change speech patterns, how you talk, tone of voice or terminology. Use ordinary conversation to move to spiritual matters. Jesus merely showed up at the well to ask for a drink of water. NO evangelical jargon. Using Bible words is not synonymous with sharing Bible truths.

2. BE LISTENING. We learn much about the other person just by listening. Their likes, dislikes, interests, etc. Heartfelt listening shows that you care.

3. BE VULNERABLE. We need to get out of our Christian bubbles. Vulnerability creates opportunity with unexpected parties. Jesus was vulnerable. It wasn't 'kosher' to speak with Samaritan women. As Alistair Begg might ask, “When does the salt help the mashed potatoes?”

4. BE BRAVE. “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. “ (2 Tim 1:7)

The toughest of our non-Christian friends are more scared of us than we are of them, thus their 'toughness'. Don't worry about where the conversation might go. You can always stop/pause and continue later. It wasn't 'kosher' to speak with Samaritan women.

5. BE IMAGINATIVE. Seize opportunities to share your faith. What's the common topic of the day? War, sports, stress, etc. Don't use the same lead-in every time. Walk on common ground.

6. BE DIRECT. As the Spirit leads, get to the gospel, but you don’t need to use a specific ‘method’.  Let the conversation tell you the best method.

FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS

No matter what method you use for sharing the message of the gospel, address these three truths, in the order given here.

1. THE HUMAN CONDITION

Things are messed up. Why? Ask questions. What's in the newspaper? Magazines? Look at the music, dysfunctional families. Why do you think that is? Talk about it.

2. THE BIBLE’S DIAGNOSIS

Suggest that the Bible has a diagnosis. The heart of the problem is the human heart, which needs to change. Have a Bible and open it. Share favorite passages of scripture that speak of the condition of the fallen hearts of all men.  You might use Romans 1:18 about God’s wrath, or Romans 3:23 and the fact that ALL have sinned and fallen short pf God’s standard of perfection. And sin brings consequences (Rom 6:23) – 'The wages of sin is death. You might need to go back to Genesis and the sin of Adam. Just talk about it from the Bible and let God convict.

3. GOD’S REMEDY

Share that Christ died for OUR sins. It was prophesied in the OT and fulfilled in the NT (Isaiah 53:6, Matthew 1:21, John 3:16). Just keep sharing what the Bible simply says.

4. PERSONAL RESPONSE

The truths of the gospel message having already been discussed, it’s time to talk about the need for a personal response. Introduce, without directly asking for a response, the necessary steps.

  1. Admit you are a helpless sinner. There are differences in degree of sin, but not the fact of sin. ALL have sinned enough to be condemned and lost.
  2. Believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross to be the savior we have admitted we need. 1 Pet 3:18 – Christ died once for all.
  3. Receive, by faith, (full confidence) the forgiveness of sin and cleansing from sin.

At this point 3 further questions may prove very beneficial in bringing clarity.

1. HAVE YOU PERSONALLY TRUSTED JESUS CHRIST OR ARE YOU STILL ON THE WAY? 

Defines Christian as one who has personally received Jesus Christ and provides opportunity for Yes/No/Still on the way

2.  HOW FAR ALONG THE WAY ARE YOU?

Critical point. Satan gets busy. This is where very personal/conditional topics might come into play. If the answer is 'I want to home and think about it', remember this might be the only time, hand them something like a tract, possibly. Be sensitive to 'indicators'.

3. WOULD YOU LIKE TO BECOME A REAL CHRISTIAN AND BE SURE OF IT?

If the answer is yes, go back to the need for personal response.

ADD counting the cost of becoming a Christian. This is where the rubber meets the road. If they are not ready for a 'revolution', they are not ready to respond genuinely to the offer of salvation.

If they are ready, lead them to the Cross.

"Dear Lord Jesus, I admit I am a helpless sinner before you, I've tried many times and failed. I believe the bible is true in saying Jesus is the savior, I accept the cost, please forgive ME."


Christian Military Fellowship

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Encouraging Men and Women in the United States Armed Forces, and their families, to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

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