The Way of the Cross

‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters,what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
–Matthew 5:43-48

All of us have love limitations. At a certain point, we reach our end and our life can no longer function if we don’t receive the love from God. We weren’t saved to remain where we are, but for a purpose and a new way of living. In this week’s message, Pastor Josh Kelsey gives us five points on how we can receive and treat others with an agape love that does not come from ourselves but flows from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

1. It starts on the inside

  • We can only love to the extent we can receive love 
  • We do not have a giving problem, we have a receiving problem. The reason we can’t give more love is because we haven’t stopped and received the love God has to give us. 
  • If we have relationships with our love only and choose not to let God do work on the inside of us, we will end up hating even those closest to us. 
  • There is no peace in this city or this world unless believers begin to receive agape love. 

2. Forgiveness is our weapon

  • How do we fight back? We’re the first to forgive those around us. 
  • One of the clearest signs that I'm trying to love others with my own love is that forgiveness is slow. 
  • Forgiveness is a weapon that changes the spiritual atmosphere. 

3. Flip the script

  • We respond with kindness even when people treat us poorly 
  • To change the narrative is one of the most powerful things you can do
  • Even just you not entering into gossip about someone is a different kind of love

4. Pray instead of negotiate

  • Negotiation is pointless unless we pray first for our situation
  • Prayer is the sign that we want to receive His love
  • If prayer is anything it’s an opening up to His agape love

5. We are most like the Father when we love

  • You are truly like a child of God when you have the ability to love those that don’t deserve it
  • When we surrender to this love, we are able to love others without wanting anything in return
  • Your response reveals the kind of love you’re loving others with 

Dinner Party Questions

  1. How can you receive the love of the Father this week?
  2. Are there areas where you are slow to forgive? How can you exercise forgiveness towards someone who has wronged you?
  3. In what areas are you negotiating where you could be first lifting up in prayer?

Brooklyn Message Audio

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