020818AM Prayer-8 GDGW-26
Growing Dads God’s Way-26
The Most Powerful Tools in
Godly Parenting: Prayer – 8
“PRAYING THAT THEY LOVE THEIR
BROTHERS AND SISTERS”
DWM-1 WFF-26 WFP-219
Are you wearing your ID Tag this morning? Jesus said in John 13 that each
of His children has an ID badge. “By this shall all men know that YOU are My
disciples…” What is that ID? By THE LOVE we are to have. Are you wearing
that badge in your marriage? In your home? In your family? It is of utmost
importance that we do!
Young Gandhi With a Christian Family1
While attending a university in London, Mahatma Gandhi the future leader
who would sway the hearts of hundreds of millions of his own people in
India, became almost convinced that the Christian religion was the one true,
supernatural religion in the world. Upon graduation, and still seeking
evidence that would make him a committed Christian, young Gandhi
accepted employment in East Africa and for seven months lived in the home
of a family who were members of an evangelical Christian church. As soon
as he discovered that fact he decided that here would be the place to find
the evidence he sought.
But as the months passed and he saw the casualness of their attitude
toward the cause of God, heard them complain when they were called upon
to make sacrifice for the kingdom of God and sensed their general religious
apathy, Gandhi’s interest turned to disappointment. He said in his heart,
“No, it is not the one true, supernatural religion I had hoped to find. A good
religion, but just one more of the many religions in the world.”
Loving one another is not optional, it is the way that all the world will know
that we are Christ’s disciples! Gandhi’s conclusion is a sad but shockingly
true reminder of the neglected power of a Christian family. This morning in a
very real way the way you live, the way you talk, and the way you respond
Evangelical Illustrations as quoted by Tan, Paul Lee, Encyclopedia of 7,700 Illustrations, (Garland, Texas: Bible Communications,
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to your brothers and sisters reflects who you really are as a believer. Do you
really love your brothers and sisters that God has placed all around your life?
God’s Plan for brothers and sisters is loving one another.
God’s Method for brothers and sisters to love one another is His Spirit.
God’s Word tells us what it means for brothers and sisters to love each other
and that love must start in our homes. This is most clearly laid down in 1st
John. Let us turn there and survey what John says this morning.
In the widest sense of God’s Word, 1st John is a message to all believers –
that is the meaning of brethren, little children, and brothers and sisters.
But in a strictly literal sense Christians are in God’s Family and are brothers
and sisters LIKE A CHRISTIAN FAMILY SHOULD BE! So in a most powerful
way we are looking this morning at what God expects from us as members
of individual families.
In fact God says if you can’t love your very own flesh and blood brother He
can’t dwell within you! Pretty strong stuff from the Lord, and we need to be
aware and praying that our families be geared towards loving one another!
What does John say God expects from us? Here is a quick survey:
1. In God’s family we are all His children. 1 John 2:1 My little
children (this word occurs 20 times in the Bible and NINE of them are
here in 1st John), these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.
And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ
2. Hatred towards our brothers or sisters disqualifies us for
membership in God’s Family. 1 John 2:9 He who says he is in the
light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.
3. Loving our brothers and sisters demonstrates that we are in
God’s Family. 1 John 2:10 He who loves his brother abides in the
light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
4. Hatred blinds us to God’s Word and His will. 1 John 2:11 But he
who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does
not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his
5. Not loving our brothers and sisters is un-GODly. 1 John 3:10 In
this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest:
Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who
does not love his brother.
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6. We are to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 1 John 3:11 For this is the
message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one
7. Not loving our brothers and sisters is like being attached to a
corpse. 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life,
because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides
in death. (Romans often punished murderers by tying them face to
face, body to body with the corpse of the person they murdered until
the death of the corpse permeated their living body and killed them.
So an unloving member of the family is a living, walking poisonous
corpse that deadens those around them.)
8. An unloving person that hates their brother or sister is like a
MURDERER in God’s sight. 1 John 3:15 Whoever hates his brother is
a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in
9. Love means we are willing to die to our plans, our desires, our
agenda – an serve our brother or sister. 1 John 3:16 By this we
know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to
lay down our lives for the brethren.
10. A loving family member responds to the needs of their
brother or sister. 1 John 3:17 But whoever has this world’s goods,
and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how
does the love of God abide in him?
11. Really loving our brothers and sisters is an action and a
way of life. 1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word or in
tongue, but in deed and in truth.
12. We are to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 1 John 3:23 And this is His
commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus
Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
13. We are to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us
love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of
God and knows God.
14. We are to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God
so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
15. We are to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 1 John 4:12 No one has seen
God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His
love has been perfected in us.
16. The test of genuine Christianity is in whether you
genuinely love your brothers and sisters. 1 John 4:20 If someone
says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does
not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he
has not seen?
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17. Loving our brothers and sisters is not optional, it is
commanded. 1 John 4:21 And this commandment we have from Him:
that he who loves God must love his brother also.
18. Loving our brothers and sisters is just obeying God. 1 John
5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love
God and keep His commandments.
19. We are to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 2 John 5 And now I plead
with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but
that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another.
Prayer is the key to raising, nurturing, and launching children that please the
Lord is learning how to pray for our children.
WE MUST PRAY FOR REALITY IN THEIR SPIRITUAL
1. SEEING THEM GENUINELY SAVED.
2. SEEING THEM LOVING GOD’S WORD.
3. SEEING THEM LIVING IN VICTORY.
4. SEEING THEM THINKING OF HEAVEN.
5. SEEING THEM FINDING SIN REPULSIVE.
6. SEEING THEM STAY TENDER TOWARD GOD.
WE MUST PRAY FOR INTEGRITY IN THEIR
1. SEEING THEM MAINTAINING A CLEAR CONSCIENCE.
2. SEEING THEM LEARNING TO STAND ALONE.
3. SEEING THEM SEEKING TO STAY PURE.
4. SEEING THEM CULTIVATING A SERVANT’S HEART.
5. PERSONAL INTEGRITY MEANS SEEING THEM NEVER BECOMING
BITTER IN TRIALS.
WE MUST PRAY FOR STABILTY IN THEIR
1. RELATIONAL STABILITY MEANS SEEING THEM CULTIVATING A
LOVE FOR THEIR BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
o John 13:35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you
have love for one another.”
o 1 John 3:11 For this is the message that you heard from the
beginning, that we should love one another, (NKJV);
o 1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love
one another. (NKJV);
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o 1 John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother,
he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has
seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (NKJV)
This is the “eleventh commandment,” that we love one another.
Certainly the Christian who abides in Christ ought to get along with
other believers! Love for the brethren is a mark of a disciple. How is it
possible for Jesus to command us to love one another? Can true love
be commanded? You must keep in mind that Christian love is not
basically a “feeling”; it is an act of the will. The proof of our love is not
in our feelings but in our actions, even to the extent of laying down
our lives for Christ and for one another (1 John 3:16). Jesus laid down
His life for both His friends and His enemies! (Rom. 5:10) While the
emotions are certainly involved, real Christian love is an act of the will.
It means treating others the way God treats us. 2
So God wants me to love the people I live with, bump into, and have to
sacrifice for all the time? Sounds impossible! In fact, when you and I sit and
read these New Testament passages we are often overwhelmed at what
amazing things those saints lived and did for God. In fact as I read over
some of the more vivid parts of the New Testament some of the words that
came to my mind were unbelievable, incredible and unattainable. Isn’t that
where most of us get to after a while? Unbelievable, incredible, but alas,
unattainable for me!
Yes, the answer to the question of how to live an unbelievable, incredible life
is found in our text this morning. In fact, one word sums up Peter’s life,
Paul’s life and John’s life. This same word summarizes how the galaxy of 1st
through 20th century saints has stood alone triumphantly for Christ. In fact,
one word tells all there is about walking in the Spirit this morning.
Please turn with me to Ephesians 5:18-19, and as we stand and
read, may we find the secret they knew and followed and like them,
do the same! So God Almighty commands all of us to let His Spirit
continuously be filling you!
To illustrate this joy, Paul used the familiar image of drunkenness: “Be
not drunk with wine… but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). When the
believers at Pentecost were filled with the Spirit, the crowd accused them
of being drunk with new wine (Acts 2:13–15). There was such a
joyfulness about them that the unbelievers could think of no better
comparison. But some practical lessons can be learned from the
2Wiersbe, Warren W., The Bible Exposition Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books) 1997.
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contrasts. To begin with, the drunk is under the control of another force,
since alcohol is actually a depressant. He feels a great sense of release—
all his troubles are gone. He can “lick anybody in the house!” The drunk is
not ashamed to express himself (though what he says and does is
shameful), nor can he hide what is going on in his life. Transfer this
picture to the believer who is filled with the Spirit. God controls his life,
and he experiences a deep joy he is not afraid to express to the glory of
It is certainly not difficult to live or work with someone who is filled with
the Spirit and joyful. He has a song in his heart and on his lips. The drunk
often sings, but his songs only reveal the corruption in his heart. The
Spirit-filled Christian’s song comes from God, a song he could never sing
apart from the Spirit’s power. Christians who are filled with the Holy Spirit
enjoy being together and experience a sense of joyful oneness in the
Lord. They do not need the false stimulants of the world. They have the
Spirit of God—and He is all they need. 4
Being filled with the Spirit is living in the conscious presence of the Lord
Jesus Christ, letting His mind, through the Word, dominate everything that is
thought and done. Being filled with the Spirit is the same as walking LIKE
Jesus did on earth!
There are 15 manifestations of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21. Of these 8 are
dealing with interpersonal problems. It is not enough to say that we have
always struggled in these areas. Or, to say I sinned and go on. The Scriptures
show us that a truly spiritual person will be growing in a visible way in each of
1. LOVE is the absence of selfishness. It is the product of the Holy Spirit
present in our lives Rom. 5:5 says. And it even “flowers in the presence
of the unlovely and hostile”.5 THE WORD agape, is the love of choice,
referring not to an emotional affection, physical attraction, or a familial
bond, but to respect, devotion, and affection that leads to willing, selfsacrificial service (John 15:13; Rom. 5:8; 1 John 3:16, 17).
x Can others trace my progress in expressing God’s love? Am I less
selfish and self-seeking than I was last month?
2. JOY is the spiritual quality that releases us from circumstances. A
happiness based on unchanging divine promises and eternal spiritual
realities. Christian joy is not a shallow emotion that, like a thermometer,
rises and falls with the changing atmosphere of the home. Rather,
3 Wiersbe, Warren W., The Bible Exposition Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books) 1997.
4 Wiersbe, Warren W., The Bible Exposition Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books) 1997.
5 J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Discipleship p. 118.
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Christian joy is a deep experience of adequacy and confidence in spite of
the circumstances around us. The Christian can be joyful even in the
midst of pain and suffering. This kind of joy is not a thermometer but a
thermostat. Instead of rising and falling with the circumstances, it
determines the spiritual temperature of the circumstances. Paul put it
beautifully when he wrote, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am,
therewith to be content” (Phil. 4:11). Joy is a gift from God, and as such,
believers are not to manufacture it but to delight in the blessing they
already possess (Rom. 14:17; Phil. 4:4).
o Do those that know me and watch my life see me as a joyful person?
3. PEACE is the internal serenity that only God can give. “Peace is love in
repose, with no borrowing of tomorrows troubles today.”6 Troubles are
not absent. Rather, God is present! “When the Holy Spirit is not grieved
the dove of peace is able to alight on the heart.” PEACE. The inner calm
that results from confidence in one’s saving relationship with Christ. The
verb form denotes binding together and is reflected in the expression
“having it all together.” Like joy, peace is not related to one’s
circumstances (John 14:27; Rom. 8:28; Phil. 4:6, 7, 9). Has peace
become more and more a way of life for you this year?
4. PATIENCE (KJV LONGSUFFERING) is the absence of personal irritation at
the actions of others. It is that bearing long with people that Paul spoke
of in I Corinthians. Patience is also one of the Supreme attributes of God.
It is His character that is revealed as being gracious and longsuffering.
See Exod 34:6; Num 14:18; II Peter 3:9. This is patience or the ability
to endure injuries inflicted by others and the willingness to accept
irritating or painful situations (Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12; 1 Tim. 1:15, 16).
o Ask yourself, am I more patient than I was three months ago? or less?
If we are not increasing in patience it is only that we are not yielding
and submitting to the Holy Spirit.
5. KINDNESS is a beautiful reflection of God in our lives. It is the absence of
an abrasive manner in my dealings with people. It is a chosen reflection
of Ephesians 2:8 and 4:32 in my life. “Kindness is seen as that sensitivity
toward others that issues into deeds of self sacrifice and love even toward
the unlovely and undeserving ones. Kindness will soften any word or act
that might hurt another.
o Is my character showing an increasing tendency toward personal
kindness in my way with others?
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6. GOODNESS is being Godlike! It is the opposite of fallen humanity. Look at
Jesus in Acts 10:38. When the Holy Spirit anointed His life, what came
out? As one author wrote — “Ecstatic utterances? Spectacular Miracles?
Flamboyant Sermons? No! He simply went about doing good. ” Believers
are commanded to exemplify goodness (6:10; 2 Thess. 1:11).
o Am I a visibly better person than last year? Do people see me doing
good to all those around me?
7. FAITHFULNESS is the idea here. A trustworthy and dependable life. The
kind of person that keeps their own life in order so that you can count on
them. Like Psalm 15 speaks of, they make and keep their word.
faithfulness. Loyalty and trustworthiness (Lam. 3:22; Phil. 2:7–9; 1
Thess. 5:24; Rev. 2:10).
o Am I making strides in reliability and dependability?
8. MEEKNESS is the opposite of asserting ourselves. GENTLENESS. Better
translated “meekness.”The Lord said that the Meek were the ultimate
winners. [Matthew 5:5] Those who are Servants of the Lord must not
strive II Timothy 2:24. They resist selfish ambition [James 3:16]
because it is a reflection of Satan not God.
o What shape is my personal agenda in? Is it intact and my rights being
defended? Or, is it in hopeless shape, crucified with Christ and fading?
9. DISCIPLINE (KJV SELF-CONTROL). This refers to restraining passions and
appetites (1 Cor. 9:25; 2 Pet. 1:5, 6) and is defined by the Greek
Dictionary as “a virtue, which consists in mastery of the appetites and
passions, especially the sensual ones.” The only force that can control or
flesh is the Holy Spirit. When yielded to Him we become vessels that are
worshipful sacrifices to Him no longer to self. Self cannot control self.
Flesh is not able to harness flesh. Only the Spirit can discipline us.
o Do others see me as graciously under the control of God’s Spirit of
Discipline? Are you beating under and giving knockout blows to your
flesh? Paul was in I Cor 9:27. Can we do any less?
There is every reason why we should love one another. We trust the same
Savior. We will one day enjoy the same heaven! We belong to the same
Father and seek to do the same work of witnessing to a lost world that Jesus
Christ alone saves from sin. We believe the same truth, even though we
may have different views of minor doctrinal matters; and we follow the same
example that Jesus set for His people, to live a holy life. Yes, believers do
have their differences; but we have much more in common, and this should
encourage us to love one another and promote true spiritual unity. 7
7Wiersbe, Warren W., The Bible Exposition Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books) 1997.