Favorite Sermon Add to Playlist
Photo of Nicole Parker

The Faith that Works by Love- Part 1

Nicole Parker
Audio Only


Nicole Parker

Wife, mother, and Biblical counselor



  • April 10, 2015
    7:30 AM
Logo of Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US)

Free sharing permitted under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US) license.

The ideas in this recording are those of its contributors and may not necessarily reflect the views of AudioVerse.


Video Downloads

Audio Downloads

This transcript may be automatically generated

It's morning I want to talk to you about what we need to pay for that work. I want to talk about a story in which everybody likes a story right. I with a cup order for many years that's how I worked my way through college and I was so blessed I just had thousands of miracles but there's one that's always struck me it stuck in my mind I have a time that I spent time with the children of Abraham people who live by faith. I was working on a Sunday afternoon and it so happened in West Virginia and Sunday afternoon can be a difficult time to work because people would rather be visiting with their family and I remember specifically I just kept going to one house after another where people are like why are you. Here we are trying to have Sunday lunch with our friends. They're all dressed up they'd obviously just come from their churches and they were all irritated that I was there. Then I came to a home that was different when they opened the door they said Come in come in can we get you a drink. They said Please sit down. Are you hungry. Is there anything we can do for you. I said Well thank you. And he said What do you have what is it that you're doing. I shared with him the books that I had and they didn't have very much money but they were very welcoming they said yes we'd like to at least get something from you. These people are wonderful in the short amount of time that I spent with them and I wasn't there a long time. They were so kind. Kept asking Is there anything that I can do for you. They were Muslims and yet when they knew I was a Christian they offered before I left the home I said listen if ever you're back in our area if you ever need a place to sleep come knock on our door. It will always be open for you. These people did not know me this is not because I've spent two hours with them and they love me so much. It was how they lived. And when I walked away from that door I thought wow I've been on holy ground. I have been with the children of Abraham. Oh that I could have a home like Piers it was beautiful. You know I've had the same experience many times meeting other people of many different faiths. Some of the most amazing people I've met have been Catholic nuns or priests. You know I don't believe that their religion teaches an accurate picture of who God is their doctrines teach things about God that would make me not want to love him. And yet they love him anyway. It's beautiful to see that God works on people all around the world to learn to live out his law of love. You see God is love and love is the fulfilling of his law. Isn't that amazing. You know this word is kind of overused in our culture I remember going for a walk with my children and we were just going down the big sidewalk in college Dale and my son ran up the headset and he then he came running back to me people you know were walking past us every now and then and I noticed they were smiling he came running back to me said mommy mommy I'm getting in love with people and I said really buddy why this is this is my more shy child he said Mommy I'm walking past people and when I see them I look at them and I smile at them and then they smile back at me and then I get in love with them. So I said Well that's wonderful buddy that's Jesus working in your heart but that's not quite what I mean by love. What he meant was he was having warm feelings with people right. Amount of our culture. We want to think that warm feeling the equal of love you know there's the justice of God And then there's the love of God But the Justice and Mercy of God together make up the love of God That's the character of God So when I think of love I think we're in danger in this culture. First we lived in a world that for a couple thousand years there they were topping God with not actually loving that the justice of God was everything in the mercy of God was very small now we have a culture that swung the opposite way now the mercy of God is everything and the justice of God is small and insignificant but God wants us to understand love is the perfect combination of justice and mercy it is the character of God It is righteousness and God wants to implant that righteousness within us. What does it mean to have the righteousness of Christ poured into us. It's not just a shallow love that the world says yeah you just gotta love them if they want to live that way if they want to do that. I don't worry about it I'm just going to love them. I'm going to be loving. That's not quite what God means visit we all love love. If we get to redefine it according to our selfish feelings everybody love love I love lots of people but there are people that I don't feel like loving and those are the ones that tell me whether I'm actually a loving person right. Laodicea at the end of time is immersed in a feeling based culture we're told that men shall be lovers of their own selves. Right. We all love but God doesn't want us to love ourselves. He wants us to love Him with all our heart soul mind and strength and our neighbours as ourselves that doesn't mean we hate ourselves means we think every person is priceless in the light of the cross. I thought appreciate the songs that you shared this morning. Exactly what we need to understand the love of Christ. You see in Laodicea where we love ourself we say I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing and do not know that we are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. You know we're living in a culture with a terrifying sense of self image. We are great we are wonderful the self. If the movement has taken root and has swept the nation and we're seeing the fruits of it and people who think they're entitled to whatever they feel like having. What do we need to live within this culture but not be of this culture to be in the world but not of the world how do we do that. How can God do that within us. He said this is what you need. I counsel you to buy of me what gold tried in the fire. What does the gold tried in the fire do how can that be the key to setting us free from our comfort zone living. I thought reckless and says the gold tried in the fire is faith that works by love only if it can bring us into harmony with God We may be active we may do much work and this is what we're known for. Right there are many people who would be here right now but they're down in San Antonio ministering to people. Most of us I think we try to share the gospel with those around us right. We may be active we may do much work but without love such love as dwelt in the heart of Christ we can never be numbered with the family of heaven. We're going to talk more tomorrow about the family of Heaven what it's really like but it's so beautiful to think of what it can be like to be a lover like them. Now let's look at a biblical definition of love. What is the law of God One of the two principles of the law of God Bless the Lord with all your heart soul mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. So simple right. Not easy but simple. God wants us to love to live by the principle that he live by. So we let him poor his character into us filling us with himself then we love him and it spills over to everyone around us that is love. What is sin and what is this. Thing that stopped his love from pouring into us and pouring through us to others. Then simply the transgression of the law right itself absorption of thinking that my right my needs my desires take a higher priority over God's Will God's way. You see it's interesting the law is relational isn't it. It's all about love. Now it'll it'll take root in our lives and bear fruit in lots of other ways and actions right. If I love God I want my body to be the temple of God That means I eat carefully that means I exercise I drink lots of water I do things because I want to clear my mind so that I can connect deeply with him but that's not what it's about. That's the fruit of wanting a relationship with God You see all the luck keeping all of love is relational. And if all of righteousness is relational then the breaking of the law is also relational right would not make sense. All sin is rooted in broken relationship. First I break with God and then it all goes downhill in my relationships with others right. So everything can be tracked back to a broken relationship with God which leads to a breaking relationship with others. If all of sin is relational and all of the law is relational that means that the keeping of the law of righteousness is also relational isn't it. This is the beauty of how the Gospel works. When I am on my own A Connal person doing what I naturally do I walk around severing relationship with everybody. Anybody who doesn't make me feel good I sever Who do I keep the ones that make me feel good. Still selfish right. And when God convince me he pours his righteousness into me I start being consumed with His glory not my own. Then it starts pouring out into my relationships with others where sin is a break. An influence everywhere Spingold it poisons relationship. It devastates relationship and every where righteousness goes. It brings healing unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in its wings righteousness flows into our relationships with others bringing healing bringing freedom. When I left well it may not change my relationship with the other person necessarily because righteousness can come from me but relationship is two way they may not love me back. So it doesn't mean that all relationships are going to magically be great but it means that I can keep loving them and even if they don't love me back it may not change them. It may not change their relationship with me but it will change me. And that's got to be good enough to let Christ come in to me the hope of glory and transform me even in the most painful relationships even the ones that never stop causing me pain. This is the beauty of the Gospel it teaches us to love. The Christ object lesson says God's law is the transcript of his character. It embodies the principles of his kingdom. Love is that perfect balance of justice and mercy. The character of God correct doctrine is so important. I don't want anyone to say well you know she just says Love is all that matters no doctrine is important but correct doctrine is important because it helps me to love God if I feel what he's really like which is what correct doctrine does. I go wow he loves me like that. He's not going to burn me forever even though that's what I deserve for my sin. He loves me. He's going to give me an opportunity to see why he made the decisions he did before he destroys those who deserve to be destroyed forever. Wow He's an amazing God the more I see of God in correct doctrine taken from his word the more I'm going to love him the more I'm going to love others. This is why Lucifer stand was so horrific because he was a guardian of the law. I stood by the arc he stood by the throne. He knew what God's love was like like nobody else in heaven except God and He chose to defy that. There was why there was nothing more God could do God could not reveal his love to Lucifer anymore because Lucifer knew exactly what LHO was he knew what the law was he knew why the universe was run by a large lump and he said no I'd rather actually try to exalt myself. The mystery of iniquity X. The apostle says the completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others Springs constantly from within. You want perfection of character. God wants us to have perfection of character too. But this is what it is. When the impulse to help and bless other springs constantly from within. I've got a pretty good idea that Christ is within me the hope of glory. He's pouring through me it is the atmosphere of this love surrounding the soul of the believer that makes him a favor of life on to life and enables God to bless his work. If we want Christ to flow through us to bring people to the kingdom. The answer is to spend time beholding his love. First John three says this to you by this it is evident who are the children of God and who are the children of the devil. Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God nor is the one who does not love his brother you see how righteousness and love are used as synonyms in the Bible. In the spirit of prophecy to every where you'll see righteousness and love work together because they are one. They're both descriptions of the character of God Sometimes I think how people who are seem to be meaning Well they're trying to defend truth and righteousness online and yet I look at some of that the conversations that they have blasting one another I think wow OK. How do you sleep at night when you've spoken to a brother or sister in this derogatory way. I'm not going to say whether that person is saved or lost but it breaks my heart to see people treating one another is trash trampling on one another in order to climb higher to the kingdom. That's not the way of Christ is my subject lessons also says the last rays of merciful light. The last message of mercy to be given to the world is a revelation of what is the character of this is what true doctrine is. This is what righteousness is. The children of God are to manifest His glory in their own life and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them. Sometimes we don't have to say very much to bring a person to go out. What is it that you have that gives you such peace in the midst of a stressful situation that helps you to be kind to those who are kind to you. This must be something different than what I have. The glory of God The perfection of Christian character is to be the aim. The purpose of our life so is our high calling. What does that mean the perfection of Christian character. The glory of God What is this perfection. It's the perfect keeping of a relational law to love God with all my heart soul mind and strength and the love my neighbor as myself and just see where that goes when love for God and love for man is the motivation of my heart and I believe God wants to continue daily growing me so that I will want that more and more I become more and more like him that will flow out into my life in all kinds of beautiful righteous ways. Righteousness is the keeping of a love life and that's what God wants us to have from communion with him you know I'm raising three children the three children who want to go. It's perfectly righteous for some reason I would love to think that my husband's influence. But I happen to know my own genetics might have influenced them too and you know how do I teach my children to love not by ordering them to love not by locking them in the room and saying you're going to love God and me or you're not getting out for supper. If by loving them isn't it it's by communing with them showing them with the love of God It's like his love flowing through me to them make them want to love me make someone about him that doesn't mean that it's a foolproof process God Himself shining his love into Lucifer's life couldn't change him. Jesus living right there with Judas couldn't change him but it is belief faith in a parent's love that teaches a child to love and back. And believing that this parent truly loves them. We read stories that children who have been adopted from an orphanage somewhere who have been so abused so neglected that when they come to have a home that is filled with love they simply can't believe that this parent does love them because their belief of who God thinks of them who who they are as people has been so stained by fear and they just want to look out for themselves. It's still faith that unlocks the key for us to believe that we are loved whether we're loved or not because all of us are deeply loved but how do we connect how do we let that love pour into us and through us to others. It's by believing. Tomorrow we're going to talk more about the leaf and what it does in our in our hearts and our minds. Second Corinthians three eighteen tells us that it's by beholding that we're changed right as we look at the love of Christ this is what our devotional time supposed to be about every day not just preparing a Bible study to share with somebody else not just getting through my Bible reading plan beholding of love seeing how much he loves me how much of it he cares about the things that are bothering me in my life right now. This is how he writes his loner This is how he leads us to believe that he loves us with an everlasting mouth and helps us to love others. Why didn't that work with Lucifer. Why could he be in the presence of God's love and yet not love in response. The Bible tells us the sad story of what happens you know it's so incredible to me to see how Lucifer could be living in the light and the glory of such incredible immeasurable love and yet decided he wanted to exalt himself. You see he knew the father dwelt on the throne in my unapproachable that was his role that was something that the angels needed they needed to know that the father was love but he was also dwelling on a throne and light unapproachable but God wanted to be with them. And so Jesus mingled with the angels sitting there underneath the peach tree stuck in the juice that is sweet peaches and laughing and talking with the angels worshipping the father together. They needed that kind of revelation of the love of God To see God with them walking around talking with and I needed the Holy Spirit to be with them in a different way so if they worked at the throne they weren't sitting under the tree with Jesus anywhere they were in heaven. God was with them in the Holy Spirit in this beautiful glorious unspeakably wonderful atmosphere. How could Lucifer decide I want more. You see God was always seeking to serve and when Lucifer saw Jesus going into the light unapproachable to commune with the father he had this impulse that so natural to us but was so foreign to them. Hey how come he gets what I don't get. I want that. How come he gets to be higher than me. And so he started saying something to the a range of you know we were both covered covering cherubs he saw that right. But see what he does. I think God is unfair. Lucifer one of the highest place in the Angels were like that. You want a higher place. None of us could even imagine that why would anybody want to go higher. Everyone in heaven wants to go lower. Everyone in heaven wants to serve. To seek the lowest place to be the one who ministers to others. Why would you try to get higher than Jesus for the father gathered everyone together. Explain more fully we don't know exactly how that went but lisper came to understand Jesus has the right to be over me he actually is the creator. He actually has been here for all of eternity. He is equal with the father but he came down here to serve to be alongside us. To pretend like he was like us because he wanted to be one with us. He wanted to be Emmanuel God with us sitting under the peach tree the angels were just overwhelmed once again with the glory of God that He not only dwelt on light on approachable to be worshiped but that he came and sat with them because he wanted to be with them. And Lucifer said no. I want to be higher. I deserve I will be like the most high in this foreign completely unfathomable way of thinking. He began influencing the angels so that other started going you know it would be kind of nice to be high instead of when everybody goes to the peach tree and I see wow look at this beautiful peach is bigger than any other on the tree. Who could I give it to. Suddenly they're going I'm going to get that peach before somebody else gets it. And Heaven was stained with sin. God doesn't want us to live that way. He's willing to pour into us the ability to live the way they live in heaven. We're going to talk more tomorrow about Lucifer since a self exaltation but it boils down to two things loose of her head and belief. First of all Finn I believe starts with unbelief. If I can't believe in the character of God If I can't believe he is loving I can't believe he is good if I can't believe he is righteous. I'm going to try to be what God isn't being I'm going to try to take his place I will be like the most high and unbelief inevitably leads to pride. Always always always. You cannot separate the two. Unbelief and pride are the cycle at the root of all thin. What happened if Lucifer. I can't believe that God is good. Maybe he's not actually just because he's doing this thing that doesn't make sense to me. In other words Lucifer put his judgment about God at the moment that he stopped believing that God With Love that God was just he started going. If I were God I'd do it better than what he does. What higher pride can you have than that and what if you do when it comes to Eve He says he you shall be as gods you and Adam can take the place of God. And you think you know that actually sounds kind of good. I'd like to be a god all sin start in and believe in pride I would challenge you to find anything in your life or in any life in scripture or in any life anywhere you've seen that isn't rooted in unbelief and pride. When I shout at my children because I want the power of God without the love of God I don't want the character of God I just want them to do what I want. It's pride and it comes from one belief. I can't believe that God will work within them and within me for His glory. I get frustrated I want it my way. Pride and belief it's always there at the heart of everything. But if unbelief and pride are at the heart of all sin that's kind of good news because God has promised to give us the gifts of faith and humility. They're the beginning of all righteousness all the breaking of the law of God All unrighteousness starts with unbelief and pride and all righteousness all healing of relationship all keeping of the law of God must begin with faith and humility faith and humility are also a cycle for more faith I have in who God really is the more I see myself through his eyes. As such a small war and at the same time so priceless so immeasurably loved in the light of the cross. This is the secret of having a bond with God that will never break. This is the secret that Laodicea needs to make it through the time of trouble to see God for who he is and to see ourselves for who we are. Youth instructor said without love one for another we do not keep the commandments of God and all our profession is mere pretension. Whatever is contrary to love humility and faith denies Christ. Either beautiful principles I'm sharing and I hope every person will go away from here. So blessed but I want to be sure I admit I'm just as simple as the next person I'm preaching a gospel I don't fully live I have so far to go. I want to develop more faith and humility every day. But pride and belief are always only a step away. I remember when I was in college there was there was a young man in there the college with me. This isn't going where you might think. We didn't love each other. It was the opposite. We hated each other and it was mostly my fault I was the one who hated him first. I don't even remember how. All started he would make little remarks little jibe at me I didn't appreciate it. I would make little jibe back at him I'd look for opportunities and then there were times that I just outright despised him I remember one time we were we both happened to be in the touring choir so nearly every week and we got to spend a whole weekend together under high stress. That wasn't healthy and I remember this one time we actually got in a shouting match in the car and everybody's like whoa what's happening. It wasn't beautiful it wasn't Christ and me when I left after that year I prayed Lord help him not to come back. Not very righteous prayer was it and the Lord didn't answer it the way I hoped he was back the next year. And then praise God he didn't give up on me. He started speaking to me. NICOLE the way you're treating Kenny is wrong and I tried getting back at him you know God the way that Kenny treats me as wrong by this time we had gotten a really good cycle of unbelief and pride together we hated each other and everybody knew it. So I decided I needed to do the right thing no matter how I felt. I wrote him a letter. I put it into his mailbox. I slammed it. I did not feel a particle of love toward this man. But I was choosing to do what was right. I told him I'm sorry for the way that I've treated you. I know I've been wrong please forgive me and if it's possible I hope you can see me as a sister in Christ. I knew the first time I saw him after he'd read the letter because he gave me the sheepish glance and he said I see. And now with the first time I had the first feeling of anything like maybe I could love this guy. I chose to love but it wasn't a feeling thing I can promise you. But when God started working in my heart and in his heart we began to be. Able to build a beautiful friendship so that when he actually did leave Not long after that he moved away. He came and said goodbye to me and I just want to be sure I think about is this you know this is funny I can't believe that of all people here. I would actually make sure that I said goodbye to you. God was at work doing what could never have come from within us and he did it by faith that worked by love. He did it by overcoming my pride which was very strong and still is always right there at my elbow ready to take over a fall just let it have the wheel and giving me humility seeing myself in the light of what Christ had done for me. Together this cycle of righteousness and faith that works by love faith that brings about humility to transform us into the image of Christ and that is the most glorious thing that can possibly happen for any with our heads. There you have your celebrity and you are so happy. Come and work within a floor do your miracle. Bring different harmony with your will and make your lives and help us if we prepare for the Sabbath to be debriefed by the messages to be transformed into your home and I want our relationship with you. This media was brought to you by Adil purse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about our universe or if you would like to listen to more sermon legalism W.W.W. audio verse or.


Embed Code

Short URL