Articles, Blog

How Can I Be More Loving? // Mike Novotny // Time of Grace // Grace Talks

February 26, 2020


If you’re interested in becoming
a more loving person, you should join a church. I think a Christian church
is one of the best places to produce the fruit of love. And here’s why I say that. A Christian congregation
is one of the few places in your life where you
are expected to love people that you don’t pick. Like, in a relationship, we’d expect
you to love your boyfriend or girlfriend or husband and wife, but you probably picked them. And at work, maybe you don’t
get to pick your co-workers but your boss maybe doesn’t
expect you to love them. Just do your job. Get the job done and that’s enough. But a church is different. Jesus wants the Christian
church to be a place of love. Where it doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter your age,
your demographic. It doesn’t matter your
gender, your personality. You should walk into that place and we’d know it’s a Christian church
by the way that people love each other. But here’s the kicker. You don’t get to hand pick
the people of your church. Discipleship and following Jesus
is not like the NFL draft. So if you join a church
like I’ve joined a church, there’s going to be a
whole bunch of people that you didn’t pick. And that means there are going
to be a whole bunch of people that are kind of tough to love. Like that old guy is going
to show up to your church. Old enough to be Moses’ older brother. And he’s going to have opinions and they might very strong opinions and he might express
them very frequently. And it’s going to be a challenge to love. And then that woman is going to show up. Who’s been serving on
the committee forever. Picture Angela from “The Office.” And she has very strong,
has very strict opinions. She’s not into new ideas. And Jesus wants you to love her. And then there’s going
to be the teenager there who looks like he wishes he’d be back at home with a video game
controller in his hand and he’s dragging his feet and
his mood’s not the best. And God wants you to love him. And there’s the woman
who’s battling an addiction and you can see it on her face. And there’s the guy who just got
out of jail whose life is a mess. There’s all these people. Some are so much like you and some
are the exact opposite of you. And yet there’s this call,
this expectation to love. And that’s why I think
the Christian church is one of the greatest places
to produce the fruit of love. But there’s one more reason I think that. And it’s in this great passage
from Galatians, chapter 5. It says in verse 22, And then in verse 24 it
reminds Christians of this. That you belong to Christ Jesus. I think a church is the
most amazing place to grow in love because you’re
not just expected to give it. You can expect to receive it. The passage says,
You belong to Jesus. When you were as
stubborn as that old guy, or as critical as that older woman. When your attitude wasn’t perfect,
like that teenager. Or you fell into addiction like that
young woman who showed up. Jesus still loved. The Bible says while you and I were still sinners, he loves us. Psalm 136 says that God’s love endures forever. God’s love never fails. He never forsakes us. It never quits. And when you come to church and you sing these songs
and you hear these readings and the pastor preaches
this message, you find out about this crazy love that you get even when you don’t deserve it. And then, as soon as the song is done, after the blessing is over, you walk into the church
lobby and you look around. And you see people. People who might deserve
your love and maybe they don’t. But you just heard about
a kind of love that’s given even when it’s not deserved. So, if you want to become
a better person, a more loving person, a more Christ-like person, the church is the perfect place to be. The church specializes in grace. The grace you get and the grace you get to give. So let’s pray. Jesus, we all want to be loving. And we don’t want to pick and
choose the people that we love. We want to have the
kind of patience and kindness and gentleness to
love all kinds of people. And that’s why we need your help. We want to plant our roots, our heart,
in your unconditional love for us and trust that that’s
going to change us. And it’s going to open our eyes
to see that love is just given even if it’s not deserved. So send your Holy Spirit to
work powerfully in our heart. Help that root produce incredible fruit. We pray it all in your saving name. Amen. So, who from church
showed grace to you? Want to give those examples today? Maybe even think of yourself. But who, in your spiritual story, has
loved you when you didn’t deserve it? Who was patient and kind and forgiving and mentored and discipled you? If you can think of a name of
someone who really was patient and kept you connected to Jesus, I’d love to hear that story. Drop it in the comment section below. I’d love for us to encourage each other in
our faith. And we’ll catch you again next time.

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13 Comments

  • Reply Bass Town Ncs February 25, 2020 at 8:40 am

    nice video

  • Reply José Christy February 25, 2020 at 8:49 am

    Pastor Mike, I get what you're saying but I disagree that Church is the only place, where you can be loving towards people that are tough to love. You can do that literally anywhere starting from your own home, can't you?

  • Reply Titan Ian February 25, 2020 at 8:54 am

    Amen, Let the Lord help us Love like he does!

  • Reply Demitrues Huston February 25, 2020 at 10:08 am

    The person who showed me love and grace at my church was Sis Cassandra I call her Momma C. The first day I walk into my church 2017 she greeted me with open arms. Since that day she has been my 2nd mother.

  • Reply Mel Bags February 25, 2020 at 11:54 am

    Dear Pastor Mike, I love to hear you speak and all that you talk about. I see your face and say " I just love Pastor Mike "❣❣ I have a concern that weighs heavy on my mind & heart. I feel that having the music play while saying the prayer is disrespectful, irreverent and distracting. Do you feel that Jesus feels okay with the background music? Shouldn't we have all our attention focused on the prayer to our Lord? I'm not exactly sure if irreverent is the right word. What I mean is, it doesn't feel like we are being completely reverent to the Lord with music playing during a prayer. What are your thoughts about this? Your opinion matters very much.
    Thank you for all the uplifting sermons that I'm sure we all love to listen to.
    God bless you and keep you always❣🛐 Much love from UT. 💝

  • Reply Shawn McCourt February 25, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    Al Anderson shows love all the time

  • Reply Matthew Lin February 25, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    Thank you

  • Reply ElleK February 25, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    When I came to Jesus it wasn’t even in a church. It was in a deep, dark hole of despair in addictions. Then I met the nicest man. He was a light for me to get out. I know God used him tremendously since I didn’t even know Christ at that time. That is when things changed and I stepped into my new life with Christ. I was delivered and I am forever thankful!
    I know I am loved and I have a story of hope

  • Reply marshalle stewart February 25, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    Amen!!!!! Our intercessory prayer committee has diligently sent beautiful cards of prayers and love to me and my husband, as he has cancer ….Their love and prayers have kept my husband's PSA numbers down and our heads above water thru this! As we pull into the church parking lot, any time or day, I get an overwhelming sense of love like nowhere else!!!

  • Reply Priscilla Peiser February 25, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    Powerful truth thank you ♥️🕊♥️

  • Reply Michael Daniels February 25, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    After listening to this Video, I need to get back to My Church. When I stopped going to My Church, there was people there criticizing other people and talking behind their backs and I just didn't feel comfortable listening to all that and that's why I stopped going. (Both My Girlfriend and I) But now I look at this a different way, When someone starts doing this again at My Church, I'm simply going to tell them that that person is just different and no matter what they need our support, not our criticism.

  • Reply Andrew February 25, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Love isn’t love if it is expected of you.

  • Reply Mitzi Webb February 25, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    I have ALWAYS LOVED EVERYONE ❤️💖 with and without Church 💖🙏🏻

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