A New Way to Love

By James & Bridgette Morris, Darren Nathanael on Tue, Feb 13, 2024 / Updated at Tue, Feb 20, 2024

Full message can be found here:


There is an element of kindness, of showing care for those whom we love, and there are also a few more things that we want to cover in today’s message. So, we’re going to look into God’s model for showing love. Before we dive deeper into the three main points, let’s discuss the importance of love and God’s view of love.

And so, we are going to start in John, where Jesus says, “I give you a new commandment”. Now, commandments are not new to us because we saw commandments from the very beginning in the Old Testament. Jesus is saying,

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:34-35 (NKJV)

And we will know, and the world will know us by our love. There is a theme here that God wants us to be a people of love. If we are not people of love, then how would the world know anything different about us? We have to be people of love. This is who we are called to be. In 1st Corinthians 13, often referred to as the “love chapter,”,

1 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. 2 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.3 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. 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (NLT)

Now, just a little sidenote:

  • If you can speak three languages, it’s called trilingual.
  • If you can speak two languages, it’s called bilingual.
  • If you can speak one language, it’s called American.

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We might think that all of these extravagant, amazing things are impressive, but not to God; not if you don’t have love. What’s impressive is when you have love. It doesn’t matter what accomplishments you have, what letters you have before or after your name, or whatever else; what matters is if you have love.

What is Love?

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

So, this is a really big deal to God. How we enact His love to the world is a really big deal to Him. Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Wait, I know God’s love, and I have been a Christian for a really long time”. How does this apply to me?

The majority of today’s message is going to be in the book of Ephesians,

Context: In the book of Ephesians, who wrote it? Paul.
Who did he write it to? To the church of Ephesus.
He is not writing this to unbelievers; he is writing this to believers. These are the people that he spent three years daily discipling, raising up leaders who then went out into the community to lead missions and disciple others. That is who he is talking to.

21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

Ephesians 4:21-24 NLT


We’re talking about a new way to love, which is the way that Christ loves us. How do we do that? By putting on a new nature. That’s also why Paul says in 1st Corinthians 15, “I die daily.” It is not that I got saved and I put away my old life, my old ways, my old nature when I was 8, 15, 23, 58, or however old you were when you got saved. It wasn’t a one-time, “and I’m done with that life.” Old habits die hard, y’all. Right?

Let’s not let our old nature cover up the new person that we are becoming, because we every day we die to self to become who God has called us to be.

So, we look at that old nature and we’re looking at the new nature. As the title of the message says, we learned about doing away with the old and starting anew, but there is always a deeper level we can go in Christ. We never truly arrive or reach the end, thinking, “Oh, I’m fully loved,” “I am fully maxed out on worship,” or freedom, or whatever it is. We can always keep going deeper with the Kingdom of God.

So these are the things that we have to get rid of or take off: Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT,

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.

Ephesians 4:31 NLT

We have to be careful because all of that can happen in one round of golf. Right? I mean, think about it, “bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words” - one round of golf, that’s it. So we have to always be removing those things off of us and then putting on God’s love on us, so we can be different. If we do that, what is it that we should put on?

32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:32 NLT

So, we will be camped out on this scripture for a while. It tells us that we need to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving to one another, and we will be focusing on that. So much so that I hope you meditate on that scripture all week, thinking, “Am I being kind? Tenderhearted? And forgiving to [one] another? Is that the new nature that I’ve put on myself?”

1. Be kind.

Pretty self-explanatory from the scripture,

32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:32 NLT

Now, kindness is a fruit of the spirit. Here is how we know this: Galatians 5:22-23 NLT

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23 NLT

So, the spirit has kindness that we can take hold of and utilize in our life. John 15 says He is the vine and we are the branches. So, we bear the fruits that God has made available to us. How can we be patient? We don’t just become patient, y’all; we utilize the patience that God has given us. How do we have peace? You don’t force peace into your life; you take hold of the peace that has been made available. We have God’s peace available to us that we can enact in our lives. The same goes for kindness; it is available to us. As we walk daily, as we die to ourselves and we walk daily with the Lord, we’re able to enact that kindness that He makes available to us.

So let’s look at some scriptures of kindness. Proverbs 11:17 says,

17 Your kindness will reward you,but your cruelty will destroy you.

Proverbs 11:17 NLT

The more kind we are, the more God blesses us in our kindness. Now, let’s look at God’s kindness towards us. Romans 2:4 NLT it says,

4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

Romans 2:4 NLT

God’s kindness is designed and intended to keep you from harm’s way, to keep you from sin, to keep you from danger. So, He has His kindness, just as a parent may be kind to help their children draw away from the things that hurt them; and so we can focus on being kind.

Now, a couple of things: we talked about getting rid of the old nature and putting on the new. I used to think that I had the gift of sarcasm. I thought, “Listen how clever I am, how smart, and like these jokes are, and they’re so sarcastic.” Guess what? That was not a gift from God because it is not kind. It is not listed as a fruit of the spirit.

And for you, it may be something completely different, but there are things like that you start to realize. Like, Is this kind? Probably not. The unique thing is, whenever I looked up the word “kindness” in the dictionary compared to other words, like the word “awesome,” it describes the word “awesome,” it’s fantastic, it’s amazing, all these different things.

But when I looked up the word “kind” or “kindness,” it basically described the word “kind” by telling me all the things kindness is not.

And that’s because being kind is such a broad definition.

That is why we can constantly be evaluating ourselves to say, “Was that kind? Were people edified when I said that? Did it benefit the other person when I said that? Were those kind words? Was it gentle?” And so, that is how we can reflect and see, “Am I being kind in what we’re doing?”

Now, many of us, we have the ability to turn on kindness in the moment. So, you know, maybe you’re having a harsh conversation with your spouse or a disagreement, and then all of a sudden your best friend calls or your boss calls you, and you’re like, “Oh, hey, Charles, just spending some time with the family.” And you were just not being kind at all. But that’s because we know how to be kind. But are we living as somebody that is kind? Or are we turning on, “Oh, I’ll be kind in the moment”?

We have to be removing all of the things that are not kind and then putting on kindness so that we are able to live in kindness. And remember, this is how the world knows that we are different, how we are set apart. It’s not based on, “Well, do we sing louder than the rest of the world? Do we dance?” No, it’s how much do we love? We will be known by the world by how well we love.

These are the choices that we make to show love, these are the choices that we have to make every day to show love.

2. Be tenderhearted.

Lets look at Ephesians 4:32,

32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:32 NLT

Now Psalms 103:13 says,

13 The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.

Psalms 103:13 NLT

So, the word here for “tenderhearted” in Ephesians is the Greek word “Eusplagchnos.” It’s a more intense word than just your typical idea of “tenderhearted.” To you, “tenderhearted” might mean sympathetic or even empathetic, where you feel what somebody else feels. This word takes it up a notch. The literal translation is like having your bowels forcefully moved, like something has to happen more than just your coffee hitting. It’s like something is happening inside that then drives you to action.

Another way to describe it is like a woman in labor, that feeling of “I am crunching, I am,…” and then I have to do something about this. That is what this word means, tenderhearted or compassionate. You are filled with compassion for somebody else.

So often, the word “Eusplagchnos” is translated as either compassion or tender-hearted. When we have compassion or tender-heartedness, we cannot not do something; we are driven into action. This is God’s version of love.

Jesus exemplified this in the Bible. In Matthew, it says,

14 Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Matthew 14:14 NLT

He had compassion, and then He healed their sick., There was action behind the compassion,

32 Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”

Matthew 15:32 NKJV

Therefore, there is action behind it and then He fed the multitude.

34 So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.

Matthew 20:34 NKJV

Every single time we have God’s version of love, it leads us to be tenderhearted, but then it leads to action. When we have God’s version of love and we’re tenderhearted, it leads to action, to doing something about it, like going and praying for somebody or meeting a need they may have. This is the exact way God has loved us.

In John 3:16, it says, “For God so loved the world.” But when he loved, he was tenderhearted. Therefore, there was action. So God loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. When I love someone else, I should have an action behind it that lines up with that love.

3. Be forgiving.

So the next point is that we need to be forgiving; we have to be people who forgive,

21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

Matthew 18:21-22 NLT

That is a lot of forgiving, and that is 490 times; And it’s not that we are supposed to be forgiving 490 times and keeping a tally mark, and then at the end say, “Oh, vengeance is mine now.” Because if we truly forgive them, then we stop keeping track of every single time that they’ve wronged us.

And if you bring up every time that person has wronged you when you’re trying to forgive them or having a discussion, then you probably haven’t forgiven them in the first place. So, if all of a sudden you’re like, “Nuh-uh, January 18, 1997, when you were wearing that red sweater that I hate so much, you said…” and your hand was like this and you rolled your eye, that’s not forgiving… You don’t bring up every time the person has faulted you in the past, because then we’re not living a lifestyle of being in forgiveness of forgiving somebody else. And so, we always have to be forgive.

14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 6:14-15 NLT

And here’s the thing: God has forgiven you and I so much.

Every single one of us are a sinner; every single one of us had messed up a lot. Yet, God has forgiven us. Because God has forgiven us, we should be able to freely give forgiveness to others. God has given us love, so we can freely give love to others. God has given us forgiveness, so we should be people who can forgive others really well.

And here’s the thing; unforgiveness is like that mold on your cheese in your refrigerator. It’s disgusting, and it just continues to grow and be nasty. You can’t allow unforgiveness in your heart. It doesn’t look good, and it hurts you. Pastor Robert had said this: “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping that it would kill the other person”. We have to be people that forgive and are quick to forgive. And if we love them, we will forgive them.

You can’t only forgive those people who ask for your forgiveness. There are going to be a lot of people in your life who just can’t say sorry. Either they have passed away, and they literally cannot say sorry, or they’re not coming back. You have to let it go.

Jesus says forgive because it’s actually not just what’s right, it’s what’s best for you. It makes your life better. So yes, we should be quick to forgive; And if you’re in a type of situation that is dangerous, of course, you should protect yourself, protect your kids, whoever’s in your care, and get some help. But in the normal day-to-day, we should be quick to forgive.

We should also be quick to repent. That’s the other side of this. As believers, we should be quick to repent. It says in Proverbs 28:13,

13 He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

Proverbs 28:13 NKJV

So there’s this balance in relationships of being quick to forgive and also being quick to repent. We should be the first to humble ourselves and say, “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. I’m sorry when I said that, and I kind of meant to pick at you.” Because in close relationships like with close friends, in marriages, or with siblings, sometimes we might say things just to tease or annoy each other.

It’s easier sometimes to forgive those people who we know didn’t mean harm. In marriage, for example, you might think, “I know you know what you’re doing, but I’m going to choose to forgive you anyway. I’m going to choose to forgive.”

We’re going to choose to be quick to repent and quick to forgive. Pastor Robert talked about last weekend how everybody makes mistakes. He talked about David and how he made a mistake, and then he made it worse by trying to cover it up. Finally, he repented and made it right. We should learn from him and not try to cover up our mistakes. We should say, “I am so sorry for this thing. I’m sorry that I…” Don’t say I’m sorry but; that’s not a real apology; that isn’t real repentance. Real repentance is saying, “I’m sorry for what I said.”

We have to be able to walk in forgiveness. We have to be able to let that go, and then we have to be able to show the world what true love is. That is to walk in kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiving one another. But we have to be able to let go of all of the offenses and the hurts that other people have done that have bothered us, because that is the only way that we will be able to truly love in the way that God has called us to love. We’re so grateful that God has loved us in the way that he’s loved us. He’s always been kind to us, always been tender-hearted, always been forgiving.

But now, it’s time to change the world. The way in which we change the world is by showing the world what true love is. And when we show the world what true love is, that’s being kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving one another. That is what actually brings revival. That’s when the world says, “There’s something different about the Christians. I need to know what it is.” And then, that’s when we teach them about God’s love. And that’s what we’re excited about. We have the answer: It’s God’s love. The world needs the answer: It’s God’s love.

What is the Holy Spirit saying to me through this message?

Thank you for reading, May the Lord continue to Bless you richly and abundantly 🙂

15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mark 16:15 NKJV

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.