Finish Strong With Fearless Faith

Love Like Jesus #75

December 05, 2022 Fearless Faith Season 2 Episode 75
Finish Strong With Fearless Faith
Love Like Jesus #75
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The world sure could use more love these days.  But worldly love and Godly love are two different things.  Our goal as Christians is to love like Jesus.  His perfect love is infinite, enduring, never failing and completely UNCONDITIONAL.

In this episode of Finish Strong, we examine what Jesus had to say about true love.  He tells us that it is the trademark for the Christian.  It is what we need to truly “love our enemies.”

As the song says, “…no not just for some but for everyone!”

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Dan Wheeler:

1000s of songs and poems have been written about one subject. Love, has been called the most powerful force in the world. Well, the world has its idea of love. But today we're going to explore what Jesus had to say about love. In this episode of finish strong, I'm Dan Wheeler joined by Terry Steen and Brian Rowland, John Maeda Razzles pulling us together with his producing skills. Love you know, guys, you think about it everywhere you look, everybody's talking about love. And it seems to be a favorite subject for for many songs that we grew up with and that are still on the radio.

Terry Steen:

And it's amazing how many different types of love there are. And you know, I love you guys, but I don't love you the same as I love my why I'm glad to hear grandchildren, or so it's there's love flying all over the place, isn't there?

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, yeah, I love my guitar, but in a different way. You know, there's, the Greeks came up with six forms of love. There's familial, which is family, there's friendly or platonic, romantic self love pragma, or long standing love, and which is mature love, and then agape love. We're gonna focus on agape love today, which is really loving unconditionally. It's it's perfect love. And I think, you know, growing up in the church, we've all heard a lot about how we're supposed to love unconditionally, even our enemies, which is a hard one for me to get my head wrapped around. Sometimes I find

Brian Roland:

that the Agape love is something that you can can't get in any other type of love. It's always there, it's always going to be returned to you, whether you give it out or not, a copy of love's gonna be returned to you, because that's what God is. And that's what God does.

Dan Wheeler:

And we're supposed to mirror that Terry and the way we love other people.

Terry Steen:

Yeah, yeah, exactly. And when you went through and listed those, you know, there's, there's kind of stages in life, maybe that different love comes easier for us, you know, the romantic love when you're younger, but you mentioned pragma love, which is that long standing of that mature love. I think as we get older, that mature love comes more into play with our spouses and our friends. And but but even at that point, there is still conditions to that love isn't there, even with our wives with everybody that we know, there's some conditions. And it's that agape love is the ultimate example that unconditional love. That's such a great target. It's so hard to hit.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah. And I know our producers listening intently to this subject, because he's recently engaged and soon to be married. But don't worry, John, because even though you have a mature love, it doesn't mean you have to mature to Case in point, Terry, for that, yeah. Does that give you hope, John?

John Matarazzo:

Oh, yeah, it does. It does. Yeah.

Terry Steen:

But you may have to give up the self love. Now Dan struggles with that, doesn't he? Brian, but,

Dan Wheeler:

brother, here we go. Yeah.

Brian Roland:

I've seen them do the romantic love with themselves too, by putting his hand on his shoulders, like getting a hug from somebody.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, you know, What's that song say? Love the one you're with? No. Sound about can't touch myself and so pretty. Well, that's certainly not the case here. Let's get back on track. Okay. Perfect love. You know, one thing about it is it's infinite. And if you're listening, and maybe you don't know the love of the Lord, the love of God, it is beyond any human love. It is infinite. It is forever. And it's enduring. You know, God never stops loving us. And you can read all about it in first Corinthians 13. It says, you know, bear with all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things loves, just never gives up. And we need to have that kind of love for others.

Brian Roland:

You know, when I was looking over the rundown here, Dan, I saw infinite love. First thing I thought it was John 316. I mean, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. And what kind of love is that, that most people can't do? I don't think anybody could actually do that. They would rather give up their own lives and their sons or their son or daughter's life.

Terry Steen:

And then and then add to that in the enduring love. It's like a miracle in itself, because how many times do we turn our back on God? How many times do we ignore him and go do our own thing? How many times it's just for him to constantly He loves us no matter what we do to him, is just mind boggling.

Dan Wheeler:

It really is. And you know, that brings me to the fact that love is a verb, we need to express our love through our actions. I had a pastor wants his name was Ken Dignan. And, Brian, I think you remember Ken, he was born with polio before they had the cure for polio. He had a deformed arm, he had a deformity in his back, he could barely walk. And yet the guy was just always smiling. He loved the Lord so much. And And interestingly enough, Beth passed away in 2015, at the end of October, and Ken passed away that December, but he said something that has always stuck with me, he said, you can give without loving, but you can't love without giving. And Brian, when you quote, a John 316, For God so loved the world that he gave, boy that always stuck with me. I think that's so true. That's great. And you think about I mean, Terry, when you love someone, you love your wife, you just want to do good things for them. You want to give them things you want to make them happy, it makes a brings you joy when you do that.

Terry Steen:

Yeah. And I know we'll talk about it later. But there's things that we can do. That almost makes love a byproduct to do and those things. So it's not even a matter of, oh, I have to love today. I have to love today. I have to love the day. There are things that we can do, that God tells us to do. That just allows that love to flow out of us. Yeah.

Dan Wheeler:

And isn't it great? When you can have a reliable kind of love Brian, when you know, you can say to Deb you know, I don't care what happens you can always count on me. I'm gonna be there.

Brian Roland:

Yep. And when I looked at that, too, on the reliable love, Lamentations 322, and 23 came in to mind that said, the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness. And isn't that what happens every morning? I mean, first thing Deb says me. If I told you I loved you today. She always says that to me every morning. And I always go no, no. But then she does

Dan Wheeler:

not yet put us through kind of put your most reliable love. I've seen you sulk in the morning before she tells me. Hey, John Matarazzo. I'm gonna put you on the spot. Was there something that your future wife? Was there a point where she did or said something that you realized? She loves me? The way that I've always wanted to be loved?

John Matarazzo:

Oh, my goodness, that is a great question.

Dan Wheeler:

And if it was one thing, I mean, how do you know? How did you get to the point you just knew?

John Matarazzo:

Well, for me, it was the first time that we were together at church. And we were worshiping side by side. And I looked over and I just saw her heart for worshipping Jesus, and just how beautiful she was. I mean, I didn't think it was possible for her to be more beautiful. But then when she worships Jesus, she's like glowing. And so that instantly attracted me to her even more than I already was. And then I heard in my spirit, behold your wife. So that definitely caught my attention. But just the way that she has been treating me and like talking to me and taking care of me in different ways that some of them are just very subtle, and just realizing that, oh, wow, she cares about me for me, not what she can get out of me. Not just because you know, I'm paying for dinner or whatever might be the case. But little things that she's done. That just shows me that she really cares for me as a person and just some things that she's thought of, to even just care for our future home together. Just some things that she found these placemats that have this thing on it. That actually connects to my podcast along the way, but it talks about how you know, there, you'll find love along the way. It's just like fit perfect. And I was like, oh my goodness, she's so thoughtful about the all the little details. And it just, it just blew me away. And I've never experienced love like that from somebody in that room. Yeah, that's cool. It's not family.

Dan Wheeler:

Now, Terry? In a way. You kind of somewhat owe me a little bit for your relationship with Karen because I was in on the double dog dare. When we said you go and talk to that girl before she gets through the lobby door and you had to sprint about a good 120 yards to get

Terry Steen:

there. I can't deny that it really made quite an impression. Yeah, I really had a lot to recover from to try to win her graces after that awkward start, but I will give you kudos for being creative with your double dog dare.

Dan Wheeler:

By the way, if you don't know if someone Double Dog, there's you, you have to do it, of course. So you're a little out of breath. By the time you caught up to her before she went into the door, or

Terry Steen:

Yeah, got to the door. Finally I opened it up just as she like I was being a gentleman, I opened it up and said, Hi, how you doing? And she kind of looked at me a little weird and said, fine. And then she walked in, and then I left the door shut, and I walked back the other way.

Dan Wheeler:

You always had that way with?

Terry Steen:

It's just something me and women. Always click. That's.

Dan Wheeler:

Now, Brian, I know you knew, like for a long, long time. But what confirmed it to you? When did you know that that she was the one because you guys have had a wonderful marriage for what over 20 years now?

Brian Roland:

Yeah, we've been the 2022 years now. We knew each other for actually for 20 years before we got married. And we had been friends always been really good friends. I've always admired them. But I've always just adored her, I thought she was just she was she was younger than me. And I wanted to protect her, you know, more than anything. But it just came to a time when we were both single. And we were just there at the same time. And it was just like everything just clicked all at once. Just boom, boom, boom. And it just came to the point where we couldn't deny just being friends anymore, that we had more more feelings for each other than just being friends. And so we talked about it and realize that we both thought the same thing and everything just moved from there. But it was it was quite a revelation. Because when I said we had been such good friends that we got engaged. And you might have been used in it. Somebody was said, you know, I can tell you stories about Brian. And she said, I can tell you stories about everything about this. I mean, yeah, talked about a lot of things throughout the years.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, I met Beth on a train and, and things just kind of clicked that day. And I was impressed with just her outgoingness and her ability to love and of course, many of you know, Beth passed in the heaven over seven years ago. But God has blessed me to meet another lady that I have fallen in love with. And she's very kind of giving and she lost her husband too. And the thing that's attracted me to Pam is that she has been through so much but has never stopped loving the Lord. And that's what we've got to look to to love the Lord. In fact, in Luke, chapter 10, verse 27, Jesus said, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself. But he said, that was the greatest commandment, he was asked what he should do to inherit eternal life. And another time he was asked, What is the greatest commandment? And he said, It is love the Lord thy God with all the heart and soul in the mind and love thy neighbor as thyself. So love is the crux of the most important commandment.

Terry Steen:

Yeah, I would just going to piggyback on that, to me, it's real interesting that that was the the question. That's like the ultimate question. What do I have to do to inherit eternal life? Don't we all want eternal life? And that was his answer. Yes, that's strong.

Dan Wheeler:

So if you don't know the love of God, and you haven't accepted Christ into your heart, He loves you so much. And we pray that you will do that. It's it's very simple. In fact, at the end of this podcast, we're going to pray for you for all those that that don't know the Lord that you will accept them. It's not only the most important commandment, actually, guys, it's the Jesus said, it's the trademark of being a Christian. Yeah. He said, They will know you are Christians, by your love by your Whoa.

Terry Steen:

Yep, no better identification. That's for sure. Yeah,

Dan Wheeler:

you can read about that one. And John 1334 B and 35. He said, No, you're Christians, by your love that you love one another. And love is full of mercy. And I'll tell you, we're going to talk about our favorite Bible stories. And Terry, I know your favorite one on love involves that idea of mercy, doesn't it?

Terry Steen:

Yeah, it does. And, you know, interesting on that verse that you just mentioned, Dan, that a new commandment I give you is that you love one another. But boy, he sets the bar high because he says as I have loved you. Yeah. And it doesn't get any higher than that. So when he talks about love and compassion and mercy, I always come back to that good Samaritan story which is is really right after the verse that we just read, right? It's, the man was trying to say, who's my neighbor, he wanted to know who his neighbor was. And God told that great story about the Samaritan man. And it was very interesting because the Samaritans were supposedly the lowly of the low LeSean. They did not associate with Jews. So for him to use that example, to show compassion, and love for brothers was amazing. And so many times we think that our salvation was free and everything we get from God's free, it was free to us, but it wasn't free for God. He paid for it with the life of his son. So it cost something. And that was the interesting thing about the Good Samaritan story because it cost him his love and compassion. For us, it comes with a price there's there's time, there's our skills and talents, there's our treasure, our our financial wealth, all those are pieces of showing and being generous with our love and with compassion. So he interrupted his own travels to stop and help. I mean, there were already other guys that went by and didn't do it. And then his talents, you know, he was creative and how he arranged for everything to be paid. And then he said, when what hit and then he dipped into his own pocket and said, when I come back, I'll pay the rest. So love is an incredible thing. But I think it's important that we know that it costs something, compassion cost something, it's not free. But that gives us that ability to do that. That's what creates that trademark we're talking about.

Dan Wheeler:

And God gave us the example of love at its best in the relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Chapter 15 of John, verse nine, As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you now remain in my love. And it's that, that unity, and when you really love someone, you have that, that unity, that's the father, it's the son, it's you. It's the Holy Spirit. And, of course, Greater love hath no man, this Jesus, when we talked about John 316, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, He gave His Son up on the cross, He died for us, He died for you. And Greater love has no man than this. He says that a man lay down his life for his friends, John 1513. Brian, what's your favorite Bible story that talks about love and compassion?

Brian Roland:

Mine is the prodigal son. And before I get to that, though, one thing when the mentioned was over when your verses you talked about John 1313 34, through 35, and John 15, nine, right of them, says that how the Father has loved us and with us, so how do you how do you tap that? Father love those first. And it's in both those say that, that He loved us. And I think that that's something that when you start looking at more scriptures, you always see that Cinder how the Father loves us. And same with the prodigal son, prodigal son, if you're not familiar with it, it's in Luke 1511, through 32. And it's really a parable of, of two brothers, one being a lost son, that he wanted to go his own way. And how many of us have told our families we want to do things for ourselves? I know I did as a kid, when my dad would say, Where are you going? And I tell him, he's going, you're gonna get in trouble. And I go, also, and I thought I knew better and he always knew what was going to happen ahead of time. But I had to go my own way and try that. But the prodigal son, he decided he wanted his inheritance, and what and just blew it all just put it all on one woman saw you name it, he blew it all. Or he ended up living in the pigsty there and eating food that was scraps for the pigs, until he decided to go back home. And they call this sometimes the parable of the forgiving father of the loving father. Because while he was going home, asked going home to ask his dad if he can work for him, because he had already taken his inheritance. And his dad was sitting there and saw him coming. And the response that is that had, we had to go get the fatted calf, get there, get a ring for my son, get, you know, get a rope for him. We're having a feast and my son is home. And that's what it's like, when we return the Christ to if we walk away, and we come back to him, and even if we haven't walked away, we accept them as our Lord and Savior. That's the joy that goes out in heaven says the angels rejoice when a new soul, you know is saved. And that's what goes on in heaven. There's such rejoicing going up. And I always thought of that with the prodigal son. Because other his brother, his brother got a little jealous. Why all this for my brother who left them blue everything that he had now he's coming back. But what did his father told him? You've always had everything, everything was already yours. And a lot of people don't realize what they already have in God, what they have in love through Christ and Christ's love to us. And that's, that's why that story is just my favorite story. Because God never fails us. He never leaves us. And he's always looking for us. He's always keeping his eyes out for us to come walking down that road. Yeah, look out for him in every day. And every day he wants to hear from us and what we're doing. And that's what he looks for.

Dan Wheeler:

And that story should be encouragement to you, if you feel like you've walked away from God. And you're saying, You don't know what I've done. I've been such a bad person, and I don't care what you've done. I know what I did and what God forgave me of, and he can forgive you of anything. And he's waiting. like to welcome back. That prodigal son. My favorite story on love in the New Testament is a brief one. But Jesus said it told it in Matthew 18. And starting in verse 12, we read, what do you think of a man owns 100 sheep? And one of them wanders away? Will he not leave the 99 on the hills, and go look for the one that wandered off, and if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he's happier about that one sheep, than about the 99 that did not wander off in the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost? You know, it reminds me of the song we used to sing in church. There's room at the cross for you. It says the millions have come there's still room for one. Yes, there's room at the cross for you. I just I love that

Terry Steen:

beautiful song. Beautiful song. Yeah. And you know, if there's anyone out listening right now to this podcast, and you think it's too crowded at the cross. It's not. If you think you haven't felt God's love, you can feel his love. If you feel like you're the product, Well, son, you don't have to be the prodigal son. Today could be that day. Today could be the day that God's love just wraps around you. And you feel him in an incredible, incredible way. And it's very simple. You just have to accept him. You just have to believe that his son Jesus died for your sins. And that he's there to give you eternal life, and help you walk the walk that will lead you down that path. And now would be the perfect time to do that. It's just a prayer very similar to this. Dear Jesus. I know I've been a senator. And I know I don't deserve anything God, but this incredible love that that these guys are talking about right now. I know that love can be for me, and I ask your love to just saturate my life. I believe that your son Jesus died for my sins, and that his blood washes it all away, and I can be made whole. And I want to serve you. I accept you as my Savior. And I want you to be the Lord of my life as I move forward. And I thank you for doing that. In Jesus name. Amen.

Dan Wheeler:

Amen. Yeah, if you prayed that prayer, we'd love to hear from you. We have a Facebook page called fearless faith that FFM 60 You can go there and, and type in a comment or you can private message us. But we want to pray for you. It's a new beginning. When you open your heart up to the love of God. He died on a cross for you for your sins, to make you whole to make you clean again, and to give you a new beginning and a fresh start and a fresh hope. And today is a new day for you. Love it is the most powerful force on earth. Especially God's love, as demonstrated through Jesus Christ dying on the cross. Wow, what a great and powerful message. What a great podcast guys. It's always fun to do this. And John Matarazzo we're pulling for you and excited for you and your marriage and your future. We just are thankful for you. And guys, Terry and Brian if I haven't and John if I haven't told all three of you lately. I love you guys.

Terry Steen:

Thank you sir. I was just gonna say that same thing. It's a perfect opportunity. Yeah. tempted to share how much I love you guys as well

Dan Wheeler:

see great minds think alike now if we could get Brian in on the game

Terry Steen:

yeah exact Movie Buddies you talked about peer pressure

Dan Wheeler:

well thank you so much for listening and we hope you'll join us for our next episode of finish strong that's what we want to do. Finish life in a way that pleases God so that we can break through that finish line in here well done, good and faithful servant. God bless we'll see you next time.

John Matarazzo:

Thank you for listening to finish strong. For more information about finished strong and fearless faith. Check out their website F faith.org. Make sure that you rate and review this podcast to help more people accomplish their God given purpose so that together we can finish strong

(Cont.) Love Like Jesus #75