Season 7 Sweet Selah Moments Podcast, Sweet Selah Moments Podcast

Episode 98 – Love Like Jesus

Season 7 Sweet Selah Moments Podcast
Season 7 Sweet Selah Moments Podcast
Episode 98 - Love Like Jesus

What does it mean to love like Jesus loves? Do we emulate Him in the way we love, or are we rather selfish in our loving? Nicole and Sharon talk practically about how to love like Jesus in the mundane parts of life.

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Read the transcript for Love Like Jesus-Episode 98

Speaker 1 (00:01):

Welcome to a podcast designed to bring biblical encouragement to your weary soul. We are so glad you’re listening and we pray God blesses you and strengthens you in your walk with him. The Sweet Selah Moments Podcast is brought to you by the cooperative efforts of Sweet Selah Ministries and Word Radio. Sit back and enjoy.

Nicole (00:28):

Welcome to the Sweet Selah Moments Podcast. This is episode 98, Love Like Jesus. This is season seven for our podcast, and we are unpacking the fruit of the Spirit, one fruit at a time right now. And of course, we are starting with the beautiful fruit of love and the best kind of love, the kind of love that is specific to Christians and shown to us by Jesus when he lived and walked on earth. The Greek word for it is agape. Sharon, can you explain to us what agape means?

Sharon (00:57):

I would love to, that’s actually part of my word for the year. God’s asked me to really focus on sacrifice this year and sacrificial love. And agape love is a sacrificial kind of love. It’s a ‘put the other first’, servant-hearted kind of love. I’m like, really, Lord, that’s what you want me to focus on this year. It’s not just an ‘I kind of like you’ love. It’s an ‘I would die for you’ love. Amy Carmichael had this saying, whenever she had to surrender her will to do good for someone else. You know how Jesus tells us to die to ourselves. (NIcole: Mm-hmm) She’d say, oh, it’s another chance to die. (NIcole: Oh) This is a chance to die to myself. That’s agape love, dying to our selfish ways, our, our desire for things to go the way we want. It’s, it’s hard.

Nicole (01:51):

It is hard.

Sharon (01:52):

Yeah. So.

Nicole (01:53):

It’s a hard word for the year Sharon.

Sharon (01:55):

I know. Last, last year’s word was ‘abide’. (Nicole: Oh) Hang out with Jesus. It was a great year.

Nicole (02:01):

This year it’s down to business.

Sharon (02:03):

I know. I’m like, Lord, what is coming up? Maybe I don’t wanna know. It doesn’t matter. That’s the word he gave me. So I’m gonna just dig in. So it’s a hard one to emulate cause it really means laying aside our own selfishness for the good of others. And you know what? I was reading up on it, and it’s hardly ever found in non-Christian Greek literature.

Nicole (02:21):


Sharon (02:21):

It’s rarely used.

Nicole (02:22):


Sharon (02:22):

Agape. It’s almost like it had to be invented by Christians to describe the rarity of this kind of love that wasn’t motivated by someone doing nice things to us so they deserve our love. (Nicole: Right) Right? And you know, it’s funny, I, have you ever heard the Delilah Show? I don’t even know if it’s on anymore.

Nicole (02:39):

Oh yes. Yeah. It’s on at night, yes.

Sharon (02:40):

Is it? Yeah. Yeah. It’s so fun.

Nicole (02:42):

The love song.

Sharon (02:42):

You know, you know, and some of it is so sweet. You know, my mother just died. Would you play a song so I can remember her and I cry and listen to this song, you know? But some of it’s kind of funny because, you know, I would like to dedicate this song to Shirley, who I love. And Delilah will say, why do you love Shirley? (Nicole: Yeah) And then the man will say, Shirley cooks for me and she makes nice food for me. And Shirley makes me feel good about myself. And Shirley is always there for me. And I’m like, wow. So what happens if Shirley gets sick and she’s no longer cooking for you and listening to you, will you still love her? (Nicole: Right) Right? Because the married kind of love is for better or for worse. (Nicole: Yeah) In sickness and in health till death do us part. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) the married kinda love is agape love. But a lot of times we have a, what I would call a quid pro quo love.

Nicole (03:35):


Sharon (03:35):

I love you because you love me. (Nicole: Yeah) And you’re showing me affection, so Oh, I feel warm toward you. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) Agape love says, I love you even when you hurt me.

Nicole (03:46):

Oh, that’s so hard.

Sharon (03:47):

I know. And that’s my word for the year.

Nicole (03:52):

I’ll be praying for you Sharon.

Sharon (03:54):

Thank you.

Nicole (03:57):

Oh, it’s so easy to love the lovable people. It’s really hard to, to love the ones that are unkind. (Sharon: Yeah) And the ones that are harder to love.

Sharon (04:04):


Nicole (04:04):

So, yes. This is a good one. (Sharon: Mmm) So I’m glad this is a fruit of the Spirit, Sharon, because I cannot produce that kind of love on my own. Not at all. So, how do we show agape love? How do we learn to express that love to others when we wanna show selfish love? Well, this reminds me of our podcast we did about, um, the vine.

Sharon (04:26):


Nicole (04:27):

Staying attached to the vine. So walking in step with the Spirit and staying attached to the vine because we have to have his sap flowing through us and his living water in order to love that way. Or there’s no chance for us,

Sharon (04:40):

No chance.

Nicole (04:41):

We’ll resort to selfish love instantly.

Sharon (04:41):

Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s why I wanted to start with the vine, with the step of the Spirit. We, we’ve gotta establish first that we can’t do this. That this is fruit given to us by the Lord. (Nicole: Right) And that the only way we walk in it is by asking for it, longing for it, studying it. And staying attached to the vine.

Nicole (05:03):


Sharon (05:03):

Well done.

Nicole (05:03):

I love it.

Sharon (05:04):

Yeah, that’s so true. Okay, so let’s each list a few examples of how Jesus loved. Just to set the tone. Okay?

Nicole (05:11):

Oh yeah.

Sharon (05:11):

We won’t mention the obvious. He literally died for us.

Nicole (05:15):

There’s that one.

Sharon (05:16):

There’s that one.

Nicole (05:17):

That’s a good one.

Sharon (05:17):

He also loved people uniquely during his ministry years. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) But, um, here’s some other ones, that I thought of. One, one that I’ve always loved is that he didn’t just heal the lepers, he touched them. These are people that no one touched. Contagious disease they thought, gross flesh falling off, you know? No one wants to touch a leper. He touched them. So that’s one of mine. Another one is he was kind to the outcast at the well, the Samaritan woman that nobody liked who had to go to the well alone. Um, and he even humbled himself and asked her for help. I mean, that’s such a, just such a showing of love to the unlovely. (Nicole: Yeah) And then when he was dying on the cross, he’s looking at his mom while he’s in agony and making sure John’s gonna take care of her.

Nicole (06:06):

I know. That kills me. (Picture his mama.)

Sharon (06:08):

So just little acts of love in Jesus life that are big. (Nicole: Yeah) How about you? Can you think of any?

Nicole (06:15):

I was thinking about the woman. He saw the heart of the woman who washed his feet with tears. (Sharon: Oh) She came into that room with all those men just looking at her with such scorn, and they knew her sins. And obviously Jesus did too, but he saw her heart. (Sharon: Mm-hmm) He knew that her heart was to worship him. That’s so, I just think that’s so precious.

Sharon (06:32):

It is. Yes.

Nicole (06:33):

I love when he allowed the children to come to him and he blessed them.

Sharon (06:36):

I did too.

Nicole (06:36):

And everyone else is like, keep those kids outta here. And he’s like, let them come to me. I just love that. He saw the little, the unimportant quote unquote people (Sharon: Mmm-hmm) in society. (Sharon: Mm-hmm. Yeah) And then my third one was when he brought the little boy back from the dead for his widow mama.

Sharon (06:52):


Nicole (06:52):

Like, holy cow. She had no one. She had her boy and God, God brought him back. Jesus brought him back for her. That’s so special. He knew that she would need him.

Sharon (07:03):

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. His compassion was incredible. And we could go on and on and on.

Nicole (07:08):

There’s so many, it’s hard to pick just three. I’m like, okay, what are my top three favorites? But there’s a lot of them.

Sharon (07:12):

Right. Right Because I mean, Jesus was a walking example of love in everything he did.

Nicole (07:18):

He was. Yeah.

Sharon (07:19):

Even when he got kind of ticked off at the Pharisees, he wanted them to turn. (Nicole: Yeah, right) You know, he wanted them to see, he showed love all the time. He really did. So we’re gonna look at two key passages of scripture that revealed to us that agape kind of love. And the first one, Philippians 2:3-11, really celebrates Jesus’ agape love for us. So I’ll start with verse three and let’s read back and forth. (Nicole: Sure) Okay. So, Philippians 2:3. It starts with this, “Don’t be selfish. Don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves”. That’s a hard one.

Nicole (07:59):

(Uh, yeah.) “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others too.”

Sharon (08:05):

“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”

Nicole (08:09):

“Though he was God he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.”

Sharon (08:14):

“Instead he gave up his divine privileges. He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. And when he appeared in human form,”

Nicole (08:24):

“He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”

Sharon (08:29):

“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names.”

Nicole (08:37):

“That at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”

Sharon (08:43):

“And every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” I love this verse so much. You know, one of the things I love about it is, it’s a principle really. After sacrifice comes honor. You know, the Lord lifts up the humble. (Nicole: Yeah) And he is not really fond of the proud. I mean, he loves them, but he wants them squished so he can lift them up. You know? (Nicole: Right) So that’s just a principle that Jesus lived out. He humbled himself and then he was honored. And it’s just, we see that in so many different lives.

Nicole (09:17):

Right. He didn’t have to glorify himself. God brought him to the time when it was right. (Sharon: Yeah) That’s so neat. (Sharon: Yeah) You know this is, this passage is chock full of sacrificial love.

Sharon (09:26):

Isn’t it?

Nicole (09:26):

Like each, everyone don’t look for your own interests, but the interests of others. So if you want to know, how do I show that? These are very practical ways. Don’t try to impress others. Be humble. Think of others better than yourself. Oh, extremely easy things for us to do. Again, we need the Spirit for these things. So don’t feel like you have to do them on your own.

Sharon (09:44):

Yes, we do. Yes.

Nicole (09:45):

The same attitude as Christ. I just love that. And the fact that he was fully God and he put that aside. (Sharon: Yes) He didn’t cling to it and go, well, we are equal. So maybe you should go down and die on the cross. There was never, he just submitted (Sharon: Mmm-hmm) and believed and came as a human.

Sharon (10:03):

He did.

Nicole (10:03):

He didn’t cling to that privilege of God. It’s just, that blows my mind.

Sharon (10:06):

It does to me too.

Nicole (10:07):

How could you give up that power? Like how, how would you willingly set that aside?

Sharon (10:10):

Yeah. Yeah. I was even thinking, what must it be like to be weighted down by gravity when you lived (Nicole: Oh my gosh) in a state where there wasn’t? (Nicole: Yeah) You know, we don’t understand it cause we’re so used to it. But there must have been a kind of like a kerthunk heaviness for Jesus when he first took on flesh. You know, and then he was also constrained by time.

Nicole (10:31):

Right. And being an infant and then a toddler, and then. That must have been, it could have been excruciating. Like a little claustrophobic and kind of trapped to be God Creator into a tiny little form. (Sharon: Yes) Oh my word. I never thought of that.

Sharon (10:45):

Isn’t that wild?

Nicole (10:45):

That is insane.

Sharon (10:46):

The, the humbling that God did to be as little as he was when he, he was, you know, spoke stars into existence is astounding.

Nicole (10:58):

And to be so vulnerable as well.

Sharon (11:00):

Yeah. Yeah.

Nicole (11:00):

To be such a frail human.

Sharon (11:01):

Yeah. And he chose this.

Nicole (11:02):


Sharon (11:03):

He absolutely chose this. Talk about sacrificial love.

Nicole (11:07):

I’ll say, what a love? We can’t, I can’t even fully grasp that.

Sharon (11:10):

I can’t either. I can’t either. So when he asks us to do things like, consider others better than ourselves, and we think, excuse me, better, how about equal maybe, but not better. (Nicole: Right) Right? Um, okay, then Okay, then how about if I do stop understanding myself so well and imputing motives to others that are not the best. Right. How about if I think, what would their best motive be? What if, what if I was the annoying one? (Nicole: Mm-hmm) You know, because normally, if Ray and I are having a little marital moment (Nicole: Yes) as my mother calls it, I’m convinced that I’m not irritating at all. Right?

Nicole (11:49):

Right. It’s never us.

Sharon (11:49):

It’s all Ray.

Nicole (11:49):

I know.

Sharon (11:52):

But perhaps Sharon should consider that maybe she was driving him crazy. Right. So, and then to consider other interests and not just our own. (Sharon: Mm-hmm) Sometimes, you know, walking with Ray, you know, he just kinda wants to talk a lot about the school day or the tests he’s grading. And it can sound repetitive cause there’s always grading and all, you know. But how about if I, how about if I show interest? How about if I show interest in what interests him? (Nicole: Yeah) Yeah. All these things are so good.

Nicole (12:22):

So good.

Sharon (12:22):

And they all require a dying to self. (Nicole: Yes) A chance to die.

Nicole (12:26):

That’s so good. I love her story. If you haven’t read her story, it’s really good.

Sharon (12:31):

Yeah, I do too. All right. Well the next one is, part of it is my family verse for the year because this defines agape love and I looked it up. (Nicole: Yeah) And the word used for love is agape in this passage.

Nicole (12:42):

Oh, that’s cool.

Sharon (12:43):

Yeah. Just so you know.

Nicole (12:44):

Look at you doing the extra homework.

Sharon (12:45):

Look at that. So first Corinthians 13, and why don’t you read verse one.

Nicole (12:50):

All right. “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 clanging symbol.”

Sharon (12:59):

“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.”

Nicole (13:14):

“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’ve gained nothing.”

Sharon (13:24):

(Wow.) “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud.”

Nicole (13:33):

“Or rude. It does not demand its own way.” (Oof) “It is not irritable and it keeps no record of being wronged.”

Sharon (13:40):

“It does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.”

Nicole (13:47):

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.”

Sharon (13:55):

“Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever.”

Nicole (14:02):

“Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete. And even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture.”

Sharon (14:08):

“But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.”

Nicole (14:12):

“When I was a child I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child, but when I grew up I put away childish things.”

Sharon (14:20):

“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror. But then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely just as God now knows me completely.”

Nicole (14:38):

(Oh, I like that part.) “Three things will last forever. Faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.”

Sharon (14:46):

Isn’t this the most beautiful impossible passage?

Nicole (14:50):

Yes. I don’t know any young Christian girl that didn’t have this read at their wedding.

Sharon (14:54):

Yes, yes, yes. Yes.

Nicole (14:55):

But it is, it’s such a list of the comparison of the, of agape love versus what our love wants to be, you know? And (Sharon: Mmm-hmm) Oh it’s so good Sharon. It really is. You just have it just downloaded and not have to struggle through to be so much. It’s like, God, just make me love like you.

Sharon (15:10):

Really. I know if I, if I never get further than love is patient, love is kind, it would change so many of my interactions every day. You know, and this is why it’s not enough to read the word once and walk away. (Nicole: Right) Because quite frankly we default to selfishness. We just do. It’s sad, but it’s true. So we have to come back to this again and again and again. And you know, the first part where it talks about all the fabulous things you can do for God. You know, it reminds me of the people in Matthew that we read about that said, oh, I prophesied in your name and I drove out demons. And Jesus says, I never knew you. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) Owies, you know? It, it’s not enough to do the good things. We have to, we have to love and the only way we can do that is to receive and get filled up with his.

Nicole (16:01):

Absolutely. Yeah.

Sharon (16:02):

Right. And that means that abiding, that staying close, that being so happy that he loved us, that it kind of spills on out on other people.

Nicole (16:11):

That’s the key though, isn’t it? If we don’t believe we’re fully loved by God, how can we show agape love to others?

Sharon (16:17):

We can’t.

Nicole (16:17):

We have to feel it.

Sharon (16:18):


Nicole (16:18):

We have to believe it. And we have to know it.

Sharon (16:20):

Right. It has to start with knowing him. And knowing that he thinks we’re amazing. Which is so crazy cause we know without him we wouldn’t be.

Nicole (16:28):

Right. Cause we’re inside our own brain. (Sharon: Yeah) We know what we think.

Sharon (16:30):

Yeah. But he really, really, really does love us.

Nicole (16:33):

I know.

Sharon (16:33):


Nicole (16:34):

That’s crazy.

Sharon (16:35):

And every time we come back, cause we do the wrong thing again and we have to say we’re sorry again (Nicole: Mm-hmm) he says, come here, I’ve just been waiting for you. (Nicole: Oh) I mean honestly. And when we wrap our heads around that, then we can give out that kind of love.

Nicole (16:52):

Yeah. If we know it’s a not a finite resource, if we know that the love what we’re receiving from God is abundant and unfailing, (Sharon: Mmm-hmm) wow! Wouldn’t we wanna give that out more freely and know that, oh, I can give you this because the love I feel is so overwhelming. (Sharon: Yeah, yeah) I can love you even though I think you’re an idiot.

Sharon (17:10):

Exactly. And I will because I don’t know your motivation.

Nicole (17:14):

Right. Exactly.

Sharon (17:14):

Exactly. Yeah. And also thinking of it just from God’s perspective, God is patient, God is kind.

Nicole (17:20):

Mm-hmm. He’s so patient.

Sharon (17:20):

He’s not irritable, he isn’t rude, you know, all those things. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) Because that’s agape. That’s the sacrificial love. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) So, all right then now it’s time to get practical about this thing. We’ve talked about the incredible love that Jesus exhibited. How are we going to live that out in the everyday messiness of real life?

Nicole (17:42):

Here we go.

Sharon (17:42):

So each week as we look at a fruit, I wanna apply it to four areas of our lives. How do we show that kind of love to God first, to family, to fellow Christians and to our neighbors and coworkers who don’t follow Christ and who don’t even share our values?

Nicole (17:59):

Ooh, that’s a good one.

Sharon (18:01):

Yeah. So first up, God. Nicole,

Nicole (18:04):


Sharon (18:04):

How do we show sacrificial love to God?

Nicole (18:07):

Mm. I think you had mentioned this another podcast, but that sacrifice of time. You know? (Sharon: Yes) I can’t make more time and in this season of life with kiddos and puppies and all the things I do not have a lot of time. So for me it’s church. Making it a priority to go to church. (Sharon: Yep) We sacrifice that time, even though an extra day of the weekend would be really great. So making church a priority and also, even more personally and more—, my daily sacrifice of time. We say this all the time, but my goodness. We just need it. Sacrificing my first five minutes, my first ten minutes with him.

Sharon (18:41):

Yes. Yeah.

Nicole (18:41):

Making sure that I am there with him.

Sharon (18:44):

Yes. My pastor used to say, first and final five, first five minutes of the day, last five minutes of the day.

Nicole (18:52):

Oh, that’s a good one too.

Sharon (18:52):

Isn’t that good? A lot of F’s.

Nicole (18:54):


Sharon (18:54):

First and final five. I need things that are easy to remember.

Nicole (18:58):


Sharon (18:59):

The older I get, the easier they have to be. But you know, to just lay there in bed and the first five minutes or even first five seconds. Good morning Lord. (Nicole: Yeah). You know. And then the last. And Ray and I do the last every night cause we always end, you know, with my head on his shoulder and him praying for us, which is so nice. It really is.

Nicole (19:18):

That’s so sweet. Yeah.

Sharon (19:18):

But those little time sacrifices You’re right. And another way Jesus very clearly tells us in John, if you love me, obey me.

Nicole (19:26):

Oh yeah.

Sharon (19:26):

I know. Remember that one?

Nicole (19:28):

I forgot about that one. Yeah.

Sharon (19:31):

Oh, that’s right. So, okay. So I need to obey him. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) And that means to honor my parents and (Nicole: Yeah) And spend time with them. It means to have a kind and gentle answer when I’d rather lash out. If I love him, I show it by my obedience.

Nicole (19:47):

Mm-hmm. That’s good.

Sharon (19:47):

And yet so funny because my obedience to him actually is his love for me because the way he’s telling me how to live is actually the best way to live.

Nicole (19:58):


Sharon (19:58):

So it’s very circular

Nicole (19:59):

Because his commands always come with a benefit or a promise. I still just love that.

Sharon (20:03):

Absolutely. Exactly. So, okay. So we need to show God love with our time and with our obedience. There we go. That’s practical. Okay. How about family?

Nicole (20:13):

Family? Ooh. I think for me, serving my family without complaints or playing the martyr.

Sharon (20:20):

Oh, I was so good at that martyr game. I’m sorry to say. And they never, nobody ever likes a martyr. It’s not like you win when you played that card.

Nicole (20:28):

No. They never come and save you. They’re like, oh poor mom, we’ll do the dishes for you. They don’t, they ignore you? They don’t care you’re miserable doing the dishes.

Sharon (20:34):

Nope. Nope. You’re irritating them. That thing about being irritating. (Nicole: Yes) The martyr is an irritating person. Yeah.

Nicole (20:39):

It is. Oh, it’s so hard.

Sharon (20:40):

It feels so satisfying short term, but then it doesn’t.

Nicole (20:44):

And then it doesn’t, then it feels yucky. So I think serving with sacrificial love is just making sure that my heart’s really even in it. Yes. And then kind of on the flip side again of serving my family, leaving that pile of laundry that I really wanna get off my couch and get done and check off my list. And stopping to read a book with my six-year-old.

Sharon (20:58):


Nicole (20:58):

The same book that we’ve read four times already. And I’m just— not my favorite book, but just stopping in the mess. That’s really hard for me to stop in the middle of something. (Sharon: Yes) It’s very hard. And just being with her, it’s a sacrifice.

Sharon (21:09):

It is a sacrifice because you want that laundry done.

Nicole (21:12):

I do. I wanna be done with it and then I’ll be with you. Just gimme 10 more minutes. But no.

Sharon (21:16):

No. She needs it now. Exactly. (Nicole: She needs it now) And you know it’s funny cause the laundry being done is very visually satisfying.

Nicole (21:22):

It is.

Sharon (21:22):

Reading a book doesn’t have that same quality to it.

Nicole (21:26):

There’s no task done that you can see or quantify.

Sharon (21:29):


Nicole (21:29):


Sharon (21:29):

So, but it’s so important. (Nicole: It is) Yeah. It’s kind of like one of mine because, I, you know, I have grandchildren I don’t see that often and when I see them, the younger ones wanna play pretend. Well I’ve got a 64 year old brain, you know and pretending that, you know, a robot from outer space, you know, my grandsons love this, you know, has come and, you know, being afraid of a robot and goodness fighting back with you. This is not me. I am not a robot fighter. It’s just not how I’m wired.

Nicole (21:59):

Your side hobby? (Sharon: Yeah)

Sharon (22:01):

So, it’s a sacrifice of making my brain go back to make pretend land. Which, you know, I’ve been away from that for a few decades and just enjoying and playing it because it brings them such joy. (Nicole: Oh yeah) And if I want them as teenagers to wanna see their Nina, well I best be hanging out with them and playing make pretend now.

Nicole (22:23):

That’s a great word.

Sharon (22:24):

Or they’re gonna have already associated me with ‘well we have to be nice to her’, you know? I don’t want them to have to be nice to me. (Nicole: Awww) I want them to wanna hang out with me. (Nicole: Right) And that means make pretend right now.

Nicole (22:35):


Sharon (22:36):

So you know,

Nicole (22:37):

Fighting off killer robots from space.

Sharon (22:38):

Right, right, right. So that’s an example. And then with Ray, it’s just really diving into the things that he loves and you know, he’s done that for me. He has memorized the names of the people on the team and the board.

Nicole (22:50):

Oh has he?

Sharon (22:51):

And he asks me questions on purpose about it. And I know it’s on purpose cause this is not natural Ray. (Nicole: Yes) He wants to take an interest in what interests me.

Nicole (23:00):

And you know what I found that in our own marriage too, when I started talking to, my husband loves tractors and I go to the tractor shows that I don’t care about and he tells me about antique tractors I know nothing about but seeing his face light up. (Sharon: Yes) And he tells stories of his family who used this tractor on their farm in North Dakota. I learned more about my husband. Yes. And then lo and behold he’s asking me about knitting or something. I’m like, you don’t really care what yarn I’m using. So it does, when you start to give sacrificial love, you do get it back in return.

Sharon (23:28):

You do.

Nicole (23:29):

Not that we should give it to get it back. (Sharon: Nope) But you know, it may take a little bit, but it comes back to us.

Sharon (23:33):

It does. Sacrifice before honor. (Nicole: Yeah) Like with Jesus. (NIcole: Oh yes) It’s the same thing. You know, we think ‘martyr’.

Nicole (23:41):


Sharon (23:42):

I have just done sacrificial love and died to myself again. (Nicole: Yes) And then God lifts up the humble. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) You know, it’s just so sweet. (Nicole: It is) It’s so good.

Nicole (23:52):

It’s a beautiful cycle.

Sharon (23:53):

Okay. So God, family, Christians, fellow believers. (Nicole: Yeah) Sometimes, quite frankly, they can be harder than non-Christians. Because our expectations are often way too high.

Nicole (24:04):


Sharon (24:04):

Christians are sinners. Hello. You know, and somehow we feel like they ought to behave better, (Nicole: Mm-hmm) you know, but they don’t and neither do we sometimes. (Nicole: Right) So give me some examples of how to show sacrificial love towards fellow believers.

Nicole (24:19):

I was thinking the same thing, giving grace because I do tend to hold myself and others to a higher standard and mostly others than myself, (Sharon: Mm-hmm) let’s be honest. So remembering to give them grace when they falter and to encourage them to come back to Jesus and not beat them over with what they have done wrong.

Sharon (24:34):

Yep. Mm-hmm.

Nicole (24:34):

Because yes, we have the Holy Spirit in us. Yes, we’re saved but we’re still in this sinful flesh suit that we, we struggle with. So give them grace.

Sharon (24:41):

I love that. I love that. I’ve also thought that, you know, I can choose my friends, people that have similar interests to me (Nicole: Sure) you know, things like that. At church, I’m asked to be friends with people that I find very quirky, that I don’t have a lot in common with. (Nicole: Yeah) Cause they’re sisters and brothers in Christ. (Nicole: Right) And part of sacrificial love is loving them, hearing them, meeting them where they’re at. Being willing to, you know, help them move or clean their house or do some of—, I, the least, you know how there’s love languages? My least love language, believe it or not, is acts of service.

Nicole (25:20):

Oh really?

Sharon (25:20):

Oh. Oh. I am not a service person. At the end of all the potlucks (Nicole: Yeah) I’m talking to someone, hearing their problems. (Nicole: Oh yeah) I am never cleaning up the dishes. And when I try I drop ’em.

Nicole (25:33):

That’s right.

Sharon (25:34):

Right. We’ve talked about that. I’m not good at this stuff, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t times when I need to sacrificially go clean someone’s house. (Nicole: Right) Even though it’s not my preference, I’d rather listen to them tell me their troubles.

Nicole (25:48):

I’m sorry I’m not gonna help you cause this isn’t my love language. So—

Sharon (25:51):

Yeah. Exactly.

Nicole (25:52):

No, sometimes it does require that sacrifice.

Sharon (25:54):

Sometimes you gotta wash the feet.

Nicole (25:56):

It’s true.

Sharon (25:56):


Nicole (25:57):

The stinky ones too.

Sharon (25:58):

You just do. So, so those are some examples. Yeah, yeah,

Nicole (26:02):

I like that. That’s really good. Yeah.

Sharon (26:04):

Okay. How about, you know, our neighbors, our coworkers. (Nicole: Yeah) The stranger in Walmart. How do we show sacrificial love to people that, um, don’t know the Lord, don’t show our values are, are very different from us and don’t even have a common starting place? At least with the Christian, we, we link arms in knowing and loving Jesus.

Nicole (26:24):

Right. And it helps you get over those quirks or those (Sharon: It does. Yeah) failings because you know that they’re going to hopefully come back to Jesus soon and you have that common ground.

Sharon (26:32):

Right. Right. Right.

Nicole (26:33):

But yeah, how to love, it’s I think for us it’s remembering that they don’t have the Holy Spirit. (Sharon: Uhhuh) It’s remembering that they are lost and searching for God, you know? (Sharon: Yeah) And that even though some, some of their sin and their wrong choices they make trying to fill that void in their heart, it can be really hard to watch them live that out. And it can be offensive to us. (Sharon: Yeah. Yeah) Or repugnant. We have to remember that. And I think sacrificial love for them can look like showing kindness and not avoiding or looking down on them for their sin.

Sharon (27:00):


Nicole (27:01):

Because we were there. (Sharon: Right) Not too long ago.

Sharon (27:04):

Right. And we’re still there in many sins.

Nicole (27:07):

Yes. Yeah. And we were once just as lost as they are. (Sharon: Yeah. Yeah) And doing life with them, with healthy boundaries as needed (Sharon: Mm-hmm) for different things. But just being ready to share Jesus’s perfect example of sacrificial love. We have to be with them to show them that love.

Sharon (27:21):

We do.

Nicole (27:22):

If we avoid them because Oh, that’s—, we’re never gonna show them love.

Sharon (27:24):

Mm-hmm. Yeah. Absolutely. And I think it’s, I think I’ve read somewhere that within two years of becoming a Christian, most people don’t have non-Christian friends anymore.

Nicole (27:35):


Sharon (27:35):

And that’s a sad truth. Yeah. Because part of it is a natural moving away (NIcole: Lifestyle change) from the lifestyle. (Nicole: Yeah) But to still invest in our non-Christian friends. I think it’s super important.

Nicole (27:50):

Oh yeah.

Sharon (27:50):

You know, there’s a lot of things you can do. Maybe you don’t get drunk on a Friday night with them. (Nicole: Right) But you can have ’em over for dinner. You can take a walk with ’em. (Nicole: Right) You can clean their house.(NIcole: Right) if they’re sick.

Nicole (28:01):

Bring them a meal when they’re sick.

Sharon (28:03):

Those kinds of things. (Nicole: Right) Exactly.

Nicole (28:04):

If we leave them, I don’t think that leaves a very good taste in their mouth for Christianity.

Sharon (28:09):

I agree.

Nicole (28:10):

No, we have to be so careful. And some people we do, we have to be careful about our friends because our friends influence us.

Sharon (28:15):

Right. Right.

Nicole (28:15):

And if we have friends that are encouraging us to do the wrong things, obviously, that’s sort of those healthy boundaries.

Sharon (28:19):

Right. Right.

Nicole (28:20):

But still be willing. We have to be a part of their lives somehow to show love.

Sharon (28:23):

Right. Right. And God will show us because oh, this is done by the Spirit.

Nicole (28:27):

Right. Not us again.

Sharon (28:27):

So he shows us. Right. He leads us, if we stay in step with him, you know, okay, this neighbor just came to my house. Well that makes it my business, doesn’t it? Right.

Nicole (28:37):

Yeah, absolutely.

Sharon (28:38):

Or we had a bad fire in our neighborhood and they had nothing. (Nicole: Oh) So we did a drive and we took up money and you know, we gave away our own coats because it was winter and she literally didn’t have a coat.

Nicole (28:51):

Oh my goodness.

Sharon (28:52):

You know, those kinds of things. You, you just give (Nicole: Yeah) you know, and you want to be at the forefront of that. Not like, well I give through my church. Right?

Nicole (29:00):

Right. Give to your neighbors. (Sharon: Mm-hmm) Josh is really good about keeping up with neighbors. He’s always plowing driveways and shoveling things.

Sharon (29:07):

Oh. see. Those things are so good.

Nicole (29:08):

Digging out their ditch when they don’t notice. (Sharon: Yeah) The little things, like the practical help sometimes. Means a lot.

Sharon (29:12):

The practical helps. Yeah. And sometimes just stopping to chat even when I’m in a hurry. (Nicole: Yeah) You know, I’ll be walking and a neighbor will call me over and I’ll, if I absolutely, like I have a doctor’s appointment or something, I’ll say, I’ll call you. I have to, but if I can stop, I should. (Nicole: Yeah) Because that’s a divine interruption.

Nicole (29:30):

It is. (Sharon: Right) Even if you missed that last half mile that you wanted to get in.

Sharon (29:33):

Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. So, so those are some practical ways, but again, only by his grace. So let’s close in prayer and ask for it.

Nicole (29:40):


Sharon (29:42):

Lord God Almighty, agape love is amazing. We are humbled that you humbled yourself and took on flesh for us, Lord. We don’t know the half of it, of, of what that cost you. And we are so grateful. Father, I pray that those who are listening to this podcast would be flooded with the knowledge that you love them deeply no matter what. That you long for them to stay in step with your Spirit. That you want them close. That there’s no sin so big that you don’t stand ready to say, I, I died for that. I took your punishment. Come and be forgiven. Oh Jesus. Help us to everyday bask in your love. Feel it, know it so that we can then agape love others, in your name and by your strength alone. Amen.

Nicole (30:51):

Thanks for joining us today. We love talking about love and we love getting comments and thoughts from you who listen. Write us anytime at Donate at and write ‘podcast partner’ on the memo line. We will get you on our monthly newsletter list where we share photos and thoughts and family stories with our partners. What a fun fruit of the Spirit we’ll have to unpack next week. Get ready for a super fun time unpacking the Fruit of Joy in episode 99, Deep Down Joy. Until then, let’s be grateful for God’s beautiful agape love for all of us. Have a great week.

Speaker 1 (31:32):

We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. The Sweet Selah Moments Podcast is a cooperative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this podcast can be Thank you for joining us. Thank you for joining for joining us.


You can print and download the transcript here.

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Episode 97 – In STEP with the Spirit