Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

02/05/2017 P.M.

 

Learning To Live In Love

Loving OneAnother

Matthew 22.38-40– Matthew 25.40 1 Corinthians 13.4-8 & 1 John 4.7-8 & 21

 

This morning we heard Jesus say... “The most important Command is this: ‘Hear,O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all yourstrength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

 

We learned that...

• We must love Him with all our heart... All our desires and passions.

• We must love Him with all our mind... All our intellect and will.

• We must love Him with all our soul... All our life… Every breath.

• We must love Him with all our strength... All our abilities and resources.

Jesus is saying that we demonstrate our love for God in all we are and all we do. 

 

Tonight...We hear Jesus’ second greatest command...Love thy neighbor as thyself.

 

Threechapters later... in the great sheep and goat judgment of Matthewtwenty-five... Jesus adds another dimension to this loving our brother... For as often as you do it unto the least ofthese brothers and sisters of mine... You do it unto Me.

 

Jesus is saying…

• How we love others is how we love Him...

• How we treat others is how we treat Him.

This idea is affirmed and embellished by John in first John chapters three and four.

 

From First John three... This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another... This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth... This is God’s command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.

 

From chapter four...Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us... We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

 

Church...Who could possibly read these Scriptures and not understand that God loves us... That we are to love Him... And that we prove our love to Him by the way we… love others… treat others.

 

Jesus says... How we love and treat others is the second greatest commandment.

If this is so... We need to know how to love others... Amen?

 

Paul tells us that Love is a fruit of the Spirit... Love is an indication that God is living in us.

In First Corinthians 13... Paul tells us that loving others…

• Is more important than eloquent preaching...

• More important than knowledge...

• More important than faith...

• Or martyrdom...

 

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

 

Then he embarks upon what love is... The kind of love Jesus had in mind when He said... We are to love our neighbor as ourselves.

 

Love is patience.

I think Paul is saying, first I want you to know that love is passive.

• Love is willing to wait.

• Love never gets in a hurry.

• Love is calm.

• Love doesn’t force the issues... But is ready to do its work when the summons comes.

 

Yousee… love

• Suffers long,

• Beareth all things,

• Believeth all things,

• Hopeth all things,

Love puts up with a lot before it retaliates.

Boy…I need this first component of love from you.

 

Love is kind.

Not only is love passive... It is active.

Kindness is something we do.

John says… Let us not love in words only... But in actions... In deeds... Good works.

 

Here it is church... The greatest thing we can do for God is to be kind to His children.

 

Listen to 1 John 3.16-18… This is how we know what love is: Jesus laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

 

When Jesus painted the sheep and goat judgment scene…. He did so with this active attribute of love declaring… As often as you’ve done it unto the least of these… You’ve done it to Me.

 

Love acts from PROPER MOTIVE.

Love is not jealous... Love never resents the success of others... Love is not envious.

 

Envy is a feeling of ill-will toward others.

Envy is love in competition with others.

 

I wonder how many good works... Even evangelism... is not done at all… Or is done incorrectly… Because it is done… Not out of love… But out of envy?

 

Let’s make sure that…

• Our Good deeds...

• Our evangelism...

• Our mission efforts…

Are done out of love... Not out of envy...Jealously... or resentment.

 

Love is humble.

Love is not proud... Love is not puffed up... arrogant... or haughty.

 

Solomon tells us that pride is the first on God’s list of most hated seven sins.

• It was pride that caused Satan to fall.

• It was pride that caused Moses to stumble in his walk with God.

• It was pride that caused Ananias and Sapphira to lie to God.

• Pride keeps us from picking up the towel and washing feet of others.

• Pride keeps us from submitting to…Husbands… Wives… An Eldership… To one another.

• Pride causes us to scramble for places of prominence... Even in the church.

 

Question!!...What will pride keep us from doing this week?

I like what someone has rightly said... Humility is love that is hiding.

 

Love is courteous.

Love never behaves itself unseemly... Love is never rude... Love is always predictable... Love always does the appropriate thing regardless of the circumstances.

 

It’s true, you can put the most uneducated person into society’s highest circles...And if they have love in their hearts... They will not behave themselves unseemly... Inappropriately.

 

We never have to wonder how love is going to act or react... Love always behaves appropriately.

 

Love is unselfishness.

Love is not self-seeking... Self-aggrandizing... Love never demands her own way.

 

You see... There are two kinds of people in the world...

• Those who continually think of themselves and demand a place in the spotlight.

• And those who are willing to humbly submit in service to others.

 

Jesus defined greatness… in the kingdom of God… as unselfish service to others... Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant... And whoever wants to be first must be your slave---just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve...The greatest among you will be your servant... Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

 

Love is even tempered.

Loved is not easily provoked... Love is slow to anger... Love is not touchy... Love is not irritable...  Love does not keep a record of wrongs... Love always has a good disposition.

 

Again and again the Bible condemns anger and hate.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us that anger leads to hate... And hate is mental murder.

 

No wonder Paul admonishes us to not let the sun go down while we are angry.

 

Here it is church... An evil temper and its knee-jerk reactions can disrupt our intimate walk with God.

 

Love is guileless and sincere.

Love is never suspicious... Love thinks no evil... Love does not delight in evil...Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes... Love always looks for the best in others... Love never gloats over the sins of another... Love is never self-righteous.

 

The Greek literally means to cover with silence.

 

Sad to say... We have those in the church... Who are always looking for the sin in others... So they can...expose it.... Gloat over it... gossip about it.

 

Folk...This is not love... And it destroys… fellowship... Friendship...  Brotherhood... Togetherness... One anotherness.

 

Note one more... Love perseveres.

Love never fails... Love lasts forever... Love is eternal.

 

Paul shows us some things that we thought would last... But they are fleeting and temporary...

• Knowledge will pass away...

• Tongues will be silenced...

• Prophecies shall cease...

But love perseveres.

 

Let’s end the lesson noting how to express our love for one another

 

First... We must be genuinely interested in People.

Jesus saw people...

• Not by the color of their sin...

• Not labels...

• Not by their national origin...

• Not their social or economic status...

But people and their needs.

 

Remember Zacchaeus in Luke chapter nineteen?

The Jews had labeled Zacchaeus as a tax collector... So they Excluded him from fellowship in God’s kingdom. They saw him as... UNDESERVING...Unreachable... Un-SAVEABLE. But Jesus saw Zacchaeus for who & what he was... One created in God’s image.. And in need of salvation.

 

What was the result of Jesus’ interest in people?

Zacchaeus...Today, salvation has come to your house.

 

Secondly...We express love by being compassionate.

Luke five contains the narrative about a man covered with leprosy. Verse thirteen tells us that Jesus reached out and touched him... And immediately the leprosy left.

 

When Mark records this narrative... He says... Jesus was moved with compassion and touched him.

• In Matthew nine... Jesus had compassion on the crowds, because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and He taught them.

• In Matthew fourteen... He had compassion on them and healed their sick.

• In Matthew twenty... He had compassion on two blind men and gave them their sight.

 

COMPASSION is getting involved in the lives of others.

 

James says... If one of you says to a brother... Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed, but does nothing about his needs, what good is it... Your faith is dead... Pure religion... Religion that God accepts is compassionate... Looking after widows and orphans in their needs.

 

Genuine New Testament Compassion... Touches the lives of people... All kinds ofpeople...

• Compassion visits the sick.

• Compassion sits with the dying.

• Compassion takes food to the shut-in.

• Compassion grieves with those who have lost a loved one.

• Compassion mentions Jesus to the lost.

God help us to express our love by being compassionate.

 

Love is also expressed through a spirit of forgiveness.

Nowhere is Jesus’ spirit of forgiveness any more evident in the life of Jesus than in John chapter eight and the woman taken in adultery... I do not condemn you... Go your way and sin no more.

 

Love is what prompted Jesus to forgive Peter for denying... Not once, but three times.

 

Love is what caused Stephen to say... Lay not this sin to their charge.

 

I believe that there is nothing that will cause others to see Jesus in us... anymore... than for them to witness us forgiving one another... And to forgiving those in the world around us.

 

How many of us here tonight would like to have a closer walk with God?

We can have... But we must be willing to live in love...

• Love for God...

• And love for one another.

 

Why not express your love to God tonight?... Become His child by... Faith... Repentance... and the New Birth... Immersion in water for the forgiveness of sins.

 

Or perhaps some of us need to ask God’s help in expressing genuine love for others.

 

However you are subject to this invitation... Come now as we stand and sing together.