Love your Neighbour (6 of 6)

Love your Neighbour (6 of 6)

Sun 30 Aug 2009

Love is incredibly practical. We've looked at spiritual dimensions of it, the need to experience God, to hear his voice - that's the fuel for the fire; but encounters with God are always to lead us to mission.

Love always has an outworking, or a practical expression. Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
Audio Transcript
Okay, let's have a look in Matthew, Chapter 22 and we've been sharing on Extravagant Love, talked about loving the Lord, loving your neighbour as yourself. We want to look at loving your neighbour now, loving your neighbour, and remember the verse that we shared, Matthew, Chapter 22 - should just about know it by heart now - what is the great commandment? Thou shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, all your strength. This is the first and great commandment, and then the second is like it, you shall love your neighbour as yourself. So Jesus said then, all the law and the prophets are summarised in those two commands, in other words, the Bible is about love. It's about revealing the nature of God, and we did two or three sessions on loving God, God's love for us, and our love for Him in response. Then we talked over the last couple of weeks about loving yourself, about treating yourself as God treats you, placing value on yourself, agreeing with what God says about you, listening to what God says about you, opening your life to receive God's love, and then standing with boundaries around your life, so your life actually becomes whole.

I want to just move from there into sharing about love your neighbour as yourself. We're just moving to that. I want to share a number of things on that, but today we'll just do one message, and I want to just do an overview of where we can go. If you look with me in 1 John, Chapter 3. Love is incredibly practical, so we've looked at spiritual dimensions of it, the need to experience God. It's important we experience God, not just know about Him but encounter Him, experience Him, have encounters with Him where we hear His voice, He shows us things. We need that. That's the fuel for the fire. That's the fuel to keep us alive, but encounters with God are always to lead us to mission. Love always has an outworking, or a practical expression, so we read in 1 John, Chapter 3, Verse 16, by this we know love. How do we know love? Because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay our lives down for the brethren. That's the person next to you.

And whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know we're of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. So you notice he talks then about the example of Jesus Christ. This is what love is about. Love is seen in what Jesus did. Jesus, the Bible tells us, filled with the love, filled with the compassion of God, but you can't have a heart full of love, and nothing overflow. If you've got the love of God in you, there must be an expression of it some way. Jesus overflowed. How did He express the love of God? He expressed it tangibly. He ministered the anointing of the power of God to minister to needs of people. He connected with people where they were. He demonstrated acceptance of people, He discovered needs people had by listening and interacting with them, and wherever He met with people, He allowed His life routines to be interrupted, so that the needs of people could be met.

In other words, He demonstrated what love looks like. Love is incredibly practical, and it gets involved with people. Finally, He loved us so much He lay down His life for us, sacrificed His life in giving for people. So notice what it says now; if He laid His life down, that's the model, that's the example, we ought to lay our lives down for our brethren. So we're called to follow Jesus' example, not to just listen to words, but to do what He did. In Ephesians 5:1 it says be followers of God, even as Christ loved us and gave an example to us follow His example. Now what we tend to do is, we look at what others are doing; well, he's doing this, or he's not doing this, or this is what's happening. This is reality. We need to define our Christian walk using Jesus as the model; as He walked, that's how we'll walk. As He handled people, that's how we handle people. God is wanting to reveal what Jesus is like through you and me, and He can't do it unless we engage with people.

Sermon Notes
Keywords: deed, love, overflow, expression, acceptance, listening, needs, spiritual experiences, practical action, pride, elitism, cold love, compassion, trauma, religion, apostolic, disillusioned, judgemental, inconvenient, Good Samaritan