Preacher: Josh White
As I sat down right after the Nelson’s my son Kyle said. Dad a cowboy hat is not a good look for you.
I appreciate his honesty you know I think one of the most exciting and terrifying things that we go through in life is finding out the things that we’re good at and also finding other things that we’re not good at and as you get older you definitely determine some of those things for yourself but it’s also kind of fun to watch other people especially as a parent or grandparent you watch your children grow up and and the things that they’re good at and they’re not good at hopefully or kind of guiding and directing them into certain maybe fields and industries like for instance if your child is a really good liar you direct them towards politics right try to get into that or maybe a lawyer you know I’m here I’m just kidding I’m just kidding but if your child is really good with math you know one of the things if your child is a really good mathematician what is things that you might want to push them towards maybe things like accounting or maybe engineering things like that you know met the world needs mathematicians or if if your child is really dramatic overly dramatic you know maybe push them into acting because that’s a very steady stable field you know you can get a lot of work or or really if you’re there dramatic you have them going to sales you know salesmen are nothing but dramatic people reason are right city and more maybe if there are there athletic you kind of push them into sports I’m hoping this is a father speaking Hopefully they get a full right college scholarship you know if if they’re really good at that and how about if someone is really good at spelling it’s a trick question because you don’t need to be good at spelling because that’s why God created spell check.
I was for to resupply you or she is you know I’m not a very good speller on and on. You know one thing that I’m not good at and I hesitate to say that because the longer I’m here the more you know the things I’m not good at but I’m not good at repairing things that break my why. If she was here she would say amen to that but anything that’s mechanical or electrical I look at it and I think I have no idea what to do maybe we should just throw it away and buy something new and that’s why I have phone numbers like Bennett on speed dial and I call call and brown or you know you know hey guys this is how do you fix this. But sometimes if I can see how someone fixes a maybe I can do that but one thing that I do feel I’m I’m fairly good at and I really enjoy doing is I love understanding something and then explaining it to others I really enjoy that that’s something I think God as made need to be decent out and maybe that’s why he’s called me in the ministry so you’re here this morning you’re good at something right what are you good at what are you good out in life and it’s not being prideful to say you know this is the way that God has created me and this is I’m good at this and that but the question for today that I want to focus on is how good are you at one another in one another that’s what our series is on right now if I could get mission is the screen go on Nathan is working I need to do is really good at fixing all my problems that’s where he’s back there but right now we’re in this series called unhealthy relationships I always like to do this in the fall just talk about what is the purpose of church why why do we do what we do several weeks ago to start off this series on healthy relationships I talked about that book by John Deere called the bait of Satan talking about how Satan wants to destroy our relationship with each other and so he gets us to be offended and as soon as we’re offended with someone else it releases all these emotions and it goes down the path that Satan wants to take us but what we’ve done since then is we’re looking at all of the words all of the Greek words all alone words as the one another commands in the scriptures and especially specifically in the New Testament and I’ve showed you the slides before we’re not going. Repeat those today but of all of the hundred places in the New Testament where the Greek word all alone is mention thirty percent of those deal with Unity thirty percent of those deal with love the way that we should love one another and that’s what we’re going to talk about today fifteen percent deal with humility and twenty five percent are just random one another commands last week I know a lot of you ladies were gone I think we had almost forty ladies up at the the women’s retreat and so I was supposed to go and do the love one another section last week but I figured it just doesn’t feel right with all these ladies God we should talk about love when ladies are here so I talked about humility and sold those of you ladies who were gone especially specifically those of you ladies who were married and had a husband here last week how many of them were more humble this week than before I hear a lot of snickering.
Because last week we talked I preached on humility and if I need to preach again I’ll do it I’ll do it right now and I am maybe not OK but last week we talked about humility and the three ways that we put humility into action is we consider the needs of others we associate with the lowly and we are a promoter of others well today we’re going to look at the thirty percent that talk about how we should love one another. You know in the Bible obviously in the Old Testament in the New Testament love is talked about a lot and rightfully so but I think that before we talk about loving one another and looking at some of these commands I think it be worthwhile for us to just take a moment and refresh our memories with what the Bible says love is I think the world has a very different view on what love is but this is what the Bible says love is and this is out of first Corinthians thirteen not only the description of the definition of love but also talks about the importance of first Corinthians thirty.
Paul is saying if I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but have not love I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal and if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have all face so as to remove mountains but have not love I am nothing.
If I give away all I have and I deliver up my body to be burned but have not love I gain nothing and now here is his definition of love love is patient and kind love does not envy or boast it is not arrogant or rude it does not insist on its own way it is not your double or resentful it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth love bears all things believes all things hopes all things endures all things and then verse eight says Love Never And it’s you know I’ve mentioned this before I know in different sermons but when you look at this description of love from First Corinthians thirteen there’s a there’s a lesson it’s great to see so as love is but it says love is and love is not and has sixteen descriptions and you can cut it right down the middle because eight are things that love is or does and eight of those are things that love does not do or is not and so you can say that love is a balance of action and inaction or love is the things that we do but equally what we do not do and so to be perfect at loving others it’s hard and yet that’s what God says is the most important thing that we can do now as we get into the love one another section that we’re going to do right now I want to start with this verse and maybe this is a good verses start with because as we read this hopefully everyone in this room is going to feel very inadequate after we read this verse but with John fifteen verses twelve and thirteen Jesus says this. This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends and so Jesus is telling us and I want this to have has to sink in Jesus is telling us that we are to love one another the same way that Jesus has loved us and when I read that I get a little intimidated because there’s no way that I’m going to be able to love others the way that Jesus loves us I’m going to feel very inadequate this this almost sounds impossible this would be like if you watch the world renowned brain surgeon perform surgery on someone and then he hands the scalp pulled over to you and he says I want you to perform brain surgery on this person as I have on this person if I go I can’t do that I’m I’m not as perfect as Christ obviously so how are we supposed to do that so my first thought is Well I can’t do this and you in you can’t do this it’s impossible for us to do this however Jesus wouldn’t command us to do something if it wasn’t possible but if it was impossible for us to do this so fortunately we have many other passages in the Bible that talk about love and specifically loving one another so for this morning what we’re going to do is we’re going to look at the handful that teach us how to love like jesus how you and I can love like jesus so let’s get into the sermon notes right now for those of your taking notes let me give you the first point.
The first point is this the way that we love like jesus is we let God do it.
The way that you and I love like Jesus we love each other like Jesus loves us is we let God do this this is God’s work in our life first US alone aeons three you can turn there in your Bibles we’re going to put most of these verses up on the screen first US alone eons chapter three and if you don’t have this underline in your. Bible this is a great one to have underlined because this gives us a lot of confidence that we can do this command that God has given to us first US one in three beginning of verse eleven it says this.
Now May our God and Father Himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you and then verse twelve says and may the Lord make you increase and a bound in love for one another and for all as we do for you so that he may establish your hearts blameless and holiness before God and Father of The Coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints now you read that and who is the one who is enabling us to love others it’s not us it’s God and so there are four things that we see just in the brief passage it says that God is going to make our love increase and a bound for one another and when it says increase we all know what increase something and when you increase something you go from something with set limits and then it goes beyond that and so he says the god will increase your love for others in Italy Creech to the point where in a balance something is abounding is spilling over you know when you’re poor cop a cup of coffee in the into the cup and it goes over it is a bounding And so Paul is praying that he is God willing creasing abound our love for one another but then it also says who God is going to do that for.
He’s going to do this for one another which means believers but then also for everyone that our love for everyone in the world is going to abound you know. As I read this passage and maybe hopefully you’re here today and you’re looking at us passage in your thing you can yourself to love one another and I know sometimes I can be very difficult but have you ever experience when you felt love and compassion and mercy for another human being and you realized that the ability to do that did not come from yourself but it definitely came from God working. And you know that happens to me all the time and when we meet other people that upset our preferences and they’re a little bit different than us and we think how my supposed to love this other person when we go to God and we say God here I am just use me that’s when he will allow us and he will fill us so that we may increase in the bound with our love for one another.
But you know what God God tells us. When we’re supposed to love people he says that we’re supposed to love them just as much as he loves us and I think this is something important for us to realize when we’re out there and we’re dealing with people that really upset us and frustrate us it’s important for us to realize that God loves that person exactly as much as he loves you but those of you who were here last Sunday we talked about humility and one of the basis for our humility is to realize that all of us have the exact same value and worth in God’s sight and the same is true about God’s love and so when Jesus commands us to love like he did if we make ourselves available to be used by him then God will make us increase in abound in our love for all people another verse that kind of goes along with this one is found later and first US alone as for if you go down to chapter four verse nine.
Paul says this about the Thessalonians I think he really liked the testimony and he said wonderful things about them but first of all nice for nine he says now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another and so I personally find this very reassuring because if we are commanded to love like Jesus did it’s great to realize that God is the one who will teach us to do that and sometimes we just need to kind of get out of the way don’t get our opinions and preferences all up all you know preventing us from love other people so for commanded to love. Jesus it’s great to realize he’s the one who’s going to do this and so the question is if God is the master teacher are you paying attention to what he’s teaching you when it comes to your relationship with other people so that’s the first way that we learn to love like Jesus we let God do God’s work in our lives the second way that we are taught to love like jesus is when we keep the big picture in mind.
Today is Sunday tomorrow is Monday for those of you who are not retired you probably have a big to do list so was the first thing that you’re going to do tomorrow. Some of you think and thanks for bringing that up on Sunday Pastor I don’t want to think about that yet I want to go home I want to take my now I want to watch football but tomorrow morning if you have a job you’ve got a big list of things to do and right now your blood pressure is probably rising and and you don’t want to have to think about that yet well but here’s the truth and this isn’t true for every single human being that has ever lived the number one thing that each day and every day that you and I are supposed to focus on the most is the greatest commandment that is the first and most important thing that you and I need to be focused on. I’m going to look at Romans Chapter thirteen here Romans thirteen verses eight and nine this is Paul speaking obviously to the Romans and he kind of reiterate the greatest commandment here and so this is what he says Romans thirteen verses eight and nine. Says oh no one anything except to love each other I just want to stop there is that is not great oh no one anything how many times do we have a relationship with another person and we try to you who are trying to keep track of who owes something to the other person I also like this this passage and I wonder if I called my mortgage company and I told them I’m sorry I my mortgage is done is the Bible says I owed no one nothing I don’t think I will work but Paul says oh no one anything except to love each other for the. One who loves another has fulfilled the law for the commandments you shall not commit adultery you shall not murder you shall not steal you shall not covet and any other commandment are summed up in this word you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
You know we all get caught up in the pressing issues of the day whatever they might be the funny thing is on the all seem to change it every few months we’re all worked up about something new but this is something that will never change there will always be people now we’re interacting with in our lives and God wants us to keep this as our top priority that we love them and we treat them just like Jesus did this is the big picture the God wants us to always be focused on in our life and so if we’re supposed to love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves or supposed to be loving something and so the question that all of us need to ask is Where is our love going towards what what are we focusing our love and affection and attention in our life is there anything in your life that is taking your attention off of loving others and second Timothy Chapter three Paul kind of warns us about what is going to happen in the end times or in the latter days and I definitely think that this definitely applies to us right now but in the second term of the chapter three verses one through five it says but understand this that in the last days there will come times of difficulty for people will be lovers of self lovers of money proud arrogant abusive disobedient to their parents ungrateful unholy heartless unappeasable slanderous without self-control brutal not loving good treacherous reckless swollen with conceit lover. Of pleasure rather than lovers of God having the appearance of godliness but denying its power avoid such people this is a really good description do you think this describes the world today the obvious I mean this just completely describes how people are living today and I think that in the way that we are living our lives today with instant access to the media and technology I think we’re seeing this even more and more today than in times past but as we see the world around us being lovers of other things other than God this is the time for the Body of Christ to shy This is the time for us to put into practice We’ve got us teaching us and we will stand out in the world will take notice in a world that’s filled with hate and everyone is being offended at everything what if the body of Christ were to show the world the true and most important thing by simply being loving to others and that doesn’t mean that we have to sacrifice truth or sacrifice our morals to do that but we can treat people with love and respect and I think this point of loving others and keeping us at the forefront of our minds and kind of makes me think back to a few weeks ago when I was doing the series on the bait of Satan what satan is trying to get everyone to do is to focus on themselves he wants us to get us focused on ourselves and especially He wants us to get focused on our specific opinions and preferences he wants us to just well on Nat and really focus on that and if someone comes along and says something that goes against our opinions and preferences we’re supposed to be offended we’re all supposed to be offended but how much different were the world be if everyone didn’t focus on their own perfect preferences and opinions Instead they focused on this greatest commandment in the Bible the world would be great wouldn’t it someday it will be like that but it’s not today but this is going to start with us when God’s followers the followers of Jesus Christ say I’m not going to get caught. Up in the world’s way of doing things I’m going to put this commandment at the first priority in my life I’m going to love others the way that God has loved me so this is how we love Jesus we love others like Jesus we let God do it we also focus on the big picture which is the greatest commandment and finally the final way that we love like jesus is by serving others the way that we love like Jesus loved us is we serve others now for those of you are familiar with the Bible stories there’s a passage in the last part of the book of John this is after Christ had risen from the grave and the disciples they were they went back to their own way they went back to the Sea of Galilee in their fishing and Jesus shows up on the scene many are probably still familiar with the story here is fishing and then he’s making a delicious fish Breakfast is that some good fish for breakfast or maybe sometimes a pretty good and so he’s having breakfast and Jesus comes along and he asked Peter three questions you know the questions that he asked that most of you probably do he said Peter do you love me and three times Peter said of course Jesus you know that I love you. And what did Jesus tell him to do so well that’s all I needed to know thanks for reaffirming your love for me you know he said then feed my sheep So he’s telling Peter if you truly love me then what you’re going to go do is you’re going to go serve. You’re going to take your love for me and you’re going to put it into action I don’t know if you and I can truly say that we love one another and that we love God If there’s no action of service involved in that they have to go together. Here’s a passage.
Galatians chapter five vs thirteen and fourteen Paul teaches us this truth he says. For you we’re called to freedom brothers only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh but through love serve one another for the whole law as fulfilled in one word you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
All through life we’re going to be serving someone usually it’s us you know we like to serve ourselves or make sure that we’re we’re getting our or our needs met or we’re going to be serving other people and if God is teaching us how to love each other and if our love is increasing and overflowing then the way that it demonstrates itself is through service in some way to one another. I’m going to kind of get up on my soapbox here you know I’m a pastor of a church and so I think about how does this translate how does serving one another translate into our local setting here you know I don’t remember when it was but every now and then you know how you have you have these moments and you realize oh that’s why we’re supposed to do this I don’t know if it was before I was a pastor of a church or shortly after but it kind of dawned on me one of the reasons why God has called us to meet together as a local assembly of believers and to interact with each other a huge part of why God calls us to meet together is through service because this gives us an opportunity to serve you know I think the God could probably do a better job having a one on one conversation with each of us if we’re suppose the gods goal is for us to be made into the image of Jesus Christ for us to be transformed into his image and I think God could probably do a better job one on one than we can do here in a church but why does God call us to meet together why does he call us to meet together to work on a crisis like this and there’s a there’s a quote that they came across a long time ago and I really love it and I think this kind of deals with why we are supposed to be part of a church but it says it’s hard to be holy when no one is around upset your preferences which is very true right it’s. To get along with everyone if no one’s really upsetting you but sometimes I think of church is for this or that for that reason alone I also think of church a kind of use another example churches sort of like a gym.
Once in a gymnasium weights treadmill all those different things some of your like a gym that sounds from what in the world is a gym a gym is a place where people go to to get stronger and so you can become a member of a gym you go to Planet Fitness ten dollars a month you can be really superior and be a part of crossfire You know something like that where you had to had to throw that in those shameless plug for Cross Fit but people go to a gym for the taking it stronger but just because you have a gym membership doesn’t mean you’re going to get stronger what you have to do have to actually go in there and you have to actually sit down on the machines and you have to move the weights around in the way that they’re designed to be moved around with the right intensity and weight and if you do that that’s when you become stronger and you grow well Church this right here it is a place where you can become more like Christ I didn’t say it is or will be a place I said it is a place where everyone can become more like Jesus Christ but it’s only when we put into practice what the Bible says that that’s going to happen. Serving one another in some ways it’s a lot like prayer you know why are we supposed to pray are we supposed to pray so the God changes situations sometimes he does sometimes he doesn’t but I think mainly the main reason why we are supposed to go to God in prayer is because when we pray God is able to change our attitudes our actions our thoughts to be more in alignment with his and I think the same can be said in some ways about serving Yes when we serve or meeting in need however serving changes the servant the most when we serve we are the ones who. Change it makes us less selfish in fact if a person says I’m not going to serve I’m not going to do anything the reason why they’re saying that is because they’re selfish they don’t want to help they don’t want to serve and so one of the great benefits of being a participant in the local body of imperfect believers is that kind of answers the question if God wants me to be more like him and he calls me to love one another then who is it that I’m supposed to love well if you’re in a local church then you look around and say it’s these crazy people these are the people that I’m supposed to one another these are the people that I’m supposed to serve you know whenever I talk about stuff like this like whether it’s serving or giving I always my concern is that people might start to feel guilty and think oh he’s just talking about this because he wants us to volunteer for the nursery or something or something like that and that’s true but I think maybe our church I’m a very proud to be the pastor of this church because I think that we have a greater number and greater percentage of people that are involved and I think your standard typical church and I definitely think this is one of our strongest values faithful service I also don’t want anyone here who is doing too much to say you know why is he talking about service am I supposed to do more necessarily the case but what I hope everyone here this morning will consider is that serving in a way that you can is something that God has called all of us to do and it’s an honor especially in light of what God has done for us John three sixteen passage hopefully all of you at least heard before says For God so loved the world that he did what he gave. God loved so he gave he served us he gave his own life so that we can have the hope of eternal life you and I there’s no way that we can now give God but out of gratitude we can serve so well. We’re talking about loving one another that’s how we do it and I hope that this this morning you know just by putting these verses before all of us it kind of helps us maybe kind of recalibrate our priorities you know God wants us to love God wants us to love others just like Jesus loves us and so we can do that by letting God do it really truly letting God have control of your emotions and your mind he’s going to lead you to love others we also do that by keeping the big picture in mind that’s the most important priority that we can have every day and we do that by serving others and now what I want to do there’s another passage that talks about one way that we can love each other and I want to stick close by doing this are you ready All right we’re close by doing this first Peter five fourteen
greet one another with the kiss of love so turn to your neighbor and plant a big No I’m just kidding.
All couple of you did Are those good hopefully are related you know to each other.
Or whatever so.
Why did my kids kiss each other they did not kiss you Joe that’s where that’s typical while the next two weeks we’re going to do is we’re going to look at some of these random passages on one another in one another I’m looking forward to those I think we’re going to have fun with some of those passages but I hope that all of us will keep this commandment to love one another truly at the forefront of our mind because this is why God created us he loved us he gave to us and this is how we show the world that we are God’s children so let’s love one another Let’s close in prayer.
Dear Lord I thank you for today I think you for lovingly and gently and in your own way of doing things reminding us of our purpose on earth Lord is just so thrilling to think that someday we’re going to be in your presence and we will be with you forever but by face until that moment we need to put into practice the things that we believe we believe that you sent your son to die on the cross for our sins and you raised him back from the grave and if we believe that then we are now one with you and we are one with each other and so Father help us to put into practice these one another commands and especially today as we look at these these loving one another verses help us to do it just the way that Jesus did for us we pray this now in Christ name me man.