Sunday, February 19, 2006

As I Love You

Its nice and crisp this morning - 28 degrees. We have had some snow on
the mountains. Mt. Leconte received 8 inches last week. They are hinting
snow fluries in the valley this weekend. In this lesson I took a
different approach to the normal view of Jn. 13:34, 35 as I pondered on
the phrase "As I have loved you." I tried to imagine how Jesus
demonstrated his love for the twelve and tried to make application.
Prehaps you can come up with some better ideas but here they are. I have
given a brief outline then the full thoughts on the points I made following. Hope your Sunday will be a joy filled Son day. Kirk

Quick outline:
I. Introduction
A. Christianity is based upon the principle of love.
B. We know the commands, we talk a good talk; but what a challenge it is to commit ourselves to these earth changing ideals
C. Today we will examine why we must love one another and note some ways Jesus demonstrated his love for his disciples and ways which we can mitate that.
II. There is a Great Need to Love One another.
A. How can Jesus command us to feel love?
B. We need to love one another because:
III. When we love one another as we ought....
A. We contribute to world peace.
B. We contribute to family peace (Eph. 5).
C. We are known in the community as being “peacemakers” (Matt. 5).
D. We are known as being children of God (1 Jn. 4:7), and God is known to be “love.”
IV. Jesus Taught, “Love as I have Loved You.”
A. The word “new” (Greek; neos) has two meanings.
B. The kind of Love Jesus want us to have is not about feelings, it’s about action.
C. So lets turn our attention to the way Jesus loved his disciples and make some applications.
1. He had a mobilizing love not a paralyzing one.
2. He had a kind of love which calms one during their crisis.
3. He had a providential love.
4. He had a love that took nothing from them except their time and heart.
5. He had a love that was sacrificial, giving spiritual gifts to men.

Here are the details:

As I Love You
Jn. 13:31-35
I. Introduction
A. Christianity is based upon the principle of love.
1. Love neighbor as self.
2. Lend without expecting return.
3. Help carry someone’s load not just one mile but two.
4. Pray for your enemy and do good to them.
B. We know the commands, we talk a good talk; but what a challenge it is to commit ourselves to these earth changing ideals.
1. Think of a food that makes you gag. You can’t force yourself to like it.......
2. But if your survival depended upon it - you’d eat it.
3. Jesus commanded us to love one another! A command is not a suggestion. A command is not a request. A command is an order! This is one of the positive commands of Jesus. Do it because he knows what’s best for us! Jesus commanded us to love one another!
C. Today we will examine why we must love one another and note some ways Jesus demonstrated his love for his disciples in which we can imitate toward one another.

II. There is a Great Need to Love One another.
A. How can Jesus command us to feel love?
1. If I couldn’t even make myself like a reutabegar, how in the world can I make myself feel love for every person? Especially since there are a lot of people in the world who are not very likable, much less lovable. The world is filled with jerky, creepy, weird people! The world is filled with mean, ugly, hateful people! The world is filled with people with whom I disagree on many issues - from politics to theology to nose rings. There are a lot of people in the world who are not very likable, much less lovable. But Jesus told us to love one another. But Why?
B. We need to love one another because:
1. Satan has filled the world with abuse and hatred.
a. Abuse of innocent children, women and those less capable of wise investments.
b. Hatred by prejudice, nationality, race, religion, politics, power and greed.
2. If the world does not see kindness, compassion, hospitality in action it grows cold.
3. If the world does not see the children of God at peace, the world will be at war.
III. When we love one another as we ought....
A. We contribute to world peace.
B. We contribute to family peace (Eph. 5).
C. We are known in the community as being “peacemakers” (Matt. 5).
D. We are known as being children of God (1 Jn. 4:7), and God is known to be “love.”

As we look at our text it tells us that.....

IV. Jesus Taught, “Love as I have Loved You.”
A. The word “new” (Greek; neos) has two meanings.
1. One may use it in the context of something which is recent, off the assembly line, like a house which has just been built or the purchase of new clothes.
2. Another way new is expressed, is, “as in form or design.” That which is novel, distinct, like the new hybrid vehicles or fusion powered engines.
3. It is the latter which Jesus anticipates us to employ one toward another.
4. The love he describes is new in kind, in form or design.
5. Gary Chapman, in his book The Five Love Languages relates the results of studies of the “falling in love” phenomenon.
a. The researchers set out to determine how long people maintain the intense “in love” feelings when they “fall in love.” Any guesses on how long? The researchers discovered that the “in love” feeling is intense for about two years. A slow trickle of adrenaline is released for about 30 months, then for some undetermined reason it automatically shuts off.
B. The kind of Love Jesus want us to have is not about feelings, it’s about action.
1. How many of you in your role as parents ever done things for your children that you didn’t really want to do? Diaper changing, eating at odd hours, chauffeuring, letting them date.
2. One of the greatest temptations on earth is to reduce godly love to human terms -- to talk love instead of living it. Love is something you do! It is duty in action. Words are cheap (unless you hire a lawyer) it's easy to talk love.
3. A comic strip depicted a young man declaring his undying love for his girl friend: "I love you with all my heart," he said, "I love you more than life itself; my love would move mountains and change the course of mighty rivers for you," he says fervently. To all this, in the second frame, his girlfriend replies, "Can you come over Saturday and help me clean the junk out of my garage?" In the final frame the guy looks up and says, "I hate people who take advantage."
4. The rule for us all is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you "love" your neighbor; respond as if you do. As soon as we practice this, we learn one of the great secrets Jesus is trying to teach. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love them.
5. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.
There is however one exception. If you do him a good turn, not to please God and obey the law of love, but to show him what a fine forgiving chap you are, and to put him in your debt, and then sit down to wait for his "gratitude," you will probably be disappointed....
C. So lets turn our attention to the way Jesus loved his disciples and make some applications.
1. He had a love which mobilized them (Jn. 6:5-10). The 12 saw the multitude as too much for them to handle. Jesus taught them that if they organized, they could handle much more than what they thought they could, providing they kept him in the mix of things.
a. So we should have a love for one another which mobilizes not paralyzes. A love which is pro-active not reactive. A love that just doesn’t see the need but fills the need. It does the church little good to practice handing out goodies to the neighborhood without empowering them to become more than a beggar. (During this holiday season, you may have heard about the rewards program? You earn points by doing community service then you may select various gifts based upon the points you have earned). We want to mobilize people not paralyze them.
2. He had a love which calmed them (Mk. 4:36-41) - Peace be still. He could calm the forces which raged against them or strengthen their heart when forces opposed them (Acts 5:29).
a. Too many times we are brutally cruel in our response to crisis others face. Everyone has a phobia. Some crisis are very real; “I lost my job.” Others appear less significant; “my boyfriend of two weeks broke up with me.” What may seem like a summer shower to us may to our brother seem like a tornado.
b. A elderly Christian man and his wife were in a hurry one Sunday to meet family after services. They had only a short window of opportunity to see this family member due to the great distance they had to travel to see them. As he cross the church parking lot, a young boy, unaware of the urgency called out to godly man for some chit chat. Patiently the Christian man listened to the boy’s weekly highlights as if he was the only person in the world. If the couple had much time with their family that day, I do not know. But what that man did to that boy and others who knew what was going on has left a standing impression for generations to come. - Love is patient, is kind, is not self serving (1 Cor. 13). A crisis becomes greater if no man share in his conflict.
3. He had a provisional love (Mark 6:7-11). Jesus never lets his laborer go unrequited.
a. Our provisional care extends to those who preach, the widows and orphans in need, and our fellow man who has fallen on hard times. This love lends, hoping nothing in return so we may be the children of the Highest (Lk. 6:35).
4. He had a saving love (Matt. 14:25-31). A few steps on faith, one step in doubt yet the compassionate Jesus spared his life. Why let a good man drown because of one false move?
a. Herein lies a colossal challenge - to rescue the perishing time and time again. Like a starfish which as been washed ashore but is tossed back into the sea may be swept again tomorrow back onto the sand. How many times shall I forgive my brother? As many times as you can help him back into the sea.
5. He had a love which never took anything from them except their time and their heart (Matt. 19:27-29).
a. You love your freedom? Pay taxes. You love to do your own thing? Prepare for the consequences. You love God? Expect blessings - not financial freedom but blessings. Loving one another as we ought means when the unexpected happens we should be Christian brethren who help replace the loss and discomfort; who heals and nurtures the wounded; who visit when imprisoned by despair. We should be people who owes no man but to love him more and more (Rom. 13:8).
6. Finally we see Jesus having a love which was sacrificial (Jn. 15:13). But not only did he lay his life down, he left gifts for us to be filled with all the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:7, 8, 11-13).
a. A man may die for his country simply because he believes in that‘cause’ for which he is fighting. Then a man may give his life in service to his fellow man because he wants what is best for others. Jesus wants us to have heaven. We will never earn it.
Likewise, we should love one another in helping them get to heaven because that is what we want for them. Share the love, and that is what you will get for yourself. When Jesus died he left gifts for men - What gift will you leave for your fellow man? How to be a good parent, how to face personal tragedy with unwavering faith, how to be patient with the needy, how to give liberally, how to save souls, how to .... you fill in the blank. Loving our brethren as Jesus love his disciples will help us fill in the blank.

CONCLUSION:
A. A new commandment - love in action - not merely in words or emotions.
B. We need to love because this world becomes a very hostile place without it.
C. We want to love as Jesus love his disciples -
a. Have a mobilizing love not a paralyzing one.
b. Have a kind of love which calms one during their crisis.
c. Have a love that provides for our brother’s need.
d. Have a love that will not take nothing from another except their timeand heart.
e. Have a love that is sacrificial, giving spiritual gifts to men.
After I leave for worlds unknown - what will I leave behind?

No comments: