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If you have your Bible open them up to Romans 13. We will start today with verse 8. Page _______________ in Red pew Bibles.
8Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 9The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 10Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Paul tells us here to let no debt remain outstanding. I read recently that the total amount of consumer debt in the United States stands at nearly $2.6 trillion dollars - and based on the latest Census statistics, that works out to be nearly $8,500 in debt for every man, woman and child that lives here in the US. (http://www.money-zine.com/Financial-Planning/Debt-Consolidation/Consumer-Debt-Statistics/)
We all know that debt is not good thing. In fact, the Bible encourages us to avoid going into debt because it enslaves us. Proverbs 22:7 says, "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is a servant of the lender."
We are to avoid debt if we can. But there is one kind of debt that is good. The debt we have to love others. In fact, Paul says when we love, we fulfill the entire law of God. If you were to summarize what a Christian is called to do with his/her life you could say, LOVE. Paul quotes to us Leviticus 19:18, Love your neighbor as yourself. Leviticus was a book that comprised a significant part of the OT law or as the Jews called, “The Torah.”
Why is love so important to a Christian? It is because God is Love. 1 John 4 tells, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8).
Love is perhaps the most important topic in the Bible besides Jesus himself. The word love appears 710 times in the NIV Bible.
Now the Bible not only talks about love but world also has a lot to say about love. How has love been defined throughout history?
Virgil: Love conquers all.
Aristotle: Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
Shakespeare: Love is merely madness.
Van Gogh: Love is something eternal; the aspect changes, but not the essence.
Picasso: Love is the greatest refreshment in life.
Sydney Pollack: Love is friendship set to music
Oliver Wendell Holmes: Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.
Sir Walter Raleigh: Love is a durable fire
Mark Twain: Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.
Beatles: All you need is love
Celine Dion: Love is all you need
Def Leopard: Love bites.
Haddaway: What is love? Baby, don’t hurt me.
Just listen to the radio and you’ll here a lot about the world’s philosophy on love. “Love me tender love me sweet.” “Love lifts us up where we belong.” “I’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places.” “You’ve lost that loving feeling.” Rapper 50 cent sings, “I love you like a fat kid loves cake.”
The world’s idea of love is that it is spontaneous. Meant to be. Love for a person is qualitatively no different than love for cheesecake. Love is created by chemistry and physical attraction. “Some enchanted evening, across the crowded room, you will meet a stranger. (and the electricity just flows.). The Doors had a
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