Summary: In series on questions people have asked. Addresses how to convincingly love folks. Expanded outline.
DO YOU LOVE ME?
As you remember, several weeks ago, I gave out some index cards & told you that if you had any questions, or if people had asked you any questions about religion, that if you would write those questions down and turn them in, that I would attempt to answer them.
One of the cards that were turned in asked, “How can God love me, when I don’t even love myself.” I will attempt to address that question next Sunday. This morning I would like to address another question on the same card. The question asked was, “Do you love me?”
Now, I don’t know if this was a question someone was asking me, or if it was a question this person had been asked. If it was the first, “Yes, I do love you.”
But, now I wonder, how do you go about proving you love someone? What can you and I do to show the world that we love them; that we really care? We Christians often sit in our churches and tell people we love them, but how do we prove it? How do we convince them?
As a beginning point for answering that question, I would like us to look together at Luke chapter 10 and verse 25 …
This man came asking what he had to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus gave him to commands. Love God and love your neighbor. Then the guy tries to wiggle out of it by asking who his neighbor was. Jesus answered by showing him what loving your neighbor means. Loving your neighbor means:
1. To convincingly love someone you must notice him.
Acknowledge that he is alive.
- 31, the priest, when he saw him, walked by on the other side. In verse 32, the Levite, when he saw him, walked by on the other side. But in verse 33, when the Samaritan way him, he was moved with compassion.
> Matthew 19:14 Then Jesus said, “Leave the children alone, and don’t try to keep them from coming to Me, because the kingdom of heaven is made up of people like this.”
The disciples didn’t have time for the children. They didn’t even want to acknowledge their existence. Jesus acknowledged & embraced them. Who do you think the children thought loved them?
Zacchaeus. Jesus acknowledged him up in the tree. Other folks ignored him. Jesus paid attention to him. If you want to show you love someone, you must first notice or acknowledge him.
Let me ask you, when you see people on the street asking for handouts, do you acknowledge them or do you cross on the other side and try to ignore them? Let me ask you; do think they would believe you if you tried to tell them that you loved them? If you want to show you love someone, you must first notice or acknowledge him.
2. To convincingly love someone you must actually care.
- 33 He had compassion.
You must actually care.
Jesus was moved to tears when He came to Lazarus’ tomb. It wrenched His heart.
If you don’t care, don’t try to fake it. Good night nurse, there are enough uncaring people faking it and trying to convince people they care already and ½ of them are running for election. If you don’t really care, don’t try to fake it, then let them discover that you’re faking and make them even more callous toward the next “Caring Christian.” If you don’t care, get away from them and get close to God. You need some heart work.
You remember the old soap commercial, “Don’t get close to her till you get close to Lifeboy”. Well, don’t get close to them, till you get close to Christ.
3. To convincingly love someone you must get involved
Jesus could have just spoken and healed that man. He could have simply looked to heaven and prayed and healed the man. He could have healed the man from a distance. He had done so before. But here was a man with a nasty & contagious skin disease. He was a man the world would have recoiled from. He is a man the world would have fled from. He was also a man that had probably not been touched by a “clean” or “non-diseased” person in a long time. So Jesus took the extra step and touched the man.
To live with Christ, way up in heaven,
Well that will be sure glory.
To live on earth, with common folk,
Well that’s another story.
That’s one reason missionaries have so much more impact on folks than TV or crusades. Because our missionaries take the time to get involved and to invest their lives in the lives of others.