Summary: All moral responsibility hinges on the two affections of love for God and love for our neighbor. Memorable outline. Link included to formatted text, handout, and PowerPoint Presentation.
It’s OK to Fall
The man in our text fell...he fell among thieves. The Good Samaritan fell...he fell in love for the man and had mercy and compassion toward him. And it’s ok to fall.
We talk so much about love being a commitment and not a feeling, and I stand by that. Real love is not lust either. But we must remember that it starts with a feeling, and then we should follow thru w/ the commitment. This week I fell in love...with a people, a place, and a new way of living my life. It has caused me to return to fall in love with my wife, my family, my church, and my mission -- more than ever before! And it’s ok to fall. I had to travel far to find something in myself I never knew was there, and now I want to bring it home!
It’s ok to jump, ok to fall, ok to give your heart away ... open yourself up, take the plunge, let God radically change you from the inside out. It’s ok to cry, ok to love ... ok?
In Matthew 22:34-40 Jesus is asked a question, "Which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus gave the same answer as the lawyer in our text. Love God. Love your neighbor. He then states that all the law hangs on these two commandments. This means that love for God and our neighbor is the foundation of all moral responsibility.
Ex.--A man who loves God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength will never take God’s name in vain. He will never place anything above God in his affections. He will remember the Lord’s Day and keep it holy.
If you love your neighbor as yourself, you won’t lie to him. You won’t steal his possessions. You won’t cheat him in business. You won’t violate his marriage. When you love your neighbor as yourself, you’ll never do anything to intentionally hurt him.
These elements are increasingly rare in our society. We tend to live with an attitude of extreme privacy these days…living like we’re on a remote island, tho’ only separated from others by a few yards! Our society increasingly acts as if men owe nothing to their neighbors. We think only of our own lives, ignoring the needs of others.
Story of David Cash—A few years ago, Cash and a friend, Jeremy Strohmeyer, were in Las Vegas. Strohmeyer followed 7 year old Sherrice Iverson into a bathroom and began to physically assault her. Cash came upon the scene, made a half-hearted attempt to intervene, and then left the girl to her fate. Not only did he fail to stop the assault, he also chose not to report it.
On their way home that night, Strohmeyer told Cash he had raped and killed the little girl. Still, Cash kept quiet. Police finally caught up with Strohmeyer and he pleaded guilty to all charges. Cash is off the hook. Nevada has no law requiring people to report a crime.
This story has appalled and outraged many Americans. But in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Cash defended his non-involvement. Without a trace of remorse, he said, "I’m not going to get upset over someone else’s life . . . I just worry about myself first. I don’t think of it. I didn’t know her."
This morning I want us to consider what it means to love God and love our neighbor because all moral responsibility hinges on these two affections.
I. Love for God
God isn’t just someone we worship and serve. He’s someone we know. We have a relationship with Him. He has shared his life with us. We love Him as we love any other person.
A. Love Him Passionately – "with all thy heart"
1. “Thy heart” speaks of emotion
a. There are times when you laugh aloud with God.
b. There are times when you weep before Him and you know He understands your sorrow.
c. There are times when you shout and rejoice with Him.
d. We need to be careful that our relationship to God doesn’t become routine.
2. “All” thy heart speaks of exclusiveness
a. I have affections that belong exclusively to my wife. I will share them with no other woman.
b. Loving God with all my heart means that my first spiritual loyalty is to Him.
B. Love Him Personally – "with all thy soul"
1. “Thy soul” speaks of identity
a. The soul is what gives us personality.
b. Our temperament, our likes and dislikes, our fears and anxieties are expressions of the soul.
2. “All” thy soul speaks of intimacy
a. We communicate on different levels.
• I don’t bare as much of my soul (personality) with a stranger as I do a friend.