Summary: Jesus gave us a new command. Are we walking in obedience to it?

Lessons from Vacation, 2012

July 22, 2012

Job 14:1-5

“Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure. Do you fix your eye on such a one? Will you bring him before you for judgment? Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one! Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.”

Job 7:17-18

“What is mankind that you make so much of them, that you give them so much attention, that you examine them every morning and test them every moment?

Psalm 8:3-8

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars,

which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them,

human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea,

all that swim the paths of the seas.”

I am awed by how important we are to God. I am amazed at how much God loves us. We often say God loves us so much He was willing to die for us in our place. He loves us so much He did everything He could do to save us. But He never takes His eyes of us. Job said,

“What is mankind that you make so much of them, that you give them so much attention, that you examine them every morning and test them every moment?

Can you fathom that? Can you understand how much God loves you? At first it is kind of hard to believe. But after awhile we accept it – never fully understanding the implications of that truth – but we grasp it a little bit anyway.

Here’s another amazing fact. God loves the whole world. Did you get that? God loves the WHOLE world! He loves everyone! Do you believe that? Do you understand that?

Here’s a little exercise to help you understand. I want you to think of the most despicable thing you have every done. Then realize that God knows all about it and loves you ANYWAY. If you have confessed it and surrendered it to God – He has forgiven you and sees you as innocent and pure of heart.

That wasn’t so hard was it? Now I want you to do another exercise. I want you to think of the most despicable, hateful, unlikable person in your life. Now say to yourself, “God loves (fill in the blank). God adores (fill in the blank). God has wonderful plans for (fill in the blank).

That person may treat you badly; he may cut you to pieces with his words; he may gossip about you; say all manner of evil things about you – but you need to realize two things- first – God loves them. They are God’s child. Secondly – God commands that you love them, too. Jesus said,

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

“And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” 2 John 1:5-6

Are you a child of God? Are you a Christian? Are you Jesus’ disciple? Then people ought to know it by how you love others. It’s not - if you love your friends. Even the world does that. It’s not if you love me. I’m easy to love. I’m a nice guy. The test is how you love the unlovable. I’m not saying you have to like them. But I think God is saying we need to treat our unlovables with kindness and compassion and the fruits of the Spirit.

In my family I have some beautiful people – and not so beautiful. Some are smart – some not so much. Some treat me with love and kindness and are so generous to me. Some don’t. But you know what? I love them all. They are family. Do I want to get in a boat and spend all day fishing with them? Some yes. Some – not so much. But I love them all and express it by praying for them and treating them with kindness.

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