Summary: This is the fourth sermon in a series of sermons related to the Book "One Month to Live" by Kerry and Chris Shook. It focuses on the 2nd Principle, which is "Loving completely."
Title: Love Completely
Text: Mark 12:28-33
Location: Sulphur Spring
Introduction: Last Sunday we talked about the fact that Jesus lived His life with Passion and that as His Disciples we need to be passionate about the same things He was passionate about. This morning I want us to discuss the fact that Jesus loved completely, and if we are truly His Disciples we will strive to do the same. Throughout His ministry Jesus had a lot to say about Loving God and loving each other.
Turn with me to Mark 12:28-33. (Read From Bible)
So Loving Completing includes…..Loving God with all of our heart, with all of our soul, with all of our mind and with all of our strength.
We must love God with our whole being. Not just our hearts or minds, but with every ounce, and every fiber of our being.
Jesus knew this and I believe this is why He answered the lawyers question the way He did. He knew that before a person could really love another person, that they had to love God completely.
One of the mistakes many people today make is by thinking that our relationship with God is totally separate from our relationships with one another. But in reality that simply isn’t true.
The Apostle John knew this and wrote about it in 1 John 2:9-11, which says, “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
Rick Warren the author of the Purpose Driven life says, “We were made to love and be loved.”
In His book, One month to Live Kerry Shook says it like this: “When all is said and done, relationships are all that really matter….”
Our relationship with God and our relationships with one another are so important that Jesus said that there were no greater commandments than loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, and loving our neighbors as we do ourselves.
As Disciples of Jesus Christ He is our example. Therefore we should love as He loved. Let’s take a look at a few of the passages of Scripture in which Jesus was teaching about Love, and see what it really takes to love completely.
Jesus’ love is on another level than ours, but that doesn’t mean that we should not do everything we can to grow in our love.
Turn with me to Matthew 5:43-44, 46-47
1. JESUS’ LOVE IS …EXCEPTIONAL ….
His love is radically different from what the world teaches. The world teaches to love those who love you and, despise those who hate you. But in this passage of Scripture Jesus makes it clear that that is not acceptable behavior for a Christian. We are to love everyone, even our enemies, and in this passage of Scripture Jesus commands us to not only love them but pray for them.
Illustration: A young man was convicted of killing another person in cold blooded murder in New York. The murderer, who had a long record, was no stranger to the legal system. As the jury returned the guilty verdict he just looked at them with an angry stare on his face.
The victim’s family had attended every day of the 2-week trial. On the day the sentence was read the victim’s mother and grandmother were given the opportunity to address the court. When they spoke, neither addressed the jury. Both spoke directly to the man who had killed their son and grandson, and to the surprise of everyone in the courtroom both women said that they had forgiven him.
The victims’ Grandmother looked at this convicted killer and said, "You broke the two most important commandments—loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and loving your neighbor as yourself.
But the Bible teaches me that I am your neighbor and that I should forgive you. I sat in this trial for two weeks, and for the last sixteen months I tried my best to hate you. But you know what? I couldn’t do it. I feel sorry for you because you made a bad decision and I’m going to give you my address, and I promise that if you write me, I’ll write you back.
The Judge in the case later said, "After the grandmother finished, I looked at the defendant. His head was hanging low. There was no more swagger, no more stare. The destructive and evil forces within him collapsed helplessly before this remarkable display of humaneness."
I would have said it differently if I had I been the judge, I would have described the mother and grandmother’s response as the perfect illustration of Christian love and forgiveness that Jesus expects from his disciples.