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Summary: We look at the flvor of LOVE

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Love Thy Neighbor

Leviticus 19:9-18

Introduction:

Mr. Rogers is a fixture in most people’s hearts with fond memories from Childhood...

The PBS Television show, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood ran for 4 decades and spoke to millions of viewers...

Mr Rogers would open the show with a song that he wrote...

Sing it with me:

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

by Fred Rogers

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,

A beautiful day for a neighbor.

Would you be mine?

Could you be mine?...

It’s a neighborly day in this beauty wood,

A neighborly day for a beauty.

Would you be mine?

Could you be mine?...

I’ve always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.

I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

So, let’s make the most of this beautiful day.

Since we’re together we might as well say:

Would you be mine?

Could you be mine?

Won’t you be my neighbor?

Won’t you please,

Won’t you please?

Please won’t you be my neighbor?

2. Mr. Rogers passed away in 2003 of stomach cancer...

But Fred McFeeley Rogers, an Ordained Minister in the Prebyterian Church...

Understood the Biblical ideal of a neighbor...

Jesus said ". . . YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ "This is the great and foremost commandment. "The second is like it, ’YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ " (Matt. 22:37-39 NASB).

THIS IS QUOTED 9 TIMES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

What qualifies someone for a task? There is a story of the testing of a candidate for missions work:

One snowy morning at 5:00 a.m., a missionary candidate rang the bell at a missionary examiner’s home. Ushered into the office, he sat three hours past his appointment time waiting for his interview. At 8:00 A.M. a retired missionary appeared and began his questioning. “Can you spell?”

Rather mystified, the candidate answered, “Yes, sir.”

All right, spell “baker.”

“B-A-K-E-R.”

“Fine. Now, do you know anything about numbers?” the examiner continued.

“Yes, sir, something.”

“Please add two plus two.”

“Four,” replied the candidate.

“That’s fine,” said the examiner. “I believe you have passed. I’ll tell the board tomorrow.”

At the board meeting, the examiner reported on the interview. “He has all the qualifications for a fine missionary. First, I tested him on self-denial, making him arrive at my home at five in the morning. He left a warm bed on a snowy morning without any complaint. Second, I tested him on promptness. He arrived on time. Third, I examined him on patience. I made him wait three hours to see me. Fourth, I tested him on temper. He failed to show any anger or aggravation. Fifth, I tried his humility by asking him questions that a seven-year-old child could answer, and he showed no indignation. So you see, I believe the candidate meets the requirements. He will make the fine missionary we need.”

Spirit-given abilities are needed, but Spirit-produced fruit is more significant.

(Green, Michael P.: Illustrations for Biblical Preaching : Over 1500 Sermon Illustrations Arranged by Topic and Indexed Exhaustively. Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file. Grand Rapids : Baker Book House, 1989)

It is one thing to overcome the flesh and not do evil things, but quite something else to do good things. The legalist, like the Judaizers, might be able to boast that they are not outwardly guilty of adultery or murder (but see Matt. 5:21–32), but can anyone see the beautiful graces of the Spirit in his life? Negative goodness is not enough in a life; there must be positive qualities as well.

• This message of fruit would have spoke to the Galatians because it represented attitudes that control and dictate actions, rather than the actions themselves. Thus the believer’s manner of life flows from a genuine inner principle, not from adherence to an external law (Edgar H. Andrews: Free in Christ: The Message of Galatians. Evangelical Press. 1996, p. 298)

In the next few AM and PM Messages We are going to look at the Different Flavors of the Fruit of the Spirit. The Fruit is singular not plural. Its not I can chose what fruit I want to work on its all of them.

But how can I love my neighbor? Oddly enough, an Old Tes¬tament passage provides some of the best information in the Bible. According to this passage, I can love my neighbors by:

I. Making Provision for Their Needs (w. 9-10)

A. This involves a mind-set, a way of thinking

B. Note: no command to give, just to provide for them

II. Practicing Integrity in All My Relations (v. 11)

A. Encompasses lying, cheating, stealing

B. Lack of integrity = lack of love; I love myself more than another person and show it in this way

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