Summary: Sermon deals with what God’s word has to say about love for our fellow man
Love your Neighbor
John 13:34-35 (KJV)
February is the month of Valentines, a month that is dedicated to love. As such, it should be no surprise that I have devoted the entire month’s sermons to the subject of love.
There are certainly enough types of love to go around. There is brotherly love, love for family members, love for your husband or spouse, and then the granddaddy of them all, God’s love for man.
I would like to start this series with brotherly love, that is, love for our follow man and more specifically, love for your fellow Christian.
As I began a scriptural search on the subject, I soon became aware that the Bible is far from silent on the subject of love for our fellow man.
You may ask, why begin this series with Brotherly love? Well, because this level of love can be the most basic or it can be the most difficult.
It is also one of the most important aspects of love when it comes to maintaining unity within the Church and keeping the focus on outreach.
For instance, if you don’t love one another, how in the world do you expect to encourage anyone to join the “fellowship” here?
Additionally, if you have no love for your fellow man, then what will motivate you to keep the “main thing the main thing”. That being outreach to a lost and dieing world.
With that said, lets start with love for our fellow man. For many, this is perhaps the most difficult love of all.
Just yesterday, my ears were assaulted by the sound of one man shouting profanities to a car pulling out of a service station. Though I did not see what had happened to set him off, I must admit that I wasn’t feeling a lot of love for him at that moment (I was just glad that Will had shut his door before the profanities started flying).
And no, I wasn’t the car he was cursing at.
The question is, how do we love a person who is unlovable?
How do we love a Bin Ladin, how do we love a serial killer, how do we love a terrorist. (I know some of you are thinking, “you love them to death”)
While that may be the “just” punishment for them, but that is not the right answer. I did not ask what they deserved, I asked how we are to love them.
For the right answer to that question, we must look to Gods word and the example set by our savior.
I will start with what would seem to be the most difficult group to love, our enemies.
According to God’s word, we are to treat them well. 21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: 22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee. Prov 25:21-22 (KJV)
Why do you think the Muslims hate America so, because we conquered one of their countries and yet we treat them with civility and compassion. Where did we learn to do this? From God’s word…
To them and the world, this is weakness, but according to God’s word, it is strength and a blessing.
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21 (KJV)
Showing compassion when we feel angry is difficult, but it shows a high level of spiritual maturity.
Show me a person who is given to fits of rage and I will show you a weak-minded person given to the lusts of the flesh.
Jesus always gives us the best example to follow:
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matt 5:44-48 (KJV)