Summary: Something is missing from the church today, and people are starting to notice. Too often the church fails to offer what it advertises: life.
2. The Greatest Commandment
February 21, 2010
Love your Neighbor
I find it amusing when people talk about the loving feeling they have for each other. We often think of love as this warm blanket on a cool winter night. Love is like snuggling up to a fire it just fills you with nice toasty feelings all over. I don’t believe that people who think like this know what love is. Erwin McManeus writes in his book the Barbarian Way that love is not so much a guarantee of warm feelings and happiness as love is a promise of pain. The more you love someone the more you give them permission to hurt you. You see the truth is love is not an emotion. Loving like Jesus is not about having warm fuzzy feelings towards people it is about living a lifestyle where the community of the church impacts the world around them like Jesus did.
I heard about this guy in Lexington Kentucky who was eating at a Waffle House and his waitress was a single mom with a lot of medical bills and financial trouble and she was working really hard trying to just provide for her kids. This guy left her a $1,000 tip with a note and than ran out and hid in the bushes. He watched as she read the ticket and was so overwhelmed she just started crying. He went back in side and began to talk with her and to share Jesus with her and you know that is what we are talking about when we say love like Jesus. Now I know that most of us don’t have an extra $1000 lying around but we have something. You may not be able to do something like this, but you can do something.
We looked last week at the most important commandment in the law to love God with all that you are. That is the foundation for learning how to love like Jesus. If you don’t love God with all that you are you cant love like Jesus. Then the second most important commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law is summed up in these two commands. If we want to love like Jesus this is where it starts we have to love our neighbor.
There are some lessons we learn in life the hard way. For example as a son growing up I can tell you that it is a bad idea to tell your mother or anyone else that speaks with your mother that some task or chore is woman’s work. Growing up I wanted to go hang out with a friend of mine but his dad said no they had to do the laundry to which I replied but that’s woman’s work. Well guess who did that woman’s work for the next 10 years of his life. A few years later I made a similar statement about doing the dishes and once again I found myself acquiring a new woman’s chore. You see there are certain ways in which people say things to indicate that they are speaking from experience. If you look at basically the entire book of 1 John but look at 4:20. John writes of love with a strange degree of familiarity.
1Jn 4:20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 1Jn 4:21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.