Summary: The commandment Jesus left us with is to love God and love others. In general we find it much easier to love God than we do loving others. Why is that? We have an enemy and when we realize his tactics we are better placed to fulfill Jesus' command.
• The Word of God is the most powerful thing that exists in the earth
• Consistent attention and with full attention
• It is our education
If you want to be a doctor you need to be educated. If you want to be a carpenter you need to be educated, if you want to be a teacher you need to be educated. It is the same with being a Christian, you need to be educated. The Word educates us on how to love God and love others.
Two things the Word tells us when it comes to loving others:
1. Our enemy is NOT other people
2. Loving others starts with US
1. Our enemy is NOT other people – Ephesians 6:12
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
2. Loving others starts with us – Luke 10:27
“And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.’”
We are in a war with the enemy and the enemy uses other people as weapons!
How des the enemy work?
• The enemy uses our weakness against each other
• One of the enemy’s greatest tool is to pit us against each other
There was a few years ago a woman who used to go around and say something to one person and off and say something else to another all with the aim of causing confusion and conflict. I was the recipient of one of her endeavours one day and by delivering the truth in a certain way, by leaving out certain facts she caused someone to get rather irate. He then come and gave me a piece of his mind and I was initially confused and then upset.
This is exactly how the enemy works!
confusion and upset
• Our enemy is a liar. There are areas of vulnerability that we have that the devil will use against us and anyone else he can involve.
We will look at four of his tactics which I believe are commonly used:
1. Fairness –
A bored rich lady sits between two strangers—call them Robert and Juliette—on a plane. For entertainment, she offers to give Robert $10,000, with the proviso that he must make a one-time binding offer to give some of it to Juliette. If Juliette accepts Robert’s proposed split, they divide the money accordingly. If she rejects it, the rich lady keeps her money, and Robert and Juliette get nothing. So how much does Robert offer? In theory, he could offer Juliette only $10. A rational person would accept it because it was, after all, free money. In practice—and the experiment has been conducted repeatedly—people in the Juliette role regularly reject any offer that they deem unfair.
A powerful moral principle, fairness, plays a big role in decision making, often stronger even than self-interest.
We can see this in the Word of God over and over as people struggle with the concept of fairness
• Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard - Matthew 20:1-15
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’ “So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’