Summary: I studied the 30 places in the New Testament that we are commanded to love “each” or “one another”. I found three common themes to these love verses.
WHAT THE BOOK SAYS ABOUT LOVE
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Pastor Brian Matherlee
Last Wednesday night in Awana Pam Belk was leading the large group time for the younger kids & she was talking to them about how Jesus said, “Let the little children come unto me.” She asked the kids if they could spend the day with Jesus, what they thought they might do together or talk about. Different ideas were shared but it pretty quickly came down to a consensus that they would talk about how He loved them and how they loved Him. Pam then asked the kids who they could love. It was beautiful. They mentioned their brothers and sisters, the adult leaders and some were sure to add their favorite pet.
John 15:12 says, “Love each other.”
I studied the 30 places in the New Testament that we are commanded to love “each” or “one another”. I found three common themes to these love verses.
1. Love Builds Bridges
a. 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Encourage and build each other up.” Paul wrote this to a group of believers who were undergoing difficult times.
b. People all around us need to be encouraged. People are hurting; they don’t need to be kicked down! They need to be picked up!
c. In every relationship of our lives bridges must be built to keep communication, love, support and growth going.
d. How are the bridges of love coming in your relationships?
e. Photo—showing an incomplete bridge
f. Bridges are built when love is…
i. spoken (PP slide)
--We already stated 1 Thess. 5:11 tells us “Encourage”. Nobody is a mind reader. Not in marriage, not at work, not in any relationship. Tell one another good things!
ii. shown (PP slide)
--Galatians 5:13, “Serve one another”.
--Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another.”
iii. sincere (PP slide)
--1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
--1 Thessalonians 3:12, “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and everyone else.”
--People can see through put-on and insincerity.
God’s love makes the best in relationships possible.
2. Love Bears Burdens
a. Photo—man carrying the weight of the world on himself
b. Photo—African acrobats bearing one another’s weight.
c. Photo—The picture you see is from Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. It is a path for religious pilgrims retracing the steps of the Apostle James in his last days. The man in the picture is laying a rock at the foot of the cross. The many rocks are placed there by pilgrims representing their burdens.
d. James 5:16, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
i. In an independent society the Biblical instruction is to open up so we don’t let ourselves get away with destructive behavior or suffer alone.
ii. Isolation breeds tragedy.
iii. We can even tell ourselves we have shared our burden with Christ. But our Lord meant for us to be Jesus with skin on to each other too. We need each other.
3. Love Breaks Barriers
a. (PP slide of barricades) Some barriers are meant to protect us…like the ones in the picture. They warn us of danger. There are other barriers though that seem to protect us but really are a hindrance.
b. (PP slide of Berlin Wall) There are so many walls that can separate us. They must be taken down. The Berlin wall separated the German people for nearly 50 years. It was taken down nearly 20 years ago when people finally had the courage and support to face the challenges.
c. Mark 9:50, “Be at peace with each other.”
d. Colossians 3:13, “Bear with each other and forgive.”
e. James 5:9, “Don’t grumble against each other”.
f. There are many barriers to loving relationships and we need to sow good habits to break those things that keep us apart:
i. Selfishness (we need to serve)
ii. Lack of forgiveness, grudges (we need to see how God has forgiven us)
iii. Gossip & slander (we need to have conversations that are full of grace)
iv. Impatience (we need to see others as more important than ourselves)
v. Perfectionism (we need to value people more than things or performance)
vi. Judgmental attitude (plank vs. speck in the eye)
What do you need to do with relationships?
• Do you need to build some bridges?
• Do you need to bear a burden or allow yours to be borne?
• Do you need to break through a barrier that has hindered a relationship?