Sermons

Summary: A look at the life of Daniel; love of neighbor.

Series: When Cultures Collide

Topic: Remember: Part 2

July 21, 2002

Daniel 5

"Then Daniel answered before the king, "Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another; nevertheless I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation. O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory and majesty; and because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him; whom he would he slew, and whom he would he kept alive; whom he would he raised up, and whom he would he put down. But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him; he was driven from among men, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild asses; he was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of men, and sets over it whom he will. And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this, but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven; and the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them; and you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored." Daniel 5:17-23, RSV

History forgotten

Sin continued

Lessons that need to be learned and remembered from generation to generation

"Love God and love your neighbor" (Matthew 22:37-40; Mark 12:29-31; Luke 10:27-28)

truth that dates back farther than Jesus

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might." (RSV)

Leviticus 19:18 "You shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD." (RSV)

Review Part 1: Love God

A. Honor

B. Obedience

C. Worship

D. Purity

This morning we discuss the second part of this: Love your neighbor, and the six ways to express this love.

2. Love Neighbor

John 15:12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." (RSV)

Love is the greatest commodity desired, but the most difficult to give.

To love someone is to value them.

A. Kindness

Deuteronomy 22:1-4 "You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep go astray, and withhold your help from them; you shall take them back to your brother. And if he is not near you, or if you do not know him, you shall bring it home to your house, and it shall be with you until your brother seeks it; then you shall restore it to him. And so you shall do with his ass; so you shall do with his garment; so you shall do with any lost thing of your brother’s, which he loses and you find; you may not withhold your help. You shall not see your brother’s ass or his ox fallen down by the way, and withhold your help from them; you shall help him to lift them up again." (RSV)

How different do you feel when someone holds the door open for you to pass through? You feel appreciated. You may not even know the person holding the door open; they may be a complete stranger. But it still makes you feel valued.

Ever had a flat tire on the side of the freeway? If someone helped you didn’t make you feel valued. By demonstrating acts of kindness we are saying to someone, "You are worth my time and effort."

B. Sacrifice

Matthew 5:39-42 "But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you." (RSV)

This is probably the most difficult manner by which to show love for most Americans, and dare I even say it, most Christians, today. It’s one thing to help someone when it doesn’t cost us much. To give a neighbor a ride to the grocery store, or to help a child find a lost pet isn’t much of a sacrifice. In fact it makes us feel rather good about ourselves. By demonstrating kindness we not only invest value in another, but we increase our personal worth as well. But, to help the neighbor whose dog keeps tearing up our rose bushes...? Or to help our enemy out of a tight spot? Now that costs a little more.

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