Sermons

Summary: Today we consider how we display the fruit of love.

Introductory Considerations

1. As my children grow older, I notice a ceratin thing, sometimes to my dismay and especially to their dismay. The attitudes they have in life are not that different from mine- towards God, themselves, and others. The Dutch have saying - "he apple does not fall very far from the tree". So true - and continues throughout life.

2. Perhaps in our genes, perhaps it is learned. As Christians we are to be a new creation - have new genes that come from God - Holy Spirit in us. Also, we are to learn the character and behaviour of our heavenly father - through work of Hly Spirit and through spending time with God and learning from His word, we more and more reflect the character of God as we are called to do.

3. As we have said the fruit of the spirit is character of God being manifest in us.

4. Last week we discussed how God is love and how we need first of all to believe and experience His love in our lives. As we experience His love and learn about it thru word, then we are able to let the fruit of love become a reality in our lives.

5. We discussed how we are to love God in response - being genuine and authentic in our faith, our giving and our worship.

6. Today we consider how we are to show forth the fruit of love toward others. We cannot separate from our love toward God - goes hand in hand. (1John 4:20)

7. And this love is not just toward certain people (family, believers) but to all, even to enemies. (Rom 5:10) God loves enemies - we are called to do the same. (Mat 5:44)

Teaching

1. Today we look at passage from Lev 19:9-18, and we see that we are to love various people - neighbour, poor alien, blind, brother. We see that to love someone is not a matter of nice emotions or feelings toward someone but rather love is action - expressions of our faith. (Gal 5:6)

2. First part of chapter deals mostly with our relationship with God - how we express our love to Him by being holy and giving pure sacrifices, not having other gods.

3. The section we look at talks about our relationship with others and ends with the statement "Love your neighbour as yourself". God thru Moses gives us examples of how we are to love.

4. As we look at these expressions of love, I ask you to do a "love inventory" on yourself. On a scale of 1-10 were do you rate? How do you measure up? How much is fruit of love a part of who you are? There are 9 practical ways by which we show that we have fruit of love. If perfect 10 on each - you get 90 points.

5. 1st is our concern for the poor - vs.9,10. We see this in book of Amos. Boaz’s field - our concern is result of God’s concern for poor - see throughout bible.

a. Many of us struggle with this. "Its theirown fault they are poor, we’ve done OK - they should work harder".

b. Problem not of action but of attitude which stops us from caring for poor. How deal with? (Deut 22, 24:21) We first need to realize that we are no better. We are like people of Israel.

c. They were slaves in Egypt - they were poor until God rescued them. We were slaves to sin - including laziness etc - until God rescued us. Therefor cannot look at pride to what we have. All we have is by grace of God - even attitude of working hard comes from God.

d. If we see His grace in our lives, we then can be gracious to others - even those who seem alien to us ( and sometimes they do).

6. 2nd is our integrity in dealing with others. ( vs. 11). This is in business dealings and in our personal lives. Not to steal from another that which belongs to them.

a. Concern for many Christians - copyright - tapes of Xn music copied. So what? Aagainst law. Stealing from companies and artists. It matters - when do - we are being controlled by sinful nature.

7. 3rd (vs. 12) To falsely use God’s name. In Israel, they did not have legal documents, so one’s word or promises was verbal. Someone could deny what they said or give a false promise. To invoke God’s name (The Lord is my witness) would end the discussion. To use name falsely would be to defraud another.

a. Today we use God’s name "So help me God". Yet Jesus says we must simply let our yes be yes. We must keep our word - when we don’t its usually because we care more about self that the other.

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