Summary: Loving your neighbor as yourself

The Power of Love – Part III

Matthew 22:39; 1 Corinthians 13:4-6

February 22, 2004

Matthew 22:39 (NLT)

A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Who Is Your Neighbor?

• More than just the guy next door

• Your neighbor is any other person

– Regardless of relationship

– Regardless of friend or foe

A Description of Love

1 Corinthians 13:4-6 (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love Is Patient…

• Patient with people

– Not circumstances

• Characterized by a level head

– In spite of provocation

* Demonstrated by God’s patience

Love Is Kind…

• Doing good to others

– Whether or not they do good to you

– In spite of differences

• Going the extra mile

* The parable of the Good Samaritan

Love Does Not Envy…

• Does not want what others have

– Content with status in life

• Does not think ill of others because of material well being

* Paul’s contentment in all states of being

Love Does Not Boast…

• Allows others to do the talking

– Reputation over boasting

• Does not seek the accolades of others

* Paul considered himself a bondservant

Love Is Not Proud…

• Does not look down on others

– No one is viewed as inferior

• Does not need to make comparisons

– Comfortable with identity in Christ

* Paul found his authority through his identity in Christ and not his accomplishments

Love Is Not Rude…

• Considers the feelings of others

– All actions are weighed against the well being of those affected

• Respect is based upon God’s love for all people

• Does not repay wrong with wrong

* Jesus did not insult those who insulted him

Love Is Not Self-Seeking…

• Does not insist on “my rights”

– Willing to give up what is rightfully mine for the sake of someone else

• Finds satisfaction in seeing others do well

* Jesus became a servant for the sake of all

Love Is Not Easily Angered…

• Characterized by a slow fuse

• Not touchy and reactionary

– Calm, cool and collected

* Jesus held his tongue, even when falsely accused

Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs…

• No harbored grudges

– Not only forgives, but forgets

• Past wrongs are not held over the head of the offender

* God removes our sins as far as the east is from the west

Love Does Not Delight In Evil…

• No rejoicing when others fall

• No pointing out the failures of others to belittle them

– Love offers restoration and reconciliation

* Jesus restoration of Peter

Love Protects…

• Concerned with sheltering others from harm

– May take “heat” in offering protection

• Views the well-being of others as being equally important to well-being of self

* Jesus protection of the woman caught in adultery

Love Trusts…

• Never loses faith

– Offers second, third, fourth…chances

– Failure is not a disqualifier

• Trust is based on God’s ability to transform the life of another

* Philemon’s servant Onesimus

Love Hopes…

• Conviction that God has created all people with a purpose

– Willingness to allow God to see His purposes through

• Willingness to realize that God is not finished with any of us yet

Love Perseveres…

• A commitment to never give up

– Love continues in spite of hardship

– Love is not performance based

* Jacob’s love for Rachel

If It’s Important For You…

• Health

• Food

• Shelter

• Prayer

• Salvation

*Your neighbor deserves no less!!!!

**Powerpoint available on request

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