Loving God and Others

The message was brought by Rev. Stuart Orr.

Love one another. We know we’re to do that. God told his people Israel to remember the land of Egypt. He didn’t want them to forget how he brought them out of that bondage. We remember how and when God saved us. We should remember and thank God for it. It’s our Egypt to remember. The love showed to us on Calvary tells us to love.

Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.

I’ve learned through the study of the Word that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The same God who brought Israel out of Egypt is the same God we serve. Some things under the Levitical law don’t need to be done now. Calvary covered the sacrificial system, but it didn’t change who God is. The Old Testament  shows God’s love and mercy and how he redeemed his people. He taught people many things in the Old Testament, among them that he can fight our battles. Even in the New Testament we see verses about loving one another just as we do in the Old Testament. God wants his people loving each other. That has not changed in all the years of the Bible.

We need to understand love. Don’t love in word and not in deed. We can’t say we love someone and not help them if they are in need. We are to do this. God says he will repay. I tell you that money won’t be missed when we give to those in need. We are not to expect a return. When we do, that’s not really doing it in love. We give never thinking of a return. That being said we don’t had it out without thought and prayer. People need help but there are those who ought to get out and work. The Bible says we are to provide for ourselves and our family.

Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

We cannot buy or earn eternal life. It comes through Calvary as a gift of God. Whether a Christian or not this old body will die. Where will you live after that? Everybody will live forever somewhere in a body that won’t die. We choose here where we spend eternity. I choose to spend it in heaven with Jesus.

Look at the last part of this section in Matthew. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  Compare it to the first commandments. Thou shalt do no murder. Would you do yourself harm? Some people struggle with this and we need to help them. But most of us won’t harm ourselves. So, we shouldn’t harm our neighbor. In the story of the Good Samaritan, many passed a man by who had been beaten and robbed. The Samaritan stopped and helped him. That was his neighbor and we are to love as well. Thou shalt not commit adultery. You would have to transgress against your neighbor to satisfy your fleshly desires. That’s the complete opposite of loving your neighbor. Thou shalt not steal.  I have no use for a thief. If it’s not yours, don’t take it.  Think of how you want to be treated and treat others that way. Thou shalt not bear false witness. No one likes to be lied on so don’t lie on your neighbor. Take responsibility for what you have done; love others and not put blame on them.

How much are we putting out there? How much are we loving others as we do ourselves? In the garden, the human side of Christ asked if the cup could pass from him. He didn’t want to die a punishment not his. BUT in love he said “nevertheless, not my will but thine.” He was willing to sacrifice himself and give that kind of love. Are we willing?  It’s easy to love when others are being kind to us, but when they are not it’s hard. What does the Bible tell us to do? Love our enemies. If we love only those who love us, we’re like the Pharisees. We don’t want to see anyone go to hell. If I have to suffer for someone to be saved, am I okay with that?

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: 5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. 10 And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, 11 And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; 12 Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

God wants us to remember when we were lost and headed to hell. Jesus put us on the right path. It’s not what we’ve done. I heard on talk radio a while back that early on in America’s history people needed to depend on God and now that we’re a super power we don’t really need him. He wasn’t saying there isn’t a God, just that he’s not needed. People don’t want to love him. People are raised on religion and know very little about God and his fullness. He is more than a religion. Verse 5 says And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. From the top of the head to the bottom of the feet, everything should be about loving God. Jesus said people honored him with their lips but their heart was far from him. Otherwise, how can people say they love God or talk about going to church and carry such filth in their mouth. We have to show the love of God. To do that we can’t be part of the trash talk. We must not go the opposite way of God. We must love God and love our neighbor.

Matthew 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

When we really understand God’s love we can love our neighbor. We need to understand this above all. Even if you know book, chapter, verse of the Bible but don’t love, you have nothing. I want to know how to love God and how to love my neighbor. Then we’ll have a heart and life that is touched by God.

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