August 9, 2020
Rose of Sharon Baptist Church August 9, 2020
Church Service Notes
Scripture: Exodus 20:3-17 & 1 Corinthians 13
The last several weeks we have reviewed the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. We have looked at the commandments while considering the teachings of Jesus when He told us the greatest commandment was to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and to love our neighbor as yourself. In John 13:34-35, Jesus gives us a new commandment. In these verses Jesus tells us a new way to live – to love people as Jesus loved people. How did Jesus love people? He gave His life on the cross. It was a sacrificial love. The Bible tells us there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for another. That is what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins. We are supposed to love other people as Jesus did.
Today, I want us to examine our lives and see if we are loving people as Jesus loved people. As we look at the Ten Commandments and how we love the Lord and others, we need to ask if we are doing that as Jesus would do it. As we interact with people, are we loving them as Jesus loved other people? That is what we are called to do because Jesus did that first. It would be a better world if people all around our world decided to love people today, as Jesus loved people. Some of us may say, “That would be awesome, but I don’t even know how to do that. How do you love like Jesus does?” The Bible tells us how to do that. In I Corinthians 13, we see the description of what love is and how to love like Jesus. In the original language, the word “Love” is “Agape”. Your Bible translation may read “Love” or “Charity”. Charity is love in action; it is giving of yourself for the benefits of others. Agape means affection, good will toward another, love, benevolence, and brotherly love. There is a love between brothers that is a different love. That kind of love – that no matter what the other person does, you continue to love them. It is a familial love that transcends feelings and emotions. When you see love and charity in this passage, it is that agape love.
Paul tells us in the letter to the Corinthians that though we may perform many good acts, if they are without love it does not mean anything. Jesus is constantly moved by love for people. We have to start moving our hearts to love all the people that God has placed in our loves. That love for others has to govern our actions and motivations. Sometimes it is hard to love some people, like when they are being rude or they let you down or maybe they have been offensive to you. How do we have love for those people? Jesus did. There are difficult situations in life. There are times when people harm us greatly or hurt our family. How do we find love for those people? It is a difficult thing to do. If you are in that situation, know you are not perfect, but God gives us strength to become more like him. The Bible tells us to pray for our enemies. I want to encourage you to pray for the person who might have harmed you so deeply. That prayer may just be “Lord, your Bible says to pray for our enemies, and I am praying for them.” If that’s all we can do as a start, then start – we have to find ways to love.
Most of us do not have that type of person in our lives that has wronged us so horribly. Many of us have people who are opposed to our thoughts. They make our lives and work harder. Maybe they keep going down wrong paths and rejecting our help. There are strangers we see on social media and the news that seem to be opposed to everything we believe. We all have those situations in our lives, but we are called to love those people. We have to let love govern us. The ultimate goal in this love should be to introduce someone to Christ who loves them more perfectly and completely than we ever will. The greatest good we can do for anyone is to introduce them to Jesus Christ. It is our prayer that people would give their life to Christ. As we do works, we should strive to see people through the eyes of Christ, as people who need God’s love.
Paul also tells us in this passage that the Christian life should be a life of growth. We should be more like Christ today than we were years ago. We should better know how to apply love in our lives today than we did when we met Jesus Christ. We will never get it completely right on this earth, but we have to do the best we can to abide in the Holy Spirit. That is what we are called to do now and to grow more and more like Christ.
Back to the question of how do we love like Jesus? Verses 4-7 describe that love for us. Love is patient or longsuffering. The person that is loving others like Christ loved people will have patience in that love. The original language translates to having patience in grievances. It takes it to another level to be patient when someone is harming you. It is not just when things are easy and going well. It is continuing to love even when someone does us wrong. A lot of times we want to get revenge when someone does us wrong, but if we are truly loving then we have to be slow to anger. Verse 4 continues and says love is kind. We are called to be benevolent and nice. We need more kindness in our world and homes today. The passage says love does not envy. We cannot covet and envy what other people have. The verse says love does not boast. We are not to trumpet our own accomplishments or greatness to other people. This verse ends, “Love is not puffed up?” This is talking about when we convince ourselves of our own greatness. We do not trumpet ourselves in our own mind. Some of us are way too in love with our own selves. You do need self-worth. You get your self-worth in the Lord. None of us are perfect. Jesus was but we are not. Do not lie to yourself. We cannot puff ourselves up.
Verse 5 says love does not behave unseemly. Our actions should not be rude. We should be respectful. We could use more respect in our world and in our homes. Children should respect their parents and parents should respect their kids. We need to have respect in our churches and outside of our churches to other people. Verse 5 continues with the teaching that love does not seek its own. We do not try to gain an advantage for our own favor versus another person. We do not manipulate an interaction so that we come out better than another person. When we are loving, we lay down our life for another person. The verse says love is not easily provoked. We are not to be easily angered. We have to guard in our hearts to not allow our emotions to react. We have to be slow to anger. Some people misinterpret this to say we should never have anger. There are times when righteous anger is justified. Jesus became angry when the temple was being misused. There is a time for righteous anger, but we have to be slow to anger. Verse 5 ends in the King James Version with love thinketh no evil. Other translations may say love keeps no record of wrong. We do not hold the past over someone. There is a time for forgiveness to come. It does not mean we just forget, but we cannot hold guilt over someone. We do not continue to hold a grudge. This does not mean we excuse sin. Jesus shows us how love holds no record of wrongs with the woman caught in adultery. He loved her but He condemned her sin.
Verse 6 tells us to rejoice not in iniquity but to celebrate truth. Integrity is what this is talking about. We should be people of integrity. Verse 7 says love beareth all things. The original language is talking about enduring and protecting against a threat like a shield. It means we do not quit or give up and hide when it gets tough. Even when it is hard to love someone, we will continue to love them. It may be hard to love people because of what they are doing or the opposition to Christian beliefs. There are some Christian brothers and sisters around the globe who are showing the love of Jesus and are being arrested and facing terrible things because of their faith. They are loving by bearing all things for the sake of others! The verse says love believeth all things. This means love trusts in good things. Then it says love hopes in all things. This is talking about Jesus. We do not put our hope in other things. All of our hope goes into the things of Jesus Christ and His salvation. Verse 7 concludes with love endureth all things. This talks about being brave in the face of accusation and persecution. When you look at Jesus, you see Him endure no matter what He was facing. What was He facing? The cross and being beaten. He endured it all for us. That is the same love we have to have. We do not know what the future holds. When things come, good or bad, are we going to continue to love people like Jesus did?
Verse 8 closes the description of love with love never fails. Our love for other people should never fail. God’s love for us will never fail, and we need to be people who love the same way. We need to be people that love sacrificially with a love that lays down our life for other people. We have looked at the Ten Commandments and maybe we have seen some aspects in our life that were not loving to God and other people. Today we looked at how Jesus loved. Maybe you have been convicted of areas where you are not loving with this type of love. If so, I want to encourage you to respond and start to love as Jesus did.
Maybe in this message you recognized for the first time that you’ve not been a person love and have been living for yourself. Maybe you realized there is wrongdoing in your life that is a problem. The Bible tells us the consequence of our wrongdoing (sin) is eternal death and condemnation in a place called hell, but Jesus loved us so much with this 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love that He made possible the forgiveness of our sins when He dies on the cross in your place. The Bible says if you are willing to confess your sins, live for Him as Lord, and believe that Jesus is who He says He is, you can be saved. If you want to give yourself to God today you can. Pray to the Lord and let Him know you believe in Him, you will live for Him, and you desire your sins to be forgiven. If you make that prayer today then please share it with us, we would love to celebrate that decision with you.