Learning to LoveBro. David Chancellor
9/17/2006 6:00 PM
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith, without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works; Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works…" Learning to love comes naturally to a point. We should help each other to learn how to love each other.
Attention given to a baby teaches children about love. Love doesn’t "just happen." It takes time and attention from the parents. Love includes correction.
Lack of love allows for many horrible things. Love teaches us how we should empathize and deal with each other. Love will keep us from doing many awful things. We come together to learn how to love.
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
The love children see and experience is how they learn to love. Knowing how to love is good for everyone.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Love applies to everyone. Everyone needs to know how to love and how to increase in it. Learning to love is a central part of the gospel. If you leave out this part, you’ve left out what makes it work.
For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
"Love worketh no ill to his neighbour…" This is why it’s so important to civil society that people have love in their hearts. Many of society’s problems today are due to the fact that love isn’t being taught as it should be. When the focus of business is "every man for himself" the business will suffer. Our civil society depends to some degree on the love we have for each other. Caring about other people will influence what you do. Love causes you to feel the pain of others. Love causes you to feel, to care about what others are going through.
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 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. 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, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
The young man had kept all of the commandments "from his youth up." Parents can bring children at least this far. Without the Holy Spirit this is as far as you can get. It takes the Spirit of God moving self out of the way to really love. Self causes problems with love. Christ pointed to a love that went beyond self.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Jesus taught here about love. "Love your neighbor and hate your enemy." This is one of the terrible parts of war. Soldiers are taught to hate their enemies. The enemy is "dehumanized" and it makes it easier for the soldier to kill them. The world is at: "Love your friend; hate your enemy." Praying for your persecutor is a different kind of love. We need to be able to pray, "God, forgive them. They don’t realize what’s working on them," about our enemies.
The reason for doing or not doing some things is love and concern for others. It’s caring about souls and love for souls that causes us to restrict our behavior. If you can’t pray for you persecutors, you need more of what God has.
There’s a way to stand for right without being unkind. The apostles and others were able to suffer persecution and hold onto what was right without ever being unkind. You desire good to be brought about in the lives of those who persecute you, even if it comes by your pain.
This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
We love one another as he’s loved us. Christ modeled the love we ought to have. We want it to be replicated in us.
The "great" end of love will give itself for others. It means you love them more than yourself. The other end is loving self above everything else. Christ was on the great end.
How much are we willing to endure for others? The love in Christ won’t advance its own cause at the expense of others. It won’t hurt others to make self-exalted. That’s the love of self. The greater love is willing to lay down our lives for our friends. If you don’t have the greater love in your heart, God is willing to put it there.
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
The Holy Ghost is needful for the love God would have us to have. Self is only overcome by the Holy Spirit. Self has to be out of the way for the love of God to be there.
When the Spirit of God is there, you can love as Christ loves. Sanctification puts you where you can grow on the second half of the scale of love. Holiness is living out the love of God to the sinful world. You can only live it when self is out of the way. It’s impossible to live out the love of Christ without the Spirit of God.
1 John 3:16-18
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him. My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
Loving and laying down your life for the brethren gets down to helping other when its inconvenient. Love has to be translated into deeds. We have to put others before ourselves. Love is tested when it’s a question of, "Is it me, or them?" Our love should cause us to interrupt our lives to make things better for others. If we love in deed and in truth, there will be times when what we wanted to do had to be put aside to help others. Let love get into your deeds.
1 John 4:16-21
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him. That he who loveth God love his brother also.
Just loving when you’re loved is still a selfish love. Great love for God is coupled with great love for others. Those that claim to love God who can kill their fellowman hasn’t learned how to really love. Love for God that doesn’t love our fellowman has something wrong. Love for God really cares about for your fellowman. It causes you to care for others more than yourself. It seeks to be a help to others in some way.