Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Love Your Neighbor
Pastor Steve Schell
Luke 10:25-37
Discipleship is a radical change. You do things you would never have done before for people you would never have noticed before. You now do things for others you would only have done for yourself or your immediate family. This change of focus is what it means to love your neighbor as yourself. Such love is almost always inconvenient, costly, and may even at times be dangerous. But there is no character quality more fundamental to a disciple. In fact a person without it cannot claim to love God, for selfless love forms the very center of His nature, and all who are born-again have this love automatically placed inside them as the Holy Spirit comes to live within (1Jn 4:7-12, 16, 20, 21). This is not to say that a person becomes born-again by doing acts of kindness, but rather it means born-again people don‘t have to be told to love their neighbor, they just need to be shown how. The desire is already there.

So our focus today as we listen to the Lord‘s commandment is not on the fact that we should love our neighbor, but on how He wants us to do this. There are some very important questions that need to be answered if our obedience is to be effective.

What is Love?
1. Mt 7:12 (Golden Rule) ”In everything therefore treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.“
2. Do for someone else in need what you‘d want done for you.
3. Php 2:3, 4 ”with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.“
4. To so value a person or persons that you place their needs ahead of your own.
5. God is our model: Jn 3:16
6. Action vs. affection
- What if I don‘t feel love?
- “when you behave as if you loved someone you will presently come to love him.” (Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, p. 116)

Who is my neighbor?
1. Lk 10:25-37
- (v 30) a person in genuine need
- (vs 31, 32) a person neglected by others
- (v 33) a need God places across my path
- (v 33) a need that the prejudice in me wants to ignore
- (v 33) a need for which the Holy Spirit moves my heart with compassion
2. Lk 14:1-6 Jesus models loving your neighbor.
3. Lk 14:12-14 He asks us to see people with ”eyes of faith.“ We are to look past people‘s worldly circumstances and see them as children for whom the Father longs.
- We can recognize the ”image of God“ in even the most broken.
- Imagine what they‘ll look like at the resurrection of the righteous.
4. Lk 14:15-24 In fact were it not for the poor, crippled, blind and lame there would be very few at the marriage supper of the Lamb because rich, successful people usually aren‘t interested.
– Organic Church, Neil Cole, pp. 72-73

What should I/we do?
1. (Watch) Open our eyes and watch for those God has placed across our path.
2. (Stop) Be willing to be inconvenienced.
3. (Serve) Get our ”hands dirty“ (don‘t expect other Christians to do all the work of serving. A check isn‘t enough.)
4. (Give) Give financially what you can.
5. (Endure) Don‘t abandon the situation or person before the healing is complete.

What are we doing?
1. Above and Beyond fund (PNG, video, radio)
2. ”The Christmas Post“
3. Thanksgiving food drive
4. Christmas gift drive
6. Sports Ministry
7. Food Pantry

Why do we do these acts of love?
1. Because we‘re His disciples and He‘s commanded us to (Mt 5:16 ”Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven“)
2. To help fill God‘s house and thereby bless our heavenly Father‘s heart.
3. To increase our own joy by sharing eternity with more brothers and sisters.
- Hebrews 12:2 ”for the joy set before Him“
- To feel the joy of seeing the bridegroom receive His bride.
- Jn 3:29 ”He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom‘s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full.“ (John the Baptist)
- Moravians: ”To win for the Lamb that was slain the rewards of His suffering“


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