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Love Your Enemies

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist
The Truth Network Radio
September 20, 2022 8:08 pm

Love Your Enemies

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist

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September 20, 2022 8:08 pm

September 18, 2022 – Message from Pastor Josh Bevan

            Main Scripture Passage:  Matthew 5:43-48

            Topic: Love

 

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Your Bible if you look with me to Matthew chapter number five. Matthew five and read verse 43 down in verse 48 that it youngster come up to me today and he said the reason why his church an hour and 1/2 long which I replied you know it's important to make sure we give God his time in and spend time with God's people, he said no. I mean, why is it only an hour and 1/2. My jaw fell to the floor as I lifted it back up and I thought what a blessing.

What a blessing as he fibers 43, so this may become hung sermon. I don't know what that's going to resort your all I got on the Hamas poster think that verse 43.

He says he had heard that if Vince said, thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy. Verse 44 with me 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 you 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 incentive rain on the just and on the unjust review.

Love them which love you, what reward have you do not even the publicans the same. If you salute your brother and only what do you more than others do not.

Even the public and so. Verse 48 also with me. The therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect God in heaven we rejoice with you that Christ is risen from the dead, we celebrate the reality of his Lordship that he is King of Kings and Lord of lords, and today we pray that your word would rest upon good soil.

May the soil of our heart be soft and may we receive the word of God to conform and fashion us into the Maggio day the image of Christ Jesus I pray today if anyone doesn't know you that today might be the day of salvation I pray that for those who are saved, that you would conform and fashion us into the manage image of your dear son, I pray that you would be glorified Lord in this service and all this we ask in Jesus name.

And God's people said menu may be seated this morning to hear ever have to deal with somebody he was an enemy in your life and have enemies that have come against you. Maybe they opposed you, they they wanted you to fail.

They did that they were people who babies slander you gossiped about.

You lied about you own purpose. Maybe they even detest you hear our Lord brings to us. One of the most challenging statements in all of Scripture tells us here to love our enemies and yet it is with that monumental command that God gives here that he offers us a glorious freedom from the bitterness hates and resentment that can fill our hearts.

Today we live in a world that is filled and so often controlled by hate and vengeance. People fighting one with another. Some are totally consumed with that they've never let go of the situation they they hold it and carry it throughout their life and they don't realize that hate is slavery.

Bitterness makes a terrible taskmaster Christians his mouse were created to glorify God and spread the gospel. Instead, glorify hates and spread slander instead of seeing the other person is a soul that needs to be saved.

They see them as an enemy that needs to be judged instead of being led by the spirit. Such a Christian can be led by the flesh.

So today I would ask you to examine your heart. Some today in our world who profess Christ cannot live for God because they're in the bondage of vengeance or holding onto a past heard in their allowing some enemy and their pastor and their current life to have more control over them than even the Lord Jesus Christ friend let me ask you have you allowed someone you don't even like to control you more than the God that you are called to love with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Consider helpful is to obey anger more than obeying the Lord Jesus Christ. And why would we allow bitterness and hate into our life when we can have joy and peace from God. Sadly, most of us have done this in our life we been captivated by some situation.

We've been brought into it. It has begin to control our thoughts are moot our behaviors. Sometimes people say will that's just between me and that other person get hate and bitterness it affects and touches every single thing in every relationship and every person in your life will come out of a embittered relationship in their past and they drag that that carnal spirit that hate that bitterness and vengeance and they make their current spouse pay for the sins of their previous spouse and it's not something outside of them that created that it's something inside of them. The problems not external to us its internal Jesus made clear it is that truth that sets us free and today I offer you freedom. This is God's remedy.

This is how citizens of heaven can live on earth, as citizens of heaven on earth. This is freedom from God and what you find in verse 43 through 48, is the answer to enemies is the answer to the pains and injustices that we can face before Jesus gets into this scene.

He says this in Luke 627 which is a parallel account of the sermon on the Mount. Some some believe some theologians believe that Jesus preached the sermon in the different cities that he went to became kind of foundational message it very possible. But Luke 627 could've been a different setting for that. But listen now. He introduces this in Luke's account, Luke 627 he says but I say and do you which here love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, and so he says I want to tell you all I want I want you to those who are willing to hear me because before you can get to the heart of a person you have to get into the ears of the person.

One thing that an inventor person doesn't do well as they don't listen well in an argument with your spouse in the heat of the moment when that when the rage is really flaring, you stop and say honey would you like to correct me.

I'm sure I crossed the lines at this point because right now I'm very sensitive to take in whatever is bothering you. I can see that you're very angry.

I am boiling on the inside but I'm ready to listen, tell me what you want me to change. Tell me what I did wrong because I am softhearted right now and just lay it on me.

There's not one person in this room that's ever done that in their life because were not ready to hear when were upset. Are we ready to speak.

That's what the Bible says be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger because when we get angry we shut our ears and so Christ calls us to hear what he has to say.

I have three brothers. We grew up in a house with all boys and I got into a lot of fights I I think I was probably made to be an oldest brother, but always lie landed third in line and that creates problems. Anybody have kids like that. They are the second my second oldest was probably born to be an oldest child, so I have two first boards.

If you would know what I'm talking about so I had an oldest brother who I fought all the time.

I brought the mouth.

He brought the muscles I can tell you which one works the best. He throttled me every single day. I never want ever to like I want to go to baseball that one time but I still I thought I wanted so I went in the house and boy.

My parents lay low math that I got with my demand by you guys, you know, but I remember after getting in fights with him. My parents would sit down and they would rehearse to us why we needed to get along what we were doing wrong and we do some terrible things to us some flying disciplines.

They would say you need to look at each other and say I love you.

I never knew that the words I love you could have such hates in them such venom and then they would say things like this give each other like I don't want to see him touch him and then we we were trying to read each other's back in but I can tell you in no seasons of life I had no ability to hear the lessons that my parents were telling me there are some perhaps today that you have something that happened in your life.

It was very painful, very hurtful, I would ask you today. Do you have ears to hear you have ears that are able to receive what Jesus Christ has to tell you today or do you wish to continue to live as a slave to bitterness and anger into a person you don't even like and reject the words of the one you say you love to give the first of all what he says and teaches here in verse 43 which is the human standard that was being taught in the day of our Lord.

Verse 43 Jesus says you have heard that it has been said, thou shalt love thy enemy and love thy neighbor and hate thy enemy. This is the sixth and final.

You have heard of been said but I say a new statement from verse 20 down to verse 48. Again Jesus is contrasting what the Jewish religious leaders were teaching compared to what the standard of God is and is pointing out how their standard had fallen short of God's divine standard, though they had the Bible they had the word of God. The Old Testament they had brought it down to a standard that they could live up to some of the false notion also that the Old Testament in fact taught that we are to hate our enemies, but that is not true God standard has always been for the believer to love their enemies.

Let me give you some Old Testament verses, Exodus 23 verse four and five, God says if they'll make thine enemies ox, or his irises donkey going astray. Thou shalt surely bring it back to him again, if thou see the eyes of him that hate of the lying under his burden, and what is for bear to help them thou shalt surely help him. The last thing you would want to do if you saw your neighbor that you or someone you hated his animal out is to take time to stop doing whatever you're doing sacrifice your time and energy perhaps resources to return that animal to him. Finders keepers losers weepers right you would be like to add one more animal to my fleet of animals here.

My flocks and and and that's what your mindset would be, but God says that's not what were to do.

Proverbs 25 verse 21. The Old Testament says if thine enemy be hunger, hungry, give him bread to eat. If he be thirsty, give him water to drink. Leviticus 1918, let's read that together. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people with thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. I am the Lord Jesus's day the Jewish teachers there called rabbis admitted parts of the Old Testament Scripture, when the Old Testament said, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

They omitted the statement as thyself.

One of the Jewish scholars memo writers wrote.

If a Jew sees a Gentile fallen into the sea, let him by no means lift him out for his written, thou shall not rise up against the blood of thy neighbor. But this man is not thy neighbor. This is the kind is it so basically they saw a Gentile grounding, they said just let him drown. Sure would want these guys to be your lifeguard right you find the unloving nature that was present in the Daves of Christ in the Jewish culture and the story of the good Samaritan.

Jesus says love your neighbor as yourself. One of the men's seeking to justify himself, said and who is my neighbor, to which Jesus responds in Luke chapter 10 he says there was a man who is churning down to Jericho and while on his journey. Some thieves came out and beat him and robbed him and left him for dead.

And Jesus says it just so happened that a priest came by. That way, and you would think well how blessed this man would leave it up priest would come by someone who had faith in God. He thought the law of God. Surely he would be there to help them. If the Bible says in Luke 1031 but he passed by on the other side and then it says that there was also a Levite, which was part of the priestly tribe who came and also was there to walk by that way and and then you think will go to Levite another religious man. Hopefully this man will help them but the Bible also says in Luke 1032 and likewise a Levite, when he was come to the place looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

Two men saw this guy on the road who he may have been a Jew, or he may have been a Gentile, but either case they left this man for dead.

Jesus then says there is a Samaritan who a Samaritan is 1/2 Jew half jumps out they were despised by the Jewish people, the Jews hated Samaritans.

The Bible says in Luke 1033 but a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and he with them, and bound up his wounds, pouring oil and wine instead of on his own beast, and brought him into the end and took care of him on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the house and said, take care of him. What sort of announcement is more when I come again I'll repay the behavior got enough money to work two pence would take care of the guy for several weeks and what he did was he treated Batman on the side of the road like he would've treated him self. That's what it means to love others as yourself do for them exactly what you would've done for your own self and Jesus says which of them was neighbor and the man said the Samaritan was like bitterness in his mouth and Jesus is going do thou likewise. And so in that day the people. The religious leaders.

The spiritual leaders of the day corrupted the system because they were the standards by which people are trying to live up to in their standards was it was okay to hate others. I mean it was a virtue in their day to actually hate Gentiles to hate other people.

They were intolerant they were exclusive to their own people and so that's what you find going on in the days of Christ, now and in the face of this, you have Jesus bringing the divine standard in verse number 44. Look what Jesus says in verse 44, he says, but I say unto you, love your enemies, love your enemies, the first of all, this presupposes that we will have what you say. Well I won't have any enemies. I'm too good of a person full of your good person you probably will have some enemies. Some people don't like you because you would be so good. I'll never forget a few years ago I was visiting this dear elderly woman and her husband are members of our church and in their in their 80s and in this this lady.

I mean if she walked out the rain. She would she's like sugar she would melt. She is the sweetest, kindest, I mean just like I thought she said this to me. She said she said you know for years. There is a individual across the street they just hated us they hated me they would say bad things out and I was thinking how on earth could anybody hate you like butter like you're just so soft and pleasant in front of me. Just good night you have Satan across the street every year like what is going on. I thought how could anybody not like you. But you know what is reality if there's anybody that we would say how on earth could anybody oppose them would be the Lord Jesus Christ I mean Jesus was perfectly loving and gracious mercifully heal people for people to receive his enemies. He was so kind. He did only things that were just, and yet the world hated him so severely they crucified him. This is such a man is not worthy to live if they did that, the Christ, how much more would they do. That's also to those who follow him. Jesus said in John 15. He says if they hate you, they will hate me if they persecuted me, they will persecute you now the Bible tells us that we are to respond to those who are enemies with love in the word love.

Here is the strongest word in the Greek for love.

It's it's hard to pay her agape love it.

This is this is a sacrificial love. This is, I am willing to deny myself. I am willing to make the ultimate sacrifice if necessary for your benefit. I will deny myself for your good. I will do whatever is good for you, even at the expense of myself. This is a giving love. This is a sacrificial love and it is also a love that doesn't seek anything in return. It doesn't say I'll do this if you do this for me it's saying I'll do this no matter how you respond. Consider someone in your life who is an enemy. When is the last time you sought to deny yourself to make a sacrifice to benefit that person that's literally what Jesus is calling me calling us to preach.

Are you telling me I need to love my enemies like that know Jesus is Jesus is. This is his command. You don't know what they did to me you don't know what they said about me. You know how much they wronged me, you know, I don't know and I don't want to make light of how offensive people can be. I don't want to make light of how horrible people can be to each other they can undermine you they can hurt you. They can cause you to lose your job, they can physically do wrong things you they can her people in your family they can slander you vacant more your name. There's a lot of terrible things people can do, but I would have to ask you the question they wronged you worse than you and I have wronged God with our sin. How is God who is infinitely wronged by our sin responded to us and would you want God to treat you in the same way you treated their sins. Would you want God to respond to you in the same way you respond to them. Also consider what hate, bitterness and unforgiveness due to you to control your life, you're a slave you're a slave that's what you are. You have become enslaved to hate you worship it. Some people love to hate. They love bitterness controls them they defend it as though it was their faith. And if anybody touches the God of hate in their life they get angry at that because they have a right you know what date they cried out as the God of their life is sovereign somebody touch the hem of their garment and some offensive way and now they have forever. The right to be angry.

I ask you, would you rather be controlled by hate toward that person or love toward God. Why would you allow that person to have more power over your emotions, your feelings and your decisions in life than the Lord Jesus Christ would have power over you.

You say I don't if you're not willing to love them and to forgive them and to love others like that then you are letting their hate your hate for them to control you more than Jesus said, I don't like the sermon on not coming here to make you like it coming here to tell you the truth because Jesus loves you and so do I know the word doc archipelago is not a feeling you need to understand this is a very important truth, love, and the Bible is not based on feelings and emotions. In fact, love can affect emotions, but you don't have to have any emotions in love if it transcends it love train true biblical love transcends the flaky feelings based emotional based love that the world defines that that that that's the basis part of love the feeling part of it. It's the weakest part.

It's it's the part that can come and go. Enough ice cream or you have a unique piece or two later feeling can be terrible about the person the next day. I mean, it's that it's that flaky love is an act of the will. It's not a feeling it's it's defined by truth John Stott said this type of love may involve emotion, but it must always involve action. It is not passive, it is active love is service that is not sentiment like with the missionary Amy Carmichael said she said you can give without loving but you cannot love someone without giving and that's why the Bible says God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son you know God I'm so thankful God didn't just have a feeling of love toward us, but God had an action of love toward us. Anybody with me. I'm so glad about, I'd say God so had such a strong feeling of love toward the people in the world on thing for the Bible says God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, and that's what love does not. Jesus gives us three actions that the true believers to make in response to their enemies. Three actions that the true believers to make a response that are enemies again because love is a choice. It's not a feeling you don't have to feel it, you just have to do it. That's why when people tell me you know I fell in love with my wife or a fellow love of my husband.

That's your defining that we failed with the false say statement that the world is produced. There is no such thing. The Bible knows of no such language.

There is no such thing as falling out of love with somebody that doesn't even make sense. All that's basically saying is this God would say no to know you can fall in love with you chose to stop acting love out upon them you stopped serving them. You stop living out actions because feelings follow willful choice billings were always made for the driver seat. They were never made for the drive. Feelings always made for the passenger seat. I should say the backseat choice in the will was supposed to be in the driver seat so you do what's right and the feelings follow that and so what you choose to love will become lovely. Now Jesus gives us these three actions that whether you feel like doing them or not. It's not the question. This is just a choice to love and he says the first thing we are to do in verse 44, he says, but I say unto you, literally, with action to the sacrifice of yourself and the betterment of the other person your enemies. That's what it means. Love your enemies help bless them that curse you less than the curse you, what's the first thing and that usually is affected in our life. If somebody really agitates us.

You know how usually comes out of our mouth, we slander them. We talk about about them. We fire back with PG-13 or just flat-out R-rated material coming out of her mouth. I mean, it is just avoidable assault is when we get angry we say things we's chewed off at the lip and here Jesus says I don't want you to do that he says I want you to bless them. Glossier comes from the Greek word usually go where we get the English word eulogy from I've done 130 some funerals in in in my life of very Lotta people night I always tell the family I asked him it's okay to tell me about your love one tell me, like what what kind of a kind of person worthy. You know what are some words that would define who they were all just sit back and you know it's a blessing when they begin to say you know mom was faithful God was faithful or they love God. They taught us the word.

They brought us the church states that they will faithful to each other. They were faithful to us. They were hard-working and were kind other people.

They were generous, they begin to just pour out all the things that I sit down with some people. Words like you know they we can really have a relationship was distant with mom or distant with the date they drank a lot.

They know they always had other priorities that gambled all the time. They were wasteful with money. We struggle to have Nate I'm like well I'm not going to get up and say all that and and therefore fighting to find something to honor their mom and dad with me ask you question is a rabbit or what would your kids say about you. I sit down with your family settlement. You tell me about that. What what kind of man was he treat mom treat you guys were the words that would define them, your young person date.

What I just said doesn't mean maybe as much to you, but if you're in that next stage of life, it starts to mean a whole lot more you start thinking about that what my kids what would my grandkids say about me, they defined me.

Would they be able to tell the pastor things that I've done.

Love them and care for the poor, they say, well mom and they worked a lot.

They never seem to have time for us. I just you know this is not a whole lot of memories.

There I've never I've never had anybody die for several hours I worked more which I was only gave 70 and 80 hours to let me tell you something be a hard worker and be a hard worker that loves your family. It's not when people tell me you know I work 60, 70 hours, you think that impresses me think that impresses me. There was a day my life.

I thought by telling people I work 60 7080 hours. I thought that impressed people. I thought that was like it was like valuable then I realize that's sometimes very stupid and foolish. You think you think working yourself to death is real honor really what why don't you what you balance your life out enough to where you get rid of some things that you have to pay for and take that time to spend with your family because when you're at that last stage of life you'll never look back and say I wish I purchased more stuff and spend more time working to pay it off. I've never been impressed anymore by people who say that I so you might want to think that through.

Again my want to think that through.

Again, work hard with your family think about hiking do games have things you do with them. Don't just spin your wheels. That's all extra. That's not in the message today. All right, Jesus says you need to bless them. You need to speak like you would a eulogy.

You need to talk well of them. You need to only highlight the good in them. You need to you need to lift up positive things about them when the last time somebody did something wrong to you, and in response you didn't say something evil, but rather you said you know what not to say that I'm not gonna say anything evil about them. Instead, you would only say something positive you know what, but I know there a guard worker. I know that there faithful working in a bowl. Then they did they run her mouth about you the boss yeah but you know what you know their hard work. I don't agree with what they did but you know what will be there between them, the Lord and pray for those guys and leave it at that. What would the world think what would the world think of us if we would respond such weights know they think you got some difference you you're not controlled by hate number two, he says, do good to them which hate you, do good to them. So now I do. I need to verbally speak well of them.

But now I need to physically do good to them. Use respond to people who do you wrong right will you hurt me Archie back to speak evil of me, and smells, they give against you back. The last thing we want to do is to do good to them. One preacher said do to do evil for good is human corruption to do good for good is civil retribution. But to do good for evil as Christian perfection. I forget my wife was so wrong by this individual that it's one thing when you're wrong but it's another thing when you like your spouse is wrong about like you like it even makes you more frustrated like I can let them go over there like Diogenes is a sweetheart. I used her in and in and there's been a probably about 10 years ago. Somebody that's really wrong turn and I remember just so frustrating. Like for me.

I was trying to hold it in. Just start over. Got a new like Bible stuff, but it's a whole lot harder to practice what you preach and to preach it right so so my wife is so gracious she's she's always been somebody am so thankful for. She never holds on. She never doubts I've been married 20 years to this woman. She never pulls out resentments. She never she never does that.

She has no white GG doesn't low you know a person is a desert or I remembered 10 years ago. Joshua did that she does do anything ever. It's incredible to me such a blessing God has gifted me with such a wonderful wife you see me up here preaching, but I can tell you the better athlete is in the service sitting and I she's not even in the service. I didn't say this in your service, so not trying to butter her up. Okay. Praise God for godly wives.

Amen. But I remember this person so wrong to her and and in that individual ended up having a baby. My wife made a nice meal for her brought it over and gave it to her and in just said if there's anything else I could ever do for you. Just let me know. Justice. I just thought I would like laxative and everything is all be shocked. Are you shocked really yeah yeah. All of the cuttings the best you know I mean that's how we that's how we think we want to do wrong but but you know what just just love to do good to somebody you know.

Romans 1220 says therefore if thine enemy hunger feeding these thirsty giving the drink Prince are doing so he calls a fire on his head be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with what Paul got that he got that out of the old Testaments. Proverbs 25 of you ever been overcome by some evil that a person that you are you seeking to overcome evil with good. So either in life we let hate control us or we let love control us if there someone in your life that you just don't like you, perhaps even fill hate toward them.

I can tell you one way to overcome that is by doing them good. Go out of your way to do something good for them. Husband and wife you have bad feelings toward your spouse.

I challenge you to start doing good to them, serve them, let me say this, I sat down with a couple this last week and they said you know I just really want to begin to Lico serve the Lord more than they had some conflict in their marriage.

I said I love your heart to serve got a love that desire.

Love your heart to seek counsel. Once you know the first place, you can begin serving God is serving your spouse said you want to know what it means to serve your spouse, it means you're serving Jesus Christ. You know what my first ministry is at lighthouse. It's not to use to my wife, and then it's to you and in and into love that bride to love. Love her as Christ loved the church, which I feel at all the time but I deeply love my wife. She is such a gift to me and into cherished herds into treaters and in and you need to understand this husband wives how you treat them is exactly how you're treating Jesus master question if you went home today and Jesus came. You're going to feed him a meal would you do would you get is played out, you ask him what he wants to drink Jamaica's play would you clean up after him to do his dishes would you complain about it. You do you if we would start treating each other like we would've treated Jesus. That's what an inside of the marriage. Some of us have never thought about that in our entire life, you need done is that you don't have and what they said when we see you in prison, we see you without clothing and clothes when we see you hungry and fed you when would you thirsty and give you drink as much as you did it to the least of these. Your serving me if that's true of the least of these. How much was it true to the one you are to love the most, which is your spouse don't tell me you fell love. That's a joke that's a lying joke from the world. Show me your love for Jesus by loving your spouse don't tell me you want to serve Jesus and so you start serving your spouse. The making sense probably later some conviction in here and in the last thing he says it is not only bless them, do good to them but thoroughly he says pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you, and it gets even easier.

Pray for them which despitefully use you as anybody for like praying for somebody who really hurt you. They persecute you they use you and some spiteful manner, but you know what. By doing that were treating them like Jesus treated us in Luke 2334 Jesus is on the cross and he said father forgive them. They know not what they do there for good. I heard about a in Philadelphia. There's a lot of crime going on, which obviously still is but it's been decades ago, and there is a group of businessmen who said they got together begin to have Bible study and pray together and they said they said to challenge you that any enemy in your life. I want to spend the next 30 days and pray for them next 30 days and pray for them and there was a Marine in the in the group who was very outspoken and he stood up and he began the customer swears that I can tell you what, nobody's ever could have meet being kind and being forgiving all this stuff to my enemies is using some some foul language and headed a group that I can tell you what you may not be says don't you tell me you won't to pray for your enemy for 30 days came back 30 days later that the ring was broken, and of giving his life to Jesus Christ and over the years he became the leader of that group that grew out of begin to expand and impact all kinds of groups throughout Philadelphia when the last time you truly came in pray for those who have hurt you.

I can tell you today friends.

This altar should be filled with people at lighthouse to say God help me to love my enemies help me to do them good. Help me to speak well of them and help me to lift them up in prayer today be good day to come and pray for them to give you six closing motivations for loving our enemies very quickly.

Number one, what's the motivation for loving my enemy number one. I should be motivated to do this because it reveals that I'm a child of God. Look at verse 45. He says you should do this.

He says that he 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 incentive rain on the just and on the unjust. Jesus makes clear here that our love is what reveals our salvation.

It reveals that we belong to God. Jesus said in John 13. He said by this shall all men know you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.

That's the evidence in first John 48 it says he that loveth God love is not know with not God, for God is love.

If you have love in your heart for other people. You don't have God in your heart. How can Christ be in you, and his love.

The absence Bible says in first John 416 and we know and believe the love that God has for us. God is loving it and he that dwells within loved well the thing God and God in him. John also said hating our brother reveals were not a true believer.

First John 420. If a man say I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar for he says he that loveth not his brother whom he had seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen as a pretty clear statement as how I love Jesus and God says no you don't know you don't know you.

If you have hate for somebody else that's not true.

After Paul tells us not to be controlled by bitterness, wrath, anger, and to forgive one another. He says in Ephesians chapter 5 verse 20 says the therefore followers of God, as dear children, that phrase followers is the Greek word member sites where we get the English word mimic from it literally reads this weight be therefore mimics of God. Everything that's true of God. Let it be true and you God loving you. Be loving God forgiving you be forgiving God is merciful. You be merciful God's gracious you be gracious mimic God in everything that's we we are to be the image conformed to the image of Christ. The Bible says he's conforming us into the amount of audio data were to be conformed to Christ image to look like him to walk like him to have the mind of Christ, and he says in verse two of Ephesians 5 power to mimic him, he says, and walk in love, even as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us to walk in love. This is this is what God does. Also in verse 45.

He pours out his love on all of the creation. He says he sends his reign on the just and on the unjust isn't just an rain and sunshine on people that love him.

He sends it on people that hate them to these he doesn't discriminate and that's how we are to respond or not loving anyone other than your own. You have reason to ask him.

I really a Christian.

My really Christian then secondly it reveals believers live by a higher standard than the world what he says in verse 46 and seven, he says, for if you love them which love you, what reward have ye do not even the Republicans the same and if you salute your brother also only what do you more than others do not.

Even the public and so with this the self-righteous religious leaders of that day were good at saluting those who were in their circle.

They would greet one another in their circle but outside their circle. They were just distant from them. They would talk to them. They ignored them.

They didn't care about them and integrate them.

They didn't care to greet them. They didn't was in any other business. They didn't care selfish and so the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees thought they were the standard before God, but they found out they are not.

This was a verbal smack in the face of them because he says he says if you agree only those inside your circle of your your your friends and close people. He said you're no different than the publicans unit publican was tax collector Jewish tax collector and that they roam room was the view authority over Israel. They had dominated them and so to have a tax franchise that you would buy that from Rome and then they would tax their own people. They would keep a portion evidence in the restaurant and and and so that you are you are hated by the Jews.

You were the worst of you. This was the bottom of the barrel. The publicans were because you you basically were a traitor to your own people and so they were not even allowed to testify in court. Publicans warned they weren't even allowed in the Jewish synagogues, which is basically the Jewish church. They would even let them in there.

So these guys were the outcasts, only friends of publicans that were other publicans and prostitutes that's there. That was their circle. He says if if you only greet people that you know your friendly weapon you like and that like you said you're no different than the people at the lowest citizens of the community. You're no different than the bottom of the barrel group. Your righteousness is no better than theirs. We only salute with kindness and greet those who are brethren. We have no higher standard and tax collectors friends here we see that God is expecting listen to me more out of the believer that he does out of the world. Let me ask you Christian.

Do you agree with kindness.

Those outside of your circle you agree with those outside your circle. If not, how are you different than the world. Sometimes people live their life in their little bubble that they you know they they greet their family. They have their circle of friends and what Jesus is assaulting here is any type of clicks us for no more mentality.

I can tell you something that is a cancer to God's people destroys things. The last thing you should ever do is coming to church sit down and have nothing to do with anybody else. People say, well, you know, I'm just a shy person, you know, I just it's hard for me. I feel uncomfortable. What I would say this in the most gracious and kind way I can get over yourself here that you that all say to get get over yourself. That is a selfish mentality. I will be as offensive in this service as I was in the early service you know why we don't share the gospel with a lost world on your makes me nervous and I get uncomfortable talking people I don't know what the reason I don't share the gospel with them is because I serve myself and my comfort zone more than their need of salvation. So all my own comfort over their need of Christ and the reason I don't go in and talk to other people, even perhaps in church, but I just going to stay in my own little comfort zone because I really don't care about them will. That's not know it is fair it is for people to come here every Sunday hurting, suffering, struggling, and they need somebody come by and say hey my name is Josh how are you doing in one dear lady, I said that today. Tears began to fill her eyes and said pastor my brother just died last week. Can you pray for me. You pray for my family.

What if I just came and I said you know what, I'm just kinda shy to get up and preach, and I was going to sit here in my little chair and you don't agree to three or four people around me that I know it will even know that dear lady needs somebody to care about her soul care about her family are people that are struggling to listen to me.

Don't leave here just greeting the same people you know and if I offended you. Good. I'm not here to make you like me, which I like when people like me but I get enough hate mail through the years I've lost interest. Plus, I love you enough to tell you the truth if you came to see you are serving in the Marines or the Air Force and you started working up the basin. You lost your family and you also friends overseas and military. You came you know any buying this communication you came, you said in the union life are struggling you're going through some difficulties you came in and sat down in the lighthouse came by and ask you how you're doing and what's your name are you doing this community made to fill a person feel God's people are those people greeted me better than the people at church, God forgive us when people are more kind and outgoing and friendly than God's people. People said we will not allow clicks.

We will not allow some self focused, selfish personality mindset in this church is not a work preach on until it breaks. If I have to I feel like we have the most loving, kind people come in and greet one another that has always be the case. I can tell you, sometimes you are suffering. Sometimes you are hurting just come say, but I'm nervous. It's all the people in the face. You know why because you serve yourself.

I know this is offensive. Believe me, I can think about him just to say it.

I don't have time you run out of time so I just got laid down quick.

I could better yet for 15 minutes and then laid down next to the chase. I do you like it didn't so we need to know the truth and find out God I was selfish and he says you serving when you kept to yourself. You are ministering to anybody else that lost people pagans you communicate.

Just an act that way.

How can you beat the child of the King brother when I bought my next older brother.

He was so shy in church when we grew up. He would sit in the back row along here. He put his head down, you know what he ran with the rough crowd on the knowledge that he was worse with but he what we we ran around with the wrong crowd and in in the he was real real outgoing with his friend Ruby got a church many to sit like this. I forget a pastor came up and shook his hand and made him feel valuable. Spent time with you know what I mean. He would take an F in school instead of did not been given a speech in schools like ours, but he was so afraid that he's preaching to hundreds, five, 600 people in the church. He started three churches got his revolutionizes life what God could do if you just go up and just greet people God can do to somebody who feels like there Michelle Dokken open that thing up and say God to turn my life over you usually how you want. I'm not looking for comfort all take across. Jesus died on the cross and if God forgive me fight I just want a 3 inch cushion chair with lower lumbar support of the 71 room I need to be willing to do something for Christ. It makes me a little bit nervous. When's the last time your hand sweat for Jesus. That's what God is calling us to okay your sick and is there another point here, you can move on to get there. I so you know it would be good today.

Jenny and Tony are down here it down and say these are new family members of our church to join church would be good to 40 ran out and ate lunch run down there and say hey I just want say hey so glad like and say so glad that you part lighthouse. You say, but I'm not even remember you down and let them know you're glad they're here asking anything. Pray for just just greet one another level in the weather that's people around your seat. You know we got some elderly people to walk out on crutches and in and in the stroller to recall the things the rollers you say enough strollers similar lateral mat that can be offensive that was not meant that way. Next week I'll be coming out the stroller you knows my apartment would be good to slow down and let them have the main walkway and opened the door for them. You see somebody walk out to the car with him say hey can open the door for you to be nice thing to do and so that that's that's the mindset that needs to permeate the culture of lighthouse so that when we leave here we go to the community that we report that kind of mindset out on a community. Thirdly, it reveals God's perfecting work in all likelihood he says in verse 40 8B therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven and perfect on the forgiven churches about your old roommate at the fairgrounds about hundred people and the said hate God expects us to be perfect and everybody in the room like the rays rate.

If you think God expects to be perfect nobody razor hand like no I said let's read Matthew 548 Mrs. B therefore perfect, even as your father in heaven is perfect. You could hear a pin drop all we see, and I said aren't you thankful when you rather find out now God standard and stable for him one day and find out his stand was perfection when you thought it was less than that. Ask a question.

If God was okay with you being less-than-perfect Q&A he would be okay with sin. So perfection is sinlessness. If you would be okay with it so is he okay with one lie a day to lies, is he okay was one perverted thought okay with one simple word. Glad God standard is perfection. So thankful God doesn't.

Is it okay with sin say well the problem is I can't live up to that standard for mercy and grace come in right. Bob even says in first Peter 115 and 16 be holy as I am holy.

God says his standard is absolute holiness and perfection so you know what that should produce in our life as you produce three things the perfect standard of God should produce humility in us should humble our spirits as she calls us to be dependent upon God's mercy realize how much we need how much she calls you every day to fall on your knees and say, God, thank you for your mercy, I needed every day and to cause us to worship him being a Christian doesn't mean you don't fail friends, all of us fall short in different ways.

Sometimes even terribly. We can fall but it's not the perfection of her life and reveals our salvation. It is the direction perfection is the standard directions. The test and so God has called us to live for him to follow him and and and when we do fall in times we don't don't live up to that perfect standard that we would confess our sins, and he's faithful and just to forgive us. Number four living a loving our enemies is primarily an act of love to God and secondarily an act of love to our enemies. When you love your enemies, it's not primarily an act of love to them it's primarily an act of love toward God. Jesus said if you love me you'll keep my what commandments and so the driving motive has to be our love for God has to be. I hope this individual would mind, but I sit down with someone recently and they shared with me, something that just just just rocked my soul in such a blessed way and they shared with me how years ago. The couple people had taken the life of the father and how when they began to show that I was thinking clearly they're going to ask me how can I forgive these people. How can I move past this am so bitter so angry about me. That's what I was waiting for, but instead that's not what they sent said pastor I I forgiven them and I'm not even angry with them anymore. I just know that they need Jesus they need saved. I want to write a letter them. They have life in prison. I want to write a letter to let them know I forgive them how to be safe. Matthew question, what, what's the Facebook posts that somebody sent you that made them such a nanometers right or that person to pull out in front of you. Embarrassing as it could tell your friends that our lives are a message. Our lives are preaching to people that that is so powerful in my soul to to see that in the end, that is, that is saying I love God so much.

I'm willing to love them. That's what the early church did.

When Stephen was stoned.

He said father forgive them.

They don't know what they're doing. Pray for those of restarting him. This is incredible love of God. Just notice when you deliver your enemy is when you love them your love in Christ primarily their secondary number five loving our enemies allows God to rule our hearts and not our enemies when you get offended or I get a fin we get hurt. Somebody wrongs us if we allow that hate to control us. We allow the enemy to control us. Why would I allow someone I don't like to control me when someone who gave their life for me is calling me out of that enslaved bitterness number six. It reveals what and who controls our heart. God can allow. I believe this I believe God can allow God to allow enemies in our life to reveal our hearts. You know anybody around that person is always like no matter what job you go to, no matter what school you go to, no matter where you go matter what neighborhood you move into is always that person know what I'm talking about, there's like I thought I left them back in Wisconsin, man. I got there first and then there always there just that personality that person that enemy and I believe God brings those to situations in her life because he wants to test us a man tell me this the week you said you know our heart is like a tea bag in the trials of life are like the water the boils God allows trials in our life so that our heart begins to reveal what's really in it.

When that temperature turns up. Let me ask you question what begins to be revealed in your heart.

What shows up. It's easy to sell of God and I love others, but when that trial comes how I respond.

Then finally we should love our enemies because we were enemies who are loved by God. Romans 510 says, for if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life need understand this.

The reason that we need to love others is because we were enemies to God in Christ came and he died for us, who were the offenders defended one died for the enemy so the enemy might become a child you're sated that's what's happened you have ears to hear today you have ears to hear Christian is your heart clean your coworker, boss, neighbor, parent-child ex-spouse, current spouse need to bless them that curse you, good to them that hate you, pray for them that spitefully use you and persecute you what you leave here today being controlled by God's love, not man's hate what what decision will you make today will determine what you truly love when you when you when you become one who becomes obedient to God that shows that you love God, but we become obedient to hate and vengeance and bitterness and all that we become a lover of self and a lover of sin, the day of the good day for Christians, say God make me clean.

Wash me.

Don't let me hold onto these things here today and used to before God and he said why so that you have and what would you say if God said why should know that you have. Would you be ready to give that answer right now you say I am not quite sure what I would say to be standing right down here will have men women send that door at the store down here you can just come up and say pastor Josh or General Motors or ma'am, I don't know how to answer that question for you sign a private room and sit down and show you from the Bible how you can know in your life so you will be in heaven when the be good enough to be wonderful know how to become a child of the King to know you have eternal life that you can know that the day you could come and be safe. Let's all stand this morning. Father, we do thank you for your work today. We thank you for the love and the grace that you've shown us through Jesus Christ. Father I pray that as you examine us that you would search us know our hearts try us know our thoughts and if there's any sin in us that you would lead us in the way everlasting. How easy it is to be gripped by anger to be gripped by bitterness. Some of these things even now people are pushing down. They don't want to deal with it all. How those things are drug and every other area of life. How much that sin blinds us how much it controls us how much the enemy wins today. May we commonly cleaning your eyes washes will help us to love you in doing so really understand what it means to love others to pray for anyone today that doesn't know Christ today might be the day of salvation, that they might come and be safe. In Jesus name


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