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The Commandment of Love

Jason Sliger

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Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Jason is a former full-time evangelist with Amazing Facts, now pastoring in Northern Michigan. He and his wife, Midori, have two children, Evangeline and Christian who are 3 and 1. His greatest desire is to have an experience like Jesus and be part of helping others be like Him too. He enjoys playing with his kids, photography and, when he can find time, playing the guitar.

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  • January 7, 2017
    11:30 AM
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Loving Father in heaven. We are thankful that we can come into your presence. And know that you have a blessing for each one of us. The father the small and as we've come away from the business of the week. To enter into that into your presence We pray Lord that you would speak to our hearts. And draws near to you. We love you Father thank you in Jesus' name. Amen. You have your Bibles please turn with me to John the thirteenth chapter. John Chapter thirteen. While you are turning there John Chapter thirteen is where we find Jesus and His disciples in the upper room they are about to partake in what would be the last power Passover that would have any significance to it Jesus has just been betrayed by Judas for thirty pieces of silver the transaction has already been laid out Judas has told them when and how and what he would do to betray Jesus over to them. It's a couple of hours at this point before Jesus would be found in the garden of get seventy they're pouring out his heart to the father in that prayer that we should pray not my will but thine be done shortly after that we would find Jesus standing before ponchos pilot and then just hours after that he would be hung on the cross and so in the Upper Room at this time there is a lot that is weighing on the heart of Jesus he just has a few hours left before with his disciples before he would no longer be able to freely interact with them because of his betrayal and crucifixion and well Jesus was there in the upper room looking at the dimly lit faced. As of his disciples. His heart is burdened with a message that he wants to share with them. In fact John thirteen fourteen fifteen sixteen and seventeen is all of this advice that Jesus is China condensed down those chapters happen between the upper room and the garden of get seventy and he's there pouring out his heart to His disciples but the small and I want to take two verses and pull them out two verses that are relevant to our lives today and this of course through the Communion service John Chapter thirteen. Verse thirty four it's a passage that we're familiar with. Jesus looks at his disciples. He says this. A new commandment I give unto you that you love one another as I have loved you that you also love. One another. Some people refer to this commandment as the the eleventh commandment it's a new commandment Jesus says that he gave to them however we know as we study the Word of God that this wasn't something that was necessarily new it was found throughout the Old Testament the concept of loving one another in fact you find it all over the place in the New Testament as well about nineteen times you find that phrase to love one another in the New Testament mention by John mentioned by Jesus and also mentioned by Paul but here in the Upper Room Jesus is weighed down with this sense of of separation that's about to take place between him and his disciples and as he is there he fills impressed this is the cycles that are bickering amongst themselves who will be the greatest These disciples who one of them is a devil that is betraying him these disciples that are about to be the ones who are to carry the gospel to the entire world these disciples G.. Those feels burdened with the commission that he's about to lay upon them and he says love one another. As I have loved you. Now of course you know that prior to this Jesus in His discourse with a young lawyer who came to Jesus and asked him which is the greatest commandment you know Jesus told him that also love the Lord thy God with all my heart with all thy soul with all my mind and by neighbor what as myself right so he is already kind of laid this principle out and and the Bible student will notice as they compare these two passages Matthew twenty two and John Chapter thirteen you find that Jesus although there are similar there is a very stark difference between those two statements he tells the lawyer to love your neighbor as yourself but then in the upper room he takes it up a notch and he tells the disciples to love each other as he has loved them. Now I'm going to suggest to you this morning out of the two the easier of the two is to love one another as we would want to be loved. But I think if we're going to be really honest with ourselves and introspective and search our hearts we would actually find that we shrug go with that one. To log one another as we would want to be loved to treat each other as we would want to be treated yet Jesus in the Upper Room is a no no no no not just that no I want you to take it up a notch and I want you to love one another as I have loved you. The love that we don't see very often. A love that I believe the world is longing to see. If I go over with me if you would just repeat this in John Chapter fifteen and then he gives an example of what it looks like John Chapter fifteen verses twelve and thirteen Jesus again talking to the cycles right before he's about to go to the garden and get seventy they're making their way over there and Jesus says this in verse thirteen. This is my commandment. That you love one another and he says as I have loved you sorry that's in verse twelve now he says in verse thirteen Greater love has no man than this then that a man lay down his life for his friends verse seventeen these things I command you that you love one another Jesus repeating himself and he always does that because he's trying to get something a crossed and so he repeats himself again here he says to love one another to love each other as Jesus has loved us and then he gives this example of what it looks like he says Greater Love that no man than this then that he was lay down his now listen Jesus never asks us to do something that he wouldn't do himself. And he is about to give this greatest expression of what this love looks like that he would lay down his life for people who hate him. That he would lay down his life for people who have sinned and caused him to go to the cross that he would lay down his life for a group of people who may not appreciate it the way he they should and he's giving us this example of what it looks like to love one another as he has loved us. Something that is worth taking some time to reflect upon. And sad to say. It's sad to say rather that I believe that this type of love is sadly lacking in our churches today is it not. You see the concept of love has been cheapened in our society today and we've kind of gone to the point in our churches where if we put up with one another we think we're doing a good job this is when we get to heaven we're not going to put up with one another this is when we get to heaven there is not going to be a single person in the kingdom of heaven that you don't want to hang out with. Won't be anybody there. Because all of our hearts will be so transformed that we will love one another as Jesus loved us there was nobody that Jesus didn't like hanging around with there was nobody that Jesus did not love from the lowest to the highest class in society but I believe that this kind of love is sadly lacking in our churches today we have a hard time maybe just putting up with each other for a couple of hours at church when we should really be loving each other as Jesus loves us. I think this is the kind of love. That the world is really longing to see a. Love that is not merely professed intellectually but a love that is expressed among God's people. You see if we have a hard time loving one another here how are we going to do it out there. If we have a hard time getting along with each other here how is the world going to think that our religion has done anything for us. You know Jesus makes a very interesting statement in the very next verse after Matthew chapter thirteen where he says to love each other as He loves us those what he says a verse thirty five this is always been very gripping to me as I've read this passage Luke sorry John Chapter thirteen verse thirty five. Is says this. He says by this by what what is this by loving one another as Jesus has loved us he says by this. Shall all men know that you are my what. If you was. And. How is it that the world knows I'm a disciple of Christ. By the theology that I profess right because I'm a Sabbath keeper because I believe in the state of the dead because I believe that I'm part of the remnant church of listen and not. In these things because we understand these are all very important we must have the truths of God's Word we must have the doctrine of God's word God has given us His word so that we can find the truth the truth sets us free but Jesus says that's not what points us out as disciples of Christ what shows the world that I am a disciple of Jesus is if I love each other if I love others as Jesus has love me unconditionally. And I think this is one of the reasons why our churches in the world today are actually feeling not growing as they ought because among God's people there is not that love that Jesus has they don't conditional love that love that loves no matter what you do or say or whatever happens you love simply because you cannot do anything else because Jesus has so thoroughly transformed your life that it just comes out from you no matter how somebody treats you. I believe that this is the love that the world is looking for the love that when it is revealed among God's people will cause our churches to have to be rebuilt because the too small. Doctrine in and of itself will not be enough to convince people to join our church. Your group with that. Doctrine in and of itself is not enough but it is the atmosphere that our characters create that makes our church attractive or repulsive. Now I phrase the Lord that the Lord has given us what i feel like is a rather attractive atmosphere in our church but I think there's always room for a little growth a man. Always room for a little growth a little refinement to show that love of Jesus in a fuller and deeper way not talking about some cheap love talking about the love of Jesus that is deeper and wider and broader than one can ever think or imagine So what does this kind of luck. Look like this just briefly take a look at this go with me if you would John sorry First Corinthians chapter thirteen Very quickly we're not going to get into this to have you right now first Corinthians thirteen you know it's not often that we are given the opportunity to lay down our life for somebody Jesus gives that as an example of what this type of love looks like it's not often that we are given the opportunity to be a martyr to die for somebody physically but Jesus or Paul rather here kind of refined this idea and breaks it down to how can I do this in a daily in my daily life how can I reflect this type of relationship with others in my day to day life how can it start the staff the new how can it start tomorrow what does it look like. First grade in chapter thirteen verse four I'm going to read this from the in the standard verse and you can follow along in your own but Paul says this he says Love is patient and kind it does not envy or boast it is not arrogant or rude it does not insist on its own way it is not irritable or resentful it does not rejoice in wrong doing but rejoices in the truth love bears all things believes all things hopes all things endures all things and then in verse eight it says Love Never And it's that's profound. That is very profound So in this verse in these few verses here you can take this one read it through look at yourself but there are sixteen ways in this verse that Paul shows me how I can express the love of Jesus in my daily life sixteen different ways go back home outlined then look at each one of them and ask yourself how can I incorporate this in my life how can I allow God to create this kind of love in me that is attractive to the world they draw as people to Jesus listen I believe with all my heart soul and mind that if we can love people as Jesus loved us that will make our doctrine much more attractive. Notice a pall says in verse one This passage has always been interesting to me but it's recently took on a more intriguing. It's been more intriguing to me recently first with the inst Chapter thirteen verse one I'm going to read this again in the English standard version he says this if I speak in tongues of men and of angels but have not love I am listening to this a noisy gong or a claiming symbol. Have you like noisy gongs and clinging symbols but you going to go down the Wal-Mart buy a CD of noisy gongs and cleaning cymbals Hey let's listen to our noisy gong CD today everybody right is that something that you would enjoy doing no of course NOT know it's there for accent with the orchestra whatever maybe but on its own a noisy gong or a cleaning symbol is not something that you relish that you enjoy it's actually kind of annoying on its own is it not and Paul here is telling us in first Corinthians thirteen that if we don't have this love the love of Jesus that to everybody else around us what are we. We are annoying Thank you Norm we are a noisy gong or a clingy cymbal Now I remember one time when I was in England when I was living there one of the things I enjoyed doing while I lived in England was to go to some of the old churches and we were in an old church and I did was Bury St Edmunds or something like that small little town and we had the opportunity to go up in the belfry where they had all these bells that were hanging there and for some reason I don't know why but somebody decided start ringing these bells when we were in the belfry and tell you these bells are huge I mean they're they're massive They're bigger than I and they probably weigh three times as much as I do but they're huge and when you're standing next to me you can hear these bells a mile or two away and if you're standing right next to them and they're going off it it's loud it's a noisy gong and when I was standing there I put my ears and my hands over my ear pressed. The thing is my head and it was still too loud it was vibrating the very inside of me and all I wanted to do was kill their. Impulses that's what I am to everybody else. When I don't have the love of Jesus in me. I'm a noisy gong I'm a claiming symbol and they're they're claiming they're clawing to get away from me get me away from this now they may have all the right theology they may have all the right answers they might have all of the the right understanding of Scripture and a good way of explaining it. But with the vacuum of love in their life with that love taken out Paul says they're just a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal But I tell you again the small earning that if you take doctrine and you infuse it with the love of Jesus it is irresistible. And in the upper room this is what Jesus is telling his disciples just days before he is to lay upon their shoulder to take the Gospel to the entire world. Just before Jesus gives them the Gospel commission he says love one another as I have loved you Jesus understood how important that ingredient would be to the success of the Gospel commission and it's no different today the Gospel commission success rests largely upon of course the Holy Spirit and the Word of God but God's love his character in our hearts making that doctrine which. This is what the certain of the Lord says in closing here with you and Herald January nineteenth of one nine hundred eleven she says this Christ. Has instructed us to call God our Father to regard him as the fountain of all of faction the source of love that has been flowing from century to century through the. Channel of hue of the human heart Where does love have its source from. God the Father. All pity compassion and love that have been manifested in the earth have had their source in God and compared I love this and compared to the love that dwells in his heart are as fountains to an ocean the love that we manifest to other people she says it's just like a fountain compared to the ocean of God's. His love is perpetually flowing forth to make the weak strong and to give courage to the way. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son and then Jesus says love others as I have lunch. I want you this next week to take some time to think about that ask the Lord Father this is not a love of human devising this is not an emotional love this is an intellectual love this is a love that Jesus says Love your enemies. That's what kind of love Jesus talking about the love those who despite the huge this is the kind of love that Jesus was talking about not a cheap love the world for Trey's but a love that has depth and meaning so I ask you this morning how is your love toward your children. How is your love toward your spouse how your love towards your fellow church members. How your love toward your coworkers and those that you mingle with on a regular basis the most powerful argument that you can give to your religion. Is being a loving lovable Christian it's the most powerful argument that will make what you believe attractive to those around you as you partake in the Communion service this morning. My prayer is that we can make the commitment. As a church to work on this individually and ask the Lord to create this in our hearts to make what the Lord has given to us resistible. To those that the Lord brings us to God that you desire this morning. Let's pray together Father in heaven. We understand that this is something that we cannot have in our own creation. We don't have this type of love. But we want it because we want to follow every command of Jesus even those that may be a little bit challenging. And that I pray that you would change our hearts so thoroughly that we would reflect the love of Jesus that it would be that it would be the only response that we have within us. So Lord guide aside. As individuals as we desire to love each other as you have. Just in this and. Just see. This media was brought to you by audio a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know. If you would like to listen to more sermon. Visit.

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