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Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

David Shin


Have you ever found someone difficult to love? Listen as Pastor David expounds on what it means to truly love your neighbor as yourself.


David Shin

Pastor, Hillside O'Malley Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Anchorage, AK



  • August 6, 2016
    5:45 PM
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Good morning once again happy Samet. You know when I 1st got the call to move to Alaska I said Lord what did I do wrong. I want to tell you this is like the best kept secret in the lower 48 praise the lord my wife and I just love it here it has been an amazing summer I never thought I'd say this but I'm actually looking forward to winter. When I can go to bed at 10 o'clock. That summer has been a lot of sleep deprivation take advantage of it while you can and suddenly our house has become a destination site for all these people in the lower 48 family and friends and so what a privilege it is to live in this let's state praise God Well I've read acted my sermon a little bit but I pray that it still is able to get the weight in the thrust of this very important commandment found in the Gospels and I want to invite you to Ballyards with me as we pray this morning Father in heaven we thank you for the privilege that we have to know you as our God to call you our Father we thank you for blessing us abundantly above all that we can even ask or imagine as we pause for a few moments today to reflect on these 2 great commandments we pray that you would speak to our hearts in the Holy Spirit that inspires the also the spirit that instructs in Jesus' name amen open your Bibles to Matthew chapter 2237 through 40 this is our scripture reading today are the focus of our study Matthew chapter 22 verse 37. And Jesus said to them you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind this is the 1st and great commandment and the 2nd is like it you shall love your neighbor as yourself on these 2 commandments hang all the law and the prophets remember what's happening prior to this Jesus is being questioned he's almost being interrogated he's being analyzed theologically by the fairest sees and the Sadducees and one after another they give Jesus their best be a logical question trying to trap him his words one after another they are silenced and finally if Eris see a young and upcoming lawyer comes to Jesus and poses the question Rabbi what is the great commandment Jesus responds immediately with these 2 commandments and some people misunderstand the statement of Jesus assuming that this is a new commandment but really he's quoting the Old Testament the 1st one love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind Deuteronomy Chapter 6 known as a mom the 2nd one love your neighbor as yourself live in a KISS Chapter 19 Jesus quoted the old testament showing that on these 2 commandments love for God and love for your neighbor as sensually does not do away with the 10 Commandments but actually summarized them it shows the motivation for the 10 commandments the 1st 4 love God If you love God you not can take his name in vain not going to have any other object or idol before him the last 6 if you love your neighbor you're not going to kill him praise God for that. Not going to steal from him not going to lie to him You're not going to commit adultery so essentially what Paul said Love is the fulfilling of the law Love is the motivation for why we keep His commandments now we can spend a lot of time on these 2 commandments practically the entire series devoted to it but I want to spend the majority of our time today focused in on the 2nd commandment Love your neighbor ans yourself. Jesus could have said love the world that would have been appropriate love humanity love human beings love people but Jesus uses this fascinating phrase and in the Greek language it literally means the person that is near you your neighbor Jesus says Law of your neighbor it is a word dealing with distance or radius it is a word dealing with approximation meaning that it is someone that is near you it is not just talking about the person that lives next to you your neighbor Jesus said Love your neighbor he takes it from the abstract the philosophical you know love the world I mean that just this is the concept and we as finite human beings cannot grapple with that so Jesus brings it all the way down to the concrete and says Love your neighbor love the person that is adjacent to you that is in proximate distance to you that is near you at any time during your day love your neighbor. I found that in the Christian experience when you accept Jesus into your heart you come to him just the way that you are praise God. You accept Him into your life your name is written the man's book of life but because the Lord loves us and wants increased happiness you go through a process of character transformation you're saved at every point in the process but for maximum happiness you go through character transformation and what the Lord did for me because I have so much baggage he brought 3 pivotal roommates into my life these roommates were specifically designed by the Lord to hone me and to mold me into a more loving and lovable Christian for those of you that have had roommates you know what I'm talking about. I mean I specifically remember this particular roommate of mine before we had a long distance friendship this is when I was single we would email each other I loved his wit and his intelligence all these things about him we kind of had a bromance as it were he was 700 miles away and and we met up one time in in this particular town that will go unnamed in he we said hey let's go out to eat and then we ate out and we had such a great and wonderful time and I remember distinctly pulling up to his apartment in this particular town and he said Hey David I like you so much and I said I like you too man. Let's just room together let's just cut down costs and we can find a nice house in this town and we will split our rent split our utilities as it all what a fantastic idea I would love to room with you and so. My friend became my neighbor. He went from far away the abstract the wonderful concept to the reality of living in the same residence as me and suddenly I would wake up in the morning to go open the fridge rater for my daily cereal and reach for the soy milk and pull it out and it was an empty cart. He was my neighbor. I would go to the cupboard to eat my cherished. And all that was left in the bottom of the bag crumbs I would have to wear these noise canceling ear muffs at night sweating profusely because they were not ventilated they were cheap because my friend had invited 40 people into our living room and it was 3 o'clock in the morning this man had become my neighbor and you know what I found it is a whole lot easier to love people as long as they are far away. But as soon as they come into a certain proximity to me they are very difficult to love and so Jesus brings it all the way down and says Look love your neighbor love the person that is near you at any point throughout your day that person that cut you off on the street and yells out all these profanities that is your neighbor that person that is so rude to you at the cashier line that is your neighbor that person living in your house. That is your neighbor. If you can love the person that is near you at any point in your day you can love anybody you can love the world suddenly when people come close there is a different dynamic that takes place it's one thing to look at a poster of a humanitarian crisis and our hearts are warmed and we are motivated to give and I believe that we should give Don't misunderstand me but it's another thing when you're walking down the street Anchorage and someone with just as much need reeking with alcohol asks for your help suddenly it takes on a totally different dynamic Jesus said Love your neighbor love the person that is close to you and we know this in our married life it is one thing to be dating and it's another thing to be married let's be real love at 1st sight is easy to understand it's when 2 people have been looking at each other for years that it becomes a miracle. So Jesus said Love your neighbor love the person that is in proximate relative near news to you in distant any part of your day and then the next part of his statement here is love your neighbor as yourself the 2nd part of this axiom is actually an implication that we should have a healthy self love Jesus did not say Love your neighbor instead of yourself Jesus said Love your neighbor as you love yourself not talking about narcissism or self centeredness. But I'm talking about self worth coming from the recognition that Jesus loves us infinitely And so in this paradigm we are to have a healthy self worth self of value I as a young person was always picked last when it came to athletic sports 2nd to last 2nd but you know what I still loved myself I had extremely crooked teeth it was just like crowded all over the place it looked like a domino set in my mouth but you know what I loved myself I find that I am very forgiving with my own mistakes. Come on now very pat very patient and I convinced myself you know what next time I'll have a better opportunity and I will do it right with all of my foibles my idiosyncrasies my faults and flat spots I still love myself John Piper put it this way when I read to you a quote in reference to this notion of loving yourself you all want to be happy you all want to live life and to live it with satisfaction you all want food for yourself you want clothes for yourself you want to place to live for yourself you want protection from by Lance for yourself you want meaningful and pleasant activities to fill your days you want some friends to like you and some to spend time with you you want your life to count in some way all this is self-love. Self-love is the deep longing to diminish pain and to increase happiness this is what Jesus meant when he said Love your neighbor as you love yourself we care for ourselves and we should i am a water. I don't know what the right word is water snob if I I want my water to taste a certain way it has to be just a certain taste in night I just can't drink water out of the tap for some reason back in Michigan I would haul around. All right Michigan heard about Flint right Michigan I would haul around these 5 gallon jugs 3 of them 15 gallons you know haul them around one of them was class and incredibly heavy you know and I would haul them around go to the pristine hopefully water dispensers that were supposed to be reverse osmosis and buy this water and bring it back home and lug it in why because I want good water why because I love myself. I am very particular about my oral dental care. My dentist will be happy to know if loss every day. I brush my teeth after every meal why because I love myself think of all the things that we do to care for ourselves and seek happiness because of this self love in John Piper goes on and says Love your neighbor as you love yourself which means as you long for food when you are hungry so long to feed your neighbor who is hungry as you long for nice clothes for yourself so long for nice clothes for your neighbor. As you work for a comfortable place to live so desire it comfortable place to live for your neighbor as you seek to be safe and secure from calamity and violence so seek comfort and security for your neighbor as you seek friends for yourself so seek to be a friend for your neighbor as you want your life to count and be significant so desired that same significance for your neighbor as you work to make good grades for yourself so work to help your neighbor make good grades as you like to be welcomed into strange company so welcome your neighbor into strange company as you would that men would do to you do all so to them in other words seek for your neighbor the same things you seek for yourself but also seek them in the same way with the same zeal energy creativity and perseverance that is a big ass Love your neighbor adds in the same way in the same manner with the same intensity with the same Seeing that you attempt to care for yourself because of self love do that for your neighbor. This is a tall order I want to be honest with you as I study this I said I can do that this is in possible and that's precisely the point I believe that this the key to loving your neighbor is actually found in the 1st commandment we cannot take that out of the Quezon In other words as we come to God for total ultimate fulfillment he is the living water we go to God He accepts us we respond to his love. And he fills us that feeling overflows to our fellow man that vertical context becomes the horizontal context of our relationships with other people and this is a supernatural divine dynamic and process that takes place as we go to God every single day and he fills us with unconditional unmerited love he gives us the divine capacity to love people as we love ourselves. In the Greek language there's 3 different types well for different types of love. Story gay love for family brother and sister mother son it's a natural affection and it's almost exclusively in the family context and you have to Layo which is a love of Brotherly Love similar to the one between David and Jonathan and then you have arrows which is a sexual love a passionate sensual longing and then the 4th is a gap a a gap a is a love that is regardless of the circumstances it is unconditional and when Jesus said Love your neighbor he didn't say story gay he didn't say for Layo he said I got to love people that are near you with unconditional love regard lists of the circumstances I want to wrap up our discussion today with a story that was in a Eastern country. Where there were a rained out excuse me arranged marriages this family decided to unite their family through the bond of marriage the wedding night was chosen and unfortunately for this young man he was not allowed to see his wife until after the wedding because she had a veil so the wedding went without a hitch it was the night of the wedding and it was time for the husband to see his new bride and you could understand that he was quite nervous because like every superficial man looks matter her one preacher say if a man says Looks don't matter he's either lying or blind and so here this man with sweating palms and shaking hands reaches over to uncover and look into the of his new bride and he reaches over and unveils her and his mouth drops open and he is stunned by what he sees because she is so unattractive she has had mumps said early age and her face is deeply scarred the story goes he ran out of the room angry at his parents' divorce was not a question their marriage was not a happy marriage he treated with this respect anger cruelty somehow they had a daughter as they reached senior citizen age and their marriage started to develop more in the years went by this woman exhibited a character that was beautiful you know there's different types of beauty there's ugly beautiful ugly on the outside beautiful on the inside then there's beautiful ugly. Beautiful on the outside ugly on the inside and then there's beautiful beautiful you know that's my wife praise God. But then there's the thing that none of us have an excuse for and that's ugly ugly right well this woman was not so becoming on the outside but she was beautiful on the inside and every time the husband would come home in a rage she just exhibited a beautiful Chrysler character it was just a response that was not merited by her husband kindness love the husband noticed one day in his elderly years that he was starting to lose vision his eyes were not working properly so they went to the doctor the doctor told him that he did not have very good news that one of his eyes was degenerating at a very rapid rate he was going to lose total vision in one of his eyes unless they found a cornea transplant a donor that had checked the donor card saying that they would want to be don't a donor and passed away and so they so they waited they got on the donor list and they were waiting and waiting his eye was getting worse and worse and they had about given up hope and then they got a phone call we have the eye we have a donor it's going to be possible and so they scheduled the date they went to the hospital the family and the surgery was a success the doctor told him he was going to receive total vision in that one eye the wife had prepared the favorite dinner is the husband came home he set down and as they were sitting at the dinner table the daughter seemed a little bit shaken up and she said. Father look at your wife. She was sitting there at an angle where only one side of her face was visible and so as he turned to look more closely dead on to his wife he noticed that she had a patch over her high he broke down in the recognition that this woman had been the donor I want to tell you friends when we recognize the love of Jesus for us that is conditional on merit all of us have done things to Jesus has broken his heart but even still he gives us. Regardless of anything that we have done or will do a copy Oh. And from bad frame as we come to God and we experience this love that is so undeserved so sacrificial so just beyond our imagination and that love fills us and we recognize our just wretchedness yet so infinite a cost and value that from that recognition we can go out to the community in which we live and work and that love spills Oh. So that the reflection of God by the grace of God is seen in you and in me. What in it would be a marvelous thing if every person in this room could experience that and this community that is in Anchorage could see Jesus reflected in each one of us it's pretty. Our Father in heaven. Lord we think you. For your adopt a love for each one of us Lord we can't even comprehend the countless times that we have broken your heart and yet time and time again you extend to us this love that is so profound and so deep that we can't even fathom it throughout the ceases ages of eternity father may you fill us may we experience this in our own lives may we recognize the infinite value that we are in the eyes of God and Father from this feeling of your spirit may we go out into our workplaces into our communities and in our very homes that any person that comes and becomes our neighbor any person that is near us may they see the character and the love of Jesus portrayed in our actions in our tones in our voices in everything may they just see Jesus in awe us this is our prayer Father that people would see a living a pistol in this community bless us we cannot do this on our own by the God of peace work in us both to will and to do a few good pleasure for we ask these things in Jesus name. Amen. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about the universe or if you would like to listen to more service to visit W.W.W.. Dot org.


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