Choose Love Luke 6;27-36 102807
Choose Love (Luke 6:27-36)
Intro: For a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ, love is the way he or she is to relate to others. Jesus made it very clear that the disciples were to “love one another.” Jesus said that the world would know His followers by their love for one another. But, here we see Jesus teaching that a true believer not only loves a fellow disciple, but even those outside the family of God.
ILL: In "The Grace of Giving," Stephen Olford tells of a Baptist pastor during the American Revolution, Peter Miller, who lived in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, and enjoyed the friendship of George Washington. In Ephrata also lived Michael Wittman, an evil minded sort who did all he could to oppose and humiliate the pastor and the Baptist church.
One day Michael Wittman was arrested for treason and sentenced to die. Peter Miller traveled seventy miles on foot to Philadelphia to plead for the life of the traitor.
-"No, Peter," General Washington said. -"I cannot grant you the life of your friend." -"My friend!" exclaimed the old preacher. -"He's the bitterest enemy I have." -"What?" cried Washington. -"You've walked seventy miles to save the life of an enemy? That puts the matter in a different light. I'll grant your pardon." And he did.
Peter Miller took Michael Wittman Back home - no longer an enemy but a friend.
Give Background. The context of persecution for our faith. Read Luke 6:27-36
1. What? Choose to Love Radically (27-30)
ILL: Dear Preacher, I heard you say to love our enemies. I am only six and do not have any yet. I hope to have some when I am seven. Your friend, Love, Amy
Christ has just discussed the reality of persecution and suffering for His followers. He continues this idea by giving the thoughts, attitudes, actions, and words that exemplify this remarkable and extraordinary love that goes beyond family, friend, and neighbor.
a. Four Commands of Radical Love – Love; Do Good; Bless; Pray. The activities are not near as radical as the objects of this radical love.
b. Four Objects of Radical Love - Enemies; Those who hate you; Those who curse you; Those who spitefully use you.
c. Four Illustrations of Radical Love – All are in the present tense meaning the disciple is to always be prepared to respond this way.
i. Cheek - Extending forgiveness to the physical insults
ii. Cloak - Giving our possessions to the robber
iii. Money - Giving to the Beggar or lending to others
Generosity is a fundamental expression of Love. Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Generosity always reveals that one is holding loosely to his/her possessions.
iv. Rights - Giving up on our demands for Retribution – Don’t get even… love! (Romans 12:17-21)
App: What is Jesus purpose for this teaching? Is it to get us beat up, naked, and poor? No. This radical teaching expresses demands that only those who are true followers of Jesus can embrace because they are not concerned with this world, but eternity. It is their commitment that ultimately leads to this opposition. Are you so committed to Christ that some oppose you for your faith in Christ? Are you ready to extend forgiveness to those who hurt your pride? Do you hold loosely to your possessions and financial resources? Are you generous? Are you a giver? Do you make demands based on your rights? Are you a person that has to get even? Do you demand retribution for what you have lost or are you ready to fight to get yours?
2. Why? Radical Love is more extraordinary than Reciprocal Love (31-34)
a. One common principle – The Golden Rule (positively given)
b. Three Important Questions concerning Radical Love
c. Love is determined by God’s standard, not the human love we find in this world.
d. The Love of this world always has strings attached. We love and expect to be loved in return. We love to be loved. We do good, so good will be done to us. We lend, so we can get a loan in the future. Jesus’ followers are to love differently.
App: Think about the beauty of love with no strings attached. Unconditional love. What would it do to your marriage if you loved without expecting anything in return? What would you work place look like if you did good, not for the purpose of getting something in return?
God calls for us to extraordinary love. But, we struggle to even love one another. How sad is that? The people of God living in conflict and broken relationships.
Quote: “When they hear from us that God says, ‘If you love those who love you what credit is that to you, but it is a credit to you if love your enemies and those who hate you. “ — when they hear these words, they marvel at the extraordinary goodness of the words; but when they see, that we not only do not love those who hate us, but we do not even love those who love us, they laugh us to scorn, and the name [of Christ] is blasphemed.’” 2 Clement 13:4
3. How? Choosing to Love Radically is Impossible apart from Receiving God’s Radical Love for Us (35-36)
As in everything else in scripture, this radical love is based on truth and it is to be given in truth. This radical love is not the suppression of truth. While this love declares that we are not to demand our rights, it does not call us to sacrifice truth. We cannot try for retribution, but we must speak the truth in love. Real love may not deck the insulter in the mouth, but it may declare the truth that He stands in need of a savior and the wrath of God rest on him or her.
a. Radical Love points to Real Reward – The promise of God’s favor
b. Radical Love points to Real Regeneration/ Spiritual Change - The assurance of Our Identity. We are His children. Our spiritual genealogy has changed, there for our spiritual priorities have changed. We are no longer children of Satan, but children of God.
c. Radical Love points to Real Reflection
i. We reflect God’s general kindness and mercy to all mankind.
ii. We reflect God’s mercy to us (His enemies) in Christ. Share the Gospel.
d. How has this transformation happened? God. Only He can save.
ILL: Physical likeness proves the family relationship. Family resemblance is easier t observe with the eyes, than with a microscope. Our genes are microscopic, but our physical features are visible to all. It is similar to our relationship to God. Our resemblance to God proves our family relationship to God. When our thoughts, attitudes, actions, and words look like God’s, then it is clear who we are spiritually related to. But the opposite is also true, when our thoughts, attitudes, actions, and words regularly resemble the evil One, we only show that we are more the sons and daughters of Satan, than of the living God.
App: You cannot choose radical love if radical love has not reached down to you. God is calling sinners today to experience this amazing love. The most loving thing I can tell you today is that if you remain in your sins, living a life of rebellion against God, then you will face the judgment and wrath of God. If you do not receive the grace of God, you will receive the righteous anger of God. I am telling you that you can escape the coming wrath of God by grace through faith. Repent from your sins and Believe in Jesus Christ’s perfect sacrifice and that rose again and lives today and you will be saved.
Christian – Radical love has come to you, now you choose to love radically like God. Love your neighbor, but do not stop there, love even those who are opposed to you. How do you love like that? Do good to them, Bless them, Pray for them. Be ready to give and forgive. Don’t demand your rights. Tell them about Jesus. Tell them the truth.
Disciples are constantly learning and growing and going because they are consistently listening and imitating and following Jesus. Perhaps you did not realize this today you pray for God to help you love like this. You choose this. Live in submission to God.
Conclusion: Invitation: Salvation; Baptism; Church Membership; The call.
ILL: Many years ago Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who ended up in a Nazi concentration camp because she hid Jews, went through a difficult time in her life. She was engaged to be married to a man, but he broke off the engagement and married her best friend. Corrie was devastated. She was lonely.
Her dad said something very profound: “You've had a love that's been blocked. There are two things that you can do with a blocked love. Number one, you can dam it up inside of you and hold on to it and be miserable the rest of your life. Or you can rechannel that blocked love. Refocus it on someone else. Give it away. Help others. Give your love to those who need it.”