loving you

August 7, 2016

Senior Couple At Home

Love, especially in marriage, should involve our feelings, at its core it’s not a feeling but rather a commitment that results in action. Love is the commitment that we make to sacrifice ourselves in order to seek the highest good of the one loved. The highest good for every person is that he or she comes to know Jesus Christ and grow to be more like Him. So with a total stranger, love may be the commitment to sacrifice our time or our comfort level to tell him about Christ. Love may be the thoughtfulness to recognize a need and take action to meet that need without any request from the other person. Love may realize that a brother in Christ is drifting spiritually or is in sin and so you take the initiative to try to help restore him to the Lord.

In our text, (Romans 13 ) Paul cites four of the Ten Commandments to show what love does not do. First, he cites the seventh commandment (13:9), “You shall not commit adultery.” Although those who commit adultery convince themselves that they love the new partner, they are deceived. They love themselves and mistakenly think that the new partner will make them happy or meet their needs. But they aren’t loving the new partner, because they are not committed to helping that partner know Christ and grow in Him. They certainly aren’t loving their present spouse or their children.

Then Paul cites the sixth commandment, “You shall not murder.” (He may have been following a LXX manuscript which reverses the sixth and seventh commandments in Deut. 5:17-18.) While most of us have never actually murdered anyone, Jesus pointed out that our anger towards others violates this command (Matt. 5:21-22). If you are angry at your mate or at your kids, you’re not loving them.

Then Paul cites the eighth commandment, “You shall not steal.” Obviously, taking what belongs to others is not loving them. It is loving yourself above them, because you think that you have a right to what they own.

Finally, Paul cites the tenth commandment, “You shall not covet.” Coveting or desiring what others have is the attitude that lies beneath stealing. It’s based on self-love, not on the love of God and others. When I covet, I want what others have because I mistakenly think that it will make me happy. I’m not thinking about how it will make them feel if I take it from them.

Paul is not being exhaustive and so he adds (13:9), “And if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Since he has been citing the Ten Commandments, which are negative, he summarizes negatively (13:10a), “Love does no wrong to a neighbor.”

Thus love involves concrete actions, often positive, but sometimes negative, towards others. It requires continual self-denial in order to meet the needs of others. Since self-denial runs counter to my flesh, love requires constant effort and thought. I have to take my focus off myself and think about how the other person must feel or what the other person may need.

… and they shall know you by your love….

Do they? Especially your family, if you were to drop dead today would your tombstone read “loving …….” I hope so, maybe today is the day you take responsibility for your actions and start the healing process in your family.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Ann D, spinal fluid is building up  and causing many problems

Doug H, a young man who hopefully come to church for the first time.

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