Resound Church Leah Ramirez Love Your Neighbor As Yourself August 9, 2009




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Resound Church Leah Ramirez

Love Your Neighbor As Yourself August 9, 2009

When asked what the most important commandment was, Jesus’ answer was concise and a bit surprising. In a couple of sentences He sums up all of the Law and prophets. He directs us to love. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And then, in a twist, love your neighbor as yourself. These of course were not new commands by any means… but the ability to bring it all together in a couple of sentences is remarkable to say the least. It’s not complicated… but to obey will bring you head first into a God encounter that will leave us staggering. It’s all about love!




  1. AND A SECOND IS LIKE IT


Matthew 22

34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”


    1. The second commandment is like the first. This is a remarkable statement to make. After all, the first commandment has to do with being wholly devoted to God in love. Fully committed. Heart, mind, soul and strength…




    1. The second has to do with loving a person… a human being. A fallible, weak, possibly annoying human being.




    1. And how are we to love? In the same measure that we love ourselves.




    1. What a remarkable statement. In the measure that you love yourself… in the measure that you care for yourself… this is how you are to love your neighbor.




    1. This begs the question: Do you love yourself? Jesus seems to imply that we HAVE to love ourselves to love our neighbor. And He declares that loving our neighbor and loving ourselves is connected… is like loving God in wholeheartedness.




    1. “The second is like it”… we are made in the very image of God. It’s like it because we bear the image of God within. Every man, woman and child bears the image of the Godhead.


Romans 13

8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.


    1. Love is the fulfillment of the Law. Imagine that. Think upon that. If I am led by love I fulfill the law and the prophets. How am I led by love towards myself? This cannot be overlooked. This is good Christianity. This is spirituality. How we treat and interact with ourselves is the foundation to the ministry that we have on a “horizontal” level, person to person.


II. THE PARADOX OF LOVE


  1. Love can mean a million different things to a million different people… We need to look at how God defines love to grasp what this means. We let the scripture interpret the scripture. Our understanding is shaped by the text, the test isn’t shaped by our experiences.




  1. Today, the word love is tossed around with such an ease that I wonder if we have lost the meaning altogether. There is nothing flippant about love. Love goes the distance every time. Love endures to the end. Love never looks back. Love gives all. Love conquers all. There is nothing blasé about love. There is nothing casual about love.


1 John 4

7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son[b] into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for[c] our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (NIV)


  1. This is love: That God sent and sacrificed His Son to make a way for us.




  1. What kind of love is this? That the plan, costly as death itself, was all for love. God loved us. Not because we brought anything to the table. Not because we have an awesome track record… He loved us!!!!




  1. To God, love looked like sacrifice. The Father gave His only begotten Son. Jesus gave up His very life. Love is costly. Love gives everything.




  1. We are the recipient of ALL…called to give all. Why because we are made in the very image of God. Because we are made in His image we are created to be like Him. He gave all, we receive all…and yet there is more…we desire to give all.


Genesis 1

26 Then God said, “Let us make man [8] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Luke 9

23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels

Matthew 10

37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.


  1. It’s not enough to know that we are loved… But because we are created in the image of God, there is something hardwired into our very DNA to love. To give all. To give everything. We are image bearers. Surely, the foundation is to receive, but the natural order of things is to grow into the nature of God. We take after Him. We were literally made to resemble Him.




  1. There really is no cost. Sacrifice is not sacrifice when it’s for love. Love is extreme. Love is obsessive. And yet love cannot be coerced.


Song of Solomon 8

6 Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy [1] is fierce as the grave. [2]
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the Lord.
7 Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love
all the wealth of his house,
he [3] would be utterly despised.


  1. Love powers the entire universe and yet it waits in humility to be chosen.


III. IT BEGINS WITH THE RELATIONSHIP WITHIN


  1. Beside our relationship with God, the most important and significant relationship we are in is the one we have with ourselves. We can never escape ourselves. We are in constant dialog. Our brains never stop processing.




  1. Imagine being the constant companion of someone you completely and utterly disliked. Some of us don’t have to imagine it… we live it.




  1. There is more self-hatred and internal anger going on within us than we let on. Most people feel imprisoned by their thoughts, their past and their conscience.




  1. We love those around us exactly as we love ourselves. No more. We care for others exactly as we care for ourselves. No more. The relationships around us are an indicator of the relationship we have with ourselves. If the relationships around us are all toxic, this is a sign of what is going on within many times.




  1. Reasons we struggle within:

    • We feel ashamed (Adam and eve in the garden… Peter telling Jesus to leave)

    • We feel ugly

    • We feel unsuccessful

    • We feel insignificant

    • We feel like a hypocrite

    • We feel dirty

    • We are overly aware of our sin and failures

    • We compare ourselves to someone else

    • We are in bondage

    • We have grieved the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives




  1. This is bondage. This is deadly. This is toxic. And we must allow God to heal these areas of our lives. We come to Him broken and He is fully able to put us together again. He is able to change how we see ourselves.


Isaiah 61

61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor; [1]
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; [2]
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.


  1. When we see what He sees everything changes. We say like the Shulamite woman, “ I am dark and yet I am lovely.” (Songs 1)


IV. SEEING WHAT HE SEES
Ephesians 2

4 But [2] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus


  1. Salvation is seeing what He sees. Accepting love. Allowing yourself to be chosen. Salvation is believing in Jesus… that He came for YOU. This is everything. Suddenly what was lost, our value, is utterly redeemed. What was lost is found. What was debased, God made noble. How? Because He chose you. He valued you. This changes everything.




  1. Reasons we should love ourselves:

    • Because we are loved… (1 John 4)

    • We are the apple of God’s eye (Psalm 17:8)

    • We were thought of… we were considered (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

    • We were a dream in the heart of God (Psalm 139)

    • He values our thoughts… He says, “Come let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18)

    • He values my heart intentions... He’s undone with one glance of our eyes (Song of Solomon 4:9)

    • He loves our song… He inhabits our praises (Psalm 22:3)

    • We are fearfully and wonderfully made…He likes how he put us together (Psalm 139)


Romans 8

8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. [1] 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you [2] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.


  1. We have been set free to love God, love and even enjoy ourselves and then love our neighbor. This is the inheritance of the saints. This is your inheritance.




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