Love Choses Against Self
- Date: August 1, 2018
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13)
- From No Greater Love
Scripture says very clearly that before we were even born, God foreknew us. So that's kind of cool. While we were yet in our mother's womb. We see a scriptural principle that prophets were even chosen and selected while they were still in the womb. God separated them through His foreknowledge and His predetermination to be used for the kingdom of God in a great way. Yet, some, when these people are raised to greatness, begin to covet their role. We begin to resent that. We become in competition with them. "I want you to love as I have loved you." While we were sinners, He loved us. Yet we demand that one another perform to our self-gratification, our own self-judgment or we will not love them. Oh, we'll say we love them, but we won't fellowship with them anymore. We'll say that we love them, but we'll do the least that we can to fly under the radar. Where is the willful choice to empty ourselves out for those that have done us the most harm? "I want you to love one another as I have loved you."
Do you understand that it was your sin that sent Jesus to the cross? Stop worrying about the world and the redemption of the world. Do you understand it was your sin that sent Jesus to the cross? It was your sin that broke the heart of God in having to offer up His own sinless sacrifice. And while you were living in rebellion to Him… Nothing grieves the heart of God more than your choice of self over Him, selfishness. We call it sin. We call it disobedience. We call it rebellion, but all it is is the fact that you love yourself more than you love God, and while we were in that mode, He loved us and died for us. How do you respond to those that aren't living up to your standards? How about those that have done you wrong? The Scripture says, as we've been studying this whole process, the Scripture tells us very clearly, when someone has sinned against you and you go to them and they repent, what do we do? We forgive them, don't we? How many times? Not seven times seventy. How many times? As many times as they ask for forgiveness. And how does our forgiveness work? "Okay, I forgive you but I don't want to have anything else to do with you." Is that forgiveness? No.
Aphiemi, in the Greek, is to do what? When somebody asks for forgiveness and we forgive that sin, it is forgotten. It is cast into the sea of forgetfulness. It's placed behind our back. It's removed from us as far as the east is from the west. We are to love as we've been loved. Now if God takes our sin and removes it as far as the east is from the west, casting it into the sea of forgetfulness because He loved us-forgiveness comes because God loves us. Forgiveness is not, and love toward you is not based upon your performance. It's based upon grace and mercy, isn't it? Because of the love of God, mercy is extended to us. Grace is extended to us because God is love. Wouldn't it make sense, then, that if we're moving in the love of God we should be able to extend grace and mercy to everyone in our fellowship, to everyone that comes and asks for forgiveness? We've got to breakdown these performance-oriented relations.
But the liberty that came then and, as we live today, we've got to come into that place of realizing that in this generation we have so much of the body of Christ that has overemphasized grace, ultra-grace, that they say we can live anyway that we want. The fact that God loves us as we are does not negate the fact that we need to pursue holiness, that we need to follow and honor His lordship. What I want to emphasize to us is that the love of God for us mandates that we love one another as we've been loved. If you were going to look at your life, would you be able to say, "I'm pleasing the Lord, the Lord is pleased with my love life." We sing that chorus, "Make my heart like Your heart." Do you believe you have the heart of Jesus toward everyone in this room? Do you believe you have the heart of Jesus for the body of Christ that you contact on a weekly basis? How judgmental are we of other Christians that don't live up to our standards? Can you fellowship with them without having to teach them constantly and show them where they're wrong?