In this study we take a look back at the Love Your Neighbor Series and review the lessons learned in them.
Summary #1-Judging Others
2 Dangers to the Church:
- Grace without conviction
- Legalism without love
We should be careful when we’re judging others because our own sin can blind our judgment (log in your eye)
Matthew 7: 1-5
Stages of Closeness to God:
Judgemental of what others are doing wrong
when you see these people you get negative feelings towards them
righteous indignation without love
often times this is a mask for our own guilt
Feeling unworthy of God’s Presence/Love
As you get closer to God you see how far you are from God and lose your focus on how far others are (God is so perfect, we the state we are in)
Accepting God's love for yourself (God does love me therefore I don’t have to live in condemnation or trying to gain his love with my acts)
Spreading God’s love to others
You no longer see people through their faults but you only see them with love (You understand that people act out of their own brokenness. “Hurt people hurt people”)
Effect of judging others
- Judging others brings judgment from God upon you. (example in line…)
- Don't judge others is the corollary of forgiving others.
(judging-opening myself up to be judged for it-what God does as )
(forgiving-having the freedom and assurance that we have forgiven others are in the process of forgiving will bring us peace knowing that God has forgiven us)
Why we judge others:
- out of concern that the sinner will stray from God
- to correct the sinner
- because we think they’re better than the sinner
- to make ourselves feel better (like watching reality shows)
- to justify ourselves because we have conquered that area
- because we’re frustrated by what we’ve given up
- only changed on the outside (there is no deep intention for what we have given up, it is not out of love for God.
- because we don’t believe God loves us
*Nobody likes to feel judged. It is so common to hear someone say “I’m going to do this , don’t judge me.” Judging is so different than speaking out of love and concern and providing guidance and redirection. Judging looks at the issue, but gives no solutions.
Summary #2-Speaking Against Your Neighbor
James 4: 11-12
- It’s a sin to hurt the reputation of (slander) a fellow Christian (verse)
- You can’t break the law to enforce the law (When did it become ok to bash someone? When we are in the midst of a trial?)
- Do not let your anger cause you to say something sinful (Don’t talk)
- If you can’t control your tongue your religion is worthless (verse)
- The goal isn’t just to control your tongue, but to change your heart
- Obeying God should happen from the inside out
- T.H.I.N.K. before you speak
Summary #3-Loving Your Enemies
Mark 12: 28-31
- The Jews believed that you should love your neighbors and hate your enemies
- Jesus redefined the meaning of neighbor to include Jews and non-Jews alike (including your enemies)
- To love someone is to act in their best interest regardless of your feelings or affection towards them
- Although we should be kind and loving, it’s not what earns us our salvation
- The goal is that our hearts are changed, so we desire to be kind to others. We learn to love like God does (or try at least) and have compassion.
- You should love the person even if you don’t love their actions
(That person may be a sinner, but that person still has hurts and God loves them. I should too.)
Summary #4: Love In Action
- Kind and loving works are extra special when God is glorified through them.
- The motivation of these works should be to meet the need of the other person out of love..
- Our desire for personal success will take our focus off of others.
- Our kind and loving acts aren’t what save us; it’s God’s mercy.
- We should show love and kindness to Christians and non-Christians but we have an extra debt to go out of our way for Christians
Summary#5 - Love Fulfills The Law
- Jesus doesn’t mean that loving God and loving your neighbor will allow you to fulfill the law, but that the laws were created so that you would love God and love your neighbor.
- Loving God and Loving Your Neighbor are God’s main desire for us
(Sometimes I find myself so grateful to God and want to do something for him or show him, he wants me to love him and love my neighbor)
- You can’t love unconditionally without the aid of the Holy Spirit.
- By loving unconditionally you satisfy the spirit of the law.
- To love the way God wants us to love we have to put a focus on others higher than our focus on ourselves, material possessions and the success of the world
- To love the way God wants us to love we need to put a focus on God highest of all
Summary#6- As You Love Yourself
- It is okay to seek your own happiness and desires
- It becomes a problem when that happiness either 1) doesn’t focus on God, or 2) doesn’t include the happiness of others. (It is lonely to live a life solely focused on ourselves)
- We should seek happiness in God alone and not through the standards of the world. (He is our ultimate source of joy, love and strength)
- With Christ’s love we grow from being self centered to being Christ and others centered
- When you stop focusing on of yourself you can be happier
- When we take our mind off of our own issues, and needs and focus on the issues and needs of God and others that will allow us to be happy and fulfilled