Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Matthew 22:37-39 (NKJV) Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
Matthew 5:43–44a (NKJV): You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies…
We have been talking about the clear command of Christ to love our neighbors and to love our enemies. In a society where division, dissension, the politics of destruction, are commonplace, Jesus has a different plan.
1. Love unconditionally (vss 1-3)
1 Cor. 13:1 (NLT) If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
- The problem with many Christians is that we have no problem loving those who line up with our beliefs but struggle with loving those do not
- Unconditional love tells us we can do all the right things in our faith journey but if we don’t love others, it’s a waste (…vs 2b “I would be nothing…”)
2. Love Authentically (vss 4-5a)
1 Cor. 13:4 (NLT) Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude…
- The love we are to have for our neighbors and our enemies must flow from our heart, not our head. In other words, it must be real not manufactured
3. Love Completely (vss 5b -6)
1 Cor. 13:5b (NLT) It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
- The love we must show to others must be compatible with the love we show our own families if it is to match up to Christ’s command
4. Love Strategically (vs 7)
1 Cor. 13:7 (NLT) Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
- We must love with the end in mind
- This is the love God had for us when He sent Jesus to die for our sins; a love that never gives up
- This doesn’t mean we are to love others with an agenda, but we are to love others because we want them to experience the glory of the Gospel