"If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" (1 John 4:20)
The philosophy of this age is that people don't love others because they don't love themselves. I disagree. People love themselves too much! I believe that people don't love others because they don't love God.
Consider four things about love:
1. Love is a commandment we obey
"And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." (Luke 10:27)
2. Love is a choice we make
"Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love." (Rev 2:4)
3. Love is a concern we have · Love primarily is a desire to give to another that which God would have them to have.
4. Love is a commitment we keep
The first commandment is to love God with all your heart. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself. Don't get the cart ahead of the horse. Love God first, and you will find it easier to love others next. The HARD part is loving GOD. Do the hard task first, and the rest will seem easy.
I. IF WE LOVE GOD, IT IS EASIER TO LOVE OTHER CHRISTIANS
"And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also." (1 John 4:21)
A. As believers in Christ we:
1. Have a common family.
2. Have common faults.
3. Have a common future.
B. Our love for God makes it easier to love other Christians.
II. IF WE LOVE GOD, IT IS EASIER TO LOVE CRITICS.
"But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you," (Luke 6:27)
A. If we love the Lord Jesus Christ more than we love ourselves, think about how HE feels about our critics.
1. Jesus died for them.
2. Jesus desires their salvation.
3. Jesus depends on us to reach them, so we need to love them.
B. When self gets in the way, we cannot see ourselves or others properly.
1. Note what Jesus said in Luke 6:41-42
"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brotherís eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brotherís eye." (Luke 6:41-42)
2. It is all a matter of perspective: do we see beams or motes?
III. IF WE LOVE GOD, IT IS EASIER TO LOVE OUR SPOUSE.
Read: Malachi 2:14-16
A. God has given us our spouse for companionship, so we ought to love our spouse!
1. Who is your best friend?
2. It should be your spouse.
3. If we love God, we will see that it is so.
B. God has given us our spouse for completion.
1. Men need wives for a help
2. Ladies need husbands for a head
3. God intends for us to have our spouse to be complete!
C. God has given us our spouse in a covenant.
1. Marriage vows should be kept
2. Marriage should be a picture of the relationship of Jesus Christ to the believers.
3. And as believers, we are eternally secure and eternally His!
4. If we don't love our spouse, we are breaking our covenant with man and with God!
IV. IF WE LOVE GOD, IT IS EASIER TO LOVE OUR CHILDREN
"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." (Psa 127:3)
A. God gave them for happiness.
1. A happy man has his quiver full.
2. Children are compared to arrows, or a man's strength and weapons.
B. God gave them for help.
1. If you train your children right, you won't find a better helper for mother than the children as they get older.
2. Somewhere along the way we have bought the world's lie that we ought not require our children to do chores.
3. That kind of thinking has led to a generation of lazy children who grow to be lazy adults. If we will love God first, we will be able to love others as we should. We must remember:
Love is a commandment we obey...Love is a choice we make...Love is a concern we have...Love is a commitment we keep