Sunday, January 15, 2012

A New Commandment

Preached by Mark Hudson on January 15, 2011

John 13:21-38

We need guiding principles. Some say, "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die." Others, "The one with the most toys wins," or "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," or "Do unto others before they do unto you."

Principles that please God:
1) Wash one another's feet.
2) Love one another- ongoing verb tense. Keep on loving one another. Why does He give this command now, right before the crucifixion? Why does he call it a new commandment? The Old Testament talks about love, so what's new about it?
The phrase, "just as I have loved you." A new standard is set.

There are counterfeit loves out there.
1) Reciprocal love; "if you love me, then I'll love you." No better than the Pharisees.
2) Comparative love; we want to be seen as more loving than the next person. Above average is the goal.
3) Selective love; won't love those who have offended and hurt them. People draw lines.
4) Investment love; some love because it's in their best interests. What's in it for me?
5) Manipulative love; may have schemes.
6) Reasonable love; Peter thought he was above average for forgiving seven times.

Jesus set a new standard. Our love is measured by His love.
He was willing to wash our feet and die for us.
That's what makes this commandment new.

How did Jesus love?
1) Genuine and deep; He knows you and still loves you.
There is a substance to His love, "as the Father has loved me." Completely, totally, eternally. Trickle down. Father to Son, Son to His people, His people to one another.
2) Self-sacrificial love; John 3:16 'so loved, He gave'. The incarnation, His life of ministry among us. On the cross--greater love has no man than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends. Loving=giving.
3) Constant and steadfast; He doesn't love us less when we sin. Ongoing love. Nothing can separate us from His love. Rom. 8:35-39

How des this love show itself in our lives?
What are the first three words when people think of us? Are we loving?
Not just a resolution or determination. This is supernatural love.
1) Be quick to forgive; don't hold grudges. This is a distinguishing characteristic of love.
2) Watch out for the needs of others. Loneliness is listed as the number one problem of university students.
3) Be willing to submit to one another.
4) Pray fervently for one another.
5) Offer guidance and counsel when we're able.
6) Be loyal, trustworthy and dependable.
7) Be positive and optimistic in our delingswith others. Avoid slander.
Love should be the reigning principle.
This kind of love requires the grace of God.
We need to love Jesus first--be one with Christ.
Faith, hope and love should characterize us. The greatest of these is love. Faith and hope can be quiet, but love must be shown.

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