Love Your Neighbor

30 August 09


  1. Introduction:

·   Matthew 22:36-40  -  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart … love your neighbour as yourself”

·   Love the Lord Passionately is the first command

·   Love yourself as God loves you – value yourself as God values you

·   Love your Neighbor! This is the 2nd command


  1. Love is Practical:

1 John 3:16-19

a)     Example of Jesus:

·         Jesus laid down His life for us

b)     Follow Jesus’ example

·         Lay down your life for the brethren> this means practical action

·         Ephesians 5:1  -  ‘Be imitators of God as dear children and walk in love as Christ also loved us and given himself for us.’

·         The love of God for is is a spiritual substance that can be experienced

·         The love of God for us is also very practical. He meets our needs

·         Passion for Jesus needs to overflow in an a extremely practical way, practical involvement with people

·         Engage with real people, real needs

·         Jesus was constantly criticized by His religious enemies for His practical involvement with sinners (Lk.15 1-2)


c)     Love is Practical

·         Love connects with people and meets needs of people

·         Key issue: Shutting up heart = refusing to connect and help

·         Abiding love is manifested in practical ways

·         It is important to maintain acts of love and kindness

·         What manifestation of the love of God flows through you to others?

·         If you see a brother in need how do you respond?

 - “Someone ought to do something!”

 - “Its his problem not mine!”

 -“I don’t know what to do”

·         All these responses are “shutting up the heart from him” they are NOT a manifestation of the heart of God but of self preservation

·         Jesus did not meet every need of people on earth. He was Holy Spirit led

·         Love manifests as compassion and willingness to engage and do what we can

·         Titus 3:14  -  ‘Let out people learn to maintain good works, meet urgent needs that they not be unfruitful.’

·         Spiritual experiences must be connected to practical action

·         Eg Is.6:8 Also I heard the voice of The Lord saying “Who shall go for us?”

·         Spiritual experiences without practical expression = pride and elitism


d)     Reality of Relationship

·         1 John 4:20  -  “love brother whom he has seen’

·         Command = to Love God is that you must love your brother also

·         Someone with needs standing in front of us  in need exposes the reality of our love and spiritual maturity it reveals what’s in our heart. How will you react? How will you respond? What response will you make?

·         The person who you see in need reveals the quality and substance of what is unseen within you

·         Spiritual encounter and experiences with God lead to mission or pride and elitism and judging begin to operate

·         Closing the heart =Cold love = wounds and isolates people


  1. Love is Proactive – it initiates action:

·   Luke 10:25-37

·   Question posed by Lawyer = Who is my neighbor?

Reply presented by Jesus = Who is a neighbor?

·   Experiences with God are to prepare you to represent God

·   To represent God you carry His Heart, His compassion and do what He does!


Parable Of the Good Samaritan

a)     Man in Need:

·         Thieves – demonic powers

·         Stripped – took what belong to him, left him vulnerable and exposed

·         Wounded – imposed blows upon verse 34 – ‘trauma’

·         Abandoned – left isolated and alone

·         Half dead – struggling to stay alive

·         This is the condition of people we all meet every day in every area of life

·         Often they do not realize their condition but their behaviors reveal it


b)     The Priest and the Levite:

·         Saw – passed by on other side

·         Saw and looked – passed by on other side

·         Religion is cold and powerless and has no heart to help people



·         Busy for God in spiritual matters

·         Close heart and compassion to people in pain and in need

·         ‘Cold Love’ – tolerates, little overflow

·         Pride – self reveferential, Judgment, Faultfinding

·         Irrelevant to the community and its needs

·         Obstructive to the Kingdom of God

·         1 Corinthians 13:1

·         The religious spirit doesn’t manifest the love and heart of God, It builds systems and places burdens upon people that hinder spiritual and relational growth


c)     The Good Samaritan: Key Lessons

·         ‘Came where he was’ – Embrace your calling as a ‘Sent One’, wherever you go you are an ambassador of the Kingdom of God, engage people and needs

·         ‘Saw and had compassion’ – Manifest compassion of God. When you see people you are moved by their condition

·         ‘Went to him’ – Enter the world of the unsaved. We are to be proactive-to go to people and personally engage people in their world

·         ‘Bandaged the wounds’ – Connect and identify the needs of people. This requires skills of listening and asking questions with a heart to discover where people are and how you can help them

·         ‘Poured in oil and wine’ – Minister the Anointing of the Holy Spirit. Moving in the Gifts of the Spirit when interacting with someone, This requires a personal prayer life and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit

·         ‘Set him on his animal’ – Prioritize your life around Gods priorities. He changes his plans to accommodate the new opportunity that he had to reveal the love of God

·         ‘Brought him to an Inn’ – Connect people to the Local Church family. We do not have all the answers to people’s needs. We must connect people to the community of faith where there are other gifted people

·         ‘Took care of him’ – Follow up people with personal care. Every perso we bring into the church we must follow up personally to ensure they are connecting and forming relationships. We recognize our personal limits in meeting the needs of people

·         ‘Give money to the Inn keeper – Release finances for the Kingdom of God.  For lives to be changed and touched there is a need for finances


·         This is what Love looks like!

·         The Good Samaritan is Jesus Christ Himself who calls us to be imitators of Him

·         Experiences with people act as a mirror to the level at which our lives are full of the love of God

·         Spiritual experiences lead to a changed life, manifesting the heart of God to people and influence community and people we meet.

·         Where do you fit in? The Priest, Levite or Samaritan? Or the wounded man?