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LOVING LIKE JESUS LOVES ME

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LOVING LIKE JESUS LOVES ME

John 13:34 ESV
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
John 13:15 ESV
For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.
When you understand how Jesus loves you
it gets much easier to love others!
Today we will look at 4 ways Jesus loves you and that he wants you to love others.

1. ACCEPT OTHERS LIKE JESUS ACCEPTS ME

You may have accepted Christ…
But have you ever realized- Jesus has accepted YOU?
John 6:37 ESV
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
Many people feel unaccepted. They may have not lived up to others standards. They may not have looked like others said they should look. They may have certain habits or conditions that keep people away. So they have been unaccepted.
Shame is a huge problem. We are ashamed when we do wrong. We are ashamed when we don’t live up to others standards. We feel shame when we are the victim of someone else’s wrongdoing.
We feel rejection. We might not have been as smart or well behaved as our brother or sister. We have been compared to them or that other person who seems so perfect.
We tried to be accepted. We bought the clothes, owned the car, got the degree, gave our bodies to another person, drank or did drugs all to be accepted by someone important to us.
It doesn’t work! Rarely are people accepted in this way. One exception is the prodigal. He had a lot of money. As long as he had money, he had friends. When the money dried up, so did the friends. That is not acceptance, that is manipulation.
We feel the pain. We feel the rejection.
I have felt rejection. If I am a newcomer to a group, many groups of friends will cut me out of conversations and talk as if i am not there. People will reject me because I am a pastor or a Christian. People whose beliefs spring from their faith are not accepted in all corners of our community. I have had people reject me because I am a male or caucasian. I have been rejected because I didn’t fit into someone else’s theology.
Don’t be surprised at this. Jesus was perfect- yet rejected!
How does Jesus love you?
Psalm 27:10 ESV
For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.
Titus 3:7 ESV
so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Here is how it plays out. The Bible identifies that we are all sinners. If God is going to accept us based on how good we are, then we all will not be accepted because we all have sinned. God has higher standards than we do. We will downplay our sin, but God does not. When we do wrong, we reject the purposes for which we were created. We were created to be God’s image bearer and to live for him. When we sin, we fall short of God’s image and his purpose.
If God does not accept us based on how well we preform, then what is the basis of our acceptance? Why does God accept us?
God accepts us because we have a relationship with his Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus died on the cross for our sin. When we trust him and believe that his death clears the way for us to have a relationship with God, then we are saved, born again, brought into God’s family.
In other words, God is gracious to us. By grace, God saves all who trust in his son. Through Jesus, we are accepted.
John 3:17 ESV
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Acceptance is different than approval. The woman who was brought to Jesus left with his words in his ears. “Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more.”
On earth- we are to do the same:
Romans 15:7 ESV
Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
This is how God is glorified, when we give one another the same welcome that Jesus gives us.
Romans 15:2a ESV
Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
As Jesus died to help us, so our love for others will focus on building them up, on pleasing them for their good;
How accepting are you of difficult people?
Loving like Jesus loves means accepting others as Jesus has accepted you.
Loving like Jesus loves me means…

VALUE OTHERS LIKE JESUS VALUES ME.

How much do you think you're worth? Listen to what Jesus says.
Luke 12:6–7 ESV
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
What makes something valuable?

VALUE DEPENDS ON WHO MADE IT

This is why cleaning out your basement or garage is so hard. You value things that your children will throw in a dumpster. Why? You value them because they are a connection with your mother, father, brother or sister. You look at this ugly drawing and remember, “My little baby made this...” and it’s beautiful and has great value to you.
The creator often determines the value of common things!
Who created you?
1 Timothy 4:4 ESV
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,
That includes you. When God created plants he said, “This is good.” When God finished creating men and women he said, “This is very good.”
Ephesians 2:10 ESV
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
When we trusted Christ, he is not interested in a remodeling job. He wants us to see ourselves as a new creation, created for good works.
God made us. We have value because of who made us.

VALUE DEPENDS ON WHAT SOMEONE WILL PAY

If you have a 1909 S VDB penny in great condition in your house, that one penny is worth about 2000 dollars. It has no more copper than any other penny, but so few were made that people will pay that much for one cent. The value of something depends on what someone will pay. That is why so many people like to watch Antiques Roadshow. Junk bought for little money at a yard sale becomes worth thousands of dollars because someone is willing to pay thousands to have it in their possession.
Some of you struggle with how much you are worth. You compare yourselves to others and you come up short. You are not as smart as your sister, as strong as your brother, a good looking as your best friends, as talented as the person next door, and as good as you know you should be.
So you see little value in yourself and in your life.
God sees value in you. Like the person who sells a picture at the yard and goes home and brags about the idiot that paid fifty dollars for that ugly painting, God is the one who buys that same painting for a lot more. He sees value that others overlook.
1 Peter 1:18–19 ESV
knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
How many people do you know that would die for you? Some people who like you might put their life on the line. If they didn’t know you or didn’t like you, you would be real unsure.
But while you were still sinning against God, while you were still worthless in the eyes of those around you, God sent Jesus to die for you to ransom you from the life you were living into a new life that if found in Christ.
If you agree that the value of something is what you are willing to pay, the cross proves your value to God.
The people who told you “you’re worthless” missed the boat!
Jesus wants you to value everyone else!
1 Peter 2:17 ESV
Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
This is a huge issue. How much honor did you give president Obama? How much honor do you give President Trump? As Christians we are called to a different standard, the standard of love. This is not a call to agree, this is a call to honor other human beings as God has honored us.
I only use this because we all have people in our lives that we do not accept, that we do not value. Billy Graham died this past week. One feature of his ministry was that he was able to gain the ear of people who were violently opposed to his message.
We value people when we honor them.
The gospel is best accepted when we value the people who do not believe the gospel. The gospel is best seen when we make anyone who walks through the doors of this church feel that we value them.
List five people that you most disagree with. Would your treatment of them show them that you value them as people even though your may not agree with their lifestyle?
Jesus died for sinners. He wants us to value others as he values us.
How are you doing on this?
Then there is a third mark.

FORGIVE OTHERS LIKE JESUS FORGIVES ME.

So many think that God is out to get them. In some way they think that when bad things happen, that God has stopped thinking about the universe and has trained all their big guns on them. “God must hate me...”
You don’t know God!
Isaiah 43:25 ESV
“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
God does not hold grudges against you. He is not seething mad towards you. God is working on a plan. A long time ago, God decided how he would deal with people he knew would sin against him.
Ephesians 1:4 ESV
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
He chose that those who are in Christ would be holy and blameless before him!
Through Christ he forgave your sins. When you trust Jesus, the sins are gone.
Romans 8:1 ESV
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
We need to thank God for this. I don’t know what deep dark secrets you may hold. I don’t know what sins you have done. But God does! And knowing what you would do even before you did it, he made a decision to forgive you your sins through Jesus Christ.
Now, Jesus says “I want you to do the same with everyone else!”
Luke 6:37 ESV
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
Matthew 18:33 ESV
And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’
Do you hold grudges? Do you withhold forgiveness? Jesus wants you to forgive as you have been forgiven.
Finally,

BELIEVE IN OTHERS LIKE JESUS BELIEVES IN ME.

There are a lot of people who are suffering because 1) No one believes in them, 2) they don’t think anyone believes in them, or 3) they don’t believe that they are capable of anything good.
Many people feel cursed…cursed by God and cursed by others.
How do you turn this around?
1. Start by believing what God say about Jesus and about you.
Are you perfect? No. God knows that and you know that.
Can you do anything you set your mind to do? No. God knows that and you know that.
What we do know is that God accepts us through Jesus, he values us as seen in Jesus’ death on the cross, he forgives us and he wants to work in us, through us, and with us.
One of my favorite passages is
1 Corinthians 6:9–10 ESV
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
If you want to see a list of people who are out of favor with God, who are headed in the wrong direction, some of whom you would never trust or believe in, this passage gives you a start.
Listen to the next verse.
1 Corinthians 6:11 ESV
And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Notice the word “were...” From people headed in the wrong direction, these were people with a new life. These were people that were changed by the Spirit of our God. By the way, this is you and this is me! Jesus looks at us differently. hrough the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, God sees our potential and is working within us for a better future.
1 Corinthians 13:7 ESV
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Exactly what Jesus did! He took twelve ordinary men. Of those twelve, eleven trusted him. He gave these fishermen, tax collectors, and others a huge task. Then he gave them the Holy Spirit to enable them to get the job done.
He prayed in the upper room...
John 17:18 ESV
As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
He then told the disciples...
Acts 1:8 ESV
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
God doesn’t believe in you..per se. He believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to enable you to do what you never believed you would be able to do.
Mark 9:23 ESV
And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”
Matthew 21:21 ESV
And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.
John 14:21 ESV
Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
God is for you. He loves you and will show himself to those who love him.
One of the greatest ways you can demonstrate love is to believe in people!
Romans 1:12 ESV
that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.
Hebrews 10:24 ESV
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
So many people feel that if they want something done right, they need to do it themselves. The Christian says, “If we want it done right, we do it with love. We encourage those who are on the same road, but may not be quite up to speed.
In Olympic speed skating, a team of four people work together to get the best time. The best time is not when the first skater finishes, but the third place skater on the team crosses the finish line. The team works together alternating who is in front and providing a draft to help skaters along. The South Korean team had two players who finished four second ahead of the third place finisher, left the area before she came and then accused her of skating too slow. The third place finisher was left by herself in tears by the disrespect the other two girls showed her in an international event. A petition with over 400,000 votes was given to the South Korean President asking that the two girls who finished first be sanctioned.
It was a horrible display for the Olympics and even worse for the church when we throw other Christians under the bus and do not support the weak and needy among us. If that Christian has the Holy Spirit in them, then we need to believe that God will enable them to do what he wants them to do.
If God believes in us, we need to believe in and support one another.
Rick Warren suggested the following homework for this week.

PRACTICING LOVE- HOMEWORK FOR WEEK 2

This week I will...

show acceptance to__________(someone who really irritates you or is hard to love)

affirm the value of__________(someone who has low self-worth)

offer forgiveness to _______________(someone who has hurt you or is carrying a load of guilt or shame)

demonstrate trust in ____(someone you see has potential for growth: “I believe in you!”)

May God help us to…comprehend...
Ephesians 3:18 ESV
may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
We always get into trouble when we doubt God’s
love.
Say with me… God loves me. He accepts me in Christ. He forgives me. He believes that through the power of the Holy Spirit, I can do anything he asks.
Now go and love others as God loves you.
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