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Back to Basics: "A Love for People"

Back to Basics: "A Love For People"  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:01
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INTRODUCTION

A few observations…
1. Love is a COMMAND, not a suggestion! – (v.34a)
2. We are to love others like JESUS LOVES US! (v.34b)
3. Our love for others IDENTIFIES us as disciples of Jesus! (v.35)
Jesus demonstrated the following attitude: (John 13:1ff)
The DISCIPLES were playing the who’s the ‘least’ game! NOT JESUS – He takes up the towel & basin!
“How could Jesus have such an incredible servant attitude?”
· Nothing to PROVE! -- He knew WHO He was!
· Nothing to LOSE! -- He knew WHERE He was going!
· Nothing to HIDE! – He knew WHAT HIS MISSION was!
In this INCREDIBLE SECURITY, Jesus was able to MINISTER to OTHERS!
THINK ABOUT IT…In the next 24 hours Jesus was able to endure the betrayal of a friend. Comfort His disciples when He was the one who should’ve been comforted! He was able to handle the denial of Peter! He was able to turn the other cheek!
I realize I preached this passage a few months ago in our series on “Last Words,” but this morning I want us to focus, not on the necessity of loving one another, but on the practical question of…
“HOW CAN I LOVE OTHERS AS JESUS LOVED ME?”
Years ago, I heard this quote, Inspiration without expression leads to depression!”
Turn to (1 Corinthians 9)
In giving a defense of his rights as an apostle, Paul gives some clues about what it takes to love others—in particular to folks that were not necessarily fans!

I. Paul Gave Up His PERSONAL RIGHTS for the Sake of Others! – (9:3-5, 11-12)

What is the assumed answer to the questions in (vv.3-5, 11-12a)?YES!”
(v.12b) – “Nevertheless…”
Paul did NOT make use of his “rights” and he was willing to “…endure anything” for the stated reason: “…rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.”
It’s a question of PRIORITIES! How important is it for the “another’s” in your life and mine to know and respond to the gospel of Christ?
You certainly have a “right” to live your life. To eat, drink, marry, work, to be rewarded—to reap a harvest from your efforts. But are you willing to give up those rights for the new command to love?
Love always considers others more important than yourself.

II. Paul Accepted RESPONSIBILITY for Others! (vv.16-17)

For Paul, sharing the gospel was a, “necessity;” an “entrusted stewardship!”
Do we understand this principle? That as recipients of the gospel, we are responsible to demonstrate the gospel in our love!
I am responsible for people – I AM MY BROTHER’S KEEPER!
It’s one thing to give up your rights, it another to pick up responsibility!
Illus. JESUS in John 13…He PICKED UP the basin to wash the disciple’s feet.
Only two times is the word basin used in the Bible—BOTH within 24 hrs. 1) Jesus when He picked up the basin, and 2) Piliate when he washed his hands—absolving himself of ANY responsibility! (Basin theology)

III. He Accepted the Role of Servant! (v.19)

Why did Paul do this? LOVE! It is the HIGHEST LAW and the GREATEST MOTIVATOR!

IV. He Adjusted Himself to Meet the Needs of Others! (vv.20-22)

The ACID TEST of servanthood…of true love is ARE WE WILLING TO MAKE CHANGES WITHIN so “…that by all means I might save some?”
We must adjust and adapt in methods based upon…Need – Culture – Interests – Priorities – Hurts – Concerns
That’s exactly what Jesus did! The Son of God became a Son of Man so that WE could become SONS OF GOD!
Yet it is AMAZING how Christians are unwilling to inconvenience themselves and give up their LIKES, their PRIORITIES to show the love of Christ to the lost!

V. He Anticipated a Reward! (v.24)

Mark 9:41 ESV
For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.
Do you realize the IMPORTANCE of what Jesus is saying?
Every time we SHOW LOVE – even something as insignificant as giving someone a cup of cold water, God RECOGNIZES it – writes it down – REMEMBERS & REWARDS IT!!

CONCLUSION:

John 3:16 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
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