Thursday, June 16, 2011

Love or Liberties? - Pastor Travis New

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. (John 15:12-14)

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. (Ephesians 5:1-2)

Have you taken the time to consider what these passages mean? How they practically apply, to your life? Have you considered how they apply the body of Christ? They’re all teaching us the same thing; to love one another even as Christ loved and continues to love us. But that raises a significant question for us doesn’t it? It begs us to ask; how did Christ love us? How does He continue to love us? The answer for that question is a simple one. He loved us sacrificially. He laid Down His life! For us! He endured the mockery of a trial, the scourging of sinful men, the long walk to Golgotha, the agony of the crucifixion, the full wrath of God and eventually death. For us! Brothers, Sisters, this is the love that these passages of scripture command us to emulate. We are to love one another sacrificially. Do you see that Christian? Do you see the clear command of your Savior?

It is to esteem the needs of others Philippians 2 puts it this way, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

So, Biblical Love, Christ like Love, Christian love is to sacrifice your rights, liberties, and desires for the needs of others. Is that not what Christ did? “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Jesus humbled Himself! He didn’t count equality with God a thing to be grasped; He didn’t try to hold on to His divine rights or prerogatives, He laid them down, He laid them down to bring about your redemption, He laid them down to love you. Brothers, Sisters, if that is so, if that is the truest expression of Biblical Love why are we so quick to pursue our liberties? Why are we looking for our own? Why are we not considering the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ? Why are they not more precious than our liberties? If we are called to love sacrificially, shouldn’t we be willing to give it all up for the sake of the church that our Savior bleed and died for?

Will you Christian? Will you consider your weaker brothers and sisters? Will you lay it all down and live selflessly for Jesus? That is what He commands, will you do it?