- Pastor Luis Cruz
Why is it hard for me to love others?
Updated: Feb 13, 2022
Rediscovering Love Series; Matthew 22:34-40; 1 John 4:7-9
Today, is the first Sunday of February, the love month. So, we will start a new series called, Rediscovering Love. God wanted to create a more virtuous world so He’s starting with us. We will begin this series with this sermon, Why is it hard for me to love others? And there is no better place to start this than Matthew 22:34-40.
One of the most difficult things to do is to love others biblically. When you deeply study the words of Jesus on loving others, you will begin to understand that it is indeed hard to love (though not impossible) and there’s no shame to admitting that. Loving someone requires commitment. It requires getting out of our individualistic culture. Our society is mainly against external interferences regarding making personal choices. We generally agree that religion cannot dictate limitations, nonetheless, the Bible is full of limitations.
That said, living in this kind of society, makes it hard for Christians to follow Jesus’ instructions on love. And it’s noteworthy that Jesus begins with loving God. I’ll share with you a couple of reasons why it’s hard to love someone biblically and then the last thing I would be sharing is why we can do it. So, here’s the first reason why it’s hard for us to truly love someone.
1. I must make every fiber in me to love God.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37
When the religious leaders heard that Jesus answered all their test questions, they upped the ante challenging his knowledge of the Jewish Law. So, they called a scribe, a well-versed expert in the Jewish law. Thus, the expert, asked Jesus, “36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” and Jesus answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
· God requires that we love Him, beyond loving ourselves.
· Both your intellectual and emotional aspect must love God.
· It’s not enough to know God’s words, it must sink deep in our heart and have the passion to follow it for us to truly love Him.
· True love cannot be passive but passionate.
· Obedience demonstrates love.
The benefits of loving God:
· God is committed to bring out the good things from our sufferings and trials. See Romans 8:28.
· God is committed to bring us to Christlikeness. See Romans 8:29.
2. I must forget myself to love others.
“Love your neighbors as yourself” Matthew 22:38.
How do I know that I love myself?
· If I are constantly looking out for ourselves.
· If I get offended so easily.
· If I wanted to be respected, accepted, cherished, and treated well.
The Bible commands us to extend the same treatment to others.
“12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12.
· How to put love in action? See Romans 12:9-17
· Love others and don’t expect anything in return. See Luke 6:34-35.
· God gives us limited resources so we can learn to deny some of our wants and needs and share something with others.
· It is only when we learn to make sacrifices for others’ benefit that we can truly know the meaning of agape love.
· Helping, caring, kindness, generosity, etc. with string attached is not agape love.
· “What’s in it for me?” attitude; and longing for either private or public recognition are not agape love.
3. Reasons why we can sincerely love others.
“7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him… “19 We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:7-9; 19
· Love is from God (1 Jn. 4:7a), and we have received His love through Christ. See John 3:16.
· We have been born of God. 1 Jn. 4:7b
· We follow the example of Jesus. 1 Jn. 4:9.
· We are responding warmly to God’s love. 1 Jn. 4:19.
A few more reminders:
· Love is the character of God, and it is the essence of everything He does.
· Loving others is an amplification of God’s love.
Questions for group discussions:
1. What comes to your mind when you heard Jesus say, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37.
2. How can every fiber of you say, “I love God with all my heart, soul, and mind”?
3. What are some of the things that you want to do to demonstrate your love for God?
4. In what area of your life do you need to surrender to God?
5. How can you sincerely love another person?
6. What are some of the things you’ve been doing for others that needed to be further developed into non-string attached kind of service?
7. Can you decide today to love someone according to Biblical standard?
8. What reasons for loving have you learned from 1 John 4:7-9 and 19?