Do you know what the “Golden Rule” is? It is the same as the Royal Law. Read James 2:8; Romans 13:9, 10; Luke 10:25-28. If love is the fulfillment (accomplishment)
of the Law, how do you know when you are not
loving someone? How do you know when
you are loving them? Does this kind of love have to do with how you feel about what you’re
doing? Does it have to do with how you feel towards the person who’s
receiving your love? Like we studied
last week, loving those who love you back is not what the second mile (Mathew 5:41)
is all about. Read Galatians 5:13-16. Are you justified in flaunting your freedom
and doing what your flesh craves? What
should you do with your flesh? If you
are being told what to do with your flesh, doesn’t that mean that you are
generally inclined to give in to the flesh and be self-serving? What is the result of giving into the flesh
as opposed to listening to encouragement and reminders to serve one another in
love (verse 15)? What fruit will be the evidence of the fact
that you walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25)?
Serving one another comes at a cost—a cost Jesus made
us all aware of in Luke 9:22-26.
What did Jesus say had to happen to Him? If you are going to follow Jesus, what must you welcome in your
life? Should you shy away from pain,
sorrow or persecution? Should you shy
away from carrying a cross? Does Jesus
call you to live it up in the world or to forsake your own life to take up that
cross? If you are unwilling to give up
your own life, will you find the life that Jesus has hidden for you (Colossians 3:3-5)? Are you unwilling to forfeit your very self
because you are too stubborn and selfish?
Are you that stupid? Let’s learn from the Samaritan what being merciful
and loving your neighbor is all about by reading Luke 10:30-37. Why do you think the priest and the Levite
passed the victim by? What could their
justifications have been? Are you in
the habit of justifying yourself that way?
How was the Samaritan different?
Could he have justified himself the same way the Levite and the priest
did? Perhaps the Samaritan was a man
aware of his need to be gracious.
Wouldn’t you want to grow in that kind of awareness?
The path to Freedom and Love in Christ is in
terminating your instinct of self-preservation. Read Psalm 73:6-11; Galatians 5:26-6:10. Notice the similarity of verse 9 of the 73rd
Psalm, to Mark
7:6. What does verse 11 say
about their attitudes? If you tend to
be conceited, can you help someone caught up in a sin? Can you really fulfill the Law of Christ if
you are not able to carry each other’s burdens? Is verse 4 actually saying that you should be proud of
yourself? What should you take pride
in, your sinful nature, or how you are handling the situations in a manner
according to Jesus’ Law of Love? Notice
that the context of verses 2 through 5 show that we cannot help each other
unless each one of us is able to take responsibility for his/her own
actions. It happens that at times, we
all need help to continue our walk. We
stumble and fall, whether physically or spiritually. We need to be helped to stand, and when we are standing, then we
can help others to stand and walk as well.
If we are being leeches on each other, can you sincerely expect God to
bless you with fulfillment? Even though
you may get weary, continue to persevere!
Take pride in persevering even when you are hurt, tired and
insulted. That’s loving the
person. Use every opportunity to do
good, especially if the person is your brothers or sister in Christ.
When you live for others, you live yourself.
The Path to Freedom and Love in Christ is in
acknowledging that you are a part of a living, growing organism, and not an
island unto yourself; that you need the other parts of the Body as they need
you. Read Romans
12:16; 15:7. Should there be
any disharmony among believers? What
are you going to do if you develop an attitude with another believer? What’s your plan? Are you going to be proud or humble? Will you accept your brothers and sisters as Christ has accepted
them into the Body, or are you only going to associate with those you can
relate to? Is the church a place of
socialization for you, or are you going to make it a place to praise God? Search in your concordance for all the
passages that contain the phrase “one another” in the NIV. If you don’t have a concordance I will
include a list of these passages: Romans 12:10; 13:8; 14:13; 15:14; 16:16; 1 Corinthians 1:10;
Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:2, 32; 5:19-21; Colossians 3:13-16; 1 Thessalonians
5:11; Hebrews 3:13; 10:24, 25; James 4:11, 12. We will check some more out tomorrow, Lord