Luke- Week 7- Day 5

Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:  (38)  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Luke 6:37-38

Why should I love?

2. Reward from Men

Jesus goes on to continue to state what love looks like.  Love looks like not harshly and unmercifully judging or condemning.  Love means forgiving. Love means giving.

Jesus makes the case that when we love this way- when we love genuinely, without the motivation to manipulate others to love us back- we will have great relationships with those around us.  People will that express that kind of love back to us.

How?

Jesus uses the common sights of the marketplace to describe how much we will be rewarded.  It is not like potato chips, where half of the bag is empty.  No, it is good measure!  Pressed down, shaken together, and running over!  He is talking about blessings that are full and overflowing.

He then states the principle this way:

“For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

Luke 6:38

What you sow is what you reap.  When you love authentically with no expectation in return, you will be more likely to receive that kind of love.

Application:

We can often tell when people are not genuine in their expression of love to us, and when we do feel like the love is not genuine, we tend to reject it.  When people are genuine in their love, we tend to love them back genuinely. 

When a whole community of people come together and love each other genuinely, it becomes a testimony to the outside world.  When they love people that they should hate, it is a testimony as well.

Response:

Who is someone you should demonstrate genuine love to today?

Luke- Week 7- Day 4

Luke- Week 7- Day 4

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.  (36)  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Luke 6:35-36 

Question #3- Why should I love?

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again;

Luke 6:35a

This is a restatement or summary of what He had commanded.

Why should we love this way? 

1. Reward from God

“and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest:

Luke 6:35b

Jesus tells his disciples that those who love like this will be rewarded by God in a big way.  Those who love like that show that they are his disciples.  They show that they are blessed. Those that display this kind of love show that they are “children of the Highest”. Their identity is connected to God because they are loving the way God loves. The next phrase is the key to the whole passage:

“for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.  (36)  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”

Luke 6:36

Our motivation for loving is not the performance of those we are called to love.  Our motivation for loving is found in the fact that God loved us when we did not deserve it.  God is kind to the unthankful.  God is kind to the evil person.  That means God has been merciful to us.  Since God has loved us when we were undeserving, we ought to love those around us that we may feel do not deserve it either.

Application:

Romans 5 says something particularly important about God’s love for us.

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  (7)  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  (8)  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  (9)  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  (10)  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 

Romans 5:6-10

If God loved us when we were His enemies, this means He loved us when we did not deserve it.  He did not wait to demonstrate His incredible love for us when we were deserving.  He loved us first.

When we love others unconditionally, intentionally, and as an action, our reward will be great.  We will demonstrate that we are people who God has changed.  We will demonstrate that we are born again!

Response:

Take a moment to thank God for loving you when you did not deserve it.

Luke- Week 7- Day 3

For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.  (33)  And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.  And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 


Luke 6:32-34 

Explanation:

3.  Who should I love? (continued) 

Jesus here pre-emptively answers our unverbalized question. Those who are listening and think that it is too high a moral bar to demand that we love our enemies might ask, “Seriously?  Love our enemies?  Love those who hurt us, and use us, and speak evil against us?  Is that what it really takes to be “blessed” and not receiving “woe”?  Is that what it takes to be a true disciple?

What is Jesus’ answer?  Even those who are the most evil love those who love them. Even those who are the most evil do good to those who do good to them.  He asks this fundamental question- “What thank have ye?”.  He is asking us this kind of question:  “Do you think you’ll be “blessed” by God by only loving those who you know will love you back?  Do you think that you will be considered Jesus’ disciple by “loving” in the same way that even the most evil “love”?”

Our motives for this wrong kind of “love” is even more poignantly expressed in the last question.

And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 

Even those who are evil give and lend in hopes of getting something in return.  Often the way we “love” is really more for us than it is the other person.

Application:

The truth is that the love that God wants us to demonstrate is a love that is truly focused on others.  That kind of love knows no boundaries as to the type of person we will love. We love this way because God has made us different and called us to love differently than the world does.

Response:

  • Test your love by doing a little honest introspection.  Why do you “love” those around you?  Are you loving them only because they love you back?
  • Is your capacity to love those who do not deserve it limited to those who love you can get something from because you don’t love others unconditionally?

Luke- Week 7- Day 2

Luke- Week 7- Day 2

But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,  (28)  Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.  (29) And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.  (30)  Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.  (31)  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.   

Luke 6:27-31

Explanation:

This week we are looking at three important questions that Jesus answers that help us know what true love looks like.

2.  Who should I love?

Now remember- this question, “who should I love?” does not mean “who should I be in love with?”  This is not the emotive, “falling in love”, romantic type of affection that is a feeling.

Remember this is love as a verb.

The question “who should I love” could be expressed, “Who should I go love, go bless, ,go give to, go pray for and go do good for?”  Who should I not retaliate against even when it feels like they deserve it?

Every one of those commands is followed by a direct object, the first of which is this:  Love… your enemies!

Who are my enemies?

Jesus gives a clue to that with each of the descriptions of who we should love.  Look at them as a list:

  • them which hate you
  • them that curse you
  • them that despitefully use you
  • him that smiteth thee
  • him that taketh away thy goods

The truth is that the command to do good, and bless, and give to those who do it in return isn’t that hard of a command when it refers to those we are close to like friends and family.  When I say “I love you” to my wife, she says it back.  When I give affection to my kids, they often give it back.  When I am kind to people like me- with my worldview, with my way of thinking and interests- they are often kind in return.

But to include people who hate me, who curse me, who despitefully uses me, who hit me and take away my goods, that includes a whole bunch of people that I, in my natural man, do not want to love.

This means that as a disciple of Jesus Christ, God’s will for me is to have no category of person in my life who I should not love (the verb).

Application:

This coming Sunday is “Sanctity of Human Life” Sunday.  On this Sunday we are quick to affirm the life of the innocent in the womb.  We should.  It is right.

But the truth is that as disciples of Christ, we do not just affirm the right to life for every unborn human being.  We must also affirm the command to love every human being, including our enemies.

This doesn’t mean that we agree with our enemies.  It doesn’t mean that we affirm the sin of our enemies.  It doesn’t mean we ignore truth in the name of love.  It doesn’t mean that we must have the “warm fuzzies” for those who hate us.

No to truly love someone is to affirm the truth. Equipped believers, according Ephesians 4, are people who speak the truth in love and grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, even Christ.

We love the innocent.

We love those who love us.

But we also love those who are difficult to love.  We love our enemies. 

Response:

Who is someone in your life that could be categorized as an enemy?  How can you express love for them today?