Friday, January 24, 2014

No greater love than this

We have heard, its been said that "never a man spake like this man when He said come follow me". You will never find a greater love than that of God the Father and Jesus our Lord and Savior.

There are many definitions of the word love. but there is no greater love than he who lays down his life for a friend.
Definition of love.
The definition of the four Greek words used to describe the various types of love are the following.
  1. EROS is sexual or romantic in nature. This word is not in the Bible.
  2. PHILEO is a brotherly love toward someone we really like.
  3. AGAPE, which is the deepest love, means doing good things for another person.
  4. STORGAY refers to loving one's relatives. It is a relatively unknown word that is used only twice in scripture and only as a compound word.
  5. Even though the two Greek words PHILEO and AGAPE are in scripture, they can sometimes cause confusion. For example, one passage that is not clear in the Bible is the one that highlights the difference between AGAPE and PHILEO.
NASB John 15:13-14 --- 15:13  "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
15:14  "You are My friends if you do what I command you.

Today we are not talking about the love that a man and woman feels or talking about boyfriend or girlfriend or vise-versa. EROS
We are talking about a love that goes way way deeper than that. Today we are not going to argue about it, but consider the Ten Commandments. If anyone didn't know! the first four is for our love and duty to God.

NASB Exodus 20:1-11 ---  and Mark 12:30
20:1  Then God spoke all these words, saying,
20:2  "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
20:3  "You shall have no other gods before Me.
20:4  "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.
20:5  "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,
20:6  but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
20:7  "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
20:8  "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
20:9  "Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
20:10  but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; {in it} you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.
20:11  "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

NASB Mark 12:30-31 ---
These are the first 4 Commandments of God written on stone not table.

The last six is for our love and duty toward mankind (our friends and neighbors)

NASB Exodus 20:12-17 ---  and Mark 12:31
20:12  "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
20:13  "You shall not murder.
20:14  "You shall not commit adultery.
20:15  "You shall not steal.
20:16  "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
20:17  "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

Mark12:31 ---12:31  "The second is this, `YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

These are What God wrote by His own finger TEN COMMANMENTS.
If you were to look closely not just hit and run, you will see or can see what Jesus said to be the same just in a two shorter commandments.
NASB Mark 12:30-31 --- 
12:31  "The second is this, `YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
Jesus changed nothing at Calvary that has to do with the ten commandments. But even that is not the love we are talking about today.
This is rather a long story but touching. About no greater love or friendship.

No Greater Love
The February 13, 1987, issue of The Missileer, a newspaper of the 45th Space Wing, U.S. Air Force, ran this brief and apparently true story by Colonel John W. Mansur:
The mortar rounds landed in an orphanage run by a missionary group in the small Vietnamese village. The missionaries and one or two children were killed outright and several more children were wounded, including one girl about eight years old.
People from the village sent for help to a neighboring town that had radio contact with the American forces. Finally a U.S. doctor and nurse arrived in a jeep with their medical kits. They established that the young girl was the most critically injured. Without quick action, she would die from shock and loss of blood.
A blood transfusion was imperative so a donor with a matching blood type was required. A quick test showed that neither American had the correct blood type, but several of the uninjured orphans did.
The doctor spoke some pidgin Vietnamese, and the nurse a smattering of high-school French. Using that combination together with much impromptu sign language, they tried to explain to their young, frightened audience that unless they could replace some of the girl's lost blood, she would certainly die. Then they asked if anyone would be willing to give blood to help.
Their request was met with wide-eyed silence. After several long moments, a small hand slowly and waveringly went up, dropped back down, and then went up again.
"Oh, thank you," the nurse said in French. "What is your name?"
"Hung," came the mumbled reply.
Hung was quickly laid on a pallet, his arm swabbed with alcohol, and the needle inserted in his vein. Through this ordeal Hung lay stiff and silent. After a moment, he let out a shuddering sob, quickly covering his face with his free hand.
"Is it hurting, Hung?" the doctor asked.
Hung shook his head, but after a few moments another sob escaped, and once more he tried to cover up his crying. Again the doctor asked him if the needle hurt, and again Hung shook his head.
But now his occasional sobs gave way to a steady, silent crying, his eyes screwed tightly shut, his fist in his mouth to stifle his sobs.
The medical team was concerned because the needle should not have been hurting him. Something was obviously very wrong. At this point, a Vietnamese nurse arrived. Seeing the little one's distress, she spoke to him, listened to his reply, and answered him in a soothing voice.
After a moment, the boy stopped crying, opened his eyes and looked questioningly at the Vietnamese nurse. When she nodded, a look of great relief spread over his face. Looking up, the Vietnamese nurse said quietly to the Americans, "He thought he was dying. He misunderstood you. He thought you had asked him to give all his blood so the little girl could live."
"But why would he be willing to do that?" asked the navy nurse.
The Vietnamese nurse repeated the question to the little boy, who answered simply, "She's my friend."
Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend.

The final sentence of this inspiring story is, of course, paraphrased from the Bible, from John 15:13. This scripture from the Revised Standard Version reads, "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
This scripture raises many questions: When Jesus said this, was He just referring to Himself and His own sacrifice? Or was He again foretelling how His disciples and many other Christians would die? Must all true Christians literally die for their friends? What was Jesus telling His people here?
We need examine this scripture to understand in what way or ways we, as Christians at the end of this twentieth century, are to lay down our lives for our friends.

Today this is the love we are talking about someone who is willing to lay down their life for a friend.
NASB John 15:13-14 --- 15:13  "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
15:14  "You are My friends if you do what I command you.

NASB 1John 3:16 --- 3:16  We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

If we are to follow the example of Jesus and the Spirit of God dwells within us, are we not supposed to be like Jesus.

Friends I know that this is long and I hope you stay for all of it.
Jesus spoke a lot of things.Truthful things. 

Jesus said in John 10:11-15 ---
10:11  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
10:12  But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
10:13  The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
10:14  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
10:15  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

 Friends there are Good Shepherds and there are False Shepherds in wolve's clothing. No greater love that a Pastor or Shepherd can have is to lead a flock of God, not only into green pastures but mostly into the Kingdom of God. A good pastor will not feed his flock goat food or non-spiritual poisoned food, BUT every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

A Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Three things make a Good Pastor. ---

 Middle eastern cultures understood what shepherding was all about.  It was about feeding the lambs and the sheep, bringing them to good pasture lands and water, grooming and clipping them, delivering new lambs, leading them and teaching them to stay together, going off after the wandering lost ones, and protecting the sheep in the field and in the fold.  We are all under shepherds and Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd.  We need to emulate what the Good Shepherd does for the sheep.

John 21:15-17 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep".

Heb. 5:12-14 & 6:1-3  In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,

What then is solid food?  It is training in righteousness so that the sheep can be fully equipped, able to stand in the day of testing.
2 Tim. 3:16-17  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Isaiah 40:11  He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

The under shepherd leads the flock in the world, while helping them not to be "of the world".
Ps. 23:1-6  The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Following the lead of the Good Shepherd as under shepherds we are to lead the sheep to pasture and water.  We teach them and restore them.  We guide them in paths of righteousness.  We protect them from wolves and beasts in the world with the rod and staff.  The rod and staff are for discipline of the flock and protection for the flock.

John 10:1-13 "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice." Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them. Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

Friends there is no greater love than when a truly called minister of God would put everything on the line to see lost souls head for the Kingdom.

This may sound strange to a lot of people. If it takes my life, I would give up my mortal life that you may have eternal life. No I'm not Jesus not even close. I tell you all the truth for that is my calling. If I was or were to teach you any other thing other than the truth of God. The Gospel and deeper hidden truths of the bible that on that day Jesus shall turn to you all (WELL DONE MY TRUE AND FAITHFUL SERVANT).
Folks, people have said to me many times that Preaching and Teaching against Easter, Halloween, Christmas, Valentines day, St Patrick's or any of the paganized days isn't essential to a person's salvation.
Why we preach and teach so hard is for you to be able to understand why the Apostles of Christ wrote in
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 ---  
6:14  Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
6:15  Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
6:16  Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
6:17  "Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE, says the Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you."
6:18  "And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me, Says the Lord Almighty."

 Revelations 18:3-4 --- 
18:3  "For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed {acts of} immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality."
18:4  I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;

A true Pastor, Preacher, Minister is one who is not afraid to stand up against satan's lies.
He is willing to lead you to where you need to be in Christ, he is willing and will lay down his life for you and the Gospels sake. 

No comments:

Post a Comment