OUR RESPONSIBILITY TOWARD OTHERS
INTRO: We are all in debt; we have a huge debt. We cannot pay this debt. It is a debt to one another, a debt to love one another.
I. Outstanding Debt
> Let no debt remain outstanding (v. 8).
- Our desire is to be debt-free.
- But not everyone can be debt-free overnight.
- We should be sure to pay our debts on time as a good witness for the Lord.
> We are in a debt to love.
- Paul says we are indebted to love one another (v. 8).
- Love your neighbor as yourself (v. 9).
- Love is the fulfillment of the law (v. 10).
- We might think it means that we are to love our Christian neighbors.
- It means to love those who are not like us – everyone.
II. How to Love
> This is how we love – because God loved us first (1 John 4:19).
- People try to walk out the Scriptures but feel they can’t do it.
- They are right; it can only be done through God.
- We cannot understand His ways and His mind.
- We try to reason from our human mindset.
- We don’t understand His ways; but we trust Him.
- Think about how loving God has been toward us.
- As we experience the lavish love of Jesus as our Savior, we can’t help but honor the Lord with our lives.
- We can ask God every day to baptize us to love others.
- God says to love everyone.
- It doesn’t matter if they are Buddhist, Muslim, atheist, or a Satanist.
- Everyone needs Jesus.
> Love does no harm to a neighbor (v. 10).
- If we love someone, we will never steal, kill, or commit sexual sin.
- If we love, we will do everything possible not to harm.
- This is what we need to do.
- How do we love like that?
- “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:9-10).
- Read 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, and apply it.
III. Five Words that Communicate Our Love
- Today could be our last day.
- Spend time with others.
- It is not the amount of time but our attitude.
- Take time together; don’t be in a hurry.
- Don’t be distracted.
- Don’t look at your watch or your cell phone.
- God gives us two ears and one mouth.
- We should really listen to what others are saying.
- Don’t be distracted.
- Think of others’ needs before our own.
- We all have different interests.
- Try to spend time on the things that interest others even if it isn’t particularly something we would enjoy.
- People just need someone to be there.
- Be there for people.
- They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
- We should want to be with people.
- People will know if we want to be with them.
- Husbands and wives also need to spend time together.
- “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together…” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
- We can bring life or death, blessing or cursing, with our words.
- We should build people up and not tear them down.
- Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth but only that which builds others up (Ephesians 4:29).
- We should encourage others and lift them up.
CONCLUSION: The believer owes the debt of love to his neighbor. Who is our neighbor? Everyone. It may be hard to love the unlovable, but even when it seems impossible, we need to reach out to them. God honors our efforts to love others. We can ask Him to help us to take our responsibility to love others seriously, especially those who are hard to love.