A New Commandment I Give Unto You
Handout: A New Commandment I Give Unto You
Teacher's Guide: A New Commandment I Give Unto You
A New Commandment I Give Unto You
This week I want us to review the commandments that are given to us as a holy people of God and hope that we strive to follow these and be an example and a light to all those around us. We are the light of the world; a city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. We are to be the light to a lost, dying, and hopeless world showing them that there is hope and there is love in Christ!
Handout: A New Commandment I Give Unto You
Upon writing this, I had heard and read several news stories about teens who committed suicide because they were being bullied by their peers. Many times we hear or read in the news of a young person who has gone into their school with a gun and murdered many others and then themselves because they were bullied. We are living in perilous times just as the Bible tells us we would in the end. Christ lived as an example to us and in His word we are told to love one another but it seems more and more everyday we see Matthew 24:12 coming true. Because of so much evil, the love of many is growing colder and colder. This is affecting our young people. How sad that young lives being ruined and stamped out early because of hatred and cruelty. Where is the love? Why are we not telling our young people and showing them Christ? In Christ is hope! Sadly in America today there is a standard according to magazines, media, and Hollywood of what we are “supposed” to be, or look like. How sad that we are teaching our young people that they should conform to a certain mold when God made us all very different for a reason. It is so sad that there is a war going on with our young people every single day and the victims of the cruelty feel as if there is no way out but to take their own lives or the lives of others. We have gotten away from the Commandments of God. Yes, God’s word tells us that things will get worse and worse toward the end times, but that DOES NOT give Christians an excuse to sit down and just let things go. We are to STAND! We are to fight the good fight until we take our very last breathe. We were not saved to sit on the seat of do nothing. We are to be doers of the word and not just hearers. We must obey what God has said and we are to pray, pray, pray for our country and the world. It is our responsibility as children of the Most High to be intercessors for those who do not know God and those who do not understand Christ. We are to tell of God’s love and to be an example of it! Luke 12:48 tells us that whoever is given much, from that person is much required. You and I as believers have been given everlasting life. We have been given much. Much is required of us. Remember we are ambassadors of Christ. We are called to be a kingdom of Priests that lead others to Christ. (Ephesians 6:20; 1 Peter 2:5)
I have taught lessons on loving one another before, but it is on my heart so strongly this morning and I must write down what the Holy Spirit is telling my spirit. Let’s go to Exodus 20 and review the Ten Commandments given to Moses while He was on the mountain with God.
The Ten Commandments
Most of us who have a background of going to church and reading the Bible know very well these commandments that were given in Exodus 20. They are the specific laws and commands that God spoke from His own lips to Moses.
I sadly have heard a few people make this comment, well we are not under the law anymore since Jesus died on the cross, and we are under grace so we do not have to follow the Ten Commandments only the New Testament applies to us. It is true we are under grace and not under the law, Praise the Lord, but let’s go see what Jesus said in the New Testament in Matthew 22.
Matthew 22:35-40 “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked Him a question, tempting Him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Notice that the words that these two commandments spoken by Jesus covers all 10 Commandments. Number 1 of what Jesus said covers Commandments 1 through 4. If we love God with all of our hearts, souls, and minds, we will do as these commandments tell us. John 14 tells us that if we love Jesus we will keep His commandments.
John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Yes, Jesus instructs us to obey the original Ten Commandments given to Moses in these two in Matthew 22 and in John 13 we are instructed of this yet again.
Please turn to John 13:34 “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
I think really the first one covers them all! If we love God will should do all that He has commanded. I want to focus this week on these. We are living in very sad times. Just as Jesus told us in Matthew 24.
Matthew 24:12 “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”
Both the Old and the New Testaments of God’s word are for us! We learn of Him and how He is through both. We cannot say that the New Testament is more important than the Old Testament because they are both equally important to us. They are intertwined! They are woven together in a BEAUTIFUL tapestry and artistry that only God can create. It is true that many of the laws that they had to live by in the days the Old Testament were written down, we do not have to live by such as sacrificing animals for the remission of our sins, but still it is important that we know and read so that we can better understand God and how Righteous and Holy He is and just how much Christ did for us when He came. The fact is that we are commanded to love God and one another. That has been law to God since the beginning of time and will be law to Him forever. It is a fact of God’s law and of His grace!
1 John 4:20-21 “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? This commandment we have from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”
Are we teaching this to our children? Are we being an example of this? If we are not even loving our brothers and sisters, if we are not loving our neighbors as ourselves, how can we do what is commanded of us by Jesus in Matthew chapter 5?
Matthew 5:43-48 “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not ever the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.”
Whoa! We are supposed to love our enemies??? What!? YES WE ARE! We are supposed to pray for our enemies. Jesus basically said here, yes you love people who love you, it’s good but that is easy to do, anyone can do that. He called us to something higher. It is something that we cannot do ourselves, but have to rely on the indwelling Holy Spirit to help us do. Yes, we have to learn to love difficult people.
Most people know someone or even have someone in their family who is so difficult to love. That person may make you want to scream when you are in their presence for even a few moments. Maybe they are very negative, or just mean. Sometimes we don’t understand why we have to keep being in contact with them, but they are someone that you cannot just get rid of. God keeps allowing them in our lives. We must learn to love them and pray for them. It is also important to ask ourselves if we are someone that is difficult for others to love. All of this is about surrendering and submitting ourselves to God and obeying what He has told us to do in spite of our strong wills to just go off the deep end and satisfy this old fleshly nature to just give that difficult person a piece of our minds and tell them how horrible they are! When we submit to God and try with all of our hearts to be patient and to love them, pray for them, and give them to God, He will be pleased and we can produce much fruit through that love for God’s glory and honor. That is what we are here for!
Sometimes in loving an enemy or a difficult person, we have to stop thinking about what they are doing to us, and treating us, and pray for understanding in why they are how they are. 9 times out of 10 people who are cruel to others and who hurt others, are in pain themselves. Perhaps something horrible happened to them that no one knows about and the bitterness and pain of that event has caused them to become mean, harsh or cruel. We are to be set apart, a holy priest and pointing them to Christ who is our healer. Even if they never come to Him, we are still supposed to point to Him. We are to obey God and leave the rest up to Him.
Now, if you are someone who is being bullied or abused by someone, I’m not saying that you have to stay in that situation. No! You need to get to safety immediately and find someone who can help you get out of danger. You and I do not have to stay and allow someone to beat us down mentally, physically, verbally, or emotionally. Sometimes we have to love our enemies from a distance. If you are being abused, or bullied, get out of that situation to a safe place. Get Godly counseling and fall on your knees before God and pray for that person and this situation so that He can lead you and show you what to do next. It may be painful when we love someone but we have to remove ourselves because they are harming us but sometimes we must do just that so that we are safe but we can love them and should love them and pray for them from a distance.
We need to be learning ourselves and teaching our young people all over the world this commandment of loving one another. We need to learn and to teach our young people that words are powerful and they hurt and once they are spoken they cannot be taken back again. We may be sorry for saying something, and we may go to the person and ask for forgiveness and they may forgive us but still those hurtful words are forever etched in the heart. We can use our words to heal, bless, and lift others up, or we can use our words to destroy, and tear others down. What we say, how we use our words will be recorded and we will be responsible for every word spoken and written. It is a choice that we must make, to love and heal instead of to destroy and hate.
It is so sad that in the body of Christ, in our churches much of this hateful practice is happening. People speaking against others for reasons that are insanity! There are those who tear others down because they like a certain kind of Christian music, or they wear a certain kind of clothing to church. There are those who hate others because of the color of their skin, or because of their size, or because of how much money they have or do not have. This is an outrage. Our children are hearing these things, and they are soaking it up. Do not tear down another. It may be that very person or thing that you are tearing down in front of your lost child or your loved one that God has intended to use to bring them to Himself. If you are tearing it down in front of them, will it help them? Anyone, or anything be it music, art, books, etc., that is used to lift up JESUS and is truth that does not go against God’s Word, we should not speak evil against it. Even if you do not like the style of music, even if you don’t like the art or how the person wrote the book, even if you don’t like how something looks or sounds, so what! You and I are not God. Our minds may be in a box but God is not! He will use whatever He will use and just because we may like it does not mean that God doesn’t. God is a big God who allows expressions of love and praise in many different ways, and we should love and accept others as God made them. We are all part of this wonderful family and there we are all different and created beautifully in God’s image. We are to give Him praise as He instructs us. Our Father has given us different gifts and talents and we are to use them all for His glory even if someone doesn’t particularly like how we express that praise. Do it anyway! If You are lifting up the name of Jesus and in obedience to Him, do not pay any attentions to those to criticize you for it. Do it anyway just as God would have you to and He will be pleased and He will be glorified and honored!
I challenge you today, and am challenged myself to begin to be more excepting of others and to love others as Christ would have me to more and more. I want to please Him and I want to touch His heart and nothing touches the heart of God more than when we love Him and obey Him, than when we love one another as He has commanded. Go in peace and love! Teach others to love through your own life of loving. God will be magnified and you will bear much fruit!
John 15:12 “this is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”
John 15:17 “These things I command you, that ye love one another.”
Dear, Lovely, Father,
I bow my heart before You again today once again thanking You for Who You are. Every time I find myself saying this to You but my heart is so thankful that You are Everything to me! You are my heart, my life, my breath! I owe all to You. I praise You for being All Powerful, for being Almighty! I praise You because You are good and there is and never will be One like YOU! Father I come to You today in the name of Your only begotten Son Sweet Jesus. I ask You to help me to Love You as You deserve to be love, with all of my heart, all of my soul, all of my mind and all of my strength. Father I want to love You and please You and touch Your heart. I want to bless Your heart. I want to know You and serve You and I want You to be pleased with me. I want to be Your servant, Your daughter and I am through Christ but I want to live in that role as You would have me to. Father help me today to love others as You love me. Help me to see their heart and not just my own. Help me to serve others for Your glory and Honor. I want to produce so much fruit for You. Help me live and be a Holy Priest for You leading others to Christ. Help me to love my enemies and those people who are difficult to love. Father help me to never be a difficult person. Give me a sweet spirit; let Your Holy Spirit shine through me so that others see You instead of me. Father You are beautiful and I worship You and love You with all of my heart. I will forever adore You and be thankful for all that You do for me. Please be with everyone who reads this and who teaches it. Bless those who hear it and help them to please You. Father I ask today that You keep Your hand on this ministry and send it unto the entire world so that we can reach others with the good news of Christ. Use me and this ministry to bring countless people to Yourself. Thank You for loving me and for giving me this amazing opportunity to serve You and others. In the name of Holy Jesus I pray. Amen.
February 10, 2013