Mk 12:29 Jesus answered "The most important of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. 30 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart decisons, with all your soul m/w/e, with all your mind discern-Eph, and with all your strength.'
31 And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these.
Loyalty: Hesed (covenantal faithfulness) to God's reputation (glory) and agenda, depending only on Him for our needs and desires
Obedience: we can't have a rlshp with God apart from total obedience to His will, which leaves no room for indulging our desires.
Volitional Valuing: we must choose (synthetic happiness) to value what God values as our highest good and action/attitude determiner
Exclusive Emotional Intimacy: we are unfaithful when we seek our needs from, or set our affections on. anything created/temporal
1. Love is a decision (based on knowledge) and a commitment to self-sacrificially do what is in another's best interest regardless of response Jn 3
5. No Evil Rm 13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 all summed up in: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."10 Love does no harm/evil to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. 11 Do this, knowing
6. Loyalty to others flows out of God's Hesed (love & forgiveness) toward us Col 3:12-14 Rm 14:7 none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. Rm 12:5 we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 1Cor 12:25 Eph 4:25 Rm 12:9-111Jn 4:7-12
7. Other-centeredness Phil 2:3 do nothing thru selfish ambition or vainglory, but in humility let each esteem others more important than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Eph 5:29 nourish cherish Rm 15 1Cor 8, 10:24
Why self-centered: needs aren't met by God; half-hearted self-denial and embracing of God's purpose for life; risk rejection; wrong values Focus on self (pride/power: security/significance; lust: pleasure/comfort) and what others think of us rather than what God thinks of us b/c don't know Him.
a. If you haven't made a deliberate decision to deny yourself & crucify your flesh (desire for the temporal) you are, by default selfish.
Gal 5:24 those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Lk 9:23 deny self Rm 12:1-2 ongoing sacrifice
b. You think/care about (make your decisions based on) what you would like/need/want rather than what God likes or what would benefit others
c. Get more than you give (attention, appreciation, affirmation, listening, complements, service, compromise) Ingratitude due to narcissism
d. Unable to empathize with others. thinking everyone views life and feels like you do. Disclosure with wrong purpose, too +/-
e. Use others to meet your needs for____ Only reach out to the fun or beautiful people or help others when it's neat and fun (no mess).
f. Lazy except when gratifying own desires. Only make sacrifices to benefit yourself; Others have to nag/exhort you to do what you should
g. Withdraw/angry passive/agressive when things don't go as you wish. Fail to see and achieve God's purposes in difficult situations.
h. Purpose-plan-prepare to love/serve others/Body and then adapt plan based upon the other person's response and revealed deeper needs.
i. Those who are spiritually stretched develop a spiritual sensitivity and flexibility that allows them to serve without hurting themselves.
j. Train self to be godly so you can help/disciple others. Make sure knowledge is Biblical so you saying what God would say
1Tim 4:6 If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good servant of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good teaching which you have carefully followed 7 reject profane and old wives' fables, and train yourself toward godliness. 8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 2Tim 2:21
8. Volitional Valuing: we must choose to value what God values as our highest good and action/attitude determiner=the benefit of others
1Pt 1:22 you purified your souls in obeying the truth thru the Spirit for sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart
Phil 2:2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one purpose 1Jn 3:4 joy...children walk in truth 1Cor 1:10
Jonah 4:11 should I not pity Nineveh Mk1:17 "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." 18 immediately left their nets Lk 5:8
Heb 12:14 Pursue peace with all, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; Eph 4:3 unity of the Spiri
Jude 1:22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others with fear, snatching them from the fire, hating the garment corrupted by the flesh.
9. Edification Rm 14:19 15:2 each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification 3 as Christ did not please Himself Heb 10:24-25
Eph 4: 25 speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another cf Body Rm 14:19 things wherewith one may edify another.
10. Serving and Sharing Gal 5:13 called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but thru love serve one another.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. Has anyone ever suggested you were selfish or self-centered? How did you go about changing from the default to the Divine nature 2Pt 1:4?
2. What does God value? How have you reprogrammed your values so that you are living in accord with God's values and will?
3. If you've denied yourself (very life-Lk 9:23) to follow Jesus, why would you purse your own self-centered (demonically deceived) agenda?
4. How does unity relate to love? Why does the Devil seek to disrupt unity? How does the Holy Spirit build unity and love (see Ephesians)?
5. What can you do to tap into God's grace and love so you can share it with others? How can you express your love for others?