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Pastor Steve Williams : Life Lessons on Loving

Storyteller · 46:27 · Recorded August 8, 2021

Life Lessons on Loving

Matthew 13:34 (NIV) Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable.

Why did Jesus use parables?

To make things clearer for us.

To keep truths hidden from us.

Matthew 13:10–15 (NIV) The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables…In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘…For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’”

To awaken spiritual perception in us.

Pointers for getting the point of parables

Don’t miss “the big idea” taught.

Don’t get caught up in minor details.

Don’t push backon their challenges!

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Luke 10:25-37 (NIV) 25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’;and,‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

1. Love is your default setting with others.

They’re holy images of our God himself.

1 John 4:20–5:1 (TLB) If he doesn’t love his brother who is right there in front of him, how can he love God whom he has never seen? And God himself has said that one must love not only God but his brother too…All who love the Father love his children too.

Matthew 25:40 (NIV) “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

They’re each known & loved by him.

2. Love is something that you DO.

1 John 3:17–18 (NIV) If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

You won’t ignore needs you see.

Proverbs 3:27 (MSG) Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God’s hand for that person.

You’ll go beyond expected limits.

3. Love shows what it knows and gives as it’s received.

Ephesians 5:1–2 (CSB) Be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us.

1 John 4:17 (NAS) Because as he is, so also are we in this world.

Some endnotes on loving well

I mustn’t cross others off or take a pass for myself.

I can’t fix every person nor meet every need.

I oughtn’t ever help more than I should.

Honor their identity, guard their security, preserve their dignity, and respect their responsibility.

Talk It Over
  • Which of the parables of Jesus you’re familiar with are your favorites? What’s something you learned from this message about Jesus & his teaching in parables that you found interesting?

  • Read Matthew 13:10-15 and Proverbs 20:12. When have you seen examples of people with eyes but couldn’t “see” or the capacity to hear but weren’t listening? Why do you think this was true of them? How does Proverbs 20:12 relate to Jesus’ evaluation of his disciples’ spiritual insight? (see also Matthew 16:15-17 and 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 that are related passages)

  • When have you been a “Good Samaritan” to someone in distress, and how did that go? When was someone a “Good Samaritan” to you in your distress, and what was your feeling about it?

  • Who’s the most loving person you’ve ever known? How did they show love in practical ways that made an impression on you?

  • Which of the lessons on love in this message do you find the most helpful? Challenging? Convicting? Impractical?

  • Is there a relationship or a setting with others in your life where you need to show God’s love more? What could some practical first steps for you be?

  • Parents, read the parable of the Good Samaritan with your children. Talk it through and ask all the questions that come to mind like: Why did people just walk by? Why was it a big deal that the Samaritan stopped to help? Why did the Samaritan go “above and beyond”? How do we see this situation in our world today? Who do we just walk past? Why do we do that? What could we do instead? Pray together that God will show us ways to act in love with everyone we encounter.

Talk It Over
  • Which of the parables of Jesus you’re familiar with are your favorites? What’s something you learned from this message about Jesus & his teaching in parables that you found interesting?

  • Read Matthew 13:10-15 and Proverbs 20:12. When have you seen examples of people with eyes but couldn’t “see” or the capacity to hear but weren’t listening? Why do you think this was true of them? How does Proverbs 20:12 relate to Jesus’ evaluation of his disciples’ spiritual insight? (see also Matthew 16:15-17 and 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 that are related passages)

  • When have you been a “Good Samaritan” to someone in distress, and how did that go? When was someone a “Good Samaritan” to you in your distress, and what was your feeling about it?

  • Who’s the most loving person you’ve ever known? How did they show love in practical ways that made an impression on you?

  • Which of the lessons on love in this message do you find the most helpful? Challenging? Convicting? Impractical?

  • Is there a relationship or a setting with others in your life where you need to show God’s love more? What could some practical first steps for you be?

  • Parents, read the parable of the Good Samaritan with your children. Talk it through and ask all the questions that come to mind like: Why did people just walk by? Why was it a big deal that the Samaritan stopped to help? Why did the Samaritan go “above and beyond”? How do we see this situation in our world today? Who do we just walk past? Why do we do that? What could we do instead? Pray together that God will show us ways to act in love with everyone we encounter.

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