Loving the Unlovable

Random Acts of Loving Thy Hard-to-Love Neighbour

Luke 6:31-36
Audio MP3

April 21, 2013 PM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction (Matthew 22:34-40)


A.      This morning we were strongly reminded just how seriously we are to take the command to Love our neighbour


1.      It is often the missing ingredient in our attempt to give people the Gospel

2.      It can make a huge difference to people

3.      It changes us


B.      We learned that we have to love our neighbours, but there are some that are just very hard to love – very hard!

C.     HOW are we supposed to love…


1.      Unloveable people?

2.      Unhelpable people?

3.      Unapproachable people?

4.      Unappreciative people? (2Cor 12:15)!


D.     I am glad you asked!


II.    Message


A.     The Question! “What Do Ye More Than Others?”


1.      It is easy to love those that love you, and that appreciate kindness!

2.      That’s obvious

3.      Those are the ones we usually think about when we want to be kind

4.      Those are the ones that we treat to dinner, or take to lunch

5.      But THAT is not the only kind to love!

6.      The issue is… What do ye MORE than others?


a.       Matthew 5:46,47

b.      Luke 14:11-14

c.       Luke 6:31-36 - There is that Golden Rule again (Luke 6:31)


B.     The Command (Luke 6:31,35,36, 27-29) “Love our Neighbour”


1.      No Matter How Hard! Even if our Enemy!

2.      A Christian Thing!


a.       Do good to them which hate you,

b.      Bless them that curse you

c.       pray for them which despitefully use you.

d.      unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other

e.       and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.

f.       Forgive 490 times in a day

g.      Only a born again, spirit-filled child of God could even attempt to do such things!


C.      Some Examples


1.      David was KIND to King Saul (1Sam 24:1-11, 16-19)


a.       Showed compassion on this man who made his life hell on earth for 7 years!

b.      Suffered instead of Saul – lived in caves while Saul lived in HIS palace!

c.       Prayed for Saul (Psalm 35:11-16; 109:2-5)

d.      Honoured Saul as his king!

e.       Mourned when Saul died instead of rejoiced (2Sam 1:17-24)


2.      Jesus loved His Enemies


a.       Accepted the kiss of Judas and called him “Friend”

b.      Forgave those that crucified Him – “forgive THEM!”

c.       Forgot about Peter’s three denials!


3.      Jesus loved the untouchables


a.       Ate with sinners

b.      Touched lepers

c.       Loved adulterers and adulteresses – forgave them!

d.      Loved rich, arrogant, self-centred people (Mark 10:17-21)

e.       Jesus LOVED Saul of tarsus and against all odds, won him to Himself!


4.      Jesus is constantly kind towards us – better than we deserve!


a.       He extended His love towards US, ungodly sinners (Rom 5:6,8)

b.      We are to be kind in the same way! (Eph 4:31,32) 


5.      Joseph loved his wicked and hurtful brothers (Genesis 50:15-21)


a.       Could have carried a grudge

b.      Could have made things very hard for them, or sought revenge against them! Joseph had great authority and power!

c.       Instead, he loved those that hurt him!


D.     It Is Hard Work – to Love Someone ELSE as much as I Love MYSELF!


1.      Take a look again at Galatians 6:10, 9 – it is WEARYING work!


a.        “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

b.      Notice the “weary” in Gal 6:9 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”


2.      God uses the word LOVE and CHARITY (1Cor 13:4-7) as the WAY we are to treat other people!


a.       Suffering long, and yet is kind in return

b.      Never envies the good things happening in other people’s lives

c.       Doesn’t exalt itself, and its importance above others (Philp 2:3)

d.      Is never proud or arrogant

e.       Doesn’t act unseemly, or indecently

f.       Doesn’t seek its own praise

g.      Is not easily provoked

h.      Never thinks evil of the other person

i.        Never rejoices in iniquity – in the sins of others – grieves instead

j.        Always rejoices in the truth – the greatest truths, not gossip truths!

k.      BEARS (puts up with) all things

l.        Believeth all things (about people) – eternal optimism about what God can do in someone’s life

m.    Hopes all the best for others

n.      Endures every obstacle and even heartache

III. Application – How to Go “The Extra Mile” (Matthew 5:41)


A.     By Humility


1.      Allow humiliation – allow the other person to mock your kindness

2.      Take second place – let them have, and you have not!

3.      Allow your heart to get broken and hurt! Jesus did not become harder and harder with all the hurtful things done against Him, and the abuses!


B.     By Asking God for a Right Kind of Heart (Psalm 119:32, 36; 1Kgs 4:29; Exek 11:19)


1.      It is not a natural kind of heart – but a whole additional heart in you

2.      One that is kind and compassionate and soft and a blessing to others

3.      It must be given to you!


C.      Have a Merry Heart Yourself (Proverbs 15:13,15; 17:22)


1.      Keep yourself joyful – not just happy, but rejoicing

2.      It gives you the strength to go further than you could otherwise

3.      It is a medicine for when your heart is hurting – remember blessings, and joys, and the faithful promises of God, and the good things God has done in your life!


D.     By Obedience – just go ahead and do it anyway… the love will come!


1.      A forgotten truth

2.      Do what you should, and the feelings will come later!

3.      You cannot control the response of someone else, but you can sow right feelings, by right actions!

4.      Go ahead and love neighbours as yourself, even the hard ones


E.      By Guarding Your Heart (Prov 4:23)


1.      KEEPING it right, and soft, and fresh, and compassionate

2.      Don’t let anything turn your heart back the way it used to be!

3.      Become ROCK-SOLID in the way you will live now


F.      By Loving Your Master Best (Matthew 22:37,38)


1.      If you don’t seem to please people, then at least seek to please your Lord!

2.      Make sure this is the first and last act of your heart every day! Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength!


IV.  Conclusion


A.     The Question! “What Do Ye More Than Others?”


1.      David was KIND to King Saul (1Sam 24:1-11, 16-19)

2.      Jesus loved His Enemies, loved the untouchables, is constantly kind towards us!

3.      Joseph loved his wicked and hurtful brothers (Genesis 50:15-21)


B.     It Is Hard Work – to Love Someone ELSE as much as I Love MYSELF!

C.     Will you from now on, determine to go “the extra mile” with people, loving your neighbour? You forgive yourself a lot don’t you? You have great patience with yourself, don’t you? Start giving it to others!


1.     By Humility

2.      By Asking God for a Right Kind of Heart

3.      Have a Merry Heart Yourself

4.      By Obedience – just go ahead and do it anyway… the love will come!

5.      By Guarding Your Heart

6.      By Loving Your Master