The World Needs Kindness

Random Acts of Loving Thy Neighbour

Matthew 22:34-40

Audio MP3

April 21, 2013 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (Matthew 22:34-40)


A.      Kindness Quotes


1.      Mark Twain said, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can easily hear and the blind can plainly see!”

2.      Be kind to unkind people - they need it the most! Ashleigh Brilliant

3.      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.  Leo F. Buscaglia

4.      Kindness is never wasted. If it has no effect on the recipient, at least it benefits the bestower.  S. H. Simmons


B.      There is such misery in this world, that we often forget how much it needs kindness!

C.     When Jesus was surrounded by Pharisees, and Sadducees, and Herodians and sceptics, a well trained lawyer walked up to Jesus and asked Him THE most controversial question of the day (Matthew 22:34-36)


1.      What is THE GREATEST Commandment?

2.      The Jews divided the law into “greater and smaller” commandments.

3.      No one could decide which one was the greatest in importance.

4.      Some held that it was the law concerning all the sacrifices; others, concerning circumcision; others, about how to worship God, etc.

5.      People would go to blows based on how they answered this question

6.      This lawyer hoped to tempt Jesus, and pin Jesus down, and make some people angry at Him, and leave Him because He would have to decide what so many other “respected” leaders couldn’t decide!

7.      But Jesus blows them all away (as usual)!


D.     Jesus gives us our challenge this morning! He sums up ALL the commands in the Bible (613 of them) into two short statements:


1.      Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”

2.      Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”


E.      The crowd was stunned! Even the Pharisees were stunned!


1.      Jesus had not grabbed one of the big ten commandments, or the Levitical worship commandments – He had reached into Deuteronomy, and grabbed a Scripture from chapter 6:4,5 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”

2.      And then He reached into Leviticus, not for a command about sacrificing Lambs or Goats or Bulls or about the temple, or the priests… and he quotes from Lev 19:18  “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.”

3.      Jesus finished with these words in Mat 22:40  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


F.      I want to mainly focus on that second commandment this morning, “To Love thy neighbour as thyself”! And I want to make a challenge to every person in this room, who names the name of Christ as their Lord and Saviour! Will you, for the following week, and from thence on, strive to love your neighbour as much as you love yourself?!


II.    Message


A.     The Command – Love Thy Neighbour as Thyself


1.      To love a neighbour as much as we love ourselves, is over half of all commandments in the Bible rolled into one!

2.      The Ten Commandments are summarised by these two great commandments in Matthew 22:37-40…


a.       The first 4 commandments direct our love TO GOD (Exodus 20)


1)     Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

2)      Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image... Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them

3)      Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain

4)      Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.


b.      The last 6 commandments direct our love TOWARD OTHERS


1)     Honour thy father and thy mother – your parents

2)      Thou shalt not kill

3)      Thou shalt not commit adultery

4)      Thou shalt not steal

5)      Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour

6)      Thou shalt not covet other people’s things


3.      All of those last six great commandments are summed up as “Love people and their property like you love yourself!”


a.       Listen to Romans 13:8-10 “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

b.      Listen to Galatians 5:13 “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

c.       Listen to James 2:8 “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well.”


4.      So, it is a command! It is THE second greatest commandment in all the Bible!!!


a.       It is NOT something we do when we feel like it; when it is easy; when it is in our best interest; when we get something out of it…

b.      It is NOT something we do when other people are doing it, or because we like being kind…

c.       We do it because it is right to do – because God told us to do it!


B.     Just Who are our “Neighbours”? (Jesus answers this in Luke 10:29-37)


1.      Another lawyer came and tried to trap Jesus  (Luke 10:29)


a.       He uses Jesus’ own words of loving his neighbour

b.      He then tries to wiggle out of the command by pointing out he didn’t know just WHO his neighbour was all the time!


2.      So Jesus powerfully teaches him, and us just WHO are our neighbours (Lk 10:30-35)

3.      Basically, neighbours are those NEAR us


a.       People we come into contact with at the shops, in the shopping centre, at the Petrol Station, at the bank, in our church!

b.      People we work with

c.       People who live up and down our estate street

d.      Don’t only worry about the people who are starving and needing attention in China, and Ethiopia


4.      They are usually DIFFERENT than us


a.       Yes, take care of your family, and the brethren

b.      But, like the Samaritan cared about the Jewish man, so should we, MUST we care about people who are different than us

c.       Did you know that the Samaritans were HATED by the Jews?!

d.      Yet, here was a man who had to live with hatred and mockery by the very people that he found himself helping!

e.       Love those even that hate you!

f.       The Jews had a saying, “Love people, unless they are your enemies, or Gentiles!”

g.      Maybe you have a similar saying… “I love those that love me, and I love those who are LIKE me (Nigerian, English, Irish, German…)… but all others are ON THEIR OWN!”

h.      Jesus sharply corrected that!


5.      They usually are needy!


a.       Sometimes evidently – like this man


1)     Bruised, bleeding, motionless

2)      Nearly naked

3)      Left out in the sun for hours

4)      Would have died if someone did not intervene!


b.      Oftentimes, hidden


1)     We have no idea the verbal beatings in homes

2)      We have no idea of the hurt and sorrow and pains that people barely carry throughout the day

3)      One act of kindness could literally SAVE a life, a marriage, a soul!

4)      Because many of the needs of modern society are SPIRITUAL – not just physical or emotional needs!


6.      Those are your neighbours!


a.       Not just the nice, wealthy, self-sufficient ones

b.      But definitely nearby, probably different than yourself, and probably hurting!


C.      A Sinner is Saved to Do Good Works (Matthew 5:16)


1.      Ephesians 2:8-10 


a.       We are saved by faith in Christ’s work – the only way to be saved from hell!

b.      We are saved UNTO, or for the purpose of doing good works! “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works


2.      Learn to Do Good Works – Not Bad Works


a.       We are used to hurting people, and ignoring the needs of others

b.      We thought mainly of ourselves – our needs, and our priorities

c.       We think we are too busy – and we usually are!

d.      But we are commanded to do GOOD works


3.      Titus 3:8  “that they which have believed in God might be CAREFUL to maintain good works

4.      Acts 9:36  “Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did

5.      1Timothy 6:17,18  “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate

6.      Hebrews 10:24  “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works


D.     It is Called the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12)


1.      Mat 7:12  “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

2.      Do good to all men (Gal 6:10)

3.      Treat even strangers right  (Lev 19:34)

4.      Visit the fatherless and widows, like YOU would want to be (Jam 1:27)

5.      Do it in the NOW if you can, not tomorrow (Proverbs 3:27,28)

6.      It Is Hard Work Loving A Neighbour! To Love Someone ELSE as much as I Love MYSELF! More on this tonight!


E.      The Cost of Caring – HOW to Love Your Neighbour (Luke 10:29-35)


1.      By Taking Notice


a.       We are an iPod generation – blithingly going about our business

b.      We walk by so much hurt and sorrow and need

c.       We are numb, and too busy to notice hardly anything as a generation anymore

d.      If you are going to care, you are going to have to open your eyes to the real world around you and see what’s going on, and get involved in people’s lives and troubles and heartaches, and DO SOMETHING to help!


2.      By Overcoming Embarrassment


a.       A priest approached the moaning man on the side of that road to Jericho


1)     Surely HE will help this man! A PRIEST is a good man!

2)      He obviously thought to himself, that he might get dirty, or bloody, or the man might die while the priest was trying to help him…and then he would have to explain everything… It was just too risky!

3)      He was embarrassed to be seen trying to help the mangled, bloody man.

4)      So he passed by on the other side of the road


b.      A Levite next came upon the crumpled body of that man on the side of the road.


1)     A LEVITE, well, he will help that man won’t he?

2)      He was a busy man, with very important things to do too – Temple things

3)      He too was embarrassed to be seen helping this man

4)      So he passed by on the other side of the road, acting like he never saw him


c.       So now comes a Samaritan man


1)     Someone only tolerated around Jerusalem

2)      Half-Jews, half-Gentiles… not true Jews

3)      Probably doing business in Jericho, and now heading back home

4)      He sees a Jewish man, mostly naked, mangled, moaning on the side of the road

5)      He could have said


a)     Well, it is none of my business what THESE JEWS get up to

b)      He probably won’t even allow me to help him since I am a Samaritan

c)      I have a very long way to go (about 40 miles – 2 days walking) to get home

d)     What will people say if they see ME a Samaritan, helping this Jew?


6)     But he didn’t say any of that!

7)      He just went ahead and broke through any embarrassment!


3.      By Taking a Risk!


a.       This Samaritan had NO idea just what he was getting into – you rarely know

b.      Yet he took the risk

c.       This world needs some true risk takers – people who risk caring about people


4.      Takes Effort (Luke 10:33,34)


a.       Crossed the road

b.      Had compassion

c.       Picked him up off the ground, cradled him

d.      Took clean cloths of his own, and bound up the wounds, and made slings for the broken bones

e.       Took out a small bottle of oil and poured it on the dry, cracked, raw flesh that had been baked in the heat of the day, rubbing it in to bring healing and relief

f.       He took another bottle out of medicinal wine – alcoholic wine – and poured it over the infected gashes in his flesh, to sterilize them, and clean them


5.      Takes Time


a.       How long do you think all this took?

b.      Well, he wasn’t finished yet

c.       This Samaritan put him on his very own mule, and he himself walked beside it, and took the man to the next Inn – may have been MILES down the road

d.      He stayed with him, making sure he would be alright

e.       That meant he was delayed a day getting home


6.      Costs Money


a.       He not only had to pay for an extra night’s stay in an Inn for himself, but for the Jewish man as well

b.      AND… he left the Inn-keeper MORE MONEY to cover any expenses to take care of the man for at least another day – (food, and lodging, and medical care)

c.       AND… he promised to return and if there were any MORE expenses, he would make it all up to that Inn-keeper the next time he came by!

d.      Caring for people…COSTS!


7.      Look around, and start being a Light, right around your home, and then around your actual neighbourhood, and then throughout your village, and then around Cork City! (Matthew 5:13-16) – a blessing, a help!


a.       We are SALT – helps


1)     Preserve things

2)      Flavour things

3)      Sterilize things – clean them up

4)      Helps make people get thirsty! For the Gospel!


b.      And we are LIGHT!

c.       What we DO, as much as what we PREACH, affects the world around us for GOOD, and helps people know and worship the God whom we serve!


1)     People need to see our good works, not our worship!

2)      They need to see the fruit of what we believe


a)     Soft answers

b)      Firm commitments

c)      Clean and honest hearts

d)     Enduring marriages

e)      Brotherly love

f)       Putting others ahead of ourselves!


F.      It is Second to Loving God First (Matthew 22:36-38)


1.      Most people forget this!


a.       Mat 22:36  Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

b.      Mat 22:37  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.

c.       Mat 22:38  This is the first and great commandment.


2.      How can we even BEGIN to worry about each other, and love one another, until we have learned to love God first and best? (Matthew 10:37)

3.      Humanitarians love their neighbours, and the Red Cross reach out and care about people all over the world…

4.      But they ignore the God who made them

5.      THE most important command to obey, it to love God


a.       To know Him

b.      To love Him – to REALLY love Him!

c.       To enjoy Him forever


6.      No Christian in this room can skip this part of the commandment

7.      Do you love God, with all your heart, soul, mind, strength?

8.      I don’t it!

9.      But there is where your love for OTHERS will finally begin

10.  All other love will quickly dry up, and run out, and produce bitterness and frustration!


G.     A Missing Ingredient!    In all that we are doing, what could it be?


1.      We have the Truth, the Gospel, the Good News – Gospel tracts, personal testimonies, Bible preaching and teaching every Sunday and Wednesday

2.      We have what it takes to get the Gospel into all the world – we have all have the feet and hands and mouth that it requires!

3.      We have the neighbourhoods and houses and people to go to – we are not alone, away from everyone…

4.      And yet, the ONE thing that will make the Gospel heard, and received, and responded to, is KINDNESS! Loving people! Loving absolutely everyone you know and you meet!

5.      What a different world this would be if it constantly met people who loved them, and were kind to them!

6.      Not loving their sins and their sinful lifestyles, but THEM, and their souls, and being kind to them anyway, in spite of their sins!


H.    The Lord Jesus is Our Best Example (Romans 15:2,3)


1.      Rom 15:2,3  Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

2.      He lives to please US!

3.      Christ loved sinners (Romans 5:8)

4.      Christ loved the ungodly (Romans 5:6)

5.      Can we not do the same????


III. Conclusion


A.      How to Love YOUR Neighbour this week, and from now on…


C.     A contest to see who does the most Random Acts of Kindness during the eight days! The top three will be rewarded! To actually accomplish an effective Act of Kindness, you will need to do all of the following four things:


1.      Actually DO something listed in this brochure

2.      Tell the person WHY you are doing it for them

3.      Give them the Tract, and

4.      Invite them to Church on Sunday, April 28th!


D.     Some Ideas


1.     Deliver a Thank You note to the Fire Brigade, or the Garda Station.

2.      Take colouring books and a box of new crayons to a Doctor’s office.

3.      Take a case of good bottled water to a regional park where there are joggers and hand them out with a tract cello-taped to the bottle.

4.      Leave an extra big tip for the waiter/waitress (along with a tract).

5.      Buy some new stuffed animals and take them to the children’s wing of the Hospital. Ring ahead of time to ask if they will accept them.

6.      Do grass or hedge cutting for someone for free.

7.      Some people could do with a visit. Older folks that you personally know who are stuck at home. Go and talk with or just read to them.

8.      Do shopping for older or infirm/sick people you personally know – include a tract with the messages.

9.      Deliver a Free New Testament to every house around your home with a Tract (maybe just all on your street).

10.  Buy your co-worker a cup of tea or coffee, or a snack, or even lunch unexpectantly. Make sure you give them a tract.

11.  Buy a cup of coffee for the person in line behind you at the coffee shop. Hand them a voucher, along with a Tract and smile!

12.  Write a letter or send a package to an Irish soldier. Include a Tract

13.  Write and encourage a TD (they need it) – include a Tract. Tell them you are praying for them!

14.  Teens can offer to do a bob a job for someone and say it is FREE!

15.  Offer to hoover and clean someone’s vehicle. Tell them you are just doing a random act of loving your neighbour! Seriously. And give them a tract!

16.  Let someone go in front of you in line. If someone asks you why you are doing it, then give them a tract!

17.  Children can colour a picture for your teacher, and give it to them with a tract saying “Thank you for being my teacher!”

18.  Make a craft for your parents, or grandparents (if they don’t come to church), and write on it “I love you!” and give them a Tract, and invite them to Church on Sunday, April 28th.

19.  Children can offer to wash the ware for a week for your parents or for whoever normally washes them (if they don’t come to church) – make sure you give a Tract and invite to Church

20.  Send a small care package (with tea, cookies, crisps, etc) to a relative that is in College away from home and include the Tract

21.  Cook a meal for someone in your neighbourhood that you discover is having a hard time.

22.  Bake something for someone, and just out of the blue give it to them, along with the Tract.

23.  Thank someone you know who doesn’t come to Church, for investing in your life (like your parents, a good friend, etc...).

24.  Leave or hand a Thank You Card with a Tract for the Postman, Milkman, Rubbish guys, the Garda, and Fire Brigade.

25.  Ask someone if you can help them do whatever they are doing, and then give them a Tract.

26.  Offer to take your neighbour or friend's dog for a walk for them

27.  Babysit for free to a couple, or parent, who could really use an evening out

28.  Volunteer to do Tidy Town Clean Up in your Estate

29.  If you just read a good book, give it to your friend to read next, with the Tract in it

30.  Pay a bill for someone going through financial struggles

31.  Put a picture of you and your friend in a small frame, and give it to him/her with the Tract

32.  Leave a gift on the front porch for a friend or neighbour, with the Tract, and a Church invitation

33.  Bring something (like flowers, or newspapers) to the local nursing home that will lift their spirits

34.  Pay for someone's lunch at O'Crualaoi's, or Dino’s, or Drumstix


E.      The following Vouchers will be available for you to purchase to give away. You buy them from the church and then hand them out as random acts of loving thy neighbour!


1.      Vouchers for a free coffee from Nosh+Coffee and BB’s Shops in Ballincollig

2.      Free Car Wash at the applegreens Petrol Station


F.      What other ideas do you have that you accomplished?

G.    Tick the box of each item you accomplish! If you do the same thing more than once, mark an additional check after the item, on the same line, and add up all the checks for the total.


1.      HOW MANY TICKS ON THIS PAGE? _______


3.      TOTAL EFFORTS _______


H.     We will tally them all up Sunday evening, 28th April, and give testimony of just how thankful people were to just a little kindness, and just how many people took the Gospel leaflets, and even stayed around and listened to us give them the hope of the Gospel, and even those who actually came out to Church next Sunday!

I.       I can’t wait! As a matter of fact, I have already been enjoying using these tracts and approach for a few weeks now, and have been so amazed at the responses of people


1.      A man named Dan asked me to take him home from Supervalu

2.      Waitresses were VERY thankful for a tip with the tract


J.        The Love Thy Neighbour Challenge!


1.      How many different people can you be KIND to this week?

2.      How many different ways can you be kind?

3.      Will you love people like you love yourself?

4.      How many TRACTS will you try and get out this week? You have FIVE to start with!

5.      Make it a challenge to do it constantly, naturally, prayerfully!

6.      How many souls will actually come out to church Next Sunday, or over the next few weeks, simply because YOU were kind?


K.      I DARE every one of you to attempt this challenge and see if you have more fun being kind, than complaining, and being a grouch around people!!! I DARE YOU!

L.     You may never go back to being a GRUMP after this week!

M.   Let me say this…


1.      No good work, no best effort, no matter how religious or sincere, can merit God’s forgiveness

2.      Nothing you or I can ever do, can be good enough to be accepted by God

3.      Because we are all sinners

4.      And sinners don’t go to heaven

5.      But God came to US like that Samaritan, and offers to us a whole new life – eternal life! If only you would stop resisting and fighting Him!

6.      Let Him save you this morning! Ask HIM to forgive you, and wash away all your sin, and make you HIS child!