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Mission: To be a resource to Pastors and Bible teachers in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. – Sermons to the World


Vision: To reach the world on the internet to fulfill the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 – “to go into all the world and teach all nations”.

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"Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household." Acts 16:31

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Loving Yourself As God Loves You

By Pastor Mark Taylor 

“Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” 
(Matthew 22:37-39).

Since Jesus said that we are to “love your neighbor as yourself”, then we can imply that He wants us to love ourselves.  I am not speaking about a selfish love to satisfy your desires or pleasures.  And I am not speaking of a false pride we sometimes call “self-esteem”.  The type of love I am speaking about is the love that the psalmist expressed:

“I will praise You; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;”  (Psalm 139:14)

It is a truth that those who do not love themselves cannot love others.  Children are not born hating themselves or others, they learn this from others.  The root of hate is fear.   Fear is the opposite of love, for the Bible says: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love. We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:18-19).  Some people are frightened because their own parents scared them into obedience and submission through harsh treatment and shame.  Their parents worshiped a frightening God and believed that it was their duty to punish children harshly to keep them from going to Hell.  

You are to love yourselves just like you are because God made you just like you are.  Your size, your hair, your personality, and your abilities are all gifts from God.  When you do not love yourself as you are, you are saying that God made a mistake in your creation.  You should wake up every morning and thank God that you are the special creation He designed.  

There has never been another you, and there will never be another you, so you need to be thankful that you are so special.  Jesus is proud of you and one day He will present you to His Father as His Friend: “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore do not fear, you are of more value than many sparrows. Also I say to you, Whoever shall confess Me before men, the Son of man also shall confess him before the angels of God.” (Luke 12:7-8).

You are to love yourselves because God has accepted you just as you are, with all of your hang-ups and problems: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).  Yes, He wants you to become better, but He died for those who had problems: “When Jesus heard it, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." (Mark 2:17).  You are loved by God and that is something you need to remind yourself of every day.  You should love yourselves, because God loves you.  
You will be able to stand before God one day and understand His love for you: “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:16-17).

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3).

If you have problems with loving and accepting yourself, ask God to forgive you for not accepting yourself, and then ask Him to give you a new love and appreciation for the wonderful creation you are.

You will never be able to love others until you are able to love yourself.  This is a deep emotional issue for many, and may require that you get counseling and prayer to be able to accept this truth.  Start by reading the book of I John in the Bible.  Then ask the Holy Spirit to give you guidance and courage to “love your neighbor as yourself”.
The Scriptures teach that God intends for you to enjoy life.  You don’t have to let life’s challenges overwhelm you. God wants to help you face life with confidence and enthusiasm. He wants you to be encouraged and He wants you to experience a happy life.

Love the One who loves you.  You will find this is the most important principle in all of your life. Spending time with God is your first priority if you are to stay encouraged in the demands of life. “Jesus said: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37).  When you love God, it will become easier to love yourself.

Remember the second part of this is to love others.  Love others as you want them to love you. “Therefore, all things, whatsoever you would that people should do to you, do so even to them.” (Matthew 7:12).  If you do not love yourself, it will be very hard, if not impossible, to love others.  “Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and everyone that loves is born of God, and knows God.  He that loves not, knows not God, for God is love”.  (I John 4:7-8).  Loving others is an expression of who God is and who He wants you to become.

Love and appreciate what you have and give praise to God for it.  Thank God for all the good things you have right now.  Thank God for your health, for your church, for your family, for a place to live, and for the many other blessings He has given you.  Understand that you are chosen by God to be one of His children, and He feels you are worthy and valuable.  Learn to love yourself with your words, your smile, your actions.  The more you love and accept yourself as God has made you, the more others will accept you.