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SermonUnconditional Love, Compassion, and Respect
An all-creatures Bible Message

Unconditional Love, Compassion, and Respect
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
31 January 2016
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Jeremiah 1:4-10
Luke 4:21-30
1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Unconditional love, compassion, and respect is something that God charged each and every one of us to have and exhibit when He created us and told us to rule or have dominion over all the animals He created.
 
Furthermore, we are told at the end of Genesis 1 that both humans and animals were to eat only plant foods, which means that there was no death in Eden, as it is in heaven; thus, all humans and animals were to have unconditional love, compassion, and respect for one another.
 
I recently saw a very touching movie about a Marine Lt. Colonel who asked to be an escort for a Corporal who had been killed in Iraq.
 
All through this movie we see the unconditional love, compassion, and respect that was exhibited toward this fallen Marine, from his fellow Marines in Iraq, to the mortuary workers at Dover Air Force Base, to the airline and workers that helped transport his coffin to Montana, and to the family and friends of the Marine, and finally to the honor guard that helped lay him to rest.
 
This is the way it should be, but it shouldnít be limited to just military personnel who have been killed in action, and those who are near and dear to us.
 
I kept thinking about these things and wondering how and why we lost this unconditional love, compassion, and respect that we all should be exhibiting toward the more than 100 billion land and sea animals who suffer and are killed for human food every year.
 
And, our society leaves no part of these animals to bury, for these humans have lost all their unconditional love, compassion, and respect for these animals.
 
This is terribly wrong!
 
In Jeremiah 1:4-10, we are told how the Lord called Jeremiah to be a prophet of God, and we believe that there are many people, including us, who have been called in similar ways.

4. Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,
 
5. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
And before you were born I consecrated you;
I have appointed you a prophet to the nations."

Probably, not many people have been appointed a prophet to the nations, but most of us who have accepted the call from God know what we have been appointed to do.
 
As an example, shortly after we accepted Godís calling, we realized that Godís creation and heavenly will was not being followed, even by the churches and their leaders.
 
We were and are to be the peacemaking children of God who do everything in our power to end the corruption of creation, including all human caused suffering and death, particularly what is being done to the animals.
 
We are to give all the animals that same kind of unconditional love, compassion, and respect that was shown to the fallen marine, and this can only happen if we stop eating and wearing animal products.

6. Then I said, "Alas, Lord GOD!
Behold, I do not know how to speak,
Because I am a youth."
 
7. But the LORD said to me,
"Do not say, 'I am a youth,'
Because everywhere I send you, you shall go,
And all that I command you, you shall speak.

We are to speak for the animals, and God, and tell everyone we can about the horrible exploitation, suffering, and death that is inflicted upon the animals with utter indifference, and that it is against the heavenly will of God.
 
And like Jeremiah, most of us have a reluctance to speak out like this, which we believe is the reason that the Lord told JeremiahÖ

8. "Do not be afraid of them,
For I am with you to deliver you," declares the LORD.
 
9. Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me,
"Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.

And we believe that most of us know in our hearts and souls what we are to say and do.

10. "See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms,
To pluck up and to break down,
To destroy and to overthrow,
To build and to plant."
NASB

We all can expose the social indifference that ignores the suffering of animals, and even encourages their exploitation, and in the process we will find that we can begin to break down and overthrow these worldly ways.
 
And then, and only then, will we find that we are able begin building and planting the unconditional love, compassion, and respect that will bring true and lasting peace to this world for the benefit of the whole of creation.
 
In Luke 4:21-30, we are told about what happened after Jesus had turned the water into wine.

21. And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." 

In other words, they should have known that He was their Messiah; but did they really know?

22. And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, "Is this not Joseph's son?"

This is when they began to question who Jesus was, for they only saw the human son of Joseph; they hadnít grasped the spiritual side of who He was or the miracle He had performed.

23. And He said to them, "No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, 'Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your home town as well.'" 
 
24. And He said, "Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his home town.
 
25. "But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land;
 
26. and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
 
27. "And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian." 
 
28. And all in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things;

Notice how quickly the peopleís praise was turned into anger and rage.
 
They obviously lacked the unconditional love, compassion, and respect that we are talking about.

29. and they rose up and cast Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff.

They are proving to the Lord that they are like the people in Elijahís time; for like them, their hearts and souls are filled with murder.

30. But passing through their midst, He went His way.
NASB

Even Jesus passing through their midst is another miracle which most of them failed to recognize.
 
In 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Paul writes about unconditional love, which even to this very day most people donít fully understand.

1. If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

Paul is referring to the same kind of unconditional love, compassion, and respect that we are talking about that must extend to the whole of Godís creation: to every human being, to every animal, and to the environment we all live in.
 
And if people donít live this way, then they are nothing more than noisy gongs or clanging cymbals.

2. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

If someone puts forth their supposed gift or gifts, of the Spirit, and does not have unconditional love, then they are nothing, and this is something that we all need to recognize in ourselves and others.

3. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Anyone can have selective love and compassion like what Paul is writing about; but unless they possess the unconditional love, compassion, and respect that have no limits and extends to the whole of Godís creation, they are really nothing in Godís eyes.
 
Then Paul described the love he was talking about.

4. Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
 
5. does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
 
6. does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

Think about something; havenít we all heard people rejoicing and even praising God for the animal products they are eating?
 
Those animals were subjected to gross human unrighteousness, and to rejoice over any animal product shows a total indifference and lack of understanding of Godís heavenly will.

7. bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
 
8. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.

These are all human gifts and not the things that await all living beings (human and animal) in heaven.
 
So, if we are going to be living in the heavenly will of God, then we should live in the heavenly ways that await us in heaven; we are to reject the ways of this corrupt world.

9. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part;
 
10. but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.

We can live in the fullness of Godís heavenly will if we want to.

11. When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.

In other words, we are to mature into the peacemaking children of God who live in His heavenly will here on earth as it is in heaven.

12. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.

We may not understand everything about Godís heavenly will, but we should know enough to truly live in His heavenly will here on earth as it is in heaven.

13. But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
NASB

This is the unconditional love, compassion, and respect that we should be expressing for all of Godís creation without exception; everything is included: every human being, every animal, and every aspect of the environment in which we all live.
 
And, we can all live this way.
 
We can!
 
Amen.

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