available Wednesday 9/14/22 by 9:00 am
Start With Love
September 11, 2022
Where do we start?
-Where do we begin when living our lives?
-What must we prioritize?
-what do we do first in good or bad times?
-how do we untangle this worldly mess we are in?
Jesus says we must start with love
-vs 31a “There is no command greater than these”
-We often don’t think to start loving others when we are hurting
-Humanity tries to fix our worldly problems apart from
worshipping our creator- and we are failing miserably!
-The scribes were asking Jesus to weigh in on where to start
-they ranked of all the 613 command in the Law, Old Testament
-365 negative & 248 positive, heavy weight & light weight
-the scribe was asking Jesus to “weigh in” on where to start
Love God wholeheartedly
ONE God- Jesus affirms there is only one God
-Christianity says there is no other god except God
-humanity continues to promote polytheism- a refusal to accept
that people have created false gods to worship apart from God
Love the Lord your God
-supreme authority over all
-God first loved us through Creation, Covenant, and Christ!
with all your heart, soul, mind and strength
-wholeheartedly, your total being, not necessarily a statement
on the different parts of a person’s life
-love God more than self, family, possessions, popularity, power
-1 Jn 4:19 We love because he first loved us
-Ray Stedman quote
-Worshipping/loving God is our first purpose in life!
-We start loving God to solve life’s problems, to find fulfillment in
good experiences and to discover our ultimate purpose for living
Love People like we love ourselves
-Jesus unites love for God WITH love for people
-start loving people in every situation!
-God is motivated by His love for us in all he does
-We must also be motivated by love for others when we make
decisions and take action
Love your neighbor
-the scribes would have excluded most people
-humanity is still trying to excuse exclusive love!
-Luke 10:30-37 Jesus denounces prejudice attitudes, racism
-our neighbor is ANYONE near enough to love!
-love = serving others
-self-preservation is the most powerful human instinct
-note: mental illness twists this natural instinct
-Jesus says we must love people like we love ourselves
-Luke 6:31 Just as you want others to do for you, do the same
for them (the Golden Rule)
-We start with love when facing human conflict
-Love for others diminishes selfishness and pride
-loving/serving people is another purpose God designed us to fulfill- start loving people in practical ways the way God S.H.A.P.E.d you!
You are not far from the kingdom of God
-the scribe realized God primarily wants a love relationship with us, and for love to permeate our human relationships
-Jesus commended him, but we don’t know if this man ever
fully trusted in Jesus Christ to save him
How far are you from completely trusting Jesus Christ?
-John 3:16 God showed is love for us first!
-Love God back by surrendering your life to Jesus Christ
-loving/worshipping God is our first purpose in life
How often do you start with loving God and people?
-loving/serving people is another life purpose
Man's responsibility is to respond to God's love, which is reaching out to us on every side -- reaching out in nature, reaching out in the supply of all that is being given to us day by day. We are never to forget that the things we enjoy -- the food, the air, the sunshine, the shelter -- all these material things of life that we need -- come from the hand of God. It is God who gives them. It is God's goodness protecting us, sheltering us, and watching over us that keeps us from being ravished and destroyed by the forces that are at work for evil in our lives. God's sheltering hand is protecting us. So when you think about the love of God, and especially the love that redeems us, the proper and only response of the heart is to love God back with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
Mark 12 is where we're at this morning. We're pausing in the middle of some series of messages to talk specifically about the purposes of our church. And we're coming up on October when in 2002, 20 years ago, we actually started to organize what we do as a church family. And we launched in Easter of 2003, and we started to rally around two particular verses of scripture, Matthew 22 and Matthew 28. The great commandment of God - love God love people, and the great commission of God to go make disciples, baptize, teach them and everything I have commanded you. And so, we used those and kind of came up with five particular purposes and we've rallied around that ever since, as kind of our mission and purpose as a church family. Not unlike, very much like, and in fact, every New Testament church in one way or the other fulfills these five purposes, they may say it different ways. They may describe them in three different purposes, but we're all in some way, moving in that direction.
We spell that out more clearly in our discovering membership class that I mentioned we'll be doing again in October. But I wanted to talk about this particular passage and actually, the command to love God and love people was recorded. This interaction with the scribes was recorded in three of the four gospels. It was recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And we're going to look at - Mark's account has a couple of interesting pieces to it in the conversation that Jesus was having with the scribe that I want to bring out. But I want to start with the question, where do we start? In other words, our world's a mess always, has been by the way, but it's a mess. I don't know about you, but I'm a little opinionated. How many here are opinionated? Anybody here? We're all opinionated. Some less than others, but we all have opinions.
And I've discovered that when I go online to look for my opinion, it doesn't help me. Well, it does help me, helps me be more right, and have righteous indignation for those who are wrong, right? I mean, it just gets us. We start talking about it with somebody and our blood pressure rises. It just happens. "You're raising your voice." "No, I'm not, I'm just being adamant in my opinion." Where do we begin? Where do we begin even living our lives in good situations, in bad situations, when good things are happening? Why is it that when things are going really well, people don't think about as much of God. And when things are going really bad, we think about God, but we're more looking to God to be our Santa Claus, to be the fix it. God wants today in a relationship with us in the good and the bad.
I mentioned 9-11, church attendance went to an all-time high the Sunday after 9-11. And it dropped down to the average attendance that it was before 9-11 just a month later. It's like, we needed God to get through the crisis, but now we don't need God. What? We start in every moment of our life with where God tells us to start. I mean, how do we untangle this world mess that we are in? What must me prioritize in our lives? What's more important? God, family church - by the way, God in church and family, I mean, family in church are so intricately; like if you pit family against church, don't do that. We definitely have the priority of raising our children and we've made that a priority. But boy, if you make, like children come first and church comes - no, the church is a part of making family first. It's a together thing. Anyway, that's another whole sermon.
Jesus says, we must start with love. I hope before the end of this message, you will have it ingrained. Where do I start today? When you hear something you don't like, where do you start? Love! When you see somebody you don't like - does everybody like everybody around? Not everybody. You know, you're supposed to love everybody, but you'll always like everybody, right? Love, you start with love. I'm having an argument with you. Start with love in that argument. How do you do that? We'll talk about that. Jesus said there's no greater command than these. No command is greater than this. Love God, love people. We start with love. Humanity tries to fix our world problems apart from worshiping our creator. It starts with something else and then if God works into the equation, it's okay.
Some people are trying to create justice systems apart from almighty God. And I'm just going to say; no governmental agency will solve our world's problems apart from being guided and directed by the truth of God and by God himself, there's a lot of good agencies out there. Don't get me wrong. There's a lot of good things to do out there. But if we don't start with worshiping God and loving Him completely first, we will miss the mark of what He wants us to do.
Everything we're trying to do in this world it seems like is failing miserably because we're not starting with love. In fact, there are particular thoughts that have been developed in the United States. In order to write the wrongs of the oppressors who were truly wicked in the way they oppressed in our nation, the solution in many people's eyes is to rise up a new set of oppressors to oppress the people who oppressed. And it's a system not built on love, but on justice and revenge. Be careful that you do not hit your wagon to a philosophy of thought in our world that is all about whoever's in charge is the person who's right.
Be careful that you don't add to the mess of this world, by trying to advocate for people groups, or for movements in our nation and in our world for a matter of fact, that are trying to simply change the power structure, but never change the heart of the power. It starts with love. Now, the Scribes we're asking Jesus, this question. And in fact, we note in this passage that not only does it seem that the scribe that was engaging Jesus was acting positively towards Jesus, unusual. Most of them hated Jesus. We’re trying to trap Him and trying to trick Him, and eventually were part of the mob that destroyed His life, which they couldn't destroy Him, but they destroyed His body. And God used that as the sacrifice for our sins, but this Scribe was positive. And this was actually a moment where Jesus actually commended the Scribe because in like fashion, Jesus was calling them out from their hypocrisy. He was calling them out from their wickedness, but in this particular incidence, He actually commends the Scribe.
But this scribe was asking a question that the scribes themselves were asking for centuries. What's the greater commandments? They had figured out that there were 613 commands of the law in what we call the Old Testament, that 365 of them were negative. Don't do this, don't do that. And 248 of them were positive. Do this, do that. And then they, not to make it even more complicated; they decided that there were a category of dos and don'ts that were heavier or more important. They were weightier. And then they were those commands that were lighter; not so important or big deal. Jesus kind of turned that all in its head when he hit the Sermon on the Mount when He said, "You've heard it said don't murder somebody. I tell you, if you hate somebody you've murdered them in your heart." He kind of collapsed that whole system and said, bad is bad.
You've heard it say don't commit adultery, but I say to you, if you have lust in your heart for someone in a sexual way, that you are an adulterer just as if you did it. Whoa, he collapses this weightier and lighter sins into... so here's the question. If I were to have a glass of water, I've got my coffee here. I'm going to say - would you ever drink after me if I'd said, Here, take it"? Who here would not care? Said I need coffee, I don't care. See, some of you would do that. I had a coach one time, he says, I need coffee. I says, 'Well, I got mine." He says, Oh please." And I poured some in. Thank you, Jesus. Anyway, pour a cup of hot coffee in Jesus name. A.
But let's just say that - raised your hand; how many drops of toilet water would you let me put in here before you would stop drinking out of my cup? Zero. Yeah, but I just cleaned the toilet yesterday. Probably wasn't used. Anybody? Takers? The coffee's tainted. Some of you said one sip from you and you've tainted it with you sipping in it. If it was a clean cup and he gave it to me, I'll take it. But if you took one drink out of it, I'm not drinking out of it. Some of you said that. One sin makes us what? A sinner. We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. So they're asking Jesus to weigh in on the weight to your lighter sins. But the reality is, He's going to boil it down to the greatest commandments, and we're going to see in a moment how all of the commandments fit into, if we've get this right and we get this right, we're going to get the other things, right?
Let me read for us Mark 12:28, "One of the Scribes approached, when he heard them debating and saw that Jesus answered them well, he asked Him, 'Which command is the most important of all?' Jesus answered; 'The most important is, listen O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is, love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command greater than these.' Than the Scribe said to Him, 'You are right teacher, you have correctly said that he is one and there is no one else except him. And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength and love your neighbor as yourself is far more important than all the burn offerings and sacrifices.' When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, 'You are not far from the kingdom of God.' And no one dared to question him any longer."
If we're going to start solving our personal life problems, if we're going to start living life to the fullest and live purposefully in a way that's pleasing to God, but is a way that's enjoyable to live. We're going to start with loving God wholeheartedly. Start loving God wholeheartedly. Jesus is quoting from Deuteronomy, The Shima, that statement of faith, that was the crux of all the commands of God. Love God completely. And Mark records that he actually quoted the entire portion where it begins with the Lord of Israel. Listen O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. He is one God. He is not multiple gods that get to the same place. You can stack up every God. Other than the God of the Bible, on this side of my podium here, and you can stack God up on this side in terms of there are two categories of gods in the world. There are gods in the world and that is other than Christianity God and the Old Testament, New Testament God I'm talking about here that say to us, we must appease that God, in order to get our salvation. We must do something to earn the favor of that God, which really feeds right into our selfishness and pride.
I can rule my life without anybody ruling it for me. I can earn my way into favor of being right and perfect at the end of my life. I can be in charge of me. You say, "Yeah, but you're submitting to a God." Yeah, but you're submitting to a God that is manmade; that is tapping into your system of thought that you don't have to surrender yourself to a higher being. Every system in the world, Islam included says, you must earn the favor of God, and maybe if you're good enough, you'll get eternal life or whatever it is they're promising. But when you pin down the philosopher and the theologians of any other religion in the world, they will say to you, you have no guarantee that you'll ever get what you're looking for, you hope maybe you will.
On the other side of this podium stands one God and one God alone, and that's the God of the Bible, the one who in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And that one God says, I loved you first, and I gave you opportunity to know me and love me. And all I'm asking for you to do is to respond back to me with love. I'm not asking for your favor. I'm not asking you to earn it. I'm not asking you to work. I am asking you to simply accept my love for you by loving me back. Humanity continues to promote polytheism. They continue to refuse to accept the fact that people were created by the one true God, and that in that alone and our worship of God is perverting the very way in which we're trying to solve our world problems.
There is one God. And he says, you must love the Lord your God. He puts the Lord your God. He puts in the word for authority. That God is a God of ultimate authority. He is the Supreme authority of the world. Now, when you start to create worlds and you start to spin them around this big thing called a sun, and you start to create universes and galaxies, then let's talk about you being God for a minute. But until then, let's bow to the one on who deserves our praise and our love. God first loved us through creation. He gave us this world that we live in. Who gave it to you? What's that joke about says, well, I'm going to start making stuff and start makes it? Yeah, but you need to start, you need to create your own dirt.
God created something out of nothing. We create everything we have out of what He gave us to create it with. He not only gave us creation, showed us His love through creation; He also showed us His love through covenant. And he started a covenant with Adam and Eve. He started that covenant with Noah after he came out of the arc after the flood. And then there's a covenant that he called Abraham out, and so come and I'll take you to a place where I will show you and you'll be a father of many nations. He showed his love and covenant through him. Throughout the Old Testament, there are these covenants. He made a covenant with King David, you will always have someone on the throne. And that fulfillment of that promise He gave to David was actually Jesus, who came from the lineage of David's family, physically.
And now we live in the new covenant, a covenant of grace where Jesus paid the price for the covenant, He fulfilled the righteousness of the law, and indeed, just like he gave us Eden and said live in it and love me. And he gave Noah and Abraham the covenant that said, not because you earned it, but because I simply bestowed upon you my love, I'm giving you an opportunity to grace the world with my presence through you, just love me back. And they did. And then throughout history we see this, and now Jesus shows up and says, for God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son that whosoever believes in him with not perish, but have everlasting life. He's loving you first. Why do I have inscribed in my ring 1 John 4:19, because I know that in my marriage, I know and my wife knows that we love because he first loved us.
Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength, wholeheartedly, completely. Now, we can dissect or we made up of four parts in our body, and that's an interesting conversation. And you're welcome to do that this week, as you think about your Bible studies. But as we look at this passage in the most general sense; the emphasis of this is completely love God. We need to love and worship God when we're at work, not just when we're here in the sanctuary. We need to love God and worship him alone in our homes. We need to worship and love God in our neighborhood, when we're mowing the grass, when we're digging ditches, when we're driving trucks, when we're driving down the road, we need to worship and love God completely. We start with love. When we get on social media, love and worship God
Love God completely. Love God more than ourself, our family, our possessions; love God more than our popularity, more than the power that we want to earn or have in this world to influence other people. And I want to just even add to that, that if you are saying that you love your kids, like they're the most important thing to you be careful that you don't put your kids above God. Because whatever is above God, and your love and your focus and your thoughts; that's what you're worshiping. And if you're worshiping your children; not only are you setting yourself up for a lot of yoyos and heartaches, but you're also setting them up to fail miserably because the pressure's too much. No one can handle God status, except God. You can't handle it so don't be trying to be your own little God. People worship you - don't! Don't! Push that aside.
I worship the ground you walk on. That sounds like a wonderful romantic phrase, but guess what? Even if you do that, you need to worship God first, because you'll never be the spouse you know how to be in your home if you don't put God first in your relationship. And by the way, God's not a killjoy. He does not sit there and say, "I have a path for this guy and I have a path for this girl," and they're not even the same. That would be like a cruel joke. Wouldn't it be? As I was talking to Pete and Ashley who came here and declared their vows before the Lord yesterday. They had already been married in the courthouse; they came here to tell the world that they want Christian marriage. They've been baptized, they're moving forward in their faith. And it was just so fun to work with them this past few months and talking with them. And I always use this pyramid of how husband and wife and God as the centerpiece, that when we get close to God, we get closer to one another in our relationship.
When we both get our worship right in our home, we get more right with one another. It's not that simple, it takes time, and I'm not trying to unravel a tangled mess right now this morning, but it starts getting untangled when we start with loving God. Let me finalize my thoughts here by a pastor named Gray Steadman who said, "Man's responsibility is to respond to God's love, which is reaching out to us on every side, reaching out in nature, reaching out in the supply of all that is being given to us day by day. We are never to forget the that the things we enjoy; the food, the air, the sunshine, the shelter," all these material things of life that we need come from the hand of God.
It is God who gives them. It is God's goodness, protecting us, sheltering us, and watching over us that keeps us from being ravished and destroyed by the forces that are at work for evil in our lives. God's sheltering hand is protecting us. So when you think about the love of God, and especially the love that redeems us, the proper and only response of the heart is the love God back with all your heart, soul strength and might. Love God. But then Jesus turns right around, and instead of just stopping there, he goes beyond what was said in Deuteronomy. And he says what actually the Scribes and the Pharisees and all the religious leaders had kind of realized that really this vertical relationship with God, love God, was also completely... I couldn't say it last service either. It was completely tied to our love for other people. Love God, love people. The horizontal, the people we're with on this side of heaven, we ought to love like we love God. We love God. And it flows naturally into - if we're going to love God wholeheartedly, it also flows in that we're going to love our neighbors ourself. Love people like we love ourselves.
He unites love with God, for God, with love for people. We need to start loving God, loving people in every situation. God is motivated by His love for us. If He wasn't motivated by love, you and I would be - what's that Old Testament; we'd be smitten from the earth. I mean, you know how you get, when you're upset with somebody, if you had control of the lightning button, there'd be a lot of scorched earth going around. Wouldn't you? Don't get me... am I the only one that's like, "Man, smite that person. I mean, in Jesus' name." You know, you try to get righteous when you're saying it and you're just getting into trouble as you're thinking it. I mean, you know, we just... we know better, and they don't. What's that Greek word? They're an idiot. I mean, that's just the wrong thing to say. That's just wrong. I mean, but we do this. You're laughing because some of you have said that to the person you're sitting next to. Anyway, that's wrong.
We must, just as God is motivated to not smite us immediately, we must be motivated by love even if we're really upset with the person we're next to. Our motivation, we start with love just as God did with us. "Love your neighbor," he says. Now the Scribes would've excluded most people from who their neighbor was. Luke 10, actually right after this little incident, the guy says, and who is my neighbor? Like, who do I get to not love like I love myself? And then Jesus, again, another Bible study for you to go on your own. Yu can ferret that out to say it was the good Samaritan story. And he took the very person, the half-Jew, the Jewish people that had intermarried with non-Jews, which was forbidden in the Old Testament, and they were basically, there was a racial prejudice and hatred towards that particular group of people.
And he used the Samaritan as the hero of a story to indicate what a real neighbor was. You can go look at that for yourself. But when he basically says, he destroys all the boundaries that we put on this world for how we're supposed to love people and who we're allowed to love and not love. The guy next to you, that's the person you love. The person next to you, that's the person you love. The person in your life, that's the person you love. I can't love a person. In fact, some of us have a better feeling about loving somebody with our money, our resources, maybe even going a mission trip to another part of the world. And we do it much more easily than to just be a missionary in our own hometown and love the people we're around. I'll tell you what; I have fallen in love with the people of Ecuador. Been there five or six times and I go back in November. I love the people there, but you know what? They're easier to love. I don't have to live with them.
Let's just be honest. The people God called you to love or the people that are in your life. Don't go looking to replace the people in your life, replace the attitude. In our church we actually talk about loving in terms of service. And we talk about our shape and how God shaped us, and that we touch on it in our class 101. But really, how we love is really adapted to the way God wired us to love. And that's another whole Bible study in itself. And so, we talk about how one of our purposes is to love people by acts of service, by serving people in His name. Because just saying I love you, but we don't actually solve a problem in those lives or we don't show love in a practical way, that's not really love. Jesus goes to say, love your neighbor as yourself.
Now, I took psychology. That was my major in college. And I know some people, they get psychological on this and say, "Well, if you don't love yourself, you can't love people so you got to love yourself first." I get that. If you have a perverted sense of your love for yourself, if you have an ungodly sense of loving yourself, if you don't love yourself in the way - if you don't see yourself and view yourself the way God sees you and you don't grace yourself with the grace that God gives you, you are going to struggle with this. So that's of course, Jesus wasn't being a psychologist when He said this, the most general sense and the way in which it's written. It basically, He is appealing to the idea that self-preservation and self-love is one of the most ultimate forms and powerful forces in our lives.
Self-Preservation is so powerful that when you're training military personnel, you're training them to go against their self-preservation instincts and run towards the firefight. Firefighters have to train to fight against the natural instinct to run from danger so that they can run into a burning building. Now, some men and women are more wired than others to do that. But generally speaking, the ability and the desire to love yourself is a natural instinct. We are in suicide awareness and prevention month, and I hope and pray that if you're struggling with thoughts of self-harm, that you will reach out to somebody because we want you to know that you are valued and loved, and that God loves you and that we love you. And that there is a pathway towards wellness and wholeness away from what is happening in your mind that is causing you to think that the best form of self-preservation is to jump self-preservation and to hurt yourself in order to relieve yourself of the pain you're going through.
That really, when someone takes their life, they are so fighting against that natural instinct; it's like they're so unwired to their natural instinct of self-preservation that they go into that, not only thoughts of it, but then moving into the action. Self-preservation and self-love is a normal way of living. And if that's not something that's going on in you, you need to reach out for somebody for help. But for the rest of us, where that is, you know, I like what I like, right? You like what you like. Some of you, you sit in the same spot and you love your spot here in the church. And if someone sits in your spot, well, God bless them, but hopefully you'll get there before they do next week because I'm just telling, I mean, I'm just giving you a for instance. We just sort of like what we like. The world be a whole lot better if everybody thought like I did.
Has anybody said that? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the world will be a whole lot better if when I got to the where and where and such and such, they had what I wanted and they did what I asked before I had to tell them twice. They'll get a better tip if I - no, start with love, and love the people like you love yourself. You go into a restaurant and you love that server the way you want to be loved, you're going to have a better relationship and they may not spit in your food. I mean, this is just a suggestion, just a suggestion. Let's get back to the text.
We start with love when facing who in conflict? Love for others, diminishes our selfishness and pride, loving and serving people is what God's calling us to do. Just as we want to be loved and served, we ought to be loving and serving the people in our lives. Love God, love people. Let's start with love. And the Scribe says, "You got it Jesus. I agree with you. In fact, this love God love people, that's more important than the ritual sacrifice in burnt offerings." Let's start with that. And you don't have so many sacrifices in burnt offerings. I mean, religious practice is less important. If we get this right, that flows naturally the right way. Start with love. And Jesus says a very interesting comment to him; "You are not far from the kingdom of God." Huh? See, the Scribe realize that God primarily wants love relationships. He wants a love relationship with us, and He wants that to flow into our relationship with other people. Jesus commended this man, but He didn't say you're in the kingdom. He said, you're not far from the kingdom.
You see, almost is only right in horseshoe and hand grenades. I almost became a Christian. Paul is appealing to a higher authority in politics and the guy who had the right to yay or nay is death. And he said, "Almost thou persuades me" in the King James. You almost convinced me you're right, Paul. But that leader didn't get it. He didn't cross the line. In fact, when you're in a race, the only people who get recorded to have completed the race is if they cross the finish line. And the finish line for finding the grace and the forgiveness and the love of God that saves us forever is putting our faith in Jesus Christ. There's no indication in scripture or history that this person who was talking with Jesus, who Jesus commended and who seemed to be in agreement with Jesus; there's no indication that that man ever put his faith in Jesus Christ to be saved.
He may or may not be in heaven, in other words. We know at this moment he was not in heaven because he was not far from the kingdom of God, but he was not in the kingdom of God. And so my question this morning is, you agree with me, start with love, but have you put your faith in Jesus Christ? Have you crossed that line? Have you told the world you're a Christian through baptism? In October, we're going to have two people get baptized. I welcome you to join that group so that you can tell the world you're a Christian. Not that that makes you a Christian, but that shows the world that you've put your allegiance in the name and the person of Jesus Christ.
How far are you from completely trusting Jesus Christ with your life? Maybe better question is how close are you? How close are you trusting him? A pastor's greatest heartache is to look out and see people, and I know a lot of you put your faith in Him and you said you're a Christian, and only God knows the heart. And by evidence, so many people they give evidence that they are, but I know people that lived a good, righteous, good life, moral life for a long time, and later said that was all me. It wasn't God. And they put their faith in Jesus. Billy Graham, a great evangelist said that there's probably a percentage of people on every Sunday morning of people in the room that say they're Christians, but they really have never crossed the line. They've made an attempt to be a religious person, but they've never built a relationship with Jesus Christ. And so my question this morning is, is that you, is it time for you to cross that line?
Will you put on the connection card I'm committing my life to Christ? Will you come and let me talk with you? Put some people in the back, we'll have some people back there for you to actually talk with and pray through and know for sure that you know Jesus as your Lord and savior. How far are you? You're not close enough if you've not surrendered to Jesus Christ. And then the last question I want to ask those of us who are followers of Jesus, how often do you start with loving God and loving people? How quickly will you start this week with love first?
Who is your neighbor? Jesus teaches in Luke 10:25 that our neighbor isn’t just the people who live next door, but anybody God brings into your life. As the founder for New Life Ministries in Huntington, Indiana, Pastor Jimi Staton and his staff team are introducing their neighbors to a transformed life through Jesus Christ. For more information about Pastor Jimi’s ministry to the homeless and downtrodden in Huntington, Indiana, visit www.NewLifeMinistries-Indiana.com. For more information about St Joe, visit www.StJoeCommunityChurch.org.
By Greg Byman
May 20, 2018
St Joe Community Church
What on earth are you here for? What person are you to marry? Children to raise? Vocation to occupy? Mission to join? Whatever God may have in store for you, that calling will fall within the parameters that his word provides for all believers in Christ.
This week, Pastor Greg Byman takes a look at Luke 10:25-37 and 1 Peter 4:10-11 to consider Jesus’ mandate to personally represent God’s mercy to this world. Pastor Byman delivered “What On Earth Am I Here For? Part 5: Serve Others” on May 20, 2018 at St. Joe Community Church.
Click "Read More" to access Pastor's Notes, Transcripion and Slides.
B: Bible book