Posts Tagged ‘ Love ’

VerseD: James 1:19

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger

James 1:19, ESV

Do not assume you know what a person is thinking or where they are coming from. Everyone is more willing to talk when we are willing to hear.

Just as God hears His people, even though He sees our sin.

Sermon on the Mount study notes – Matthew 6:1-4

I have started a small group series on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). I am sharing my notes in case anyone else wants to use them with their group. [Reminder that these are only notes!]

Sermon on the Mount – Part 9

Matthew 5:1-2:
Jesus wants to teach the crowds: Who are they? Jewish disciples: People who understand the
Scriptures (at least to a point). Notice from 7:28 the crowds still came along, but this teaching is for His disciples.

What does “blessed” mean?
Based on the first twelve verses, blessed means realizing our own wretchedness and need for a Savior. In other words, it is becoming/being a Christian.

What was discussed last time?

  • Retaliation
  • Love your enemies
    • “Would you give the Antichrist food and water …?”

Matthew 6:1:
Beware practicing where other people can see? What about “let your light shine that they may see”
(5:16)?

Matthew 6:2-4:
What is Jesus saying?
Beware by making sure your motives are right. Are you seeking glory and people liking you, or are you actually loving others?

  • Compare (“Said of old”):
    • Proverbs 11:24-25 (gives and gets, is refreshed)
    • Proverbs 22:9, 16 (oppresses poor, gives to rich)
    • Proverbs 25:14 (boast of non-gift)
    • Proverbs 28:27 (who gives will not want, hides eyes is cursed)
  • First thing to remember:
    • Proverbs 29:13 – We are all created by God (Made in His image; God gives sight to both)
    • Proverbs 19:17 – We work to serve the Lord (He is kind to the poor in spirit, rewarded by Lord)
      • Love God, love others
  • We are reminded and admonished:
    • Proverbs 3:27-28 – 1 John 3:16-18 – James 2:14-17(, 18-26) (have but don’t give, wicked – faith without works is dead)
      • Ephesians 2:8-9 – Does Paul contradict James?
      • No! Paul explains we are not saved by works, James explains our salvation pushes us to good works. In fact:
  • Philippians 2:12-13
    • Matthew 25:31-46

VerseD: Proverbs 17:17

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 17:17, ESV

We fight and divide, but God stepped down to reconcile us and call us friends and adopted brothers in Christ.

Sermon on the Mount study notes – Matthew 5:38-48

I have started a small group series on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). I am sharing my notes in case anyone else wants to use them with their group. [Reminder that these are only notes!]

Sermon on the Mount – Part 8

Matthew 5:1-2:
Jesus wants to teach the crowds: Who are they? Jewish disciples: People who understand the
Scriptures (at least to a point). Notice from 7:28 the crowds still came along, but this teaching is for His disciples.

What does “blessed” mean?
Based on the first twelve verses, blessed means realizing our own wretchedness and need for a Savior. In other words, it is becoming/being a Christian.

What was discussed last time?

  • Making oaths – lying, cursing, doing things for God
  • What was one oath we discussed?
    • “I swear, if you …”

Matthew 5:38:

What is Jesus saying?

  • Once again (as seen in earlier passages), “an archaic saying”
    • Said of old means: The Old Testament, specifically the Torah, more specifically Exodus 21:23-25; Leviticus 24:19-20; Deuteronomy 19:21
  • Retribution by Law: The same price of what was taken

Matthew 5:39-42:

What is Jesus saying?
Did Jesus abolish this law?
[Not exactly, but He is also saying “Out-give, out-forgive, over-love others … especially when they mistreat you!”]

  • So, we have to take abuse?
    • Sometimes, yes! [5:10-12]
    • Sometimes, no. Acts 16:16-39 (as well as Acts 21-22)
  • Rely on the Holy Spirit
    • It is not always easy. When in doubt, the sake of the Gospel is more important than our rights.
  • “But it might mean …!” Yep. It might.
    • We might be disadvantaged, mistreated, abused, arrested, maligned, disavowed
    • 2 Corinthians 4:7-11; Romans 5:2-6; James 1:2-8
  • Consider the example of an ancient saint dealing with an ancient antichrist:
    • A ruler who:
      • destroyed the Temple
      • commanded people to worship him and his statue
      • killed people who disobeyed and refused to worship
    • Daniel, who faithfully served such a tyrant (and series of tyrants, Nebuchadnezzar and two more after), yet even when punished was still loved by his rulers.

In fact …

Matthew 5:43-48: (Leviticus 19:18)

Notice what is Jesus saying in v. 43:
Did Jesus “you have read” or “it is written”?
NO! He said “You have heard that it was said ..” – This is an example of how people added to Scripture

  • We see Jesus saying that God shows His grace on all people (v. 45)
  • Are we better than the world? (vv. 46-47)
  • We are to love our enemies!
    • If you saw the Antichrist suffering or hungry, would you help him?
      Romans 12:14-21 (Proverbs 25:21-22)
  • Our example: v. 48 – Be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.
    • WHAT?!
    • “For God so loved the world …”
    • “Be completely mature, completely upright …”

Be completely satisfied in the Holy Spirit. As Jesus and the Father are one and united also with the Holy Spirit, we, too, can find our contentment in Him.

VerseD: Revelation 4:11

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

Revelation 4:11, ESV

God deserves all our praise, worship, and love, because He is our Creator.

VerseD: John 15:12

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

John 15:12, ESV

The world will see the love we have for the Church and want it.

Are we loving each other in Christ’s love?

VerseD: Proverbs 17:28

Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Proverbs 17:28, ESV

“If you can’t say nuthin’ nice, don’t say nuthin’ at all.”

Sometimes, the best thing to say is nothing. It can be the most loving and intelligent thing to say so that no one gets hurt.

Including yourself.

VerseD: 1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

1 John 4:18, ESV

We no longer need to fear God’s wrath after we come to Christ. Instead, we should fear for those who do not know Him and share the Gospel with them.

VerseD: Matthew 7:12

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 7:12, ESV

Kindness and mercy are definitely important, but we should not forget grace and forgiveness as well as sharing God’s Word with all people. There is nothing more loving than pointing each other to God.

Sermon: Remember: A Love Note from God – Mark 14:12-31

I preached again!

It was my turn in our usual rotation (pushed back a week due to Pastor Scott getting sick and throwing the rotation off), and it was also Communion week. (I am more a fan of Communion happening every week, but it is not something I will break fellowship over!)

What makes it extra special that it was Communion week is that I got to preach on the Passover meal (Last Supper) which includes the institution of the Lord’s Supper – Communion.

As usual, here are my notes. Remember that I do not necessarily stick strictly to the notes. In fact, I added quite a bit this time (I tried making adjustments on my iPad, but it did not want to let me), and I switched a couple parts around slightly.

(And the audio for our official church video was messed up, so here is the recording I made from my phone! I almost lost it a few times while preaching, so there will be some moments of silence … and maybe you’ll want to cry too.)

Remember: The Love Note from God  —  Mark 14:12-31

INTRO:

In all of my preaching classes I was told over and over that we need a good introduction that ties in with the whole message. Something that we can refer back to throughout the message, even in the conclusion.

In conversations, I tend to be pretty good about that: making connections throughout to things we’ve said before. I even connect a lot of it to the Bible.

For some reason, I often am not that great at it when preaching. And here is a great example.

This intro has almost nothing to do with the rest of the message, but I like the connection I can see in my mind. I cannot suggest everyone see this PG-13 movie, because there is a decent amount of vulgar language and violence (much like a video game) throughout, so do not take this as an official endorsement or suggestion to see it.

That being said, I got to see Free Guy (with Ryan Reynolds) this week. It really is a fun movie, especially if you enjoy quite a bit of nerd-culture (comic books, video games, YouTube, movies, etc.). Many, if not most, of my friends said one of the best scenes in the movie is one jampacked with references to recent popular movies, and it indeed is hilarious.

My favorite scene, though, comes a few minutes after this. When two of the other main characters are talking, and this line is said,

“I’m just a love letter to you. The real question is who is the writer?”

Today, we talk about God’s love letter to us. Technically, yeah, it’s the Bible. More specifically, it’s the Person of Jesus Christ. Most specifically, it’s about how much God loves us, that He came for us, died for us, and welcomes us in. All for His glory and our benefit. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

And the love note we get to enjoy “as often as we drink it, in remembrance of” Him.

MESSAGE:

[vv. 12-16:]
Firstly, what is the Feast of Unleavened Bread? The celebration of Passover. Remember way back, about 1500 years earlier, Israel was enslaved by Egypt, and Moses came to free God’s people.  After nine plagues, came the 10th: the death of the firstborn. This is the inauguration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because, as Exodus 12 reminds us, the Lord struck down all the firstborn children in Egypt (including animals), except for in the homes where a lamb was slaughtered and its blood painted over the doors. This was the sign for the Spirit to Pass Over their houses.

But why is it called Unleavened Bread? Because the Israelites did not have time to let dough rise for bread. This serves as a reminder that the Lord can take us at any time, like He did with the Egyptian firstborn. The entire week-long feast is done with unleavened bread, to remind the people of the time they were redeemed by God, and quickly. (It is possible this can point to the Rapture, as well.)

Now, Jesus and His disciples (specifically the Twelve … possibly with some others, as we note that some disciples prepared the Passover before Jesus arrived with the Twelve, and this meal was usually held with family present) were going to eat the meal together, but they needed a place. Remember that none of the various groups of this time were completely correct on what the Messiah would be like and do, but the group that came the closes was the Essenes.

Who were the Essenes? A group expecting the soon coming of Messiah who secluded themselves from the rest of society (something Jesus/the NT actually warned not to do) to live purely and to copy the Hebrew texts (not just books we find in our Bibles nor only in Hebrew/Aramaic), and only men could become priests. (They were basically their day’s version of a Roman Catholic hippie commune.) They were the closest to understanding the Messiah.

But they also kept at least one house in nearby cities, to be cared for by priests and for getting supplies as needed.

Why is this important?  Because in these days, only women carried water jars around. Unless they were of the Essene priesthood and maintaining the city-home. And, therefore, it is very possible that Jesus was working with the local Essenes to have a place ready for His final meal with His disciples. (He also could have miraculously known who would let Him use a place with a large room for the dinner!)

[And notice, again, the use of water. The earth was formed out of water by God, destroyed again by water by God. Through water Israel was saved. By water we are baptized as our Lord was. His first miracle was turning water into wine. Now, water is the sign that will lead the disciples to the Last Supper – where the sign of the new covenant is given.]

We also know from Luke that Peter and John were the two who prepared everything. And it was probably Thursday that much of this took place, with the meal beginning in the evening, as prescribed by Exodus 12. This would have put the dinner, arrest, and crucifixion all on Friday by Jewish time-telling.

[vv. 17:]
We see that meal does not even begin until the evening. We remember from the other Gospels that they arrive, and Jesus washes their feet. A major sign of humility, even shaming the one who was seated in the lowest place (probably Peter, actually) who was usually the one (without servants) to wash everyone else’s feet.

I think it is also good to jump around a little in our passage today, because Jesus has just washed their feet and is getting ready to enjoy the meal with them. But how hard was this time for Him?

Why?

[vv. 18-21:]
We remember from last time that Judas has already made an agreement with the Jewish leadership to betray Jesus, so we are not surprised by this.

Neither is Jesus. The other gospels help us to see that they have been eating together for a time, and Jesus even calls out Judas (quietly, implying the two seats of honor at the table are taken by John – who leaned on Jesus during the meal – and Judas – who could be secretly talked with during the meal!) The other disciples just think that He leaves to take care of the business needed for the feast, which helps to imply that he was not actually there when the Lord’s Supper was instituted.

So, Jesus goes into this meal thinking about the man who will betray Him to death. Someone who has been with Him for over three years and been considered a friend.

A friend who not only turns his back but also (almost literally) stabs Him in the back. How must that have felt?

Have you wondered how about Jesus’ words here? “It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Maybe, like me, you have wrestled with the idea of a sovereign God who would create someone just to be destroyed. How could He?

But we also know God created us with free will. Judas chose to betray his friend, and our God – who is sovereign – works this man’s evil intents into His plan for our salvation.

And Jesus laments that His friend is choosing not only to reject a friend but God Himself. He has seen God face to face, and now he must face eternity having rejected Him.

But there is more. After they leave the meal, on their way to Gethsemane …

[vv. 26-31:]
Jesus tells His disciples – especially Peter – about their and his denial. First there is the backstabbing friend He knows about. Now we see He knows one of his closest friends is going to leave Him hanging (pun intended) in His darkest moment.

Jesus is having dinner with his closest friends, knowing that He is on His way to the cross, knowing that one of His friends is sending Him there and all of His friends, including one of His best friends, will abandon Him.

So what do we learn?

What have we called this series in Mark? Power Serve. What does it look like to serve others with the power of God? Humility in the face of hatred. Grace in the middle of greed. Love in the light (and in spite) of loss.

We are not really given permission to hide ourselves away when painful circumstances come our way. The example our Lord and Savior has given us is that when we know no one is there for us, when people abandon us, when we are at our darkest moments, that is the exact moment we need to rely on the Father to guide us through and show the most humility, grace, and love. We serve others with the Good News of Jesus Christ, in His power and love, by His grace, humbly and without complaint.

Because that is what He did.

Think about it. What, really, was His example?

This is a Passover meal. They probably discussed how God spared Israel when all of the firstborn were slain. And Jesus – the Firstborn of God, fully God and fully Man – has come to be the only firstborn whose blood is shed to save all other people who call on His Name.

Instead of a year-old lamb, Jesus is the Lamb of God.

Instead of the blood being painted over the door of our homes, The Door poured out His blood.

Instead of death coming for us, He defeated death through taking away our sin by becoming sin on the cross and then rising from the grave.

In other words, Instead of unleavened bread, we have the Bread of Life who was broken for us and rose again to Life.


He became a friend when His friends abandoned Him.

And He gave us a reminder to celebrate it. A love note to remind us “as often as [we] drink of it”.

[vv. 22-25:]
So, we take communion to remember that He has done all the work. It is not so much our story. We are a part of His story. All of this – literally everything – is about Jesus.

We take communion to remember His humility and sacrifice for His friends.
For those who abandon and ignore Him.
For those who put Him on a cross to suffer.
For those who mistreat Him, mock Him, and turned away from Him.

But we have this hope: that He has forgiven us by His blood, and we will one day enjoy a meal with Him again.

But until then, we proclaim His life, death, and resurrection. So, join me in partaking in communion.

RESPONSE:

1 Corinthians 11:23-25:
the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance
of me.”