Loving Your Neighbor – #Sermon of the Week

TRANSFORMATION #3: LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOUR

(Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)

To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.

Love Your Neighbor

Video Clip: The Art of Neighboring

INTRO TO TOPIC: We live in a world where few people know how to connect in deep and meaningful relationships with one another. We need to rediscover the art of neighbouring.

It’s time to disconnect from ‘social’ media, and reconnect face to face! When was the last time you say hello to your neighbour? Do you know any of your neighbours’ names? Not just neighbours – when was the last time you invited someone into your home? I know it takes work and time, but this is something our family loves to do.

THE BIG IDEA: Jesus has called us to love our neighbour with an extravagant, generous love, acceptance and forgiveness. When we do this, people will recognize that we are children of our Father in Heaven.

1.  BE EXTRAVAGANTLY GENEROUS:

“38 You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.” (Matthew 5:38-42, NKJV).

  • So many people today believe in revenge and retaliation. If you do something wrong to me, I’ll do it back and even worse.
  • The principle Jesus teaches here: Instead of revenge, choose forgiveness.
  • Go above and beyond in your generosity – be extravagant like God is!

2.  LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR:

“43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44).

  • The Old Testament commanded people to love their neighbor. But some of them thought that meant it was okay to hate their enemies.
  • The principle Jesus teaches here: Don’t just love your neighbor, but love everyone – including your enemies!
  • How are we to treat our enemies? Love them, bless them, do good to them and pray for them! And don’t just pray, “God, kill them!”

3.  BE CHILDREN OF GOD:

“45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:45-48, NKJV).

  • The principle here: As we become extravagant in our love, we become more like God.
  • God wants us to be perfect. Does that mean we never sin? No. He wants us to become perfected in the love walk. Loving even our enemies, extravagantly generous in our love, acceptance and forgiveness of all people.

CLOSING CHALLENGE: HOW DO WE CHANGE?

How do we begin to love our neighbor with an extravagant, generous love?

“7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God — for God is love. 9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love has been brought to full expression through us…

19 We love each other as a result of his loving us first. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we have not seen? 21 And God himself has commanded that we must love not only him but our Christian brothers and sisters, too.” (1 John 4:7-12,19-21, NLT).

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: HOW DO WE BECOME MORE LOVING:

a. ABIDE IN JESUS IN PRAYER:

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5, NKJV).

  • The more time we spend with Jesus in prayer, the more we become like Him.

b. ABIDE IN HIS WORD:

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7).

  • The more time we spend reading and meditating on the Bible, the more spiritual power we get to begin to live the love walk.

c. ABIDE IN HIS LOVE:

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” (John 15:9).

  • The more we know and believe the love God has for us, the more we will love others.

CLOSING CHALLENGE:

  • Are you extravagantly generous in your love, acceptance and forgiveness?
  • I don’t know that I would describe myself in those terms. That means we’ve got a lot of work to do, so let’s do it! Let’s abide in Jesus, His Word and His love.
  • When we do this, we will become more loving, and begin loving our neighbor!

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The Weekend Funnies – on morality and our actions

I think Bill Waterson is a comic genius. His Calvin and Hobbes comic strips shed so much insight on the human heart, you could almost consider him a modern day theologian! In fact, his character Calvin was named after the eminent theologian John Calvin (and Hobbes was named after the philosopher Thomas Hobbes). Today’s strip is a fun look at the topic of morality… enjoy!

Calvin & Hobbes - morality

Calvin & Hobbes (c) 2014 Bill Waterson.

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Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes Campaign Begins

Shoeboxes for Those in Need

Beausejour Community Church gears up for annual holiday campaign.

Written by Dianne Hamill, this article originally appeared in The Clipper Newspaper

While the Christmas season is still months away, and no one is anxious to see the return of Old Man Winter, one Beausejour church is hoping to inspire some holiday spirit a little early this year.

operation christmas child

On Oct. 26, Beausejour Community Church will begin its second annual shoebox campaign in support of the Operation Christmas Child. Organized by the Christian organization Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child distributes shoeboxes filled with hygiene items, school supplies, small toys and candy to needy children around the world. Often the only gift a child has or will ever receive, the charity has delivered over 100 million shoeboxes to children around the world since its inception in 1990.

In 2013, Canadians filled over 664,000 shoeboxes – including over 150 from Beausejour and area residents. “It was fantastic,” Vivian Jackson, coordinator of the shoebox campaign at the Beausejour Community Church, said about the reaction to the 2013 project. A long time supporter of the campaign herself, Jackson led the charge to bring to project back to Beausejour last year. “God wanted me to do it,” Jackson said about her need revitalize the campaign.

Hoping to fill 200 shoeboxes this year, Jackson said for those who receive the box it’s about much more than just the gifts inside. “The kids who receive the boxes also have hope and the opportunity to receive the gospel.” With a long list of supplies to choose from including everything from soap to stickers, families are encouraged to work together to fill the shoeboxes. Donors are also encouraged to write a short note to the recipient letting them know someone cares about them. A $7 donation, included in the box, is also required to help cover shipping costs.

Shoeboxes will be available at the Beausejour Community Church, 748 Park Avenue, beginning Oct. 26. Please call ahead to ensure someone will be on site. Filled boxes must be received by Nov. 23. Boxes can also be filled and purchased online at http://www.samaritanspurse.ca. More information on Operation Christmas Child, including videos of the boxes being distributed to children and ideas about what items to include, can also be found on the site.

This year Canadian donations to Operation Christmas Child will be delivered to 13 countries around the world. Boxes from Western Canada will be distributed to eight countries including Haiti, Sierra Leone and El Salvador.

Shoeboxes Newspaper

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The Weekend Funnies – Comic Books and Parent Teacher Meetings

Here’s your weekly Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. Enjoy!

Calvin & Hobbes - parent teacher and comic books

Calvin and Hobbes (c) 2014 Bill Waterson.

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Asante Children’s Choir from Africa Comes to Beausejour Community Church

On Friday, October 3rd, Beausejour Community Church hosted the Asante Children’s Choir for a free concert. Over a hundred people from the church and surrounding community came to enjoy powerful inspirational singing and dancing from fifteen children – all aged 11-18 – and all who are apart of Asante Ministries sponsorship program.

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(Bottom Photo: Some of the choir students hanging out with some of the youth after the choir’s concert – we billeted 10 choir members and chaperones at our house!).

“Asante” is a Swahili word translated “Thank You” in English. The Asante Children’s Choir is made up of children from East Africa, a region recovering from years of civil war and genocide that have claimed millions of lives leaving thousands of children and women as orphans and widows. The Choir is dedicated to spreading love, hope and joy while raising awareness for the desperate plight of orphans and other vulnerable children. Their colourful clothing, pounding drums and sweet voices demonstrate their hopes and dreams for a brighter future. Their inspirational stories of resilience have instilled hope in the hearts of all those who have seen them perform.

The children who have been rescued from some of life’s most difficult circumstances take pride in expressing gratitude through their music. Their performances are the true testimonies and living “Thank-You” (Asante) sung to everyone who has invested in their lives giving them great pride and hope for a brighter future.

The Asante Children’s Choir is touring Western Canada from September 2014 – February 2015. Visit asantecanada.ca for more info. Here are some upcoming shows:

October 15 @ 7pm – Morris Multiplex (Morris, MB)
October 18 @ 7pm – Church TBA (Winkler, MB)
October 19am – Morden Mennonite Church (Morden, MB)
October 19pm – Cornerstone Ministries Church (Crystal City, MB)
October 24 @ 7pm – Missions Fest Youth Service (Brandon, MB)
October 25 @ 10, 3, 7 – Missions Fest Main Serivce (Brandon, MB)
October 26 @ 11am – Virden Alliance Church (Virden, MB)
October 26pm – Moosomin Baptist Church (Moosomin, SK)
November 2 @ 8:45, 11am – Faith Baptist Church (Regina, SK)
November 2 @ 6:30pm – St. Michael’s Retreat Centre (Lumbstead, SK)
November 6 – Alpine Church of God (Swift Current, SK)
November 7 @ 7pm – Salem Lutheran Church (Shaunavon, SK)
November 8 – Salvation Army (Maple Creek, SK)

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Transforming Your Relationships – #Sermon of the Week

TRANSFORMATION #2: TRANSFORMING YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

(Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)

Transforming Your Relationships

To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.

INTRO TO TOPIC: Two weeks ago we started a new series in the Sermon on the Mount, looking at the greatest message ever preached by Jesus.

OPENING TEXT:

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matt. 7:24-27, NKJV).

  • If you want to experience a transformed life, we must build it on Jesus’ teaching!

THE BIG IDEA: In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us wisdom for transforming our relationships from shallow and superficial to deep and meaningful.

TRANSFORMATION DEFINED: to change in form, appearance, or structure; metamorphosis; to change in condition, nature, or character; convert.

  • Jesus wants to help us transform our relationships!
  • If they’re bad, they can become good. If they’re already good, they can become better!

ILLUSTRATION: “Arrest Mistake”

A man was being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy road. Suddenly the light turned yellow just in front of him. He does the right thing and stopped at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman hit the roof and the horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection. As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting. He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping the guy off in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him.” “I noticed the “What Would Jesus Do” bumper sticker, and the silver Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally I assumed you had stolen the car.”

  • Do you need a transformation in YOUR life?

THE GUIDELINES FOR LIVING A TRANSFORMED LIFE:

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:17-20).

  • If we teach and do His commandments, we will be great in the Kingdom.
  • FATHER ILLUSTRATION: As a father, I have rules for my kids because I love them.
  • We don’t keep God’s commands to get God to love us.
  • They are for our benefit, to help us transform our lives for the better!

1.  FROM ANGER AND OFFENSE TO LOVE AND FORGIVENESS:

 

“You have heard that it was said to those of old: ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you (offense), leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will be no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.” (Matt. 5:21-26).

  • Remember, our highest calling is to love God and love people.
  • If we don’t love people, we don’t really love God (1 John 4:20).
  • Be quick to make things right in your relationships.
  • If someone has offended you, go and talk to them about it.
  • To be transformed in our relationships, we must walk in love and forgiveness.
  • In the next chapter, Jesus teaches: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6:14-15).

 

2.  FROM LUST TO PURITY:

 

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery’. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28).

  • Jesus said that blessings don’t come just from an external observance of the rules.
  • We must have a clean hands AND a pure heart! Jesus said that lust is as bad as adultery.
  • When a man looks at pornography, he begins to see women as mere objects for his pleasure, instead of a sister in Christ that he should love and respect.

 

ILLUSTRATION: A man and his wife were shopping at a mall kiosk, and a beautiful young woman in a short, form-fitting dress strolled by. His eyes followed her. Without looking up from the item she was examining, his wife asked, “Was it worth the trouble you’re in?”

 

Jesus said: “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you, for it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.” (Matthew 5:29-30).

  • In verses 29-30, Jesus is talking about radical amputation – but he is not telling you to actually physically cut off your hands or pluck out your eyes!
  • Radical amputation = to cut off all accesses in your life to temptation.
  • To have blessed relationships, we must walk in purity.

 

3.  FROM UNFAITHFULNESS TO FAITHFULNESS:

 

“Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you what whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.” (Matt. 5:31-32).

  • People today don’t understand the Biblical concept of covenant – promise – faithfulness.
  • The Bible says, “A friend loves at all times.” (Prov. 17:17).
  • To have healthy relationships, we must walk in faithfulness – and love at all times.
  • When a friend messes up, forgive them! Don’t ‘unfriend’ them!

 

CLOSING BIBLE STORY:

“Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him… But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one… And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:3-11).

  • Like Jesus, we need to make sure that we don’t condemn people who sin.
  • But in the same way, if we discover that we have sinned, we need to go and sin no more.

 

CLOSING CHALLENGE: HOW DO WE CHANGE?

  • Do you want to experience a transformation in your relationships?
  • Then it’s time to replace your anger and offense with love and forgiveness.
  • It’s time to replace your lust with purity, and replace your unfaithfulness with faithfulness.

 

THE GOAL = BE MORE LIKE JESUS:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Gal. 5:22-23).

 

HOW TO GET THERE – SPEND TIME WITH JESUS:

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).

Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca

Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: http://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/

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The Weekend Funnies – Everything’s Gotta Have Rules!

Calvin & Hobbes - rules

This Sunday at Beausejour Community Church, we are continuing our Transformation series from the Sermon on the Mount as found in Matthew 5-7. Here, Jesus gives us Wisdom for Building an Unshakeable Life. When we live our lives in obedience to the Bible, we can experience a transformation in every area of our lives, including our relationships. I want to challenge you – read the Bible, then put it into practice in your life!

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-20).

Calvin & Hobbes (c) 2014 Bill Waterson.

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