LOVING GOD AND LOVING PEOPLE(Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan) To download a printable version of these notes, click HERE. To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.
INTRO TO TOPIC: What on Earth are we here for?
A quote from a book called The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. He was on Piers Morgan with his wife this past week doing an interview about their son’s recent suicide.
QUOTE: “It’s not about you. The purpose of your life is greater than your own personal fulfillment, your piece of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by His purpose and for His purpose. The search for purpose in life has puzzled people for thousands of years. That’s because we typically begin at the wrong starting point – ourselves. We ask self-centered questions like: What do I want to be? What should I do with my life? What are my goals, my ambitions, my dreams for my future? But focusing on our lives will never reveal our life’s purpose.” (The Purpose Driven Life).
I. THE BIG QUESTION: WHY ARE WE HERE?
What is our mission as a church? What is our purpose as individuals?
- We exist to REACH people with the love of God, Evangelism
- to CONNECT them in loving relationships with other Christians, Fellowship
- to help them to GROW in their faith through God’s Word, Discipleship
- to challenge them to DISCOVER their gifts, and Ministry
- to GLORIFY God with their lives. Worship
“25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” 27 So he answered and said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” (Luke 10:25-28, NKJV).
- This teacher of the religious law came to Jesus with questions about the Kingdom of God.
- Jesus taught that the two greatest commandments are to love God and love people.
- Love God = Worship; Love People = Fellowship and Ministry.
II. HOW DO WE LOVE GOD AND PEOPLE?
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15). To love God is to obey Him.
- The 10 Commandments = how to love God and people (Exodus 20:1-17).
- If you love God, you won’t have any gods before him, you won’t have idols, you won’t take His name in vain, and you will remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
- If you love people, you will honour your parents; you won’t murder, commit adultery, steal, lie or covet. This is the whole law!
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:19-20).
- God also wants us to reach people with the love of God – Evangelism.
- He also wants us to grow in our faith – Discipleship.
THE BIG IDEA: Our highest calling is to love God and love people. By doing this, we will fulfill God’s purposes of worship, fellowship, ministry, evangelism and discipleship.
III. THE STORY OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN:
- To the Jews Jesus told this story to, “Good Samaritan” would have been an oxymoron.
- Oxymorons: Jumbo shrimp, pretty ugly, minor crisis, alone together, deafening silence.
“29 But (the lawyer), wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
- Notice the lawyer’s motivation – he just wanted to justify himself.
30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.
- Notice the priest came down there by chance – he wasn’t living on purpose or mission!
- He saw the man – that was good – but then he didn’t do anything about it!
- The Levite also came and looked, but didn’t do anything about it.
- Two religious people who did nothing. Vision without mission is useless.
33a But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was.
- Samaritans were half-breeds, despised by the Jews.
33b And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” 37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”” (Luke 10:29-37, NKJV).
Jesus wants us to follow the example of the Good Samaritan and be a good neighbor:
- We need to have vision – eyes to see those who are hurting.
- We need to have compassion – the love of God in our hearts.
- We need to go to people – and do whatever it takes to reach them with God’s love.
“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:16-18, NKJV).
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8).
“If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20).
CLOSING STORY – CIRCULATING AROUND THE INTERNET:
Pastor Jeremiah Steepek transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor that morning. He walked around for 30 minutes while the church was filling with people for service, only 3 people out of the people said hello to him. He asked people for change to buy food – NO ONE in the church gave him change. He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was asked by the ushers if he would please sit in the back.
The elders went up to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation. “We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek.” The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation. The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle. The clapping stopped with ALL eyes on him. He walked up the altar and took the microphone from the elders (who were in on this) and paused for a moment then he recited,
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ ‘The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
After he recited this, he looked towards the congregation and told them all what he had experienced that morning. Many began to cry and many heads were bowed in shame. He then said, “Today I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples. When will YOU decide to become disciples?” He then dismissed service until next week.
- Whether this story is true or not is uncertain, but it gives you something to think about!
Let’s go and be a neighbor to everyone we meet, sharing the love of Jesus with them!
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/