Sunday Service Sermons
Loving Like Jesus Loved
You want an impossible quest, this is it!
How could we ever love as Jesus Loved?
We do not have the Spirit in us that Jesus had in Him.
Jesus was one with the Holy spirit, the Divine Presence of God.
Jesus knew, that he knew. That love and loving are the most important aspects of life.
Jesus was most secure in his relationship with the Father and the Spirit.
Where he knew; we are told that we who believe are weak and needing a crutch to survive.
It is out of our deficiency that we believe in an all powerful God.
So much so that the society in which we live has seen fit to remove this crutch from all aspect of public life.
And, if you are watching the news, you see where this thinking leads.
The power in this country now rests with the mob.
Who thought this was even, or ever would be, possible?
It is good that the WWII veterans are mostly dead.
They did not fight and die for this chaos.
What is the answer?
The answer is the same as it was in the beginning of the Christian movement.
Willing to die for Christ.
Are you willing to die for Christ?
Citizens are beginning to arm themselves and protect what is theirs, property and life.
Is that loving like Jesus?
Unless you are willing to take up your cross and follow Jesus you will have no part of Him.
The cross is coming for us.
Or should I say, our cross is coming for us.
I have thought a lot about the situation where I would be required to deny Christ in order to save my life for the lives of my loved ones.
It happens in other parts of the world, and just might be coming here in our or our children’s lifetime.
Mark my words, Christians will be determined to be enemies of the state before the end of the age.
They will be rounded up, tortured, killed and put in camps to remove their influence, which will be detrimental to the goals of the state.
I also believe that when that happens we will see God moving as we have not seen for centuries.
How do we love as Jesus loved in times like these?
We for sure do not stand before police officers and call them names and spit on them trying to get them to move against us.
And I doubt that loving like Jesus loved is mowing down gangs of people destroying property.
Are we so removed from who Jesus was that it is impossible to love as Jesus loved?
I hope not.
Jesus stood in front of a person and knew what that person needed in order to become the person that God created them to be.
Can we know that?
Talk about light in the midst of darkness.
Maybe our message should be: “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 5-7.
The Scripture for this week is what I read at Funerals and Memorials.
John 14 the first verses where Jesus invites us to believe in him as we do in God and where he states that he is going to prepare a place for us that where he is we might be also.
My source speaks about heaven and being with God in His Kingdom forever.
It might be, and is true, that to get your ticket punched for heaven, all one has to do is to claim Jesus as God’s Son and your Lord and Savior.
However that ticket just might need validating.
How do you validate your ticket to heaven?
By how you spend your resources, even your very existence.
The God of existence, “The Great I Am”, requires you to use your existence to further His Kingdom.
Not to live a life of ease hoping that nothing is required of you before you are ushered into the Kingdom of God.
Instead of just being generous with a person who is not threat to you, it just might be that you will be required to be generous to a person threatening your life.
If you have read Revelations then you know that at some point in time things here on earth are not going to be nice.
And it has come to many parts of the world already.
And is now threatening to come here.
No, it is not to late for this trend of lawlessness to end.
But what we are seeing is a prelude to that which will come before the end of the age.
But what were the last words of Jesus?
Low I am with you always even to the end of the age.
And what did he ask us to do?
To go into all the world declaring Jesus as the Son of God and Lord of all and teaching people to obey everything I have commanded you.
And what was his first and greatest commandment?
To love others as Jesus loved us.
Part of this is to lay down our lives for others.
I am trying to prepare you for a time that might come so that if and when it does come you can and will be prepared for it.
I never finished about what I would do if I was required to deny Christ in order to save my life or the lives of my loved ones.
Are you ready for my answer?
I could never deny Christ!
You know how I know that I can take a licking and keep my faith?
My sister and brother used to hurt me in order to make me do what they wanted me to do.
And I took the punishment and did what I thought was best.
I remember my brother sitting on top of me punching me to make me do something.
I told him that if he killed me he would be in trouble with mom and dad and took it.
He stopped when he saw that no matter what he did I was not going to do what he wanted me to do.
Also it would be impossible for me to deny Christ.
Jesus has been a part of me, by best friend all of my life.
I have no memory before Jesus being an important part of my life.
He was my friend and confident, an ever present help in difficult times.
I am nothing without him.
He is the very fabric of my being.
Besides, I died on the street one day and he gave me my life back, so I only live because of him.
Gee, I wonder who I can give their life back.
Wow! As I wrote that my mind flashed images of some things that I have done that were life-giving to others.
I guess when we care, truly care, about someone else and get involved in their life, we give them life.
That is a neat concept.
Loving is life giving. Period!
Let’s see if I can glean some nuggets from my resource for sermons.
My resource is centering on my favorite part of Scripture.
John 14-17. I do hope you spend some time there.
No where else is the heart of Jesus so clearly presented.
It is his last moments with his disciples and he wants to prepare them for what is about to take place.
Then there is his prayer time with the Father.
Jesus lays out his hopes for his endurance and the faith of those there with him and those who will believe in the days and years to come.
And then there are the disciples, who like us, had as we have, no idea what is happening.
It was sleep time for them.
Jesus is wrestling with his mission and future acceptance and his faithful few can’t even stay awake for or with him.
Important points in this Scripture.
Jesus showed that service is loving as he washed their feet.
He loved the one who was about to betray him.
Jesus demonstrated that love, true love, self-giving love, means dying for others that they might live.
Then he tells them to do as he has done, as they observed him serving and loving others.
Jesus loved his disciples selflessly and sacrificially.
We often think love is meant to give us only happiness.
But it can also contain a cross for us to bear.
Jesus also love his disciples understandingly.
He knew them and he still loved them.
When you look into the eyes of Jesus you are fully known and fully loved.
It is an experience like no other.
Jesus loved his disciples forgivingly even when Peter later denied him and the others forsook him in his time of need.
They were blind and insensitive, slow to learn, and lacking in understanding.
But there was no failure in them that Jesus could not forgive.
As he loved, so are we to love.
Jesus knew the future of the kingdom depended not on the brilliance and greatness of his followers, but on their loving one another as he loved them.
So it is today.
The first lesson in the upper room is love.
If we love, we will live in the Kingdom of Love Forever!