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Summary: An inductive-deductive combination meassage calling God’s people in my care to love Him enough to bless others in obedience to His will.

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Topic: Love

Theme: Love for God & Others

Purpose: to be the Holy Spirit’s second witness calling God’s people in my care to love Him enough to bless others in obedience to His will.

Response: Individuals will raise their hand to demonstrate their commitment to increasing their love for God and to seek opportunities to bless others.

INTERSECTION WITH LIFE:

At a 1999 conference, Marti Ensign, a missionary to Africa, told of bringing some African pastors to the United States for a big meeting.

During their free time, these pastors wanted to go shopping. Even though they were in a small town, Marti knew there was a chance someone might have difficulty or get lost. So she gave them her phone number for such an emergency. In less than an hour the phone rang and the African said, "I am lost."

Marti said, "Lay the phone down, go to the street corner, find out the names of the two streets at the corner, come back and tell me, and I will come and get you."

In a few minutes he returned to the phone and reported, "I am at the corner of ’Walk’ and ’Don’t Walk.’"

Sometimes as we seek to know how God is leading us, we feel that we are at the same corner.

Citation: Phillip Gunter, Round Rock, Texas © 2000 PreachingToday.com / Christianity Today, Inc.

INVESTIGATION OF LIFE:

A. Keith Drury writes a thought-provoking article and posts it on the Internet each Tuesday. In a recent one, he said:

Specialized Bibles are really popular now -- like the "Couple’s Bible" or the "Woman’s Bible." I’m developing one of my own I’m sure you’ll want: the OuijaTM Bible. I’m sure it will be a big hit, especially on college campuses. The OuijaTM Bible is especially designed to help you find God’s will.

The instructions for using the new OuijaTM Bible are pretty simple. First you pray, asking for God’s guidance on a particular issue. Next you open the OuijaTM Bible and browse until your eyes come to rest on the verse containing your answer. PRESTO! You get clear guidance on God’s will.

Since lots of folk already use their Bibles this way, I’ve already been able to collect several great testimonials for my use in advertising.

And I think I’ll use Lisa’s story. Lisa, a perky high school senior from Michigan was trying to decide which college to attend. She had narrowed it down to one school in Indiana and another in Colorado. Using the OuijaTM Method she sought guidance from God’s word. She found her answer in Micah 4:2: "Come, let us go to the mountain of the LORD; to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." She told her entire youth group that week, "God gave me the answer I’ve been praying for right in His word." "He wants me to go to the mountains to study… here let me read the verse He gave me…"

For sure I’ll use Michael’s testimonial. Michael, a handsome college senior headed into local church music ministry had spent several summers traveling to the four corners of the USA with a Christian band. Throughout his travels he developed a string of girls who were his admirers, with whom he carried on regular email conversations. During the fall of his senior year Michael began thinking about getting more serious with one of these girls he had strung along so far. As he put it, "most churches don’t want a single music minister." The four "finalists" from his email romances included a high school sweetheart from New Jersey, a Bible school junior from Colorado, a preacher’s daughter from Arizona, and a college president’s daughter from North Carolina. Using the OuijaTM Method he prayerfully sought God’s will in the matter. Browsing through his well-worn Bible he found his answer. "Look! God gave me a verse to answer my question." It’s right here in Psalm 75:6:, ’No one from the east or the west, or from the desert can exalt a man.’" While Michael wasn’t sure how the "exalt" part related, he was absolutely convinced that God had told him to forget about the girl from the east (New Jersey), the west (Colorado) and the desert (Arizona). "It’s as clear as the nose on your face," he said. “That leaves only North Carolina!"


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