Summary: If we want to really connect with God’s plan, we need 3 essential elements: heart, interaction, and spirit.
Getting the Job Done
Intro: Last week in the state of the church address we talked about the 5 main purposes of the church and the job God has called us to do. He wants us to help people find out who He really is and help them learn to love and obey Him. In any job it helps to have the right tools. Have you ever been ill equipped to do a job? It is frustrating. You need a flat screwdriver and all you have is a flat or vice versa. You need a metric wrench and all you have is a standard set. You need to break some ice and all you have are plastic shovels. No fun! Well, here’s the gist of what I want to share today: Prop: If we want to really connect with God’s plan, we need 3 essential elements: heart, interaction, and spirit.
I. Heart – shows we really care for people, loving them the way God loves them, seeing them the way God sees them. Rom. 5:5 says the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. That is why we are able to love. 1 John 4:19 says we love because He first loved us. We are not capable of really having heart until we connect with God’s heart and receive a love transfusion.
-In the parable of the good Samaritan, 2 religious people passed the victim by, feeling justified in the fact that their relationship with him left him no worse off than he was before. No further harm was done, but no love was shared either. Love stops but never ceases. Love helps, but never enables. Love reaches but does not shove.
-There is such a thing as receiving a burden of love and concern for people who have not yet come to know Jesus. That burden compels us to express love, to pray, and to look for ways to share the love of Jesus with them. But in itself it is only potential energy. That leads us to the 2nd element that will help us get the job done.
II. Interaction – This is where we intentionally build relationships with the people we have a heart to reach out to. It is one thing to have a burden for them and care for them, but if we never initiate connection, then we are only loving in theory, not reality. Love must have an object. Love does not exist in a vacuum. Love must be expressed.
-One of the greatest explanations I’ve heard for the Trinity (the fact that there is only one God who exists is 3 persons) involves this whole idea that love must be expressed. Without going into great detail, let me give you the condensed version. 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love. Again, love must have an object. Unexpressed love is not love. If God is eternal (always existed) and was always love (or it was always His nature to love, if you will), then to whom did He express His love for all eternity past? We believe the answer is Jesus, His Son, who also existed for all eternity past. The Holy Spirit also permeated this divine relationship as the substance of love. So, the Father loved the Son and the Son (who is the express image of the Father) loved the Father, and the Holy Spirit was the substance of that love. God is relational! Never has God existed in isolation or solitary oneness. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have had divine interaction and relationship with one another throughout all eternity past. God further expressed His love and power through creation when He created mankind in His own image. Like God, we are wired for relationship – interaction with God and interaction with one another.
-Maybe you’ve heard that a baby if left to itself with no human interaction will die. Even if that little person has plenty of food, nourishment, and has every physical need met, if there is no human touch or loving interaction, that baby will die. How many people attempt to end their lives every day around this world because they think no one cares? In the universal human language, lack of interaction equals lack of love.
-So, may the Lord help us to move beyond the mere idea of loving others to the active reality of loving others, which means interacting with them in relationship. God has blessed us with a loving community here at Christian Life Center. We are family! How close would we be if we rarely or never interacted with one another? Our love would be an unfulfilled idea or concept, not a reality.
-This is why we try to provide opportunities for people to get together and just be friends. We have church dinners each month. We have special occasions like a Superbowl Party, the Valentine’s banquet coming up, an Easter breakfast, a free BBQ at the Stampede Parade, a Church Picnic out at the Walker’s, a Harvest Party, a Thanksgiving Meal open to all, Men’s Breakfasts, Ladies’ Groups, Youth Nites, Camps, Conventions, and Retreats, 5th Sunday Sings, and other events just to be together with people so we can give and receive love and encouragement. We do it so we can build friendships that last.