Summary: A sermon that suggests that when we grasp the love of the Father for us personally we will be propelled out into the world to express that love.
Love - The Great propellor.
1 Corinthians chapter 13 - Love never gives up
Take a great Airoplane - space craft or Ship - in itself it is nothing a mere curiosity.
But switch on the engines - engage the rockets and the curiosity becomes a vessel with a destination.
5-4-3-2-1 - zero we have lift off!! Shouts the voice from the Space shuttle.
Good Afternoon ladies and gentleman welcome to Air New Zealand’s flight 123 to Christchurch - I am Captain Brown - and we are flying at twelve thousand feet.
When we hear that or "welcome aboard sir", we know that we are on the journey propelled from one place to another.
What propels the Space shuttle Columbia, I suppose, is rocket fuel.
Without Fuel you will not get that thing off the ground.
Rocket fuel at the end of the day is recycled vegetation.
I don’t know about you but some time I have a hard time of it doing the things that I believe God would have me do.
Sometimes I just run out of steam of being the kind of person I am meant to do. Now sometimes that may mean that I may need more of the Holy Spirit - and I know at times some folk have asked God to pray for me that I would be filled with the Spirit of God and I know that I have been touched with an overwhelming sense of God’s presence.
The scriptures do command us to be filled with the Holy Spirit and Jesus when he leaves his disciples instructs them to wait on the Holy Spirit - and Jesus himself was filled with the Spirit at his Baptism before, then going out to minister to Israel.
But while that is so I sometimes wonder if the experience of the Holy Spirit is quite seriously misinterpreted by us at times. One of the dimensions that we can observe in Jesus’ ministry is multiple expressions of an incredible applied love - for example
MT 8:1 When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean."
MT 8:3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, "See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them."
MT 8:5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering."
MT 8:7 Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."
Jesus had just completed preaching the greatest sermon that has ever been preached - it is known as the sermon on the mount - Large crowds were following him - he was enjoying the favour of the people around him - the temptation to be just a popular teacher must have been there but this passage we have just read convinces me that he was propelled by the rocket fuel of God’s love.
Some words of Jesus that convince me of his incredible love towards others are:-
I am willing and I will go.
These are the least used words in the Christian churches in the West today:-
I am willing
And I will go.
How could Jesus love like this?
The answer really is quite simple - because he knew the Father’s love.
It is only as you know the incredible acceptance and love of God that you can love others in this way.
2 Corinthians chapter 5:-18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
In this passage we see a kind of double side to this coin called Christianity.
On one side is God’s incredible love reconciling us to himself and on the other our call to express this call of reconciliation to the world - thus we read - We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors.
There is little achieved by feeling helpless about what you feel that you should be doing in Christ’s name in the world.
Something is achieved by that, but it will not easily propel you into loving orbit around God’s world.