Summary: 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.
LOVING GOD AND LOVING PEOPLE
(Sept. 2013 – Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)
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.