Summary: The new church is one where our community discovers a love that is expressed and experienced as sincere.

Being God’s church in the new millennium means…

Our Love Must Be Sincere

(Lesson 6 of our New Millennium, New Church series)

What kids say about marriage

How do you decide who to marry?

- “You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming." alan, age 10

- “No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with." kirsten, age 10

How can a stranger tell if two people are married?

- “Married people usually look happy to talk to other people." eddie, 6

- “You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids."

What do most people do on a date?

- “Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. Lynnette, age 8.

- “On the first date, they just tell each other lies, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date." martin, age 10

When is it ok to kiss someone?

- “When they’re rich." pam, age 7

- “The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn’t want to mess with that." curt, age 7

- “The rule goes like this: if you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing to do." howard, age 8

Is it better to be single or married?

- “It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them." anita, 9

How would the world be different if people didn’t get married?

- "There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn’t there?" kelvin, age 8

- “You can be sure of one thing -- the boys would come chasing after us just the same as they do now." roberta, age 7

How would you make a marriage work?

- "Tell your wife that she looks pretty even if she looks like a truck." ricky, age 10

From the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 12, verse 9:

“Love must be sincere.” (NIV) “Let love be without any pretence” (NJB)

“Let love be genuine” (NRSV) “Let love be from the center of who you are, don’t fake it” (The Message)

Where are we to reveal our sincere love?

* We practice Sincere Love for God.

* We practice Sincere Love for One Another.

* We practice Sincere Love for our Community.

Obstacles on the Pathway to Sincere Love:

- Practicing Busyness

o We’ve let a number of otherwise good works substitute for taking time to encourage and care for those close by. Check your church bulletin for a list of activities, or check your engagement calendar for a free hour, and you’ll see what I mean. Covenant groups, board meetings, church suppers, training classes, missionary conventions, baseball practice, choir rehearsal, clean-up day, ad infinitum! We can recite the creed, chant the anthem, play church, and burn out for Jesus, but never penetrate the protective armor of our friends and neighbors and apply a little balm to their wounds.

- Projecting an Image

o A young businessman had just started his own firm. He had just rented a beautiful office and had it furnished with antiques. Sitting there, he saw a man come into the outer office. Wishing to appear the hot shot, the businessman picked up the phone and started to pretend he had a big deal working.

He threw huge figures around and made giant commitments. Finally he hung up and asked the visitor, "Can I help you?"

"Yeah, I’ve come to activate your phone lines."

- Pretending to Care

o As a member of the Marine Corps, Capt. David Rilling was once required to attend a parade in Washington, D.C. It was at the Marine Barracks. He became hopelessly lost while driving through the city and spotted an Army installation. He pulled in to ask the sentry directions. The soldier seemed friendly and gave him precise instructions.

He was impressed with the soldier’s helpfulness toward a member of another armed service - until he arrived at the National Zoo.

o Words that have no personal meaning

o Promises we have no intention of keeping

- Pressing My Own Needs

o “Enough about you, let’s talk about me…”

- Protecting My Own Heart

o To love at all is to be venerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin or your selfishness. But in that casket--safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable...The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers...of love is Hell.

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