Summary: One of the great purposes of the church is to love God and to love people.
“Purpose #1: A Church That Loves”
Matt. 22: 34-40
September 7, 2003
Intro: When Charles Schwab was 70 years old, he made the following statement. These words were spoken for the record in a court of law after he’d just won a nuisance suit. He said, “I’d like to say here in a court of law, and speaking as an old man, that 9/10ths of my troubles are traceable to my being kind to others.
-Look you young people, if you want to steer away from trouble, be hard-boiled. Be quick w/a good loud “no” to anyone and everyone. If you follow this rule, you will seldom be bothered as you tread life’s pathway. Except you’ll have no friends, you’ll be lonely, and you won’t have any fun!”
-Those of us who’ve lived any time on this earth understand exactly what he’s saying. The fact of the matter is it’s far easier to be a loner, it’s far easier to only deal w/ourselves than it is to mix it up in life w/a bunch of other people. B/c when you start mixing it up w/other people, when you get involved in other people’s lives, trouble’s right around the corner; life becomes much more difficult.
-Yet if we only stay to ourselves we miss out on making a difference in other people’s lives. We miss out on personal growth and experiencing love.
-On March 31 of 2002, VillageChurch held her first worship service. It was an exciting day b/c on that day this church that had been placed on my heart over a year before, this church that some of you had been praying to start for a # of years became a reality. March 31 was truly a great day. But let me tell you something. It would’ve been a whole lot easier not to start this church. For me personally, it would’ve been easier for me to stay in the church I’d pastored the last 5 ½ years. We had a building that was ours, children and youth programs, a solid budget, everything you could think of.
-It would’ve been easier for those who helped us start the church to stay where they were as well. I think that’s why I’m asked the question all the time, “Why did you start this church?” My 1st response is b/c I believe God led me to do so, and I believe God brought many of us together for this endeavor. But that question did get me thinking @ why VillageChurch is here. It did get me asking the question “What is the purpose for this church?”
-That’s why for the next 4 Sundays I’m going to be going thru a series of messages very simply entitled “VillageChurch: A Church with A Purpose.” And it’s my hope that after these 4 Sundays you’ll have a better understanding of what the purpose of this church is and what this church is going to accomplish in this community. And today you’re going to see the driving force in why VillageChurch is here is love.
Sermon Idea: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see Jesus sharing the greatest purpose we have as individuals and as a church. And it’s in the verses of Scripture we’re going to read that we’ll see the purpose of why VillageChurch is here in Blythewood.
TEXT: MATTHEW 22: 34-40
Bckgrd: At this time Jesus was becoming a very popular teacher in Israel. He was performing miracles, His teaching ability mesmerized crowds, and He had the ability to get people to follow Him. While He was able to do all these great things though, there was a segment of society that didn’t like Him at all.
-Interestingly enough one of the groups that couldn’t stand Jesus was the religious crowd. They were afraid He was going to take away their followers so they wanted to do what they could to get rid of Jesus. In our Scripture today we’ll see they tried to ask Jesus a question they thought would get Him into trouble w/the people. They had one of their people ask Jesus what the greatest commandment in the Bible was.
-And to their surprise, Jesus answered the question w/great wisdom. And it’s in the midst of Jesus’ answer that we learn the purpose of VillageChurch. Our purpose is to be a church that loves. Loves who? 1st of all we’re to:
DIV. 1: LOVE GOD (vv. 35-38)
Exp: One of the major struggles of religion at this time was legalism. The problem w/legalism is its focus is upon following laws instead of following God. And there was no doubt the religious leaders of the day were into following laws. They had taken the 10 commandments and the first 5 books of the Bible and came up w/over 600 rules and regulations that they determined had to be followed in order to please God and be a good person. But the thing that made it even more confusing, other than having over 600 laws to follow, was the religious teachers couldn’t even determine which of the laws were the most important to follow.