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Summary: We are fearfully and wonderfully created and we connect to God in unique ways that illustrate that divine creativity.

The Great Commandments and Your Uniqueness *

Mark 12:28-31

Sermon Objective: We are fearfully and wonderfully created and we connect to God in unique ways that illustrate that divine creativity.

Supporting Scripture:

Psalm 100:3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his, we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Psalm139:13-16: 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

The Greatest Commandment (12:28-31)

28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

29"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. 'There is no commandment greater than these."

INTRO:

So I have been thinking lately of God’s creative sovereignty over each human being and the relationship that that person (uniqueness and all) has with the two core values of Jesus. I have been thinking about the relationship between human personality and the five expressions of love found in those two commands.

Sometimes we forget that each of us was fearfully and wonderfully made. The sovereign God chose to make you just as you are. That includes your unique personality.

There has been a lot of study done on the personality. It is very helpful in seeing how awe-inspiring God’s fearful and wonderful workmanship is. ONE OF THE POWERFUL INSIGHTS IT PROVIDES THE CHURCH IS THE REMINDER THAT WE DO NOT ALL APPROACH ANY SUBJECT FROM THE SAME VANTAGE POINT, WITH THE SAME NEEDS, OR EVEN ASSUMPTIONS.

By God’s sovereign design, some of us are:

• Extroverted

• Introverted

• Intuitive: dealing with degrees of using the imagination

• Sensate: dealing with degrees of “feeling” oriented

• Judging: dealing with degrees of orderliness and manage-driven

• Perceptive: dealing with degrees of spontaneity and flexibility.

THE DANGER COMES IN THINKING THAT EVERYONE APPROACHES WORSHIP, GOD, AND OTHER CHRISTIANS JUST AS “I DO.” WHEN THIS BECOMES RIGID IT QUESTIONS THE LEGITIMACY OF ANOTHER’S EXPERIENCE. INSTEAD OF SAYING, “THAT’S NOT FOR ME” THEY SAY, “THAT SHOULDN’T BE FOR ANYBODY.”

WE DO NOT REALIZE THAT IN SUCH ASSESSMENTS WE OFTEN INSULT GOD WHO CREATED PEOPLE TO CONNECT TO HIM AND HIS WORLD FROM DIFFERENT STARTING POINTS … IT IS DIVINELY WIRED INTO EACH OF US.

A good example of what I am talking about is one’s preferences in worship.

• Those who are sensate (utilize their senses to make sense of the world) may lean towards liturgical worship.

• Those that are more introverted might gravitate towards a more mystical faith experience … one based on private prayer, journaling, and acts of devotion.

• Those who are more extroverted might gravitate towards worship that is expressive, exuberant … even to some, chaotic.

• Those that are more judging or cerebral might gravitate towards worship that focuses on the Scriptures in very intense ways.

• Those that are more intuitive might gravitate towards worship that motivates one to be care-givers, activists, or missionaries.

You get my point.

I suspect you also see the dilemma. HOW DOES ONE LOCAL BODY OFFER EACH PERSOANLITY TRAIT THE NECESSARY OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEM TO CONNECT TO GOD FOR SPIRITUAL NURTURING?

You see, it is when we are working within our gifts and divine uniqueness that we sense an intimacy with God … that we experience nurturing from God.

Granted, spiritual growth helps us to move past our “default setting” and be enriched by other expressions of connection but nothing touches you like the original design God placed within you.

For example:

• All Christians can benefit from rigorous study. But some personalities are drawn to it and feel a deep spiritual connection when they are in study and thought.

• All Christians can benefit from a walk in the woods and can appreciate God’s handiwork. But some believers connect to God (while in nature) in a way that others miss.

• All Christians benefit from serving others in a care-giving. But some Christians sense a deep, intimate connection to God when they are serving others.

The caregiver might say to the reader … “You are not pleasing God by holing up in that room and not touching human lives.” The reader might say “You are not pleasing God by being in a soup kitchen all day and neglecting the Word!”

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