Summary: The message from the beginning is two-fold. 1- We should love people 2- We should loathe evil
INTRO.- ILL.- A prominent lawyer's son dreamed of following in his father's footsteps. After graduating from college and law school with honors, he returned home to join his father's firm, intent on proving himself to be a skilled and worthy attorney.
At the end of his first day at work he rushed into his father's office, and said, "Father, father! The Smith case, that you always said would go on forever -- the one you have been toiling on for ten years -- in one single day, I settled that case and saved the client a fortune!"
His father frowned, and scolded his son, "I did not say that it would go on forever, son. I said that it could go on forever. When you saw me working on that case for days and weeks at a time, didn't it ever occur to you that I was billing by the hour?"
Life is a learning process. Some of it we learn from home, some from school, and some from life in general. Life is a big teacher, is it not? Actually, it seems like we really don’t start to learn anything until we get out of school. Amen?
ILL.- Willard Griffin said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”
But do we ever know it all? I have discovered that the more I learn, the more I realize how little I really know. I am very impressed with my own ignorance!
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
Do you lack wisdom? I do. And that’s the first requirement for acquiring wisdom. It’s not asking God for it, it’s recognizing your need for it. And the same is true with knowledge.
The person who seeks to learn is generally the person who realizes his need for more learning. And, of course, our greatest learning should come from God who knows it all! We may have learned good from our parents, and that’s very good if our parents taught us about God and Christ and from the Bible and took us to Sunday School and church.
Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
One way he should go is the way of the Lord. And much of that depends on parental training and parental EXAMPLE.
ILL.- Someone wrote: “Secular education can make men clever but it cannot make them good.”
11This is the message you heard from the beginning. God has given us a message and we need to get it! We need to listen to it and allow it to sink deep into our hearts and minds.
It’s a message from the beginning. Beginning of what? The creation? The gospel? Or the beginning of our Christian life? Could be any or all.
PROP.- Let’s ponder the message from the beginning, which is two-fold.
1- We should love people
2- We should loathe evil
I. WE SHOULD LOVE PEOPLE
11This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. God loves and we should love.
This is the message that we have heard ever since we started to attend Sunday School and church. We’ve heard this most of our lives and most of us can quote it. And this is the beginning of true love for us who are in Christ. This is how we have come to know what real love is. It is unconditional love.
ILL.- A young man finds the woman of his dreams and asks her to marry him. He tells his mother he wants her to meet his fiance, but he wants to make a bit of a game out of it. He says he'll bring the girl over with two other women and see if his mother can guess which is the one he wants to marry. His mother agrees to the game.
That night, he shows up at his mother's house with three beautiful young ladies. They all sit down on the couch, and everyone has a wonderful evening talking and getting to know each other.
At the end of the evening, the young man asks his mother, 'OK, Mom, which one is the woman I want to marry?' Without any hesitation at all, his mother replies, 'The one in the middle.'
The young man is astounded. 'How in the world did you figure it out?' 'Easy,' she says. 'I don't like her.'
Whether we like someone or not, we are supposed to love them. You’ve heard this before. You may not like someone, but you have to love them anyway. However, if someone is sweet and/or has a good personality it sure makes them a lot easier to love.