Summary: Three great things given to believers.
He is a great baseball player, great musician, great this and great that. We use that term to describe those who have reached the pinnacle of their field. Those who have excelled beyond the norm. Jesus gave us three great things to believers that will make a difference in our lives.
I. THE GREAT COMMANDMENT MATT 22:36-40
A) To love God first. Without this love, we have no ability to love others in the way this verse commands us to love. Both words translated love in this passage are from the Greek word “Agape’”
B) To love others as ourselves.
1) When we love God and understand his love for us, we are able to have a healthy, unselfish love for ourselves. This is not a self-centered love but an understanding that God loves us although we in no way deserve it.
2) When we understand that God’s love is Agape’, unconditional, we can see that to love others with that same love comes from a spiritual growth and strength in our lives. It is not a natural ability from birth but a supernatural ability from the new birth.
Love reaches for the hurt and takes bold steps without self-interest. It can accomplish unbelievable things merely because it is so void of self-interest. Some time ago, a teenager, Arthur Hinkley, lifted a 3,000-pound tractor with bare hands. He wasn’t a weight lifter, but his friend, Lloyd Bachelder, 18, was pinned under a tractor on a farm near Rome, Maine. Hearing Lloyd scream, Arthur somehow lifted the tractor enough for Lloyd to wriggle out.
Love was the real motivation. --Calvin Miller, “Rethinking Suburban Evangelism,” Leadership, 1988, p. 68
II. THE GREAT COMMISSION MATT 28:18-20
A) A commandment given to the church.
B) A commandment backed with power
C) A commandment to evangelize
Pollsters report that 72 percent of Americans don’t know their next-door neighbors.
Bill McKibben, in the Age of Missing Information, Signs of the Times, February, 1994
D) A commandment to baptize—“Dip, submerge, plunge”
E) A commandment to disciple—Jesus said to teach the things that he had taught the early church. We must learn to be able to teach others.
A Father and his small son were out walking one day when the lad asked how electricity could go through the wires stretched between the telephone poles. “I don’t know,” said his father. “I never knew much about electricity.” A few blocks farther on, the boy asked what caused lightning and thunder. “That too has puzzled me,” came the reply. The youngster continued to inquire about many things, none of which the father could explain. Finally, as they were nearing home, the boy said, “Pop, I hope you didn’t mind all those questions.” “Not at all,” replied his father. “How else are you going to learn!”
Our Daily Bread, Friday, January 9
III. THE GREAT CONSUMATION JOHN 14:1-3
A) Jesus promised that he would come again and take us home. It is a promise that gives us hope.
B) We are to watch for his coming. Mark 13:33-37
C) We are to work till he comes.
1) Living a life pleasing unto God.
2) Telling others of his coming.