Summary: Listen to the words of Jesus. “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. “ Our Savior defines for u
Last week we introduced the question, “What is church?” and the answer last week was, “the church is a people group.” This week we are continuing to ask the same question, “What is church?” but this week we add to the answer, “it’s a people group whose essential business is to love others as Jesus loved us.” We summed up our discussion last Sunday with Acts 1:8; Jesus told his disciples before he ascended back to His Father, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
If we think of Weymouth as Jerusalem and Nova Scotia as Judea and the Maritimes as Samaria and the rest of the world as the ends of the earth, we could read Jesus words to us like this: And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere, in Weymouth, throughout Nova Scotia, in the Maritimes and to the ends of the earth.
We are a people group with the privilege and the honor of living the Word of God as witnesses. I believe that if we start accepting ourselves as the people group of heaven who are in place on earth to share the Gospel of Jesus as we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to engage this mission; our lives, this church, our worship will be anything but boring.
And I asked this question last week and I want to ask it again as we discuss the question, “What is church?” And that question was, “Are you living as a witness for the gospel?”
Why this question is important and what the answer means for you is really what we’ll be talking about today. Love is the motive, the driving force behind your witness of gospel of Jesus. Love, according to Jesus himself, is at the core of every follower.
We’ve already discussed some nuts and bolts of how to live as a Christian person. A couple of months ago in a sermon called “Life is Never Perfect” I pointed out that The New Testament teaches us that there are a few things Jesus followers should always be prepared for.
We should be prepared to do good - When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them.
We should be prepared to do God’s Work - If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. 2 Timothy 2:21 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. Ephesians 6:14-15
We should be prepared for Jesus return - “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.` Matthew 24:42-44 And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame. 1 John 2:28
The motive that drives our preparation for our work in the Lord is love. The church is a people group whose essential business is to love others as Jesus loved us.
I want you to picture an NHL hockey game. The stands are filled with fans, the ice is ready, both teams are dressed and geared up. The sportscasters are making their predictions about the game and discussing their talking points about each team. But you notice something weird. Only one team is on the ice ready to play. The ref is at center ice ready for the face off but only one team is ready to play. Then the head coach from the opposing team heads out to center ice and takes his position for the drop. He’s alone on the ice. The rest of the team is sitting in the box. They’re dressed, they look like they’re ready to play the game but they’re just sitting. Obviously you want to know what’s going on. “Why is the head coach on the ice while his team is sitting on the bench?” That’s the question on everyone’s mind. The crowd is stunned and silent, even the broadcasters can’t explain what’s going on; So the team captain decides maybe he should address the crowd to fill them in on what’s happening here. He doesn’t have to go far for a microphone, several TV reporters are there shoving them in his face, shouting their questions “Why aren’t you taking the ice? What are you guys doing on the bench? Why is the coach playing? “ The captain holds up his hand for silence and he gets it.