Summary: Love people like Jesus does.
WHAT MATTERS TO GOD
S: God’s love
Th: Our Time, Our Turn, Our All
Pr: LOVE PEOPLE LIKE JESUS DOES.
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Know your mission.
• Communicate good news.
RMBC 31 May 09 AM
ILL Change (S)
A few years ago, in a Los Angeles nightclub, Alex McManus’ church, Mosaic, began a worship celebration to reach the west side of their city, and the entertainment industry. The ministry grew, incorporating changes along the way to continue reaching new people.
But some of the original attenders began to complain that things were getting too “youthy.”
“I can’t handle it anymore,” said one young woman. “All of this new technology is getting in the way of my worship.”
She was 26.
You see, the issue regarding change is an “any age” issue, not just one for older people.
But it is true, the older we get, the less we like it.
I am finding this true in my own life now that I have hit the half century mark.
We like some things to be constant.
I have found one constant though.
Do you know what it is?
The one constant I can really depend on … is change!
We are on the 6th item of our prayer action plan where I have affectionately been asking you to…
Pract means to pray and to act.
Don’t just pray on it, but be the answer to the prayer as well, and act on it.
This week, our renouncement is…
We renounce inward focus.
What we have come to realize is that, as a church, we have fallen into a trap of thinking this is about us.
We may not have said that outright, but we have been acting like it.
Whether it was intentional or unintentional, it does not matter.
The important part for us at this point is to recognize that our focus has become inward.
Thus, our announcement…
We announce God’s command that we reach out with His love.
We know, though, that inward focus is not what God has called us to.
We, in fact, have a different mission.
So, let us proclaim this affirmation…
We affirm that God reaches out with his love and He expects us to do the same.
Then, let this be our commitment…
We will eagerly extend God’s love by acts of caring and making disciples.
Today, we are studying the most famous verse in all of Scripture.
And I can’t think of a better verse that goes with our prayer action plan today.
I don’t need to say more.
We nod our heads.
We know that the heart of the gospel lies in these few words.
Preschoolers can recite it.
Football fans paint it boldly across cardboard signs.
It’s brief enough to write on a napkin or memorize in moment, yet solid enough to withstand 2000 years of storms and questions.
It begins with God, ends with life, and urges us to do the same!
Listen to the impact this verse has had on people’s lives:
ILL John 3.16 (S)
Mac Powell, Third Day:
“I love John 3:16 because it is the gospel in a nutshell. It shares God’s great love for us, and our great need for him.”
Ernie Johnson, TNT Sportscaster
“John 3:16 is the foundation of my faith. A picture of undeserved, unconditional, and unwavering love from a Father to his kids.”
Anne Graham Lotz
“John 3:16 is the North Star of the Bible. If you align your life with it, you can find The Way home.”
“This is the promise that bears hope for the hopeless. When we finally realize ‘I can’t do this on my own’ this is the Father responding, ‘I know, so I’ve done it for you.’”
Here it is in the ESV, with verse 17 following…
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
“For God so loved…”
God is love.
And you know what?
He can’t help it!
He loves because it is His nature to do so.
He can’t do it any other way.
He is a passionate God.
And this passion motivates Him to act.
He also loves because He chooses to do so.
It is not a self-centered love.
Rather, it is a love that chooses to love and reaches out.
He reaches out and draws us in, even when we seem hell-bent on resisting His love.
ILL God (S)