Sunday, September 22, 2013

Loving One Another

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God." ~I John 4:7

1) There will be a Church Bazaar/White Elephant Sale with lunch on October 5
2) Girl's Art Club will begin next Sunday for girls 9-15. Adult women welcome.
3) There will be a baby shower for Megan in a couple weeks.

Pastor Brad opened the service stating that we would be doing a heart check today. How receptive are our hearts to God?

Loving One Another

Brad began by reading I John 2:13-27. He then shared some stats about our physical hearts. A human heart first begins beating 22 days after conception. Throughout our lives the heart pumps 14,000 pints of blood a day. Many other heart facts were shared. And the beat goes on, throughout our lives.

Then he shifted to talking about our spiritual hearts. As Proverbs 4:23 states, "Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it."

What is the condition of your heart? Brad asked that the way physicians check the condition of our physical hearts is to put them under stress.

It is the natural tendency of our heart to deceive ourselves. We can sometimes confuse sentimental emotions with religious feeling. We like to make ourselves appear better than we are.

But for real heart healing we need to bring our hearts to God. And here's what heals: when we find out who we are. John explains. "See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are." (I John 3:1)

The manner in which God heals is spelled out in Ezekiel: "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." (Ezek. 36:26)

As noted earlier stress is what makes our physical hearts longer. The same program works to make our spiritual hearts stronger. And God's way to stress us is by bringing others into our lives. And loving these other people is what we're called to do. John explains this further... "Let us not love only in words, but in deeds..." and further, "If you don't love the people you can see, how can you say you love God whom you can't see?"

When Jesus walked with His disciples he emphasized this important imperative: "A new commandment I give to you, love one another. Brad stated, "If you want to see what love looks like, look at the cross."

Church is not about programs. It's about your hearts. Here is a checklist of questions Brad concluded with some diagnostics designed to tell us a little about ourselves.

Do I really believe, do I really believe that Jesus is it.
Do I really believe that it's true that He is the atoning sacrifice for sins for the whole world, that there is no way to God other than Him?
Do I carry a burden for people who don't know Him?
Who am I praying for regularly who doesn't know God?
Am I deliberately getting close to people who don't know God?
Am I helping them to take the next step?
Am I growing in my ability to share my faith?
Am I getting bolder at taking risks?
Am I working at getting better telling my story in helping steer conversations in a spiritual direction?

"He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." ~I John 4:8

No comments: