A Prayer to Love

November 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Last Sunday we started a series in our church called Love One Another.

In Galatians 6:2 we read these words:

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Such a simple verse… yet incredibly powerful. Paul is saying that you can fulfill the law of Christ– this could be an allusion either to the second greatest commandment (“love thy neighbor”) or the new commandment (“love one another”)– by carrying or bearing the burden’s of fellow believers.

In this world where so much seems out of our control– where believers are constantly trying to discover God’s will for their life– this provides a great deal of practical direction.

It seems to come down to this idea from Scripture:

Love One Another

Simple concept right? The idea is repeated throughout the Bible. Take a moment to read these verses from the New Testament.

1. John 13:34
“A new command I give you: Love onanother. As I have loved you, so you must love onanother.

2. John 13:35
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love onanother.”

3. Romans 12:10
Be devoted to onanother in brotherly love. Honor onanother above yourselves.

4. Romans 13:8
 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love onanother, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.

5. Galatians 5:13
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve onanother in love.

6. Ephesians 4:2
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with onanother in love.

7. Hebrews 10:24
And let us consider how we may spur onanother on toward love and good deeds.

8. 1 Peter 1:22
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love onanother deeply, from the heart.

9. 1 Peter 3:8
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with onanother; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.

10. 1 Peter 5:14
Greet onanother with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

11. 1 John 3:11
[ Love OnAnother ] This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love onanother.

12. 1 John 3:23
And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love onanother as he commanded us.

13. 1 John 4:7
Dear friends, let us love onanother, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

14. 1 John 4:11
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love onanother.

15. 1 John 4:12
No one has ever seen God; but if we love onanother, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

16. 2 John 1:5
And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one

Although the concept is simple, I feel challenged by this idea.

That’s what we talked about last week. The foundation for this call to love (“Why Love?”). And I had a response from someone  in our church that I wanted to share with you.

After the sermon, a woman came up to me and said that she struggled with the outcome of the recent presidential election. She was frustrated and mad. But then she said that she had an answer to her problem and she handed me a piece of paper she had written on. Here’s what it said– I call it a “Prayer to Love”:

Father, I recognize that there is anger in my heart toward those who voted for Obama.

 I confess I do not have the power to set this anger aside.

 I give you my heart and mind willingly—and ask you to remove this anger and replace it with your love and forgiveness.

 I can’t do this so you must do it in me through the power of your Holy Spirit.

I think that is a beautiful and honest prayer– and I realize that we could all probably put something in the first line that we have unresolved anger about.

Maybe this is a first step for us to learn about how to Love One Another the way God wants us to.

November 11th News

November 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

I have a question for you…

Are you frustrated? Angry? Confused? Disappointed? Scared?

As I talked to people yesterday, those were the themes that kept coming up. We wonder about the future. We wonder about the present. We are looking for God and trying to understand how– if he is, indeed, in control of everything– everything seems out of control.

As I think about the last few months of political campaigning, I realize that we have been bombarded with negativity and anger from all sides. Have you felt that?

Frankly, I’m tired of it… and I’m sure you are too. As God’s people, we should be all about hope. We should be all about joy. We should be all about love.

I don’t think that would really describe me over the last few months. Does it describe you?

Last week, as we looked at the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19, one of the principles we discovered was this:

REALIZE what you can and cannot control

So many of our fears and concerns and frustrations are things that we cannot control. So the question is this: What can we control?

This Sunday we are beginning a new series. It is a series that I need to preach. It is a series we need to hear as we head towards things like Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is a series that defines the church, yet is lacking in most churches. It is a series about something that we actually can control…

The series is called “Love One Another”.

Simple concept right? The idea is repeated throughout the Bible. Take a moment to read these verses from the New Testament.

1. John 13:34
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

2. John 13:35
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

3. Romans 12:10
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

4. Romans 13:8
 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.

5. Galatians 5:13
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another in love.

6. Ephesians 4:2
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

7. Hebrews 10:24
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

8. 1 Peter 1:22
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.

9. 1 Peter 3:8
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.

10. 1 Peter 5:14
Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

11. 1 John 3:11
[ Love One Another ] This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

12. 1 John 3:23
And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.

13. 1 John 4:7
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

14. 1 John 4:11
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

15. 1 John 4:12
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

16. 2 John 1:5
And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.

Although the concept is simple. Actually loving one another is a different story. That’s why we are going to take a few weeks to focus on this.

This week we are asking the question “Why Love?” Why is it so important? What’s the big deal?

To prepare, read 1 Corinthians 13 (That’s right– the whole chapter!). You’ve probably read or heard these words before. They are often included in wedding ceremonies. But Paul is actually writing to a church and explaining how those in the church are to relate to each other.

I hope you can make it (that may be a good place to start!). And perhaps you may know someone who needs to hear about this– someone who may be discouraged or frustrated or even angry. Invite them to join us.

Looking forward to Sunday!

 

Grace and peace,

Doug