Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Bethany Bullet Sermon Message - Week of May 12, 2019

Sermon: Love Divine

The account of John chapter 10 (portions of which are historically read for each Easter IV Sunday) begin with a question that rings very familiar this Easter Season, “Don’t keep us in suspense any longer.  Tell us plainly….”  Now the conclusion to the question when asked here at Bethany as of late has been, “when we will be in the sanctuary?”  The conclusion of the question when asked originally to Jesus was essentially, “Are you THE sanctuary?”  In other words, “are you the physical manifestation of God on earth?”  Of course, our answer is, as soon as we can!  Jesus answer was, “I’ve already told you…but ‘yes I am!’”  Jesus assurance of who He is; is set within the dynamic of the eternal relationship between Father and Son, He who sends and He who is sent.  “The Father loves me because I lay down my life – only to take it up again!”  Think about that, the reason the Father loves the Son is the same reason we love the Son…because He laid down His life for us and took it up again.  What Love!

We’ve been Loved BYthe Anointed One, the Messiah; The Promised One so long awaited; The One Begotten of the Father from eternity and the One Sent by the Father in time.  We are Loved by He who was sent and by He who did the sending.  What Love!

We’ve been Loved WITHa unilateral love.  In love, God acts!   This love is undeserved, unearned and of it we are unworthy, for there is nothing in rebels like us that He should love us.  Yet, Love He does.  His love is such that there is NOTHING you COULD POSSIBLY do to make Him love you any more than He already does AND there is NOTHING you have EVER DONE that could cause Him to love you any less than He does.  His is a sacrificial love – given freely!   His is an all powerful love – no one takes His life from Him and…Jesus continues that sentence, “and NO ONE can take your life from my hand.  What Love!

We’ve been Loved FOR  – the result of His loving us is that we love Him and we love HIS!  On one occasion Jesus reduced the Ten Commandments to two with one verb: LOVE“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.” Now we can’t escape the reality that when the commands of God are presented the first thing they do is expose our guilt. When it comes to my love, I must confess that far too often God and others gotta get in line behind….me. My love is so often shallow and self-absorbed. My love for Him and for others so often waxes and wanes. Yet, His love always remains the same, INDEED it has been proven in Christ who laid down His life for me; and whose loving presence is ever with me and comes to me through His Word, gifts, and people on a daily basis. His is a love which forgives the guilt the Commandments expose, His is a love that covers the sinner in His own righteousness, and His is a love that moves us to follow His commands. So the same command that exposes our guilt guides us to our Savior and then directs us in life…and in this case directs us in love. Thus our love for others flows not out of personal connection, ministry affiliation, ideological unification…or anything of the like…We love others because EVERYONE is SOMEONE for whom Jesus laid down His life. *Last week on May 5th, if you weren’t at Bethany you need to ‘gotta’ catch it on the pod cast, Dr. Seltz was talking about attending a HHS hearing in DC in which participants were asked how can we draw down some of the tension and partisanship … a rabbi in attendance said, “If we all remember that we are each created in the image of God…”  Today’s scripture goes a step further…each person you encounter is someone for whom Jesus laid down His life…and if Jesus loved them…how can we not?  We may disagree with a life choice…still love; we may have a totally different take on a life style…yet love; we could even view life itself from an opposite perspective…nevertheless love for Christ laid down His life for all. 
-Pr. Kevin Kritzer


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counter