I have really enjoyed this sermon series. In hearing from many of you, it seems this series has been needed and encouraging. My prayer is that it’s a good launching point for 2021. We are children of God…adopted by God’s grace; representing Jesus in this world; empowered to overcome sin and the grave; and we love Jesus more than our lives.
Thoughts about Sunday’s Sermon:
- Overriding all of this is the the power of the gospel. As I got done yesterday, I was a tad concerned that I had not made this explicitly clear. Only, and I say this emphatically, only in the power of the gospel can our sins be forgiven and can we be made right with God. Then, and only then are we set free to be “truly human.”
- I used more quotes than normal yesterday for a reason…sometimes when preaching on a subject that is so counter-cultural, it is really good to have a historical authority speak to the issue. And on this particular subject, C.S. Lewis is a good one. He’s a known author; a socially “accepted” expert; and widely popular. What an authority on a subject like this does, is that it puts skeptics on their heels and reveals the truth of Scripture in a different, yet confirming way.
- 93 millions selfies a day! Unreal. My son-in-law said after church: “I don’t think that takes into account Snap Chat.” If I knew how Snap Chat worked, I would agree with him:)…Or as Bill Belichek would say, “Snap Face” and “Face Chat”…that’s how I feel sometimes.
- I am as convinced as ever, especially studying the last 2 weeks, that our greatest challenge that we have as humans, is us. It is not the political fights, racial tensions, or global pandemic…it’s us. Which tells me the greatest solution, is not us, it’s outside of us. This why the gospel is the only answer. It’s the only source, outside of ourselves, that can save us…from us.
- One reason why this sermon is so challenging to us is because of the way that some have taught about the greatest commandment, which is found in Matthew 22:37-39. In that text, Jesus said, “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” You’ll notice at the end that Jesus said that we “shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Some have taught that this means, you cannot love others until you love yourself first. Therefore, self-love is the best thing to help you love others. However, this is not what Jesus is saying. He’s saying, “Love others, as you already love yourself”. And to further prove this, Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:28-29: “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it…” The truth of the matter is not that we hate ourselves…the truth is that we love ourselves too much. That statement is heresy to our culture. And that’s why a sermon on finding our true selves and true humanity in Jesus is so controversial.
- Finally, if you ever get your hands on the Puritans or the great preachers of the past, this was their thought as well. Christians, more than anyone else in the world, can really live. We see God behind everything. We know that all good things come from His hand. And we have been made alive…truly alive, with the life of God, in our mortal bodies. No one, without Jesus, can say this.
Coming up next:
This coming Sunday, we will look at either Ephesians 3:10-21 and/or Hebrews 10:24-25 to see the importance, as God’s children, of our family gathering…the Church. My hope is to trace our family line to show us what God has planned for us, as His Children, and why gathering together, each week, fulfills our role in His plan. Should be fun!
From the Cheap Seats:
- Welp…the Bills laid an egg. But Patrick Mahomes is really good.
- If you want to watch a true knockout competition, you should do some research on the FA Cup. It is the oldest competition like this in the world (est. in 1871) and it involves every level of English Soccer (Football). This past weekend I watched Manchester City have to scrap and fight to get a win at Cheltenham Town, which is a League Two team. This was the equivalent to a Major League Baseball Team playing a Single A team. Man City won 3-1, but didn’t score until after the 75th minute and Cheltenham Town was ahead 1-0 at one point. It was awesome.
- As my sister-in-law said, “why did Tom Brady become more likable when he went to the Bucs?” That is a great question…why am I pulling for Brady?? But I am.
- Even though…I think the Chiefs are hitting their stride offensively. They’re really good.
- Fun videos for you:
- “The Leicester City Story”: https://www.nbcsports.com/video/pl-download-leicester-city-story. Recommended by Chris Guastaferro and it did not disappoint.
- Here’s the highlights from the Man City/Cheltenham Town game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9b0rjiK8yDw. It’s only 2 minutes. Notice the defender who makes the save in the very first clip…unreal. And that guy has a thrown in later in the video that’s just nuts.
- Watch this tantrum by the Chief’s wide-receiver, after fumbling the punt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBmeqYHWddg. I couldn’t stop laughing. Reminded me a how I feel when I say something stupid from the pulpit…
To watch or listen to the sermon described in this post, please click here.