Sunday’s Sermon — Point Three

May 31, 2007, 11:30 am; posted by
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To live as a Christian, we must be loving.

Romans 12:14 says, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” This is love, self-sacrificing love that wishes the best for others, even those others that mistreat it. The most perfect example of this love was Jesus Christ Himself, who told his disciples in John 15:13-14: “Greater love has no one than this, that He lay down His life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” And one verse earlier in the passage he had explained what he meant by that — “This is My commandment, that you love one another.” He modeled this sacrificial love for us, and then specifically told us to do the same.

Another example of the amazing love of God is found in the story of Joseph. Genesis 37 tells the story of how Joseph’s brothers, angry what they saw as his bad attitude and the unfair advantage he had with their father, planned to kill him before throwing him into a pit, and selling him to foreign traders. But even after all this, Joseph was nevertheless elevated to a position of great authority in the kingdom of Egypt, on the strength of his good character and his relationship with God. And it was there in Egypt that he received the opportunity to repay his brothers for the great evil they had done to him.

But instead, in Genesis 45:4-8, he chose to reveal himself to his brothers with forgiveness. “But now, do not be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. . . God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.”

This is the deep and powerful love of God, the love he desires each and every one of us as Christians to show other people — the love that can cover over assault, attempted murder, and kidnapping, the love that can choose to forgive and save the lives of those who mistreat us, the love that gives the glory to God for giving us the chance to help ones who hated us.

I pray that God will help us lives of love like that. We must learn how to love.


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