May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ… Galatians 6:14-18 Today we celebrate the cross because we as a church knows what it’s like to journey in faith. We know what it’s like to sacrifice. We know what it’s like to move from death to life. From this day forward, every time we walk through those doors and see that cross on the altar we will thank God because by God’s grace we can boast in our faith. By our faith we believe. By our belief we live today. (Sermon 9/14/14: We Shall Not Boast – Only Believe)
“This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:1-10 Many years ago I was asked what was the most important relationship in my life. While others responded that their relationship with a significant other or children as the most important, I responded that it was my relationship with God. I did wonder for a little while if my feelings were skewed or distorted in some way, but then I remembered that God’s love for me is perfect. The relationships I have with my spouse and children can not compete with that perfection. So it made sense to me to put what is perfect before what is imperfect. This perfect love that God has for me is what I strive for in my relationships. I wouldn’t know how to do that if God had not given Christ into the world (John 3:16; 10:7-10). Because we are imperfect as human beings, in every physical aspect of our lives – life, death and resurrection is an ongoing process until we reach spiritual perfection of eternal life. When we hurt, disappoint and frustrate one another is it not God’s love through Christ that calls us back into relationship (Mark 12:28-33)? This I believe is what the Pharisees and leaders like them today miss. While the physical law” (of Moses or any other law) disciplines, it does not love, it does not forgive. God’s law also disciplines, but it always loves, and always forgives. So my prayer for each of us today is that as we continue to grow in understanding of God’s perfect love for us, we grow and live into the manifestation of God’s perfect love for one another with the knowledge that we are imperfect yet always striving towards the goal that is perfect in Jesus Christ (Phil 3:2-15). “I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.” Luke 15:1-10
Mark 12:28-33 …you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” …“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 10:7-10 I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.