Jesus’ resurrection changes… everything! The message of Easter changes… everything! Luke 26:9-15
Last Words The last words of Jesus.
Love is hard. There are so many times when we’re just weary. We give and give and give and never seem to get anything back. Jesus displayed so much love through his life and ministry. He had every right to expect a little something back. But human love is always tainted by selfish motivations. Still that’s the thing about God’s love. It’s committed. It does what it needs to do. Love sees it through. Mark 11:1-10, John 19:28-30
Forgiveness—it sounds so easy. Yet, there are times when we just can’t forgive, when we simply don’t want to forgive. If anyone had reason to feel that way, it was Jesus. Jesus, however, freely offers unconditional forgiveness even to the very men who nailed him to the cross. Forgive, God says, as I have forgiven you. Love forgives! Matthew 18:21-35, Luke 23:34
We say we love all people, but when push comes to shove, we’re pretty selective about where we choose to live and the people we choose to hang out with. Jesus hung out (literally!) with individuals that we church people would deem “beneath us”. And he showed them the same love, the same grace. Love embraces all! John 3:14-21; Luke 23:43
A mother loves her child and will do everything she can to protect him. Even if the whole world turns against or gives up on her child, she’ll defend and speak well of him to the bitter end. How much greater is Jesus’ love as he seeks to protect his Father’s reputation and the physical well-being of his own mother. Love protects. John 2:13-22; John 19:25-29
When we think that love means happiness and roses and nothing more, we’re in for serious disappointment. Sometimes love means sacrifice and suffering. Sometimes loves means taking up a cross can carrying it to its finish. Mark 8:31-38; John 19:28-29
Forty days in the wilderness without food. Nailed to a cross and left to die. Does God really love me? Does God really care? Or am I truly in this all alone? Yes, the temptation is often there to give up on a relationship when we don’t feel the love. Love, however, refuses to throw in the towel, love does not give up. Love fights to hold on to what it knows and believes! Mark 1:12-15; Mark 15:34
Pastor Ben’s farewell sermon on Transfiguration Sunday. Mark 9:2-9
Nothing we can do will make God love us less or love us more. Think about how that truth changes your life. Think about how that truth liberates you from the fears and self-imposed expectations that weigh you down. Think about what life would look like, how the world would change if you not only allowed yourself to be loved this way, but earnestly asked God to help you love others this way!
Sermon Text: 1 John 3:11-20