Relationships: Some Assembly Required
In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus was asked a single question: “Which is the greatest commandment?” To this question, Jesus gave two answers with three components: Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. As we unpack Jesus’ words, you will discover that, although building these relationships is challenging, important work, God has already put all the pieces of your salvation together for you.
Forming the Foundation: Love the Lord Your God
May 13, 2018 (Mother’s Day)
There is no relationship that we need more than the one we develop with God. It serves as the foundation for the relationships we have with other people. How do we develop a deeper relationship with God? How do we as parents help our children to develop their relationship with God?
Although we are called to build our relationship with God through prayer, study His word, partake in the sacraments, and worship, we can rest assured that our efforts aren’t the determining factor in our eternal destiny. Through the work Jesus did for us on the cross, we can rest assured that God has laid the foundation for us to be Heaven-bound.
Scriptures: 1 Samuel 17:45-51; 2 Timothy 1:3-5, 3:14-15; Psalm 73:23-26
Sermon Text: Matthew 22:37-38
Structuring the Supports: Love Your Neighbor
May 20, 2018 (Pentecost)
We love and serve one another, not because we feel guilted into it or because we have to, but because Christ’s love compels us to do so. Through serving, forgiving, leading, and loving others with a pure and selfless heart, we can show our neighbors (family, friends, co-workers, etc.) the love of Jesus. This is possible only because of the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.
However, when it comes to doing what we were created to do (love God and love others), so much of it we cannot do on our own. We find peace in the fact that God shows each one of us His love through the structures He has created: the Bible, the Sacraments, and Christian fellowship.
Scriptures: 1 Samuel 18:1-4; Ephesians 4:2-32; Acts 2:36-41; Luke 10:25-37
Sermon Text: Matthew 22:39a
Finishing and Furnishing: Love Yourself
May 27, 2018 (Trinity)
God wants us to love others as we love ourselves. But He’s not looking for us to love ourselves because of those identities we create: jobs, financial status, abilities, social status. So often, we go looking for and finding our identity in the approval of others instead of in God’s unconditional approval in Christ. When you embrace your true status and identity in Christ, then you can embrace the value of your current position in life.
This is easier said than done, right? Over and over again, we find ourselves wrapped up in the identities we create for ourselves, not the one God creates for us as His children. God, in His infinite wisdom, knew this about us before we were even born. Even as He created the first humans, Adam and Eve, He had a plan in mind for us… a blue print for salvation that encompasses all people and all their sins.
Scriptures: Isaiah 6:1-8; Romans 8:1-4, 14-17; Psalm 139
Sermon Text: Matthew 22:39b