Monday, January 24, 2011

Notes from A Chapel Message to Open the Spring Semester in 2011...



I JOHN 3:18...
“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.”

I JOHN 4:7-12...
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

I JOHN 4:16-21...
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

WHAT IS LOVE?
Love means I will follow through on my commitment to:
do what I say I will do
and
be who I say I will be

JAMES 1:19-27
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

THE PROBLEM WITH WORDS...
*so many of us don’t want to fully believe because of the broken promises we have experienced

*how often do we say things we don’t actually do?

I JOHN 3:16-20
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.


A Quote from Generous Justice by Tim Keller on the story of the Good Samaritan…
In the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus was giving a radical answer to the questions, “What is love?” and “What does it mean to love your neighbor?” Jesus answered the questions of a law expert by depicting a man meeting material, physical, and economic needs through deeds. Caring for people’s material and economic needs is not an option for Jesus. He refused to limit the implications of this command to love. He said it meant being sacrificially involved with the vulnerable…

Jesus also refuses to let us limit not only how we love, but who we love. It is typical for us to think of our neighbors as people of the same social class and means. We instinctively tend to limit for whom we exert ourselves. We do it for people like us, and for people whom we like. Jesus will have none of that. By depicting a Samaritan helping a Jew, Jesus could not have found a more forceful way to say that anyone at all in need—regardless of race, politics, class, and religion—is your neighbor. Not everyone is your brother or sister in the faith, but everyone is your neighbor, and you must love your neighbor.

THE POWER OF ACTIONS...
*this is where you see ideas turned into reality and a desire becomes your true passion in life

“The greatest cause of atheism is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door and deny Him with their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
BRENNAN MANNING

THE CHALLENGE FOR GOD'S PEOPLE...
*truly care for people in your communities…

*focus on the needs of others rather than fixating on your own stuff…

*when you have the opportunity to simply change another’s life, you must take it…

A VISION FOR CU THIS SEMESTER...
Speak Less

Do More

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