Love and Asking the Right Questions: Part 3 of 3

Conclusion to our series titled:  Love and Asking the Right Questions

We left off with the question of how does one grow when there is so much “sickness” and “Lack of time” in a church?   How does one get the support and guidance they need when leadership and Pastors are not readily available?    The answer is Love and asking the right questions.  What does Scripture say about Love?  What are the right questions to ask?

First let’s see what God says about love.

WaterMatthew 22:36-40  “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Jesus replied: “Love the lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your mind.’   This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

What? We are to Love our Neighbor with the same amount of zeal as we do our selves.  Whenever this piece of scripture is read someone always says…”well what if I don’t love myself?”  We are not talking about self-esteem, we are talking about Love.  Yes there are some things you may not like about yourself but you do Love yourself.  Not buying it? Let’s be honest, you love yourself enough to buy food, clothes or simply bathing yourself.  Would you bath someone you did not love? So yes…you love yourself.

But how does one love a church of sinners?  Furthermore, how does one love a church of sinners the same way we love our selves?  Let’s look to the most used passage on love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  It does not demand its own way.  It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Wow…endures through every circumstance?  Not some things but every circumstance.  “But what if they”…STOP…every circumstance……”but they never”….STOP… every circumstance!  What happens though is we focus on all the things that are going wrong and don’t seem right.  We begin asking questions like….”When will that person ever change”, “when will they have time for this thing”, “why is there not enough X”, “When are they going to get it right”.  With these types of questions we become more and more bitter.  We begin keeping a record of wrongs instead of rejoicing when truth wins out.  We become jealous of one church member getting more attention from leadership.

If you really want to love, if you really want to see change then start asking the right questions and start taking some personal accountability. Live a life by the Spirit.

Galatians 5: 13-15
Life by the Spirit

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

This brings us the conclusion of the message.  What are the right questions?

If you see someone struggling, don’t ask “when will they change” rather ask “How can I help a struggling Brother or Sister”.   If a ministry is lacking don’t ask “when will they get their act together”, instead ask “How can I support/serve this ministry so it is successful”.  Instead of “why are there not enough leaders to take care of the church needs”, ask “how can I help meet our neighbor’s needs”?   The only way to see real change, to see success…. the only way to love your neighbor is to show personal accountability and become a part of the solution by serving them.  That’s right! The grass is actually green where you water it!  Stop complaining, pick up a hose and water the grass if you want to see results.

When we all start asking the right questions and when we all begin taking personal accountability is when we begin to see the lives around us change in a positive way.  The amazing part, when you start to ask the right questions and take action…. it is infectious.  Others will want to be a part of it.  It will inspire others to do the same, relationships will mend and lives will be changed forever.

 

Thanks for following this series, please leave your comments.

Faith and Forgiveness

Image In Luke chapter seven we see an amazing story of faith and forgiveness. There was a sinful woman of the city who heard that she could find Christ at the Pharisee’s home. As Jesus reclined here, the sinful woman approached him, and began to weep. As she wept at Christ’s feet, she cleansed His feet with her tears, and wiped them with her own hair. When His feet were clean, she anointed them with an entire alabaster flask of ointment.

Why is this significant?
To the Pharisee this was seen as a shameful act, and the woman, being a sinner, would have been rejected and sent away.

“When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” ”

Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

What can we take away from this passage?

1. We are only forgiven because of what Christ has done. He has taken away our debt and punishment through his atoneing sacrifice.

2.To be bold in the faith is to be counted as righteousness. Do not be afraid of the judgements of this world, but stand firm in the faith, knowing that the reward is great in Heaven.

3. Give everything you have to Him that provided it. The woman pours out her flask on His feet, which was probably worth a years wages. Would you be willing to give all that you have for Him?

So be thankful, firm, and unwavering in your faith. Christ has done the work. Live in the freedom that he has provided for you, and surrender it all unto Him!