Posts from September 2015

“Give Your Life Away on Purpose” Matthew 6:19-24

 

The purpose of life is to give our lives away. Give your life away on purpose. If the greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and the second is like the first, to love our neighbor as ourself, then to express our love for God, we have to love people, and the way we love people is by giving. Giving our time to someone who is lonely. Giving our ear to someone who is hurting. Giving our resources to help somebody.
Did you know that in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, one out of every six verses deals with money? Of the 29 parables Christ told, 16 deal with a person and money; more than half of Jesus’ parables reference our possessions. About our New Testament Lesson, Augustine said, “Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure; where your treasure is, there is your heart; where your heart is, there is your happiness.”
Self-absorption, self-seeking, and self-serving ambitions are all contradictory to the Christian life. Why is the self-help book section at Barnes and Nobles so crowded? Because people continue to seek ways to help themselves; self-reliance is overrated.

“Jesus Christ, The Door to Life” John 11:17-27

Three friends were discussing death and one of them asked, “What would you like people to say about you at your funeral?”
The first of the friends said, “I would like them to say, he was a great humanitarian, who cared about his community.”
The second said, “He was a great husband and father, who was an example for many to follow.”
The third friend said, “I would like them to say, ‘Look, he’s moving!!'”
(ChristianGlobe Illustrations, Brett Blair, ChristianGlobe Networks, Inc., 2002)
Our New Testament passage begins with the announcement that a funeral had already occurred for one of Jesus’ closest friends. Today is the last in the sermon series, “Jesus Christ the Door.” For the past few weeks, we have been focusing on some of Jesus’ “I am” statements found in the Gospel of John. We have concentrated on Jesus’ statements, “I am the Bread of Life which has come down from heaven”; “I am the light of the world”; “I am the door”; “I am the Good Shepherd.” “I am the way, the truth and the life.” All the previous “I am” statements are summed up in today’s text, “I am the resurrection and the life.”

“Jesus Christ: The Door to Listening and Learning” John 14:1-6

Listen and learn. Some people are visual learners; they see something or read something, and learning happens. Perhaps see and learn or read and learn would describe this process. Others are experiential learners; the phrase “experience is the best teacher” illustrates those who learn by doing. Do and learn would describe this process. When we read the gospels, we sometimes forget that what was occurring was happening in real time without any idea of an outcome. We chastise the bone-headed disciples because of their blundering actions when they should have known better. How could they not trust Jesus when they knew that he was always going to take care of them? When Jesus spoke to the disciples or to any individual or group, his words had power. But just because Jesus said something, a person did not learn. Words had power when the hearer owned them, made them their own.
Every day teachers talk and hope that what they say results in learning. Teachers cannot make students learn, and just because teachers are talking does not insure that students are learning.