Fig Leaves and Other Christian Coverings (2 of 4)

Fig Leaves and Other Christian Coverings (2 of 4)

Sun 23 Nov 2008 AM

Weird things we do in church, that make us hard to relate to. If you're going to love anyone, you have to connect meaningfully with them. With God we grow and mature to have power and impact the community. We can all make a difference in someone’s world.
Audio Transcript
I want you to open your bible with me in Luke 10, and I started a message, didn't get very far on it, but we'll see if we can do a bit better today, and we're looking at Fig Leaves and Other Christian Coverings. Weird things we do in church, that make us hard to relate to. We're just going to read in Luke Chapter 10, and Jesus has been asked a question: what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said: well what do you reckon the Bible says? He said: you shall love the Lord your God - Verse 27 - with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself - and Jesus said: you've got it, you've got it. You shall love the Lord with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, all your strength. In other words, that is a passionate, expressive, dynamic relationship with God; and He says: it doesn't finish there. You love your neighbour as yourself. It's one big package. Its one big package; loving God fervently, passionately, and then overflowing to express that, and represent what God is like to people.

This is the core of it. Now listen, notice this, that if you're going to love anyone, you have to connect meaningfully with them, so if we're going to love God passionately we must establish a connection, a vital connection with Him, a prayer life, an act of faith, believing, reaching up to Him, talking to Him, listening to Him. If we're going to love our neighbour as ourself, we need to actually connect with what's going on in our life. A lot of people are unable to love, and express love well to people, and help people and enter their life, because they themselves have got too much junk, too much unresolved stuff, and God is wanting us to get cleaned up, not just so we can be better people, but so we can have greater impact in the lives of others. He said: love your neighbour - you can't love your neighbour unless you connect with them, by entering their world. If we're going to fulfil what Jesus said is the great command, where everything in the Bible is summed up, and we're going to love Him passionately and then begin to love people, we have to learn how to connect into their world, how to reach out to them.

That's why Jesus told the story, to illustrate what He meant. You know the story of the Good Samaritan, I'm not going to go through it all. I just want to pick up one verse in it. I think its Verse 27. It says: because the religious man, the priest, had gone by; saw the man in need, desperately wounded, desperately broken. He looked, and he was aware there was a problem, but he would not get involved. The Levite, he also went by, came over and looked at the man, saw him, crossed the other side and would not get involved. Now Jesus is trying to speak to the church of His day, in the same way He's trying to speak to the church of today; that not getting involved is not an option. You notice what He says, He talks then about the Good Samaritan. The Samaritans were despised. He's painting a picture of himself, as the one who was despised. He was despised, because he connected with people, connected with sinners, connected with tax collectors, connected with prostitutes, he connected with broken people, and his critic's main criticism was: he hangs out with the wrong kinds of people.

For most Christians, it won't be said of you that that was true. It's true, because once you've been in church for a little while, you begin to forget the lost, begin to forget the people who God has sent us to reach out to. Jesus then talked about this man, and it says this. I won't take it any further than this, then I want to go into Genesis 3 - and notice what the man did. It says: he saw him, his heart was touched and moved. Here is a man who has the heart of God. The heart of God is for people. God loves people, He loves the world, He loves Hastings, loves Napier. There may be many things wrong, but God still loves the people that live here; and this man was moved by the plight of the man, went to him, and entered his world, found out what was wrong, and did what he could to minister to him. Listen, Jesus told this, to illustrate that this is what the heart of God is like. This is what spiritual maturity looks like.

Sermon Notes
Keywords: genuine, authentic, fake, perfect, Samaritan, religious, testimony, control, peace, praise pause, pressure