"When it comes to love, Jesus is our example."
Pastor Eli kicked off My City Church’s new series, Welcome Home: Christmas Edition, with a missional statement and verse from the Gospel of John:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (NIV)
Here are a few keys points that Pastor Eli emphasized in regards defining “home” and intentionally loving our neighbor as Jesus did:
- Home is not a location; it is a people.
- Family means that we are home.
- Depending on your upbringing and where you are in life, home can be a touchy subject.
- It would be criminal to allow Jesus to change your eternity, but not change your mentality.
- God wants to use you mid-process, right here and right now.
- Love is a preconceived choice, not contingent upon action.
- In the world, love is often contingent; we are good to people who are good to us. That is not how God defines love.
- It will take a demonstration before a revelation.
- People around us will experience a revelation when they see action, even more so than words.
- If we are loving one another as God truly loved us through words and action, people who witness, give, and receive this love can truly experience a revelation.
One of the most impactful moments during his message was when Pastor Eli went to sit in an open seat in the audience surrounded by people.
He mentioned how there are people who come into church, sit in that similar spot surrounded by many people, yet they feel lonely. Additionally, he spoke of trying to better about being more intentional with loving and caring for people, not just casually saying hi at church.
"Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load." Galatians 6:2-5
Realistically there are people right now who are feeling far from home, whether they have never experienced home or yearn to feel at home again after some time away. Some of us may be carrying heavy burdens without having people in our world, to help carry those burdens in order for us to truly carry our load (our purpose, our identity in Christ, etc.). Especially being in a holiday season that emphasizes family and home, it is important that we remind ourselves of how Jesus defined loving our neighbors and how we can truly embody and give that love to those around us, amidst our burdens and victories.
This week, let’s check our hearts and eliminate contingencies when it comes to loving people.
Here are a few questions we can take away going into this week, considering this sermon.
- What comes to mind when you think of home?
- Am I letting Jesus change my life?
- Is there are a part of me that is off limits to God?
- Do our conversations, politics, beliefs, etc. reflect Jesus’ love?
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