Continuing the work for the message on love. I will say that working on sermon notes for someone else is definitely a challenge. I know the differences between a lesson or study series and a sermon may not seem to be all that different. Yet they are, and not just because one is taught in a classroom and the other is spoke from the pulpit. Both if done right will edify you and even give you something to meditate on. It is like being in a classroom being taught by a teacher then going to a lecture and listening to a speaker. Both may be on the same subject but the presentation is different. The speaker has minutes to maybe an hour or two to share their message with you. A teacher teaches on a specific subject for days or even weeks and sometimes months. You get something from both.
Now I am in a position to take my skills as a teacher and writer and help another who has never asked for help in preparing a sermon before. Yet this person felt God tel Him he was going to need help with this. Then there is the subject of love. There is an overwhelming subject. I had done a lesson series on love based on 1 Corinthians 13 ( https://emotionalpeace.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/1-corinthians-13-love-is-love-is-not-bible-study-lessons-1-10/ ) I also did a post about love not being blind https://emotionalpeace.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/is-love-blind/ There is so much we need to learn on this subject. Well enough of my ramblings, here are some of today’s notes.
I look forward to any comments, insights, and corrections from anyone in the ministry. Thank you.
In Ezekiel 11:19-20 We read about how God removes our heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh. It is also tells us that with this new heart we will be able to be obedient to His commands. In John 14:20-21 Jesus is speaking with His disciples and tells them if you love Me you will keep my commands, because they will know that He and His Father are one and that He is in them/us. It is through this revelation of who Jesus is that understanding of who and what love is. Keeping His commands change from something you have to do, to something you want to do. Do you remember what it was like when you dated someone you had fallen in love with? The one person you hope would one day marry you. You did things to please them not because you had to, but because you loved them and wanted to show them in any and every way how special and important they are to you. Think of how happy you were when they showed that what you had done had brought them joy. In the same way we please God when we keep His commands out of love and a desire to please Him. We are showing Him how much He means to us. He did not give us His commandments to hurt us or keep us from being happy. He gave them to us so that we would be protected by the the things that would bring us harm and death. He wants us to live a life with love, peace and joy. Children do not see rules or instructions as something that is good for them, but as something that keeps them from doing what they want. Yet when those children grow up they see those rules that they saw as restrictions were actually because they were loved and that they were there to keep them safe.
So He gave us rules to live by because He loves us. We show that we love Him in return by keeping those rules. Not because we have to (we all have free will to do what we choose) obey His commands, but because we have the revelation of who He is and that we love Him in return.