notes for my message tonight to the seven pm service @ The River

 

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There are crazy love things we do for our husbands/wives and our kids…

Love makes us do crazy things

For the love of my kids I have helped coach a school rugby team, kissed snotty faces, endured dora all the way to tauranga, tried to learn the names of all the star wars characters/planets/space ship thingys

For the love of my husband I have “watched” car racing, made endless cups of coffee and always choose caramello chocolate, even though Turkish delight is my favourite, and even now that I cant have caramello I still buy it for him and watch him eat it… because I love him.

For the love of childrens church – tony has danced up the front at church

Because he loves me he watched Lost with me.

For the love of the all blacks last year people spent lots of money and painted their faces and yelled till they had no voice.

Love makes us do crazy things.

It changes our heart. It makes us see the world in a different light.

Love motivates us.

Crazy love COMPELS US

2 Cor 5:14-15 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

 

The Greek word translated “compel” – literally means, “it PRESSES us,

- but it’s pressure, not from the outside, but from within.

- it is “motivational rather than directional”

- “The love of Christ GRIPS me”, one translation puts it.

 

Jacob rachel

Jacob worked 14 years for the hand of rachael in marriage. 14 years! That is crazy love!

 

Therefore a person who does not understand the love of God would accuse someone, could accuse you for being crazy.

Jacob was crazy to give up so much of his life for this chick

Abraham was crazy to believe he could be father of nations at the age of 100

Peter the disciple was crazy to leave the family business to follow Jesus

Rowena was crazy to go to afganistan

You are crazy for XXXXXXXXXXXXX

You’re crazy to not have sex before marriage or serial date

You’re crazy for tithing

You’re crazy for going to bible college instead of pursuing a lucrative career.

You’re crazy for praying and believing God

You’re crazy when you make choices to build your marriage even in the really hard seasons when culture says get divorced and find a new romance

You are crazy for stepping out and offering to pray for someone when they’re sick

 

The love of Christ leaves us no choice except to live our lives for Him.

So what does our life look like when we are compelled by Him?

  • WITNESSES: We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God. 2 Cor 5:20
  • OBEDIENCE: Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. John 14:23
  • RIGHTEOUSNESS: “Has your relationship with God changed the way you live your life?”
  • FRUITYNESS: Galatians 5 outlines a list of characteristics of God that will be forming and growing in you – as you continue to say YES to God

 

Crazy love CONSTRAINS US

The same verse can be translated with the word constrain – so instead of compelling us – For Christ’s love constrains us

Now I’d like to use a food analogy here:

This year I have gone on a gluten free diet because of the allergies I have. I am constrained and restrained from eating products with wheat in them. No white bread, no pasta, no tim tams, no caramllo chocolate… anything with wheat in it is really bad for me and makes me really sick. So I choose to be restrained and constrained in what I eat so that my body is healthy and strong.

If someone came and told me to go and knock myself out and eat toast with hot melted butter and lashings of marmite on it – I would restrain myself. If they waved it under my nose, tempting me with the aroma and delicious smells – I would restrain myself. Because I know the consequences. And I know the benefits of eating a restrained diet.

In the same way we live a restrained life – avoiding the things that are bad for us.

It’s as important to have a “not gonna do” list as it is to have a “to do” one.

Those things might be wrong relationships, lying, selfishness, ungodly ambition.

They might be giving into the anger, gossiping, watching porn, saying no to God when you know God is asking you to say yes.

Part of us might be tempted by those things – but we restrain ourselves because we have a greater value and a greater esteem and a greater love for God.

People again might think you’re crazy.

Why don’t you date that hot guy? So what if he’s not a Christian?

Let’s go out and get drunk on Friday night.

Who cares who I knock down as long as I am the best and get the promotion?

Skip church and work on sunday

Rather than ONLY telling teenagers "Live pure" we should tell them, "Do something great." Vision produces restraint.

  • ‘How far can I go before it’s considered a sin?’ instead of ‘How can I keep myself pure as a temple of the Holy Spirit?’
  • ‘How much do I have to give?’ instead of ‘How much can I give?’
  • ‘How much time should I spend praying and reading my Bible?’ instead of ‘I wish I didn’t have to go to work, so I could sit here and read longer!’

I have one good reason why you should walk away from temptation now. One reason. GOD IS BETTER.

2 Cor 5:14-15 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

 

Compelling comes from being convinced

 

Crazy love COMPLETES US

Most of us here, well esp us chicks, will remember and fairytale wish the famous line from Jerry mcquire, staring tom cruise. No not the “SHOW ME THE MONEY LINE” – but line where he says to renee zelwigger “you complete me.”

Often we can go on an idealist search for mr right or miss right to find that PERSON that completes us, that knows our heart, that hears us, that chooses us, that loves us unconditionally, that makes us whole.

Reality is JESUS is the only one that completes us. Relationships are great and finding the right person to marry and build a life with is awesome.

God’s crazy love for us can heal us and make us whole.

Now I am not saying this is a click your fingers one time encounter – it is progressive. Step by step. Day by day. Healing by healing. Choice by choice.

The great things God will do through you are going to grow in the soil of persistence, prayer, obedience and sacrifice. That means there will be plenty of plowing and pruning. That’s the way living things grow, whether you’re talking about vegetables or vision. The process is a time of strengthening. The process is the place where you lay down your pride and learn to rely totally on God. Most importantly, the process is the way we grow to know God. And that’s really the whole point. Steven Furtick

He is our comfort, hope, joy etc XXXXXXXXXXX

There is an interesting narrative in 1 Samuel 18 that I read recently. And I confess I read it and then asked God “what does this mean? How is this real in my life? Is there another layer to this story.” Because it’s kind of gory.

2 samuel 18 – don’t let something hang from the tree but let it die

2 samuel 18

David’s army marched out of the city to fight Israel, and the battle took place in the forest of Ephraim. 7 There Israel’s troops were routed by David’s men, and the casualties that day were great – twenty thousand men. 8 The battle spread out over the whole countryside, and the forest swallowed up more men that day than the sword.

9 Now Absalom happened to meet David’s men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in mid-air, while the mule he was riding kept on going.

10 When one of the men saw what had happened, he told Joab, ‘I have just seen Absalom hanging in an oak tree.’

11 Joab said to the man who had told him this, ‘What! You saw him? Why didn’t you strike him to the ground right there? Then I would have had to give you ten shekels of silver and a warrior’s belt.’

12 But the man replied, ‘Even if a thousand shekels were weighed out into my hands, I would not lay a hand on the king’s son. In our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, “Protect the young man Absalom for my sake.” 13 And if I had put my life in jeopardy – and nothing is hidden from the king – you would have kept your distance from me.’

14 Joab said, ‘I am not going to wait like this for you.’ So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree. 15 And ten of Joab’s armour-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him.

16 Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and the troops stopped pursuing Israel, for Joab halted them. 17 They took Absalom, threw him into a big pit in the forest and piled up a large heap of rocks over him. Meanwhile, all the Israelites fled to their homes.

Absolm represents undealt with issues and conflict
Unmerited affections
Hanging in the tree branch
How often do we hang something on the cross, temporary, able to take it off…?
How often do we let it dangle there… at arms reach… “surrendered” but still available…? Come on – lets get real!

Kill it.

The love of God can only complete us and get us on that process when we let the love of God heal us and to heal us sometimes its gonna hurt!

When we totally give ourselves, open handed and open hearted to God, He completes us.

When we do those things that cost – like forgiveness, like grace, like love, like kindness, like laying down our rights, like being generous – its letting God form Himself in us.

When we don’t do those things we so want to do – we are killing that thing hanging on the tree instead of temporarily tucking it away out of sight out of mind.

 

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

 

God has begun a good work in your life and He completes you.

In 2 sam 19 we read how david mourns his son and how that affects his follows
Joab went to see david about his actions mourning over unresolved conflict and issues and tells him to act like the king and stand up into victory… for me this story isn’t about a father loosing his son, its about dying to self and about making the CHOICE for God, to choose FAITH and to choose actions of FAITH. To allow God to complete us by laying down those things that hinder us from walking with Him and walking into our destiny. David’s mourning and reluctance to let go could have ripped his nation apart. What you refuse to let God heal and destroy could rip your life apart.

 

Crazy love COMES FROM GOD FIRST

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 john 4:10

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