October 20, 2014

Read: Luke 10:25-28

In a recent sermon, Charles challenged us to penetrate our culture to meet their spiritual, emotional, and physical needs. In doing so, we will interact with people who think, look, and believe differently.

Anyone can love their families and friends, but how do we love the different? John 13:35 says the world will know we are Christians by our love. Until we love others as we love ourselves and our comfort zones, hearts will never be open to the gospel.

Five years ago, I moved to a gated community. The houses sit on large lots so neighbors are rarely seen. Over the years, I have found myself too comfortable staying in my house, fellowshipping with my "kind," yet there many unbelievers right down the street. Do you think God put me in my new home by accident? And yet, it's been five years with minimal contact.

Christ calls us to a radical love that permeates culture, but how do we love like that? Only by loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind will we be passionate for whom He loves. But that's the spiritual answer. I had to ask myself what practical things I could do to show God's love?

I could invite my neighbors to dinner.

I could stop my daily walk to talk to a neighbor, instead of just waving.

I could drop off small gift bags for Christmas, even to those of a different faith. I could ask the women to an " unthreatening" women's ministry event.

In light of Jesus' command to love God and then others, we must ask ourselves what is getting in the way of our loving Him totally and passionately? What are some practical things we can do to permeate culture with His love?

Pray: 

Adoration: God is holy, mighty, gracious, and merciful. Spend time declaring your love for Him and expressing your thoughts of praise and worship. 

Confession: Ask God to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness. 

Thanksgiving: Express your thankfulness to God for the blessings He has given you. When we consider that we deserve punishment because of our sinfulness, and instead God gives to us His love and mercy, our only response should be one of thankfulness. 

Supplication: Petition God regarding your family and your ministry.  Ask for help and guidance in sharing your Jesus with others and helping others grow in Him.  Offer prayers concerning your activities for this day and any special concerns you may have.  Intercede on behalf of local, national, and world missions.  Pray the Great Commission would be fulfilled and for any special concerns you may have for missions.