Small steps in faith

Sunday, April 13, 2008

"Love Completely"

These are my notes from the sermon that Vern Risner ,pastor of First Baptist Church of Franklin, gave this morning.My friend Aisa has been searching for a home church so I invited her to visit the church where my friend Kyle leads worship. Darrell and I really liked this church the last time we visited in January. The people in the church genuinely make you feel welcome and I always LOVE to hear Kyle play and sing.

They are doing a series called "One Month to Live"

What would you do if you only had one month to live?

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" 1 Cor 1:18

Jesus knew at the end of his life that he had a short time.
One thing he did?
He loved completely.

Not an easy thing to do. Vern compared it to a mountain. When you climb a mountain there is something called "the death zone" which is an obstacle where many climbers die before reaching the top. He gave the story of 2 man was injured and his buddies left him in the area not knowing that it was the death zone. They continued to the top and when they returned.. he had died. The other man was rescued by a group of climbers on their way up. They worked as a team to save the man's life. One man died ..the other lived...the difference...the teamwork of sacrifice for another.

In loving completely..we can meet obstacles

1 The Mountain of Misunderstanding
To overcome this you need

The Rope of Acceptance

"Accept one another, then just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God" Romans 15:7
He used the example of how in marriage men and women are very different. So many times we try to change the other person to meet our view instead of accepting them
Acceptance: Stop trying to change me and start cherishing me

2 The Mountain of "ME FIRST"

Gains Traction with Loving Actions

If each of us would look at what we can do for the other person instead of focusing on what we need , it would be closer to heaven on earth. In order to do this you need:
Consideration (Phil 2:4)
Cooperation (John 13:1)
Commitment (Phil 2:13) "For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him"
He told the story of John Wooden(UCLA basketball coach) and how he has written a love letter to his wife every month on the 21st. For the last 15 yrs he has placed them on her pillow because she died 15 yrs ago. I got teary eyed at that.

3 The Mountain of Mistakes

We need to be tethered by Forgiveness

"Get along with each other, and forgive each other. If someone wrongs you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you. Col 3:13
Now, from a personal note...this is the hardest for me. I'm still working on this so I hope God is patient with me.
He talked about how people who are hurt will isolate themselves to prevent themselves from being hurt again when what they need to do is forgive .
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers>" 1 John 3:16

I also want to say that for a small church they have a huge heart in their actions. They are doing a free soup lunch for the community and they reach out to members who are unable to take care of things such as yardwork.

Kyle..thanks for always making me feel welcome!


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