Tag: Love

(re)Discovering Good News for the City; Matthew 5:38-48 – Love Without Limits – Rev. Aaron Anderson February 23, 2014

(re)Discovering Good News for the City; Matthew 5:38-48 – Love Without Limits – Rev. Aaron Anderson February 23, 2014

 

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic,[h] let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Love Your Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you,Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers,[i] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

See full chapter – Matthew 5.

(re)Discovering Good News for the City; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 – God Gives the Growth – Rev. Aaron Anderson February 16, 2014

(re)Discovering Good News for the City; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 – God Gives the Growth – Rev. Aaron Anderson February 16, 2014

>>Note: Audio starts at 4:25

 

1 Corinthians 3

But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?

5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

[Full chapter text]

Just Love Her

Just Love Her

We were on the rocks. There wasn’t any way to sugar coat it. The past two years had been filled with relentless change and hastily made decisions. Resentment had accumulated.

chair-lift

As the gondola lifted my brother and I up the side of the ski slope, I expressed my frustration. “Marriage is hard,” I said in the understatement of a century. “Sometimes I struggle to even like her!” My brother, four years my senior, was supposed to be my guide. I wanted him to give me a pep talk, share some pearl of wisdom. Mostly I wanted him to sympathize. I wanted him to tell me that I wasn’t being a baby about it and that yes, women are infuriating. But he just shook his head. “You just got to love her.” That’s it? Just buck up and “love her”? I couldn’t help thinking, “Really bro? Man, you are a regular Dr. Phil. I feel so empowered.”

But the truth of my brother’s advice was also apparent. I could blame and excuse myself to oblivion, or more likely heartache and divorce. Loving my wife, that was the other option. I knew my brother was right, but following his advice was the real challenge.

How do we learn to love? And what motivates us to do it? If you’re fortunate enough to have grown up in a family that modeled love, you’re probably fortunate enough to have some basic instincts regarding “doing” love. But amidst difficult circumstances, good instincts are unlikely to sustain much of anything. Just ask Peter, one of those lucky ones who was “with him,” yet hastily denied any such thing when the going got tough.

Jesus asked Peter “Do you love me?” three times over, not because He was hard of hearing, but because He wanted Peter to understand the depth of His own love for him. He had spent three days in the grave to affirm that truth. Love incarnate, that was Jesus’ mission on earth. Here was someone who stopped to see the needs of others, listened to their complaints and desperate pleas, but was never afraid to speak the truth. And then Jesus acted. Not as those around him expected, but doing the will of His Father and trusting in His goodness, even when sent to die! Love did conquer death and likewise finds a thousand little resurrections when we love our spouses.

It’s hard to “just love her,” but there’s no other way. Going to the Cross was a hard thing too, but it was the only way to redemption. The path of love is straight and narrow, and it leads through death into life.

To learn more about what it means to love, please join us every Sunday morning at 9:30 am for a Sunday discipleship class called ‘Love Walked Among Us’.

11 Gospel-Centered Ways to Love Your City

11 Gospel-Centered Ways to Love Your City

11 Gospel-Centered Ways to Love Your City

Tim Gaydos » Mission Preaching Music Prayer Art Church Leadership Evangelism Community

 

Jesus calls us to “go and make disciples” and to love our city so that we might clearly communicate the gospel and see more people come to know him. But what does this look like practically? What does it mean to love our city? Here are 11 practical, gospel-centered ways you can love your city.

 

1. Reach out to “the least of these” in your city.

Who are the downtrodden, forgotten, or underserved people in your city? Start a mercy ministry to reach out to these groups. Create a transition plan for homeless people from shelters into community. Jesus tells us that whatever we do for the least of these, we do for him.

 

2. Get involved civically.

Set up a meeting with your mayor or city council members and find out specifically what your city needs. Then rally your church or Community Group to help meet those needs. Start attending your neighborhood association meetings and volunteering your time to make your city better.

 

3. Throw parties and invite your neighbors.

This could be anything from a get-together in your apartment to a full-scale neighborhood block party. The transient nature of many cities can lead to neighbors barely knowing one another. Sometimes all it takes is to initiate by invitation!

 

4. Take care of your city’s environment.

Pick a block or neighborhood and clean it up! Own it and take care of it. Organize a Green & Clean event to rally your church and keep your city sparkling.

 

5. Stay put.

Most cities have a sort of “revolving door” as people move in and out. This is one reason why in places like Seattle most people put little effort into trying to get to know their neighbors. So dig in, stay put, and make an effort to develop your relationships.

 

6. Give a gift of artistry.

Get your artists together and create a mural that blesses the city. Open your building to your city’s artwalk.

 

7. Be a positive presence, not a negative one.

Create a city or neighborhood blog that tells stories of hope and progress in your city. Focus on what’s working instead of complaining about what’s not working. Be a part of finding solutions to the problems your city faces.

 

8. Participate in and help plan and execute your city’s events and festivals.

Seriously, it’s ok to have fun. Enjoying your city and investing in its happiness is a great way to show you love it.

 

9. Start ministries that address your city’s specific felt or unseen needs.

Rescue girls out of slavery in sex trafficking. Connect your business people with a business ministry that helps them connect and share life together in a way they may not otherwise have the opportunity to.

 

10. Leaders are readers.

Get a newspaper subscription so that you can keep up with current events. Read up on your city’s history to understand how it started and what historical and cultural forces shaped it into the city it is today. Knowing your city’s past enables you to speak boldly to its context and mindset, because your city’s history shapes its present more than you can possibly imagine.

 

11. Pray for your city.

We can often forget that God really does listen to our prayers, and that he wants to hear from us. Not only does he hear us, but he acts. Pray that God would change your city. Pray that he would save its citizens. Pray that he would give wisdom to its leaders. Remember that your city’s well-being is your well-being.

 

 

This post originally appeared on the Mars Hill Church Downtown Seattle site.

The Struggle for Love

The Struggle for Love

A sermon from Tim Keller on Genesis 29:15-35 definitely worth a listen. From Keller’s site: “In dealing with inner emptiness we often hope for “one true love.” Jacob and Leah have that hope after the failure of their lives. When their dreams are achieved, their hopes are dashed. Leah eventually achieves inner peace by placing her hope in God, who alone can deliver.”

Click here to listen to the sermon.