Sermon: In the Love of the Lord
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16 and Luke 14:1, 7-14
“Let mutual love continue.” – Hebrews 13:1
Things I’d like to remember from today’s message:
Monday, September 2, Hebrews 12:28-13:3
Can serving others be worship? Hebrews 12 and 13 answer YES! As people of God’s unshakeable Kingdom (12:28) we worship God with reverence and awe. When we worship in this way, we love one another, and we serve one another. Hebrews 12:29 refers to a consuming fire which leads to our mutual love. When we live in the love of our Lord we worship by giving love and we are overwhelmed by God’s love in our lives. When have you been overwhelmed by God’s love in your life? When have you witnessed the outpouring of God’s love?
- Prayer: Unshakeable God, may your love overwhelm me today so I can pour out that love on others. Amen.
Activity: How often are your actions motivated by love? Consider your conversations and your choices this week. When are you being motivated by God’s love or by your love for others? Is cooking dinner an act of love, talking with a coworker, visiting a family member an outpouring of God’s love in your life?
Tuesday, September 3, Genesis 18:1-15
Hebrews 13:2 tells us that some have entertained angels when they showed hospitality to strangers. This can be read as a reference to Abraham and Sarah at the Oaks of Mamre welcoming strangers. They offered an abundance of welcome. Abraham and Sarah found that God’s presence was with them in this act of hospitality. When have you encountered God in serving others and extending love and welcome? How can you be intentional about recognizing God as you welcome others?
- Prayer: Welcoming God, help me to spend the day in your presence and welcome others like Abraham and Sarah. Amen.
Activity: Consider being a Sunday Morning Greeter, joining our walk-in ministry, volunteering at the Lamb Center, or volunteering for our Hypothermia Shelter Week this Winter. Read Genesis 18:1-15 before you volunteer and take note of how you can have a welcoming spirit in your service.
Wednesday, September 4, Romans 12:9-21
Reread verse 10 and focus on “mutual affection” and “outdoing.” What does it look like to “outdo one another?” Yesterday’s GPS with Abraham and Sarah was a model of outdoing one another and mutual love. Romans 12 titled “Marks of the True Christian,” teaches us how to live our life in God’s love. When we live in God’s love we continually pour God’s love towards others. Pick one verse from this passage and focus on living this way today.
- Prayer: Great God of LOVE. Thank you for loving me. Teach me to love others and truly be a follower of Christ. Amen.
Activity: Make a list of the command words in this Scripture – “be genuine, hate evil, serve the Lord, rejoice in hope.” Which commands are easy for you and which are difficult? Pick one to focus on, not just for a day but a full week. Take each week and try to show the “Marks of a True Christian.”
Thursday, September 5, Jeremiah 2:9-13, Jeremiah 7:5-7
God is unhappy with how Israel is living. God is heartbroken that the Israelites have chosen their selfish desires over his commands to care for others. The prophet Jeremiah is reminding the Israelites in chapter 2 that God is the fountain of living water – but the way they are living it’s like they are collecting the living water of God with broken jars. They can’t continue to live in God’s love. Jeremiah 7 is a reminder of how we are called to live in God’s love. How are you showing God’s justice and mercy today?
- Prayer: God of justice and mercy, fill my life with your living water so I can continue to show your love to others.
Activity: Spend some time in quiet reflection today and meditate on these images: Imagine a fountain flowing with fresh water. The water looks so fresh you are eager for a drink. When you drink from this fountain you realize you have been filled with something more than water; “living water.” You have been filled with God’s love. You are amazed that when you are filled with God’s love you are moved to share God’s love with others. Wonder about where you can share God’s love today. Today continue to imagine yourself filled with living water. How does this change your interactions and relationships?
Friday, September 6, Proverbs 25:6-7, Luke 14:1, 7-14
Jesus quotes from Proverbs as he gathers around the dinner table on the Sabbath. Jesus is sharing a meal with church leaders, the Pharisees, and he doesn’t want them to forget that humility and hospitality are markers of righteous living. When we live in God’s love we are called to extend humility and hospitality. How do you show a humble spirit? Look for opportunities during this week to put others before yourself.
- Prayer: God, I come before you today with humility. Show me ways I can put others before myself today. Amen.
Activity: Be intentional about letting others go ahead of you today. While you’re driving in traffic let someone in, let a person go before you in line for lunch or at the grocery store. In every interaction today work towards humility in your relationships. How does this alter your perspective? Is this easy or difficult? Where did you struggle the most?
Saturday, September 7, Psalm 112
Psalm 112 is titled “Blessings of the Righteous.” In some ways it reads as a litany of all the things we should do to be righteous people; gracious, merciful, show justice, give to the poor. When we live in this way we are delighting in God’s commandments and following God’s call for right living with God and one another. How can you live into this Psalm and be who God calls you to be?
- Prayer: My God, I desire to show justice, compassion and mercy in all I do. Help me to live as you intend today.
Activity: Reread Psalm 112:1. Write it on a post-it or piece of paper. As we enter our next sermon series on Reckless Love work towards delighting in God’s commandment to love. Pray this Psalm during the next six weeks and ask for God to tune your heart to love like God loves.