Sacrificial Love!?


Ascension Church Newsletter piece.

Sacrificial Love is what as followers of Christ we are called to.

We fear, immigrants, who will take our jobs, our resources, our homes. We fear foreigners who do not live like us, who we fear will change our society.  We fear the homeless and those who do not look like us. We want to keep things as they are, to keep hold of what we have. But that is not what we are called upon as followers of Christ to be like. We are to love as Christ loved us. Sacrificially.

He Gave up his life, on the cross for us, so we could be part of Gods New Kingdom. His people have often been immigrants, refuges, and exiles over the years and are still.

Mathew 5 43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbour’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?

God knows that is hard to love those who like you, but to love your enemies! However He gave us His Spirit to help us, to help us love Sacrificially.

Chris

Notes for  Talk for 26th April 2015

Readings

Psalm 103

Phil 2 1-11

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Though he was God,[a]
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b];
he took the humble position of a slave[c]
    and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,[d]
    he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

John 3 1-21

There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again,[a] you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”

Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.[b] Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.[c] So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You[d] must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.

10 Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? 11 I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. 12 But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man[e] has come down from heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.[f]

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[g] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.[h]

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Sacrificial Love

What is Sacrificial Love?

 

Heb 9 26-28 But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age[k] to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.

27 And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, 28 so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people.

 

John 3 16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[g] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

 

I showed how much I loved you

I died for you

He paid our  penalty

 

 

Phil 2 1-11

Though he was God,[a]
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b];
he took the humble position of a slave[c]
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,[d]
    he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

 

God gave up all just for me and you, each of us, He would have done it just for one of us.

That is Sacrificial Love

Giving up everything for someone else.

Not for gain, but for love.

 

 

 

  • What does it mean for us?

So what does this mean for our lives as followers of Christ?

 

Phil 2 1-11

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

 

 

 

Deuteronomy 15 4-11

There should be no poor among you, for the Lord your God will greatly bless you in the land he is giving you as a special possession. You will receive this blessing if you are careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today. The Lord your God will bless you as he has promised. You will lend money to many nations but will never need to borrow. You will rule many nations, but they will not rule over you.

But if there are any poor Israelites in your towns when you arrive in the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tightfisted toward them. Instead, be generous and lend them whatever they need. Do not be mean-spirited and refuse someone a loan because the year for canceling debts is close at hand. If you refuse to make the loan and the needy person cries out to the Lord, you will be considered guilty of sin. 10 Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.11 There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need.

 

 

Mat 5 43-47

Teaching about Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbour’[q] and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies![r] Pray for those who persecute you!45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends,[s] how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 

 

 

Rom 12 9-16

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection,[e] and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.[f] 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

 

How do we show our love for Jesus and those He loves?

 

In Sacrificial Love

 

It is what we are called to as followers of Christ of God.

 

Luke 18 18-30    The Rich man

18 Once a religious leader asked Jesus this question: “Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”

19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “Only God is truly good. 20 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother.’[c]

21 The man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”

22 When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

23 But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was very rich.

24 When Jesus saw this,[d] he said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

26 Those who heard this said, “Then who in the world can be saved?”

27 He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”

28 Peter said, “We’ve left our homes to follow you.”

29 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, 30 will be repaid many times over in this life, and will have eternal life in the world to come.”

 

Its about putting all others first, giving our own wants up for others.

 

  • Its not easy, not natural

 

As I said in the notice sheet

We fear, immigrants, who will take our jobs, our resources, our homes. We fear foreigners who do not live like us, who we fear will change our society.  We fear the homeless and those who do not look like us. We want to keep things as they are, to keep hold of what we have. But that is not what we are called upon as followers of Christ to be like. We are to love as Christ loved us. Sacrificially.

He Gave up his life, on the cross for us, so we could be part of Gods New Kingdom. His people have often been immigrants, refuges, and exiles over the years and are still.

 

Look at the reaction to the migrants in the Mediterranean

We fear they will take our jobs our life style.

Rather than wanting to help and rescue them we turn on them, are we showing love to our neighbour?

 

Sacrificial Love – is not something that comes naturally or easy to us, It is a God thing.

 

Mathew 5 43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbour’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?

 

God knows that is hard to love those who like you, but to love your enemies, those different from us! However He gave us His Spirit to help us, to help us love Sacrificially.

 

We need His help to do it.

That is why we need the Spirit Just as Jesus did on the Cross.

 

 

John 3

Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.[b] Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.[c] So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You[d] must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

 

 

We can put aside our fears, hurts and desires to act like Christ because of the Spirit in us.

We are reborn

 

If we are redeemed – it must show in our lives

In Sacrificial Love for others – Even our Enemies or those not like us.

Think of the story of the Good Samaritan .

Giving up time, resources anything. Not holding on to things which can help others. Not just what we can afford to give but Sacrificially

 

Let us pray

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