Coney Hill Baptist Church

Demonstrating God’s Love Together

Demonstrating God’s Love Together

2 Kings 4:1-7

1 The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves."

 2 Elisha replied to her, "How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?"
      "Your servant has nothing there at all," she said, "except a little oil."

 3 Elisha said, "Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don't ask for just a few. 4 Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side."

 5 She left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. 6 When all the jars were full, she said to her son, "Bring me another one."
      But he replied, "There is not a jar left." Then the oil stopped flowing.

 7 She went and told the man of God, and he said, "Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left."

 

Ruth 1:14-17

Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her.

 15 "Look," said Naomi, "your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her."

 16 But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."

 

John 13:1-5 & 12-15

 1It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

 2The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. …

 12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. 13"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

 

Intro:

A personal reflection over 2 weeks, before I leave, on our vision … something others will be addressing over the coming months.      

The heart of our mission statement is in the first 6 words.  More than that I would say the heart of the bible, the core of the gospel, the essence of God’s revelation of himself to us, is wrapped up in those words too. 

God doesn’t simply share his word with us to let us in on his plan and his purposes, though he certainly does do that.  He wants to reveal Himself. 

And he doesn’t just want to tell us what he’s like, but to show us, to model his nature for us, to live it out among us, to demonstrate. (Like the most popularr stands at the Ideal home exhibition.).

And he doesn’t principally want us to appreciate Him on our own, in individual isolation, but together, in community. His story is all about how he expresses Himself within and for a group of people through which he might be further expressed.

The 3 stories we shared together are all well-known good examples of that, we could have chosen more, from every era and section of scripture. 

 

Elisha - Love in practice (active), Love in person (specific), Love spilling over (generous)

Repaying a debt of service (v.1)

An open ended offer of help (v.2)

Preparing for blessing (v.3)

A witness in the community (v.3)

 

Ruth – Love that holds, Love that resists easy choices, Love that makes things new, Love that lasts

A gripping determination (v.14)

A single minded commitment (v.15)

A new identity in relationship (v.16)

A lifelong devotion (v.17)

 

Jesus – Love that is given, Love that surprises, Love that challenges.

A parting gift (v.1)

A new depth (v.1)

The power of service (v.3-5)

An example to follow (v. 13-15)

 

Conc.

If we know that God is love, that he loves us, and if we understand the true power and real extent of that love.  Then we will be different. Our life together will be different, out impact on those around us will be different. 

Our faith will not be about belief systems or religious activity but real encounter that’s leads to a lifestyle of love that radiates the reality of God all around us.