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God is God, Love is Love

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Does your faith drive you to love?

How many of you know who Lin Manuel Miranda is? So, a couple years ago he won a Tony for his musical Hamilton, which I get to see in 9 days, but who’s counting. When he accepted the award, he read a sonnet he had wrote in lieu of an acceptance speech, in part as a tribute to those who had been murdered by a self loathing, hate-filled man.
When senseless acts of tragedy remind us That nothing here is promised, not one day. This show is proof that history remembers We lived through times when hate and fear seemed stronger; We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside. I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story Now fill the world with music, love and pride.
“When senseless acts of tragedy remind us That nothing here is promised, not one day. This show is proof that history remembers We lived through times when hate and fear seemed stronger; We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside. I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story Now fill the world with music, love and pride.”
Now, we could discuss this guys view of same sex attraction, but that wouldn't wholly be the point. You see, Miranda understands some thing about love as most unbelievers do, that love is an action, that is enduring, and love or hope, are some thing for him to have faith in. Therein lies the difference, we do not hope in these; they are not the sole cause of faith, but rather it is the love and hope of the one true God that drives us to faith, and it is faith that drives us to love. And it is this kind of love is love is love is love that cannot be killed or swept aside.
My wife’s the reason anything gets done She nudges me towards promise by degrees She is a perfect symphony of one Our son is her most beautiful reprise. We chase the melodies that seem to find us Until they’re finished songs and start to play When senseless acts of tragedy remind us That nothing here is promised, not one day. This show is proof that history remembers We lived through times when hate and fear seemed stronger; We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside. I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story Now fill the world with music, love and pride.
Does your faith drive you to love? Does it well in your heart a since of justice that empathizes with others, does cause in you mourning at the sin of your neighbor who you don’t wish to suffer in their sin, does it cause you to rejoice when those who we don’t agree with are rejoicing. Does your faith drive you to love.
Jesus calls us to a life of love, in fact, Jesus points us to the expression of the kingdom of God contained within love....Look at Matthew 12:28-34:
28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.”
· Does your faith drive you to love?

· Jesus is receptive to the questioner

Jesus is receptive to the questioner

o And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”
A new questioner comes, a lawyer in the tradition of the pharisee, and in good faith asks Jesus this question.
A question rooted in understanding, and a thirst application.
The ESV study bible describes this man as a teachable scribe, a theological scholar. Someone who has been rooted in his studies, and has a deep knowledge of the law. He asks a question, not truly of theological accumulation, but of Biblical application.
The question had been debated for years. What is the most important commandment, how then do we live our lives with this accumulated law of 100s of rules and commentaries from the religious rabbinical traditions.
Before we move on to the answer I want you to understand that questioning is not denying, but rather to enhance our growth, we all must have....
A question rooted in understanding, and a thirst for application.
The questioner knew the text, heard the rabbis. but now wanted to learn at the teaching of this great teacher who might guide him in an answer that drove him to application for his life.
Lets look at Jesus’ answer.....

Know God

· Know God
29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Jesus recites Duet. 6:4, also know as the Shema meaning “to hear”, which is the central confession Israels monotheistic (one god) faith.
In doing so, he sets up a basis for all faith in the theological understanding. So, The Beetles were wrong, all you need is not love…you need a tad bit more.
Jesus calls us to a depth of theological understanding.
To love is divine, but to understand divinity, is to understand why we love. The greatest commandment must have at it’s preamble, at a very base level, some knowledge of God. And this will flow into the mind of love to which we are exhorted in the following passage…v30

Love God

30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
Theological understanding drives us to a life of holistic love
Love the Lord your God….
….with all your heart….
…with all your soul…
§ …with all your soul…
…with all your mind….
…with all your might…
There is NO aspect of our loves that is not touched by the love BY God, nor should be abandoned in our love OF God
Heart - inner life
Soul- psyche emotions, desires
Mind - intelligence
Strength - all your ability, all your power
Love that they add the strength, as if not to leavce any part of us uninfluenced by the love of God
All of this MUST be redeemed and realigned for God’s glory. None of this, however happens in isolation - holistically, we love God, but loving God extends to the second command.
Because, though Theological understanding drives us to holisitic love of God, then loving our results in love of other.

Love People

31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Loving our God results in loving people, not despite your difference but because of your major similarities.
Trust, hope, and the like, though essential features of a right heart towards God, are called into action only by personal necessity, and so are selfish affections; that is to say, they have respect to our own well-being.
But love is an all-inclusive affection, embracing not only every other affection proper to its object, but all that is proper to be done to its object; for as love spontaneously seeks to please its object, so, in the case of men to God, it is the native well spring of a voluntary obedience.
Trust, hope, and the like, though essential features of a right state of heart towards God, are called into action only by personal necessity, and so are—in a good sense, it is true, but still are properly—selfish affections; that is to say, they have respect to our own well-being. But love is an all-inclusive affection, embracing not only every other affection proper to its object, but all that is proper to be done to its object; for as love spontaneously seeks to please its object, so, in the case of men to God, it is the native well spring of a voluntary obedience. It is, besides, the most personal of all affections. One may fear an event, one may hope for an event, one may rejoice in an event; but one can love only a Person. It is the tenderest, the most unselfish, the most divine of all affections. Such, then, is the affection in which the essence of the divine law is declared to consist.
It is, besides, the most personal of all affections. One may fear an event, one may hope for an event, one may rejoice in an event; but one can love only a Person. It is the tenderest, the most unselfish, the most divine of all affections. Such, then, is the affection in which the essence of the divine law is declared to consist.
So, how then can you unselfishly love? Do you? Our love for people must extend to love of people who are not like us, because ultimately people are more like us than we are like God.

Reflect the Kingdom

32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Does your faith drive you to love?

“When we speak of loving those who oppose us we refer to neither eros nor philia; we speak of a love which is expressed in the Greek word agape. Agape means nothing sentimental or basically affectionate; it means understating redeeming good will for all men, an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. It is the love of God working in the lives of men. When we love on the agape level we love men not because we like them, not because their attitudes and ways appeal to us, but because God loves them. Here we rise to the position of living the person who does the evil deed while hating the deed he does.
….It is this deep faith in the future that causes the nonviolent register to accept suffering without retaliation. He knows that in his struggle for justice he has cosmic companionship. This belief that God is on the side of truth and justice comes down to us from the long tradition of our Christian faith. There is something at the very center of our faith which reminds us that Good Friday may reign for a day, but ultimately it must give way to the triumphant beat of the Easter drums. Evil may so shape events that Caesar will occupy a palace and Christ a cross, but one day that same Christ will rise up and split history into A.D. and B.C., so that even the life of Caesar must be dated by his name. “
When we choose to love, we choose to celebrate that gospel, which says that though we were unlovable, filled with hatred, God chose to love. .
Who do you choose not to love, to other, to ostracize, to meme, to mock, to push to the fringe behind a wall to protect your exceptionalism.
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