Midweek Lent III Treasuring God’s Gifts is Helping other s See God’s Blessings

Treasuring God’s GiftsMy Church's Building - our goal - to see it restored and filled with people who find healing in Christ Jesus, while helping others heal

Means We Help Others See God’s Blessings

Exodus 20:15, Eph. 2:10, Luke 10:25-28

† IHS †

As we experience the grace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, may we grow in appreciating how He has gifted us all, and grow in stewardship of all of His blessings!

 

The Expert’s question

 

I would have loved, in preparing for this sermon, to walk around a bunch of churches on a Sunday, with a television camera and ask people the question the lawyer poses to Jesus.

Sort of like the street interviews, Jay Leno does.  He goes onto the street and he asks people what seems to be the simplest of questions, and their answers are… well there is a reason that they end up on late night television.  Thinking about last week’s message about not damaging people’s reputations, and about putting the best construction on everything, let’s just say they weren’t ready to be on camera with a legend. They were so overwhelmed, that they did not think clearly.

The young expert in religious law asks Jesus a simple question, “what must I do to inherit enteral life.”  Curious to know what so many would say these days, simply because people aren’t all that sure.

Jesus puts the question back to him, and the young man answers very wisely.

Love God completely, love my neighbor the same way I love myself.

Not rocket science, this young man gets the answer right.  He sums up the entire decalog, the 10 commandments, very simply.

Love God completely, love my neighbor the same way I love myself.

Give the man credit, he knows what it takes, but the very next phrase he will ask what this love looks like, when he asks,

Who is neighbor?  And what does this love look like?

In these days of lent, as we go backwards through the ten commandments, we see the same commands, the same structure.  We are looking at it differently, in view of the very first words,  I am your God, who rescued you…. Therefore… from your neighbor,  tonight’s phrase,

You shall not steal!

Do this, Jesus says, and you shall live!

We might think it’s easy, but is it?

What it means to “not steal” in Luther’s view

Luther didn’t think so, for stealing can be done both actively, and passively. Here how he explained it:

We must fear and love God, so that we will neither take our neighbor’s money or property, nor acquire it by fraud or by selling him poorly made products, but will help him improve and protect his property and career.

Wait this makes it sound like we are supposed to be our brother’s, (or sister’s) keeper. The truth of the matter is, we aren’t and yet we are.

If we define being our brother or sister’s keeper as we have the authority to boss them around, to condemn their works, to rule over them with an iron fist, we do not.  If we think that being their keeper means we get some material benefit from them, no, we do not.

Being our brother’s keeper means we have responsibility, responsibility to help them, even as we would need help.  Helping them to know God’s love, helping them to see what God has blessed them with, and helping them to enjoy it, even at our own cost. Helping them to see that God is the source of every blessing they have, material, physical, spiritual.

Helping them not waste what God has blessed them with, when we are able.

How it reveals our trust in God

 

We continue to see that this life that God has designed, that He has called us to live, that He has described in the Ten Commandments, is one that is impossible on our own.  Without God, we revert back into self-preservation, and eventually into self-centeredness.

It takes faith, confidence in the very wisdom of God, and in His love for all of us, to find the love we need to share with others.  To realize that God’s plan, that how he provides for each and every one of us.

To trust in His love, in His wisdom.

That kind of trust is a challenge!  We have realize it was the same wisdom that drove Christ to the cross, That He loved us, more than He loved His own life. That is why we trust!

Jesus, the Lord who saw us tossing away our greatest blessing, and did what it took to help us value it, to help us keep it.

The blessing of being the Father’s great masterpiece.  He not only kept us from letting something go to waste, He rescued God’s great work…saving what the Father cherishes.

Us.  The people of God, His very children.

Nothing can steal us from God, because of Jesus.  Nothing can separate us from Him, because of Jesus.  Because of His love for the Father, because of His love for us.  Jesus showed that love to the Father, while showing it to us.  Both summaries of the law, fulfilled.

The more we see this, the more we understanding the depth of His love, the more we can’t stand to see others waste the blessings God has given to them. Whether or not they realize that God has given them this blessing, whether they even realize that God exists.
That’s the nature of God’s love, the deeper we explore it, the more we are immersed in it, that we appreciate and are in awe of all He does.

The more we want others to see all the blessings He pours out on them, and thereby see the depth of His love even more clearly.

In seeing it, they know the peace we’ve come to know, the peace that living in God’s peace brings.  AMEN?

 

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on March 19, 2014, in Sermons and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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