Pastor reminded us of the sacrifice of so many for the freedoms we enjoy. Then he completed his Relationslips Sermon series.
Pastor summarized the earlier lessons noting that all earthly relationships are impacted by the status of our relationship with God. Having dealt with obstacles and elements necessary for healthy relationships he asked, “Are we ready and able to receive love from others?”
When we open ourselves to love, we also open ourselves to pain. The young may have more recent experiences but those who have lived many years have a long history of relationships from our experiences. When some experience pain, Including injuries in church groups. they close themselves off or place limits on their relationships hoping to avoid new pain. Pain can cause us to be cynical.
Our ability to receive love is influenced by our past and present relationships. Do we allow our past to control us? Healthy relationships allow us to recognize an unlimited, or at least growing and expanding, capacity to love and be loved.
John 13:3-9 tells about Jesus, the anticipated King, stooping as a servant to wash the feet of the disciples. This was unexpected, and the Apostle Peter initially said “no.” But Jesus noted that accepting His love and service is a sign of belonging. This is often how we love – through service.
Pain is obstacle that keeps us from receiving love. These obstacles include guilt, anger, pain, fear and pride. We may have cause to feel unworthy. But Jesus took the pain, guilt and shame of all men. We must remove the obstacles as explained in the earlier sermon messages (confession, forgiveness, generosity and thankfulness). Sometimes we must learn to accept professional help.
We must remember the elements of love as set forth in “the love chapter”, 1 Corinthians 13:1-7. Ultimately, we must take the burden of guilt and pain to the place where they were piled on one person. We must take them to Jesus and leave them at the cross.
I found this song for today's messageVerses for Today
1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (NIV)
13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Lord - Only with Your help can I truly love others and accept love. Please guide me and help me.