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Jonathan - love and division

A Cloud of Witnesses  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts
1 Samuel 18:1–5 ESV
1 As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. 3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. 5 And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.

This past week has been a whirlwind for me. Lance and I were blissfully cut off from the news cycle last weekend as we went to the Men’s conference, so we had a whiff that something had happened by a side comment from the speaker but other than that I did not know anything about Charlottesville, or any of the other protests that happened last weekend. Then came Monday morning...
On Monday morning as I tuned into the news the ongoing moral decay of our country was on full display. And I have to say the fall out since has not been any better.
I was not here last Sunday, so please forgive me if anything I’m sharing was put to you last week. I’m not trying to vent my anger, no, I’m trying to wake us all up…yes, all of us, because we’re asleep.
We’re asleep if we’re sitting here this morning thinking that nothing is wrong. We’re asleep if we think we’re okay because its on the other side of the country. We’re asleep if we think this will all blow over. It’s wrong, it’s in our back yard, and it won’t blow over before it has blown us down - unless,
unless
unless we are willing to face it.
Acknowledge it for what it is.
Overcome it with the truth of the Gospel.

Lies we believe

There are two key lies that we believe today and that our culture has some how convinced us are true.

Lie # 1: If you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them.

Have you ever spoken to anyone other than yourself?
Proverbs 27:17 ESV
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Granted, its done with a great deal of grating. It’s not necessarily a pleasant noise when we’re in disagreement, but that doesn’t mean hatred or fear.
We need to grind it out.

Lie #2: to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do.

Do you even have a family? a friend? a parent? a child? a co-worker?
John 15:13 ESV
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Matthew 22:37 ESV
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Luke 10:27 ESV
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
Mattew 22:37
Matthew 22:39 ESV
And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Then inquierer tries to justify himself by asking “who is my neighbor.” The parable that Jesus tells says quite a bit, it’s the parable of the good Samaritan.
Now if you know the story you should know that the Samaritans were a hated people group among the Israelites. They felt justified in their hatred. ButJesus turns that hatred on its ear in the parable.
Luke 10:30–37 ESV
30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
Luke 10:30-
You see it was a person of the most hated group that becomes the hero in the parable.

Culture

When I got home and I saw the hatred that was spewing from people in the news casts. It seemed that many people were using the facetious advise of one of my professors, “Weak point, talk louder!” It seemed any of the television dialogues turned into shouting matches even among the professionals.
No one was listening to one another, everyone was trying to outshout the other. This is what is happening at demonstrations across our country. We’re not seeking to learn about other cultures.
We are labeling,
chastise, cower and run in fear. That is the exact opposite of love.
1 John 4:
1 John 4:18 ESV
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
As I read blogs, news articles, editorials, and listened to the many talking heads on the radio and television this past week - there were certain truths that rang really true for me.
A friend of mine when I was in Chattanooga put it so well during an interview this past week:
We have seen an increase in individualism. The more focused we become on ourselves the less able we are to participate in community. We withdraw from one another and as we withdraw we tend to withdraw into groups of people that think the way we think. So it adds to the polarization of culture so if you disagree with my ideas not only are you disagreeing with me, but you’re disagreeing with my identity and who I am as a human being. So we’ve gotten to a place where we can’t talk to one another. We can’t have helpful meaningful discussions.
Hebrews 10:24–25 NIV
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
As Christians we need to live in community. We have disagreements, differing opinions, differing skills, different perspectives. But we’ve got to take the time to listen to one another rather than shouting one another down.
This is what I hate about the culture of social media. It gives people a platform to make statements from a room where they don’t need to listen to anyone but themselves.
We, as Christians are called to love one another. Jesus said they will know we’re Christians by our love.
Paul wrote to the church at Corinth:
2 Corinthians 5:18–21 ESV
18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Cor 5:16-
2 Corinthians 5:16–21 ESV
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Cor 18-21
So what as a church can we do?
Intentionally seek out people that are not like you.
Listen first. Listening begets being heard.
When you speak, speak in love.
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