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Credit Line with God

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Notes & Transcripts

Sermon on Luke 6.32-36

Title:  Credit Line With God

Textual outline

  1. 3 examples of what is no credit because the sinners do it too.
    1. Love those who love you
    2. Do good to those who do good to you
    3. Lending to those who will do the same
  2. Do the opposite
    1. Love enemies
    2. Do Good to enemies
    3. Lend without expectations
  3. Reward will be sons of the Most High
    1. He is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
  4. To sum it all up.  Be merciful as your Father is merciful.

Sermon Theme:  Give godlike generosity

Goal:  to encourage followers of Christ to give unconditional generosity

Need: Giving as the ‘sinners’ will leave us bankrupt, with no reward.

Sermon outline:

  1. Pre Approved by Mr Mastercard
  2. Christian  pre approval program.
  3. God’s reward plan
  4. Continue to offer God’s reward plan to others.

Congregation,

          Four simple letters.  L O V E. 

          Four simple letters.  Love.  We all know what it means.  Why can’t we get it together to really love.  As human beings we have known that being accomplished in the skill of loving is best for everyone. 

          Whether its wars across the oceans.  Feuds in our families.  Or unresolved problems in our friendships, we humans haven’t figured out unconditional love have we?

          John Claypool in one of his books writes about two brothers.  These two were nearly inseparable.  Growing up, they were close in age.  They were best friends.  They went to the same schools.  They played the same games, they even wore the same clothes.

          As they grew into adulthood their father passed along the family business to the two of them.  They were storekeepers.  All the other shops were envious of the way these two brothers were able to work together and succeed together.

          One day a customer came into the store and bought something for a dollar.  Shows how old the story is, huh.  One of the brothers took the money and set it on the register.  After a he took care of a couple of other things he came back to the register remembering he had left the dollar sitting there. 

          It was no where to be found.

          And then the drama began.  He asked his brother if he had seen the dollar.  The brother said, “no.” 

          A little later… are you sure you didn’t do something with that dollar.  “No, I am sure.  You were the one at the register.  What did you do with it?”

          You could talk to either one about it and they would say,  “that was just the beginning of a whole string of breaches of trust.”

          Conversations couldn’t repair the relationship.  Anger just grew between these now enemies who were partnered together.  The dissolved the partnership.  You could visit their town for 20 years and find two small, struggling competing general stores.

          Instead of love, we so often burden ourselves with believing we have to hold a grudge against some enemy.  Is it enemies in the family?  Where are my ‘enemies?’  Where are your toughest people to love?  What burden are you holding inside yourself against them that stands in the way of LOVE.

        The Bible tells us to erase the debt of hate we hold against others.  We are reminded of how awesome it is to use God’s credit line.  It’s an unconditional credit line of Love. 

          Our passage begins with the command to love your enemies.  And also the golden rule… verse 31.  Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”

          In the following verses at the end of our passage we have this awesome comparisons between two pre approval programs for the credit line of love. 

          The first is Mr. Mastrecard’s pre approval plan for credit.  We know exactly what this sort of pre approval plan is like.  It doesn’t matter who you are or what your tax bracket you fall into, you can get pre approved for some sort of credit.  College students whose net worth is five figures in the negative can get credit.  The condition to this pre approval is that an inability to pay wipe our your balance and they will start adding 30% interest.  Mr. Mastercard’s preapproval plan doesn’t discrminate because they are expecting to make money by doing this.  Mr. Mastercard isn’t just so generous that they want to help everyone out.  They want to make a buck.

          The US’s financial system is in a mess because that is the conditions on credit.  Freddie Mac needs to get his money back from you and then some.  When people default on their mortgages, Freddie Mac doesn’t get his money.  And Freddie Mac goes broke.

          How often don’t we loan out our love in the same way.  I can give love to you as long as I know its going to be a recipricol thing.  That was actually common in Jesus day.  They didn’t think there was anything morally wrong with being kind to someone simply so that they would feel like they had to be even more nice to you.  Good deeds done for others were often done only so that the favor would be repaid with interest.

          Mr. Mastercard’s, Freddie Mac’s way of doing things shouldn’t be the way we show love. 

Verse 32.  32“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.

          Its no credit to you at all in the greater scheme of things if the only ones you dole out wads of love to the people you expect favors from.  It might feel good, but anyone can do that.  Love for something in return. 

          In a town with two struggling general stores, a car drove up to one of them and asked the store owner how long he had owned the place.  Over 20 years.  Good.  You are the guy I need to talk to.  About 20 years ago, I was a good kid.  Never did anything wrong.  But I saw a dollar sitting on your cash register.  I stole it.  I promise to pay it back with what ever interest.

          The store owner couldn’t control his shaking.  He told this visitor he had to tell the story to the owner of the general store across the street.

          As he did to older me stood crying and shaking their heads.  Now they realized the damage of refusing to love each other inspite of their differences.  20 years lost.

          Christ tells his followers to follow Christ’s pre approved credit program. He says, hey my people.  Love your enemies.  Even though you know that they may not ever pay it back with more love.  Do good to those who you would feel the last like doing something good for.  And lend to them without expecting repayment. 

          In this world of dollars and cents this form of credit won’t pay.  Call your mastercard company and tell them what jesus says about lending.  See how long it takes before they laugh at you.

          The Christian program of doling out love is unconditional.  But we already knew that didn’t we? 

If you were totally in tune with this sort of Christian unconditional love what would you expect would change in your world?  Don’t you wonder what sort of burdens would be released from you if you could drop those grudges without expecting anything. 

Do you need your parent who mistreated you to say they are sorry for that?  Do you need that person who wrote that cruel letter or made that mean phone call spoil to apologize before the burden is lifted?  Are you going to give someone else control over your life by waiting for them deserve your love again?

          This is one of those crazy ironies God imbedded in the human mind.  Think about whose burden is it.  One person sees no reason to say sorry.  They just go on living their life like nothing happened.  The other will not forgive until a sorry is offered.  The weight is being carried completely by the person unable to forgive without that apology. 

          Confessing and saying we are sorry is something we ought to be doing as Christians.  Absolutely.  But why weigh yourself down with what has past if someone has not been able to say they are sorry.  You control your love.  Not them.  Let it go and love again.  You will be freed.

          The program of Christ, the pre approval program gives to everyone.  And keeps giving.  And keeps giving.  And keeps giving.

          This credit program has a reward as well.  Not airmiles or Canadian tire money or anything like that.  Verse 35.  See if you like this reward plan.  35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

          Part of that reward might be our own emotional health in not letting other peoples actions control our attitude, our feelings, and our love

          But the best part of this reward system is that as we give out unconditional love, we are aligning ourselves more even more with Christ and with God, the Most High.  We are experiencing our own little piece of heaven in the way we are living.  

          It tells us.  God.  His kindness goes out to those who are ungrateful and even evil.  He is kind.  The greek word here is not referring to salvation.  Its not telling us that God saves even the wicked.  But like it says in Matthew, he sends the rain on the good and evil.  He has pre approved everyone to receive his kindness.  So when we are doing the same we are showing that we are trying more and more to be like Jesus Christ.

          The last verse is one more reminder of what Jesus has already said in a couple of different ways.  Verse 36. 

36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

          Don’t you think it sounds worth it?  Maybe you have heard the preaching from Christ before that you need to love your enemy, but maybe now is time to try it again.  Who is controlling you because you are waiting for them to do something before you can love them again.  Its not worth it.  Its time to forgive and begin loving like Christ does.  Is it with someone here in the church?  Is it among your friends.  Your family.  Its time to move to the next level as a child of God and love.

AMEN?

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