Sunday – March 12, 2017 Genesis 31:17-55 “Between a Rock & Hard Place”

Sunday – March 12, 2017 – Read the Word on Worship

Sunday – March 12, 2017 Genesis 31:1-51 “Between a Rock & Hard Place” from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

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Genesis 31:42
“If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had not been for me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the toil of my hands, so He rendered judgment last night.”

Ethics is the difference between legality and morality. We live in a day when Christians and non-Christians alike think that whatever is legal is legitimate Christian activity. We, like Jacob, have our own pole-peeling and wheeling and dealing, which we think God is obliged to bless. No wonder the world is legalizing homosexual marriage and the right to government paid abortion. To them, legality is morality so if it isn’t illegal, it is moral.

Laban had lived in close association with Jacob for twenty years, and he was convinced of Jacob’s lack of integrity. Laban believed that Jacob stole his goods and that Jacob had underhandedly gotten possession of his flocks. Does this sound like a man who was convinced that Jacob was a godly man? And yet Jacob seems to be convinced of his own integrity. He is certain that God is on his side because of his uprightness. How could Jacob have been so mistaken? I have come to believe that the answer is that Jacob was a legalist. Jacob prided himself on being a man who kept the letter of the law. Never, to his knowledge at least, had he ever broken his word. He had made a deal with Laban, and he had always lived up to it. Oh, he had peeled those poles all right, but that was not a breach of their agreement.

But here is the heart of the error of legalism, for legalism equates morality with legality. It believes that righteousness and the keeping of the law are one and the same thing. A man may have no system of ethics whatever, but so long as he does not break the law, he feels morally pure. He feels confident of the approval and blessing of God. Legalism is sinful because men love to set human standards which, if they are kept, produce a man’s righteousness. Christian liberty views the standard for our thoughts and actions to be our Lord Himself, for it is to His image that we are being conformed (Romans 8:29).

The Bible does draw lines, clear lines at times. There are absolutes, and there are rules. But in addition to these, perhaps I should say above all these, is another standard of conduct which we shall call ethics or convictions. Many Christians seem to have too few of these, and yet this is what sets a true Christian apart in the eyes of the world. How many of us are viewed by the world as Jacob was by Laban? How many of us have convictions that cause us to avoid certain practices, even if they are legal? Christian ethics should be so high that legalistic rules are never necessary, at least for those who are righteous.

Sunday – February 10, 2013

February 10, 2013 – Read the Word on Worship

Friendly Fire from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

Let us be very clear: our love for God is a response to God’s love for us. So when did Christians decide our love would be like tithing? As long as I love 10% of the time, I must be in God’s good graces. We are overwhelmed by God’s infinite grace that does not save us by fractions, but still sadly surprised that God is not satisfied with a mere fraction of ourselves. The command given to Israel is the command given to the Christian: give your entire life to the personal God who first loved us by sending His Son as an offering for our sin.
The sum of what Jesus is saying is our love for God needs to be all of who we are: heart, soul, mind and strength. Not some fraction of ourselves, a tithe of who we are to somehow horde the rest of ourselves to squander as we see fit on ourselves. We sing about how the world will know we are Christians by our love, but love of God is how we are known by God. “But if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.”
Join us this Sunday as we see Jesus give His commentary on the greatest commandments in the Scripture as we see “Friendly Fire” in Mark 12 verses 28 to 37


Word On Worship – February 10, 2013 Download / Print

Mark 12:29-32
Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; 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. The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Let us be very clear: our love for God is a response to God’s love for us. So when did Christians decide our love would be like tithing? Some may reason: As long as I love 10% of the time, I must be in God’s good graces? Yet we are overwhelmed by God’s infinite grace that does not save us by fractions, but we are still sadly surprised that God is not satisfied with a mere fraction of ourselves. The command given to Israel is the command given to every Christian: give your entire life to the personal God who first loved us by sending His Son as an offering for our sin.

The heart is more than just our bodily pumping station. The heart is where our decisions are made, plans are evaluated and the calculations of our lives are weighed in the balance. We may agree with something in our mind and speak about it with our lips, but that is not where the decision is made. It is in the heart, not the mind, where we decide for or against God and expose our true loyalties. The people perceived the scribes to be models of those who loved God, but Jesus examined their hearts to unveil the object of their true love: themselves.

Our soul is the vitality and motivating power of our lives. Together, with the heart, the soul determines how we will conduct ourselves in our daily walk. To love God with all of our soul will focus our energy on pursuing God’s purposes no matter the response from those around us as we are consumed to proclaim the gospel and fight the good fight. The mind is what directs our opinions and judgments. Our love for God must be more than an emotional response, but a demonstration to all that we “know why” instead of trying to impress others with our “know how.” Our strength is all that we possess while we walk this earth. Yes, it is the physical demonstration of love by what we do, but it is also the leverage for the work of love that our possession can do. The widow who gives her last mite provides the best example of this love.

The sum of what Jesus is saying is our love for God needs to be every part of our being: heart, soul, mind and strength. We are not to offer God only a tithe of ourselves we are while we somehow horde and squander the rest on our own shallow purposes. We sing about how the world will know we are Christians by our love, but love of God is how we are known by God. “But if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.” (1 Corinthians 8:3)