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October 6, 2023 40 mins

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https://www.anushjohn.com/post/the-person-matters
Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, October 2023

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Good morning.
Yesterday we looked at theoverall goal, the mandate and
how to get there.
Today we will look at theperson, at the missionary itself
.
In an economy that's driven bycapitalism, the single biggest
factor is money, right?

(00:23):
So if in the West, whereeverything is driven by
capitalism, the bottom line ismoney and everything else is
built on top of that, so if youwork at a place and you work
there for 30 years and in your31st year you are not producing
as much as they would like youto produce, they may let you go

(00:44):
because the basis is money.
This is completely opposite towhat the Bible is or the
Christian faith is Christianministry.
Money is necessary, efforts arenecessary, work, ethic are all
necessary, but the singlebiggest factor, that is the
basis of everything that is acenter stage, is the person

(01:06):
itself.
This morning, in a sermonentitled the Person Matters, we
will look at the issues ofcompetency and authenticity in
ministry.
Now there are two sides to thesermon, so there are two parts
to the sermon.
In the first part we will lookat competency and we will look
at personal matters, and in thesecond part we will look at

(01:27):
authenticity, and I want to talkabout three different aspects
of a person, and the first oneis personal self-development.
Who are we as persons?
We all play different roles.
So at one time we are a child,we are a parent, we are a
sibling, we are a colleague, weare a friend, we are a church

(01:50):
member, we are a missionary, weare a neighbor, we are a leader,
we are a follower all of thatat one time.
And each one of those rolestake time and effort, and not
every role needs equal amountsof time, but every role needs
appropriate amounts of time tofunction.

(02:11):
But some roles can take aninordinate amount of our
resources, such that other rolesare suppressed.
So, for example, in theministry, the ministry can take
your role as a minister can takeso much time and effort and
resources that the other rolesthat you play can be suppressed.

(02:35):
We need to have some boundarieswith our roles.
We need to have boundaries withevery role we play so that we
can play every roleappropriately.
In the US, because of the focuson the individuality of a person
, if somebody, if a pastor, tolda church member saying, oh, I

(02:58):
would love for you to come thisevening to go visit the hospital
and pray for some of ourbelievers who are in the
hospital.
And if that person says, oh,actually I have to take my child
to basketball practice, thatwould be seen as an appropriate
response because they are caringfor themselves.

(03:20):
Now I'm not saying that's rightor wrong, I'm just showing one
side of the story.
Now, if that same thing weredone, let's say, for example, in
India, if a person gave theexcuse, oh, I want to take my
son for basketball practice, theexpectation would be I know
your son has basketball practice, but you need to sacrifice that

(03:43):
and come into the ministry.
Now, I'm not saying that isright or wrong, I'm just showing
you the other side of the story.
Now.
Both of them are differentextremes, where we let the
ministry overtake the role of aparent.
On the other side, we take therole of the parent, overtake the
role of the ministry, and so weask which is the right approach

(04:04):
?
Let's look at what Jesus did.
Turn your Bibles to Mark,chapter 6.
Mark, chapter 6 and verses 30to 34.
Mark, chapter 6, 30 to 34.
Let me read it for us.

(04:24):
The apostles returned to Jesusand told them all that they had
done and taught.
And he said to them come awayby yourselves to a desolate
place and rest a while, for manywere coming and going and they
had no leisure, even to eat, andthey went away in a boat to a
desolate place by themselves.
So far, so good.
Jesus is drawing boundaries andthey are going to take a rest

(04:49):
Verse 33.
Now many saw them going andrecognize them and they ran
there on foot from all the townsand got there ahead of them.
When he went to shore, he saw agreat crowd and he had
compassion on them because theywere like sheep without a
shepherd, and he began to teachthem many things.
So Jesus drew a boundary and hewanted to get rest and, as we

(05:12):
see, that didn't happen.
So there is rest and personalroles on one side, and then
there is the urgency of theministry and compassion for
people on the other side.
And how do we bridge this?
We need to find a balance right.

(05:34):
I think the way to bridge thisis by drawing boundaries, but
not being rigid with it,allowing for changes to happen
based on the circumstances.
But we should not drawboundaries.
We have got to draw boundarieswith each of our roles so that

(05:57):
we can have some semblance ofsanity, so that we can perform
those roles, but at the sametime, we can't be rigid with it
to the point that we say I'vegot to go for basketball
practice and I cannot come forthe ministry.
So from this passage it lookslike Jesus didn't rest.

(06:17):
But actually there are fivetimes that Jesus withdrew from
Jewish territory into Gentileterritory.
We know that Jesus came for theJews, but they rejected him.
But there were five times, andthis is one of them.
So after this incident where hefed 5,000, they tried to make
him king and Jesus withdrew fromJewish territory to Gentile

(06:38):
territory.
The second time it happened waswhen he healed the daughter of
the Syrophoenician woman.
The third time it happened, hefed 4,000 people.
The fourth time it happened, hechided the disciples for their
dullness and on the way across,across the northern border of
the Sea of Galilee, he healed ablind man.

(07:00):
The fifth time it happenedwhere Jesus withdrew was towards
the end of his ministry, whenhe came down to the southern
part, to the side of Bethany,where he raised Lazarus from the
dead.
And each of these withdrawalswas for several months at a time
.
It was not just a short break,it was a major withdrawal, and

(07:21):
the reason for that?
There were a couple of reasons.
One was because he was tryingto avoid Herod Antipas, who was
trying to get him.
Another reason was because hewas trying to avoid political
interest groups.
For example, after the feedingof the 5,000, they wanted to
make him king and he didn't wantany of that, so he withdrew.
But one of the other majorreasons why he withdrew was for

(07:45):
rest and to teach the disciples.
So Jesus did draw boundariesand Jesus did use those
boundaries, but at the same timehe was not rigid in the way
that he drew the boundaries.
So we have to pay attention andmake time for each of the roles
that we play, and each of ushave different roles and each of

(08:08):
these roles need differentamounts of time.
So as adults, we don't need tospend that much time being a
child.
We are children, but we don'tspend that much time as children
, like we do parenting.
So in different seasons of ourlives we are Parenting takes a
huge chunk of our time, and thenwe come to another season where

(08:29):
something else takes a hugechunk of our time.
As long as we are aware of thedifferent roles we play and the
different boundaries that weneed to draw and have time that
is proportional for each season.
Obviously it depends on theculture.
So when we were in India, ifyou drew boundaries in the

(08:49):
ministry and somebody wanted tosee you and you had any
boundaries, that would not gowell.
It didn't work.
Even in churches, even inIndian churches in the US, it
doesn't work.
The boundaries don't workbecause people don't accept
those boundaries culturally.
So whatever works in yourculture, we have to find a way

(09:10):
to make it work.
The second aspect is personalspiritual development, personal
spiritual development.
In personal spiritualdevelopment, time is the biggest
factor.
It's not like we don't want togrow spiritually, but time is
the biggest factor.
And personal spiritual time isdifferent than ministry time.

(09:35):
Sometimes we can in thebusiness of ministry, we can
pass off ministry time, as theLord was speaking to me during
that time, and that's probablytrue.
But we have to in our mindshave a separation between the
two.
Come back to Mark, chapter six,where we were, and at the end of

(09:57):
that story, in verse 42,.
And they all ate and weresatisfied and they took up 12
baskets full of broken piecesand a fish and those who ate the
loaves were 5,000 men.
So they were tired and theywanted to eat and they came for
rest.
But that didn't happen.
There were 5,000 men and otherwomen and children there, and

(10:19):
they went through this wholeprocess where Jesus taught them,
to the point that the listenerswere now hungry, and they fed
them.
5,000 men, they fed all of them.
And then not only was that done, they had to gather up.
After you host a party, theothers go home, but you've got
to clean up.
So the disciples were cleaningup and now they're exhausted.
What does Jesus do then?

(10:41):
Does Jesus say okay, now youguys have done so much ministry,
let's all go take a nap.
Look at what he did In verse45,.
Immediately he made hisdisciples get into a boat and go
before him to the other side,to Bethsaida.
While he dismissed the crowdand after he had taken leave of
them, he went up on a mountainto pray the spiritual time that

(11:07):
he didn't have during theministry time he made up later.
The ministry has to flow fromspiritual growth and it cannot
be substituted.
Spiritual growth cannot besubstituted by ministry time.

(11:29):
In fact, ministry time shouldbe proportional to spiritual
growth.
Otherwise we will be givingwhat we have not received, and
if we do that, we are working onour own ability.
We need to receive from God sothat we can give in our

(11:50):
ministries.
The third aspect is personalskill development.
Personal skill development andto develop our skills, we need
to know what our skills are.
Obviously, most of us know whatour skills are.
You go through so many testsand personality stuff and you
know what your skills are, butmany people in the church don't

(12:13):
know what their skills are.
That should be one of the firstfew classes that are done to
find out what your skills are.
What are your spiritual gifts,so that you can be useful in the
ministry.
There are numerous tests thatcan be done.
The one I like and this is fromRick Warren's purpose-driven
ministries the shape test, wherehis spiritual gifts and then

(12:39):
heart is what do you like to do?
And then ability is what areyou able to do?
Because there are some thingsthat you like to do but you're
not able to do.
And then, what is yourpersonality type?
What fits in with yourpersonality?
So if you're in a superintrovert, even though you may
like to be a super extrovert,it's not gonna work.
So let's find something thatfits in with your personality.

(13:00):
And fifth is experiences.
What experiences have you gonethrough or your family has gone
through that can contribute towhat ministry you can do.
And so every member of ourchurches need to take a test at
the beginning of their Christianwork so that they can know how
they can be useful.

(13:21):
And we need to develop ourskills.
What are our gifts?
Once we know what our gifts are, we need to develop it.
We can't just be okay I learnedthree chords 30 years ago and I
still play the three chords forall these 30s.
No, if you're a worship leaderand you play the let's say you

(13:42):
play the drums you can't just gowith the four beat.
You gotta learn something.
Advance your skill, no matterwhat your skill is.
Let me give you a couple ofexamples from my life.
We my primary ministry ispreaching and teaching, and so I

(14:07):
have got to advance thoseskills.
When I was doing my doctor ofministry program, one of the
courses that were there it wasnot mandatory, but one of the
courses that was there was acourse in biblical Greek.
For various reasons, I wasn'table to learn languages in my
previous theological studies, soI jumped on it and I learned

(14:30):
biblical Greek, for it was aneight credit course out of 48.
So one sixth of the thing wasbiblical Greek.
So I jumped on it and I learnedit Last year in the course I'm
doing now on Christianapologetics.
It is not mandatory for thiscourse, but I took a course on
biblical hermeneutics.

(14:51):
I taught how to interpret theBible.
I had read up about it, I haddone so much about it already,
but I wanted to have some formaleducation.
So I did a course on biblicalhermeneutics for two months.
Why?
Because, if this is my gifting,I need to advance it.
I need to get better at it.

(15:11):
So when I read the Bible, it'snot just to preach, which is
good, but I'm learning the Bible, interpreting the Bible, just
for me to learn how to read andhow to interpret.
And so, whatever gifting you'llhave, we need to advance our
skills in that particulargifting so that we get better

(15:32):
and better at it.
Because my gifting, or myministry, is preaching.
I'm constantly looking atfinding stories and
illustrations and how somethingconnects back to Jesus, because
that's the bottom line of everysermon how does something
connect back to Jesus?

(15:52):
So in our lives, whatever ourgifting is, we need to be
thinking in those termsconstantly to advance our skills
.
I want to mention two morethings in this section.
One is what I'll call giftingversus role-playing, Gifting
versus role-playing.

(16:14):
About 10 years ago I was askedto speak at Liberty Christian
Fellowship in Kansas City, whereMark and Drew and the others
are, and I spoke on the topic ofevangelism.
And as I was preparing for thistopic, I decided to look up the
times where it said the wordevangelist in the New Testament.

(16:35):
And so the word evangelistappears three times in the New
Testament and I'm gonna read itfor us.
And as I studied it I had anidea.
Let me just read it for us.
Acts, chapter 21, verse eight.
On the next day we departed andcame to Caesarea and we entered
the house of Philip theevangelist, ephesians four,

(16:56):
verse 11.
And he gave the apostles, theprophets, the evangelists, the
shepherds and the teachers thisis talking about Jesus in
Ephesians, chapter four, givinggifts of leadership to the
church.
And the third verse second,timothy, chapter four, verse
five as for you always besober-minded, and your suffering

(17:17):
do the work of an evangelist.
So in the first two verses itsays Philip the evangelist, and
then it says the evangelist.
And then Paul tells Timothy, dothe work of an evangelist.
So I thought, oh, I wonder ifthere is some difference between
the first two and the third.
I looked up in the Greek andthere seemed to be no obvious

(17:38):
difference.
But as I thought about it itwas as if Paul was telling
Timothy to do a particular work,whether he's gifted or not.
So sometimes we do ministrybased on our gifting, sometimes

(17:58):
we do roles because that's whatthe need is.
I grew up in a church where mydad was a pastor back in India
and it was a home church first.
That grew bigger and so we hadour own church and, as you know,
in a small church that startswith a church.
There's numerous tasks,numerous ministry opportunities

(18:20):
and anybody gets put into anyministry role.
So the ministry role they fellon me was teaching kids Sunday
school.
It's not my gifting.
If I never taught another kidSunday school for the rest of my
life, I would not miss it.
I taught kids Sunday school fora few years.

(18:43):
I taught kids Sunday schoolthat came for a season and
taught Sunday school that hadthe gifting to teach Sunday
school and the kids loved it andthese guys were great.
They knew how to bring theenergy and they knew how to
teach, how to engage.
It was their gifting.
And then they would go away.

(19:04):
And who were they stuck with?
They were stuck with me and for15 years I taught kids Sunday
school Because there was a need.
It wasn't my gifting, butduring the time I was trying to
figure out what my other giftswere.
My dad's gifting is the gift ofevangelism.

(19:25):
If you have the gift ofevangelism, I have longed for
the gift of evangelism.
I mean, it is an amazing giftto have.
If you've seen a person withthe gift of evangelism share the
gospel, it's just you're likewatching a musician play and
it's just beautiful.

(19:47):
We used to go for summerholidays from Bangalore to
Kerala.
Bangalore is where I grew upand we used to go to Kerala for
summer holidays and we used totake the train.
And when we take the train, weget into the train at nine
o'clock in the night and wereach Kerala at twelve o'clock
in the afternoon.
And if you've been on an Indiantrain, it's one compartment

(20:08):
with multiple sections and eachsection has three bunk beds on
one side and three bunk beds onthe other side, so there are six
beds.
So in the night six peoplesleep on it, but during the day
the bunk beds become just placesto sit.
So there are about 20 peoplesitting in each section or each

(20:28):
part of the train Without fail.
Every single trip that I canremember, we got in at nine pm
in the night and by the time wereach our destination at twelve
pm the next day, my dad hasshared the gospel to all 20
people in that section andanybody else who managed to peek

(20:51):
in, because he had the gift ofevangelism.
I have done street evangelismIn Bangalore.
We took Bill Bright's the ForceVirtual Laws and we would go
out and meet people on thestreet.
But that was not my gift.
I was playing a role.
There is a difference betweengifting and role playing.

(21:12):
How does this play out in thechurch?
In the church, you, as a leader, list every single task that
there is.
In the ideal world, there willbe a person with the gift that
you can match up to the task.
But we don't live in an idealworld.
So what do you do?
You find as many people aspossible that have the gifts to

(21:35):
fill in whatever tasks arepossible.
What happens with the remainingtasks?
Roles Everybody picks up someroles to play.
So everybody in a church shouldbe using their gifts one or two
gifts, or three gifts andshould also be picking up
several roles that they need tobe playing until a person with

(21:58):
the gifting comes along.
The importance of knowing who isplaying a role is important
because we can be lessjudgmental of them.
If you're in a church, you'rethe pastor of a church, and you

(22:18):
have this person teaching kidsSunday school, and they are
doing a mediocre job, it's thebest they can do, but their job
is mediocre.
If that's their gifting, thenthat's their problem, but if
it's not, they are doing thebest they can because they are
just fulfilling a role.
Sometimes, when we fulfill arole, it may look like this

(22:45):
Belgian shot potter who competedin a 100-meter hurdle race to
prevent a team from gettingdisqualified.
That's how the role players maylook doing certain roles.
We've got to be patient withthem because they are doing the
best they can.
They're filling in a gap,otherwise there will be nobody

(23:05):
doing it.
It's better that they do itrather than somebody that nobody
else does it, until, of course,in the ideal world, like I said
, if the guy with the gift comesin, that's great, they'll do it
.
So we cannot compare the giftedperson with the role player and
of course, the role player willneed encouragement because
that's not their gifting, butevery now and then they will

(23:28):
need some encouragement, whichthe gifted person does not need,
but the role player will need.
The second thing that I want tosay, and finish up this section,
is enabling by the Holy Spirit.
We are never fully qualified,never.

(23:48):
No matter how much we advanceour skill, no matter how many
courses we do, we are neverfully qualified.
If we were fully qualified, wewould do ministry on our own
strength, and God does not wantus to do ministry on our own
strength.
God wants us to be dependent onHim.
You know how, when you go for ajob for the first time it's

(24:10):
your first day at work you'renervous, your palms are sweaty,
your brow is sweaty and you'vegot butterflies in your stomach.
That may be the feeling that wemay have for the rest of our
lives in ministry, because weare always going to be slightly
less qualified for the job.
It is God who qualifies usduring the job.

(24:30):
We may never come to a pointwhere we say, okay, I've got
this and I'm going to do it.
We may always be at the pointwhere we're always learning,
always making mistakes, alwaysstruggling, but always dependent
on the enabling by the HolySpirit.
We looked at personal matters.

(24:52):
Second, let's look at peoplematters.
We will look at relationalauthenticity.
Turn the Bible to John, chapter13, verses 34 and 35.
John 13, 34, 35.
The new commandment I give toyou that you love one another

(25:21):
just as I have loved you, youalso are to love one another.
By this, all people will knowthat you are my disciples if you
have love for one another.
Now I don't need to say thatlove is the basis of our
ministry, right?
Every church, every ministry,every Christian organization is

(25:44):
built, or supposed to be built,on love, and every interaction
should be based on love.
But I wanted to see if therewas an objective way to measure
it.
Yes, I need to love my churchmembers, I need to love my
colleagues in the ministry, butis there an objective way to

(26:07):
measure it?
And so I'm going to ask thisquestion what would we do
differently if we considered thechurch or ministry as our
family?
What would we do differently ifwe considered the church or

(26:28):
ministry as our family?
And I'm going to give you fivethings that we might do
differently if we consider thechurch or ministry as our family
.
I'm sure there are more.
I could just come up with fiveIf you have an infant.
Each infant is different, right?
Each infant takes time to reachtheir milestones.

(26:51):
When I was in medical school,during our pediatric rotation, I
think we had two or threemonths in pediatrics.
So during our pediatricrotation we saw many little kids
, from infants to about 12 yearsold, and there's the American
Association of Pediatrics thathas written out what the
milestones should be.
So if there's a six-month-oldthat came with her parents, we

(27:14):
would look at this print out ofwhat the milestones for a
six-month-old should be and askthe parent okay, or the verbally
how are they?
Are they responding to you?
Are they doing this and that?
So we expect certain things fora six-month-old, but as parents
, sometimes we forget what ourkids should know at certain ages

(27:37):
.
Right, if you're, if you're aparent of a five-year-old, we
sometimes we are hard on thembecause we forget, okay, what
does a five-year-old really know, or what are they supposed to
know?
Milestones are different fordifferent kids, even of the same
age.
In a church setting a believerwho is three months old, we'll

(28:02):
have different milestones fromanother believer that's three
months old, and this depends ontheir background and their
culture and where they came from, what they know.
So, for example, if in Indiayou were doing evangelism to a
Hindu, their their response inthe first few months will be

(28:27):
Different.
If they were a Hindu that hadno contact with anything
Christian, or if they're a Hinduthat grew up in a Christian
school.
There's a difference because ofthe background that they have.
There are a variety of reasonswhy development can be different

(28:47):
for different people.
If we consider the church orthe ministry as our family, we
would be More patient duringdevelopment.
We would be more patient duringdevelopment.
Let's say that your littleinfant has grown up and it's a

(29:11):
little toddler now, and toddlersdo all kinds of ridiculous
things that, no matter how manytimes you tell them, they just
continue to do the same thing.
It's like you never told them.
When my, when my son was oneyear old, he he tipped over his
glass of milk on my brand newMacBook and destroyed it.
He's gonna graduate from highschool next year.

(29:33):
So at that time, when he wasone, I told him that I'm gonna
take away $1,500 from hisnon-existent college fund.
But he didn't understand it atthat time.
But kids do all kinds of stuff.
I had a patient when I was aTruman Medical Center who had a
two-year-old and thetwo-year-old was sitting on the

(29:55):
mother's lap and Inexplicably,like toddlers do, the
two-year-old got up and the headHit her right on the nose and
busted her nose.
Of course she came to ourhospital and we fixed her nose.
There are people in the churchthat are toddlers in the
Christian faith and If weconsider the church or ministry

(30:20):
as a family, we would have moretolerance with actions of
ignorance.
We would have more tolerancewith actions of ignorance.
There may be new believers thatstill do things out of
ignorance.
If you are in a setting wherethere's other religions and you

(30:41):
and the person becomes aChristian from, let's say, a
Hindu or Muslim religion, they,in their first few years, they
may Syncretize the two religions.
That's, that's their ignorance.
They don't know about it.
Or another example is if theyhad a disease and they prayed

(31:02):
and Jesus healed them and theybecome a Christian, what do they
think?
They think you just have topray and God will heal all your
diseases.
As Older believers, we knowthat that doesn't happen every
single time, but they aretoddlers and we'll be more
tolerant with actions ofignorance.

(31:24):
Or there are new believers thatstill struggle with their Sins
that they just left behind orthey still continue some of
those Sins into their toddlerChristian life.
Of course, even as adults westruggle with our sins from way
back.
Imagine the toddlers in theChristian faith that struggle
with recent sins.

(31:48):
Thirdly, let's say that your sonhas now grown up.
Let's say that your son grew upand stole all your money and
decided to cut ties with theChristian and decided to cut
ties with the family and left.
And For 20 years you've notseen your son and Suddenly one

(32:10):
morning you open the door andbury his.
What do you do?
Do you say you stole my moneyand you left, get out of my
house and say that it's your son?
You will do what the father didto the prodigal son you will

(32:32):
throw a feast, you will calleverybody, you will kill the
fatten calf, you will put thestroller on his back, you will
put a signet ring on his finger,you would put shoes on his feet
and celebrate.
You've just forgotteneverything that he did to you.
If we treated the church orministry as a family, we would

(32:58):
have more forgiveness withactions of intention, more
forgiveness with actions ofintention.
We get hurt by people in thechurch for the Easiest reasons
right.
Forget that they stole all yourmoney and hurt you for 20 years

(33:18):
.
Forget that part of it.
Forty in a healthy home.
As the children grow, you knowwhen kids are really young you
do everything for them, but asthey grow, you expect them to
start taking some of theresponsibilities.
It's partly true, because as weage, we don't want to do every

(33:42):
single thing, so we want them todo some of their own stuff.
But on the other hand, as ahealthy family, as a responsible
parent, we are teaching themhow to become responsible adults
.
So they need to wash their ownclothes, they need to clean up
after themselves, they need toput the dishes away.
We give them responsibilitiesso that they can grow.

(34:04):
Do they perform theresponsibilities perfectly every
single time?
Absolutely not.
Most of the time they mess up.
What do we do then?
Do we say, all right, from nowon you don't wash your own
clothes because you left it toolong in the washer and now it

(34:25):
smells like sweaty feet?
Are you gonna say that?
No, you still tell them to washtheir clothes and dry their
clothes so that they can assumeresponsibilities and be
responsible adults.
If we treated the church as afamily, we would be more
trusting with responsibilities.
In 2 Timothy 2, verse 2, paultold Timothy what you have heard

(34:52):
from me, in the presence ofmany witnesses, and trust to
faithful men who will be able toteach others also.
Many times, christian leadersor church leaders give, give,
give, give, give, give and thepeople receive, receive, receive
, receive, receive and that'sall they know.
But in a healthy church, justlike in a healthy family, the

(35:18):
parents give responsibilities tothe kids and help them become
mature adults.
Fifthly and finally, what wouldwe not do for our kids?
We would do anything for ourchildren.

(35:41):
If a thug came to your houseand pointed a gun at your
daughter, you, without without aa minute of thinking, you would
tell the thug you take me, letmy daughter go.
Wouldn't we Turn your Bibles toRomans, chapter nine, to to

(36:05):
read this astounding verse,romans, chapter nine.
Let me just tell you the contextof this verse.
In chapters nine through 11,paul is discussing God's
righteousness in view of histemporary rejection of the Jews.
That is a context.
In Romans, chapter nine, versesone, two and three, paul writes

(36:29):
this I am speaking the truth inChrist, I am not lying.
My conscience bears me witnessin the Holy Spirit that I have
great sorrow and unceasinganguish in my heart, for I wish
that I myself were accursed andcut off from Christ for the sake
of my brothers, my kinsmen.

(36:51):
According to the flesh, he issaying that he is willing to go
to hell so that his countrymencan go to heaven, and that is
something similar to what Mosessaid when the Israelites made

(37:11):
the golden calf.
In Exodus, chapter 32,.
When God said that he is goingto destroy the Israelites, moses
said Lord, forgive them or blotout my name from your book of
life, exodus 32, 32.
If we treated the church as afamily, we would be more willing
to sacrifice oneself.

(37:32):
Love is what the Christianministry is based on, because
Jesus loved us first.
Cara Coombs was a 38-year-oldmother in Missouri, mother of

(37:52):
three, and she was pregnant withher fourth child.
When she was 23 weeks pregnantshe found out that she had stage
4 melanoma, and stage 4melanoma can spread to your
brain.
The oncologist said you need todeliver this baby now so that

(38:14):
you can start your oncologytreatment, your cancer treatment
, your chemotherapy.
But the mother knew that if shedelivered the baby at 23 weeks,
the baby is less viable tosurvive, less likely to survive.
So she waited until the 28thweek, when the baby is more
likely to survive outside.
She waited five weeks and gavebirth to her baby on December 5.

(38:39):
Three days later, the motherdied because she had waited too
long and she could not takechemotherapy.
That's exactly what Jesus did2,000 years ago, isn't it, where
he died to save us and gave usthe reason why we need to love

(39:05):
him and why we need to love thepeople that we are serving.
Thank you, I'm going to give atime of reflection.
You can just close your eyes.
Heavenly Father, we thank youfor the message you have given

(39:53):
us.
We know we need to love.
We don't even need tomanufacture it.
You have shown us what it meansto love.
I pray that you would help usto find ways to make love as the

(40:22):
basis of all our relationships.
In Jesus' name, I pray amen.
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