God's Love & Your Neighbor's Soul

I'd hoped to do some more reflecting this week on last Sunday's sermon. I maybe should have been more realistic. Or maybe I should have planned time for being reflective. So I'm taking some time right now.

Pastor Cecelia preached on "Soul Liberation" in the "For God So Loved the World" sermon series that we're going through. The text was from Genesis 3 (and the chapters surrounding it). We were given three questions to ask:

1. Where is God? Sometimes there are times when life seems too crazy for God to be around. Remember Genesis 1. Sometimes God does some of his best, His most creative work, in chaos.

2. Where are you? After Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge and wisdom, they heard God walking in the garden. They realized they were naked so they hid. From God. God, of course, knew where they were, but He still asked them, because He wanted them to know He still cared. Fear is a good response to have with God. God is to be feared. But fear shouldn't make us try to run from God. We can't. And even if we could, He still loves us. Pastor Cecelia pointed out that God asking Adam and Eve, "Where are you?" is the first missional/evangelistic statement in the Bible. God seeks us out. He doesn't want us to hide from Him.

3. Where's your brother? (Do you care?) After Adam and Eve were banished from Eden, they had children. Cain killed Abel over jealousy. And God came and asked him where his brother was. Cain responded, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Yes. He was. We all are. Sin unchecked leads to death. We are called to loving accountability with those around us.

I find it interesting that the subjects of those three questions are all found in Christ's answer to what the greatest commandment is: to love God with all your heart, soul and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-31). That's the relational trinity that we're called to love: God, neighbor and even ourselves. If we're only focus on one or two of those areas, we're missing out on the whole. God loves me. God loves others. As His follower I'm supposed to respond in kind.

No comments: