The Source

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." (2 Peter 1:3)

It's good to be back with you this morning, but I wouldn't give up what I heard and saw last week at Winterfest for anything.  You'll get to see some of it for yourself today and in the coming weeks.  Those of us who went experienced things that will stay with us for a long time.  This morning I'll be sharing some of it with you.  It fits neatly with where we happen to be in our study of our theme verse.

First, I want to remind you of a story I told just a short while back.  At least I'm pretty sure I told it.  I'm always surprised when people remember things that I say in messages or lessons, because I remember so little of it.  But I'm pretty sure I shared this with you.  It's from Donald Miller's book, Searching for God Knows What:

Last year, I pulled a friend out of his closet.  His marriage was falling apart because of his inability to stop drinking. This man is a kind and brilliant human being, touched with many gifts from God, but addicted to alcohol, and being taken down in the fight. He was suicidal, we thought, and the kids had been sent away. We sat together on his back deck and talked for hours, deep into the night. I didn't think he was going to make it. I worried about him as I boarded my flight back to Portland, and he checked himself into rehab.

Two months later he picked me up from the same airport, having gone several weeks without a drink. As he told me the story of the beginnings of his painful recovery process, he said a single incident was giving him the strength to continue. His father had flown in to attend a recovery meeting with him, and in the meeting my friend had to confess all his issues and weaknesses. When he finished, his father stood up to address the group of addicts. He looked at his son and said, "I have never loved my son as much as I do at this moment. I love him. I want all of you to know I love him." My friend said at that moment, for the first time in his life, he was able to believe God loved him, too. He believed if God, his father, and his wife all loved him, he could fight the addiction, and he believed he might make it. (Donald Miller, Searching for God Knows What, pg. 130-131)

This morning you will hear about the two ways that we are called to love.  We are called to love God and we are called to love others.  It really is that simple.  But there's something that comes before that.  There's something that undergirds and drives our love for God and our love for others.  It's the engine that makes the love go.

Before we can talk about loving God and loving others we have to start with this earth-shattering, universe creating truth: God loves us.  Without this, nothing else is worth mentioning.  I'll be mentioning it a lot today.