How Did Jesus Love People?

Jesus loved people like no other human being to ever walk the planet. As the Son of God, he loved everyone — no matter who they were (friend or foe) or what was in their past (their mistakes and sinfulness). He loved everyone equally and perfectly. He still does that today. And the Bible encourages us to love like Jesus.

When Jesus shared the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25-37), he made it clear that when the Bible says to “love your neighbor as yourself,” it means that our “neighbor” is literally everyone we meet — not just the family next door.

Lie: Forgiveness Has to be Earned

The Bible is very clear about forgiveness. We didn’t earn our forgiveness (and salvation) on our own — we never could. Forgiveness came only through the sacrifice of God’s only son, Jesus Christ, and it was freely given. In the same way, our spouse, our coworker, our family, or our friend do not need to earn our forgiveness.

We are called to freely forgive others. And in doing so, we free up ourselves from carrying bitterness and anger that only causes strife in our lives. Trust can be earned (or re-earned), but not forgiveness.

In All Things, Love

Pastor Kevin uses three buckets to illustrate the difference between the essentials of our faith, in which we must have unity; the non-essentials of our faith, in which we should have liberty; and that all things — yes all things — are covered by the love of God.

To have great relationships with other Christians, it’s important to understand how the buckets work and how to let people be different from us in the area of non-essentials.

It Matters Where You Start

Pastor Kevin explains that when we start at the wrong place, we arrive at the wrong conclusion. By this he means, if we begin the search for our origin with a preoccupation of self, we will spend our lives making it all about us. Evolution begins to make sense. Living according to our feelings makes sense. We will eventually remove God from everything.

But when we begin with God, as our Creator, our mindset begins with God’s truth. We know we were created on purpose to live on mission for God. We don’t live according to our feelings — but according to God’s truth in the Bible.

Trust God, Not Your Feelings

Pastor Kevin asks us where we find our answers to the big questions of life. Do we look inward and use our own thoughts and feelings to decide whether something is right or wrong? Or, do we look to God to determine how to live?

Our culture tells us to think for ourselves and act according to how we feel. But Jesus tells us to look to God — to get outside ourselves — and ask God to teach us what to believe and how to act. These answers can be found in the Bible.

Embrace What Hurts

Most people avoid pain at all costs. It’s uncomfortable and almost unnatural to embrace what hurts us. But it’s what can make us most like Jesus.

When we are blessed with a burden, we cry, we pray, we fast — and then we act. We’re so broken by what grieves God that we’re moved to do something to make the world a better place.

We should embrace what hurts until we can’t stand idly by another minute.

Focused Passion

There are so many worthy causes and organizations to serve people in need; it can be overwhelming to choose where to serve. Keep it simple — choose one and give it your all.

Remember: many things will capture your attention, but few things will capture your heart. Whatever issue gives you the most righteous discomfort deserves your deepest attention and passion. Once you choose that issue, team up with an organization who’s already on the ground doing the work. Combine your efforts. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

Righteous Discomfort

Craig Groeschel of Life.Church issues a challenge: “Consistently expose yourself to something that creates a righteous discomfort.” This means we must regularly put ourselves in situations that break the heart of God.

If weren’t not consistent, we’ll be motivated to act for a time — and then our righteous discomfort will get lost in our own day-to-day issues. And if we stay safe and don’t expose ourselves to uncomfortable situations that include suffering, like poverty, physical and mental illness, abuse, exploitation, etc., we’ll be too comfortable to ever serve those in need.

Blessed and Cursed with Comfort

Most of us are materially blessed enough that we can pretty much get whatever we want, whenever we want (within reason). Our comfort makes our lives convenient, enjoyable, and relaxed.

But comfort can also be a curse. It makes us believe our lives should be all about catering to our own needs and fulfilling our own desires. We lose sight of the needs of others and forget the less fortunate. And the slightest inconvenience to us feels like the end of the world.

Comfort is like a drug; we always want more. But living in comfort, safety, and apathy is exactly the opposite of how Jesus taught us to live.

10 Core Questions of Life

Our personal world view shapes everything in our lives — and in our kids’ lives. Our actions and reactions are determined by what we believe to be the answers to what Pastor Kevin calls the “10 Core Questions of Life.”

Using the Bible as a reference, we can teach our kids God’s answers to these questions. We’ll have to adapt our answers according to their age so their understanding will grow as their minds and bodies do. Eventually, when they’re adults, they’ll have adult-sized answers and be deeply grounded in their faith.

Bless Someone

No matter where we are, we can find someone to bless. When we start our day, we should ask God to show us who that might be. It could be a family member, a friend, a coworker – even a stranger. It doesn’t matter whether the blessing is big or small. The recipient will know they matter to God. And we might find that God even blesses us in the process!

How Do You Talk with a Non-Believer about Prayer and God’s Will?

Sometimes friends who don’t believe in God ask us, as Christians, to pray for them. When things don’t go as we hoped and prayed, our friends feel disappointment and we feel uncomfortable. Pastor Kevin explains practical, step-by-step ways to pray with non-believers and how to follow up later to initiate conversations about faith.

Lead Like a Man, Pray Like a Boy

There is so much in our lives and in our world that we can’t control. Political issues, economic changes, relational problems – many things plague us. At work and in our families, when we’re expected to lead, we should lead with strength and confidence. But when we pray to God, our protector, provider, and deliverer, we should humbly approach Him like a child.

How Will You Run the Bases of Life?

As Pastor Kevin explains, we live in a world in which most people run the bases of life backwards. Sadly, many people wait until the end of their lives to acknowledge their Creator and connect with God.

It’s a great discovery to eventually come to God; it’s a better life to start with God.

Growth Starts with Connecting with God

Using Pastor Kevin’s baseball analogy, God’s pattern for our lives starts at home plate. This means our spiritual growth starts with us connecting with God, our Creator.

We discover that God created for us for a reason, and He will give us the power to accomplish our life’s purpose.

Life begins to make sense when we understand why God created us and what we’re here to do.

Learning to Value Others

When things are going very well, it’s easy to slip into self-importance. We start to believe we’re the very reason the business or marriage is so extraordinary. But things don’t typically grow and prosper forever. Difficulty usually sets in.

When God has us in a season of humility and things aren’t going so well, perhaps He’s teaching us to value others.

Win Dependence

Sometimes as we honor God and go through trials in life, we wonder what God could possibly be doing. Life gets difficult and our situation gets worse – and we wonder, “Where is God?”

Perhaps in these times, God is teaching us to “win dependence.” Children move from dependent to independent as they grow, but as Christians, the opposite should happen in our relationship with God. As we grow spiritually, we move from self-reliant to God-reliant.

Home Run Life

4 questions that can transform your life:

1) What makes for a Home Run Life Dream?

  • Success
  • Someone
  • Self Respect
  • Significance

2) What can we learn from Joseph’s Life Dream? (Genesis 37-50)

  • Win Dependence
  • Win Within
  • Win With Others
  • Win Results

3) What is the pattern? (Gods Game Plan for Life & Leadership – Romans 12)

  • Home Plate – Connect
  • 1st Base – Character
  • 2nd Base – Community
  • 3rd Base – Competence

4) How do you run the bases of life? (How will you?)

Whatever God Breathes Into, Counts the Most

We need to train ourselves to recognize the things God breathes into. These are the things that count most in life!

When God breathes into things that matter, what is right, what His values are, He makes them larger in our lives.

But the world can take away from the things that God breathed into, like motherhood. Being a mother, is a sacred role, but our world has a way of lessening that.

Keep Battling What Beats You

Humble yourself, get past your pride.

There are places we are vulnerable to peer pressure and signature sins. It’s only when we let God transform those innermost places that we can be defeat what beats us.

A temporary “feel good” fix (like alcoholism, addiction, drugs, pornography, etc…) only starts to make us loathe who we are. Beyond getting over our pride, we have to keep battling what breaks and beats us. This is only done by letting God battle with us.

Drill Down for Good

Discovered: When you chase Feel Good; it progressively destroys good. When you chase do good; it grows feel good!

The Challenge: Drill Down for Good (Because God’s good goes deeper and lasts longer.)

  • Public
  • Private
  • Secret

The Secret to a Merry Christmas “good life”? (Join Jesus)

  1. Yoke up for His pardon.
  2. Learn to live good in secret

The Importance of Perspective

David knew that before He could really access joy, He had to return to a right view of God and himself.

Discontentment is not an issue of the value of the things in your life, but the perspective you have of your life. If you don’t get “discontent” settled in your soul, you’ll never be content.

The next, and the new, turns into the old and the mundane really fast if the issue is discontentment on the inside.

Thanksgiving renews the perspective of our lives and helps us see blessings again.