September 5, 2021 SUMC Online Worship Service 9AM

Sunday Worship Services:

Sanctuary & online - 9AM and Outside - 10:45

Sep. 05, 2021

“Reckless Love…No Longer My Master”    

Matthew 18:1–3, 6–9, 12–17

1.    Introduction:

     a.    We need to develop the habit of monitoring our hearts, not just our behaviors.

     b.    Our need of supervision may someday come to an end if we silence the toxic voices that come from within. 

     c.    “If you don't deal with your demons, they go into the cellar of your soul and lift weights.”                                                                                                                                            Amanda Palmer

     d.    Destructive emotions that disguise themselves as virtues.

          i.    Care doesn't always feel caring & Love doesn't always feel loving.

               •    Fear of rejection

               •    Discomfort with conflict

               •    Apprehension around confrontation

          ii.    These emotions disguise themselves as sensitivity and concern.

          iii.    Indifference: A lack of concern where there should be concern.

               •    “I shouldn’t interfere.” - “They haven’t asked for my input.” - “It’s none of my business.”

     e.    If you are a follower of Jesus, you can’t listen to those voices. There’s another voice, the Good Shepherd’s, whose instruction doesn’t always feel good.

If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault…

Matthew 18:15a

2.    Reckless Love (Matthew 18)

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (vs. 1)

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. (vs. 2)

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (vs. 3)

If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. (vs. 6)

Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! (vs. 7)

     a.    To Stumble…

          i.    Don't be somebody's mistake. 

          ii.    Don't be somebody's regret. 

          iii.    Don't be the reason they lose their way.

If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. (vs. 18)

     b.    Paraphrased: If there is something you have control over that has the potential to trip you up or cause you to stumble, deal with it.

And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. (vs. 9)

     c.    Paraphrased: It’s better to throw some things away than to have your life thrown into chaos, otherwise when your entire life is thrown into chaos, it becomes hell on earth.

     d.    Why does Jesus say these extreme things? Because He loves you, extremely, and He cares for you.

 What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? (vs. 12)

And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. (vs. 13)

In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish (be lost or ruined). (vs. 14)

If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. (vs. 15a)

          i.    We say: “It’s none of my business!”

          ii.    Jesus says: “I just made it your business.”

If they listen to you, you have won them over. (vs. 15b)

But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ (vs. 16)

If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the assembly; and if they refuse to listen even to the assembly, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. (vs. 17)

          iii.    You treat them as someone who has different values and a different worldview. You back off for it’s not your business now. 

3.    Conclusion

     a.    Love is not silent when there's something that needs to be said. Fear is silent, discomfort is silent, indifference is silent. Love isn't silent.

     b.    Fear, discomfort, apprehension, and indifference, you are no longer my master!

     c.    Jesus said, “I'm just giving you one command, just one. You are to love others as I have loved you.” And that's all this is, it is simply doing for others what God through Christ has done for us.

There's no shadow He won't light up, Mountain He won't climb up, Coming after me.”

“No wall He won't kick down, Lie He won't tear down, Coming after me."

“The overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.”

Cory Asbury: Reckless Love

     d.    Why is it reckless love? Because He didn't do the comfortable thing. 

     e.    God sent His Son into the world to die for your sins knowing you may not choose to receive the gift…That's reckless love!

“Chases me down, Fights ‘til I’m found, Leaves the ninety-nine.”

Cory Asbury: Reckless Love