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Christ commanded us to love one another even as . For us to know how to love each other we must understand the character of the rich deep love that Jesus Christ that Paul describes in Ephesians 3 as surpassing knowledge.

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I. His love is unmerited

A. 1 John 4:10 “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the .”

B. Ephesians 2:4-7 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

C. What escapes definition is that even when we reject Him, we disobey Him, we sin against Him, . We call it ‘’, unmerited love from God to His rebellious creation.

D. God’s unmerited love is given to us, people who don’t deserve His love to transform and change us into new creations.

E. We are such undeserving beneficiaries of God’s . He reached down to us in our absolute total depravity and lifted us to Himself pouring out His grace to us.

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II. His love is unlimited

A. He, who loved us forgave us, doing so without limit.

1. Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

2. Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’ And they divided His garments and cast lots.

B. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son…

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III. His love is unselfish

A.

1. 1 Corinthians 13:5-6 Love “Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.”

2. Jesus is the perfect example of selflessness. Matthew 20:28 says, ‘Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.’

B.

• 2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”

• John 10:10 ‘The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it] more abundantly.

When you think about suffering, what comes to mind? Do you envision bedraggled children with distended stomachs, a hospital patient hooked up to life-sustaining medical equipment, or a courageous veteran dealing with the aftermath of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Adversity seems to be a common denominator to human existence, but what does the Bible have to say about suffering?

Jesus spoke to His disciples about suffering. One of the most well-known verses reads, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 ESV). The Greek word for cross in this verse is staurós. It refers to the crossbeam which the lowest criminals carried as they trudged toward their execution. The cross symbolized degradation and indescribable pain as well as sacrifice.

While the invitation to eternal life is free, it comes at a price–certain suffering.

 

Divine example of Hospitality

Lauren Winner has said creation is the of God’s hospitality to his creatures. God sent a world in which we are meant to experience a sense of belonging and security in our families, in our homes, in our communities, in our churches, and in our world.

We see God’s good intentions in the Garden of Eden as well as throughout the book of Genesis as God over and over again promises to give Abraham a family, a place, and to bless him.

Not simply so Abraham can find a sense of belonging and security for , rather so that the people of God, as Abraham’s family grows, can

God frequently reminds them, don’t forget you too were strangers in Egypt, meaning you know what it’s like to experience inhospitality, you should know better.

God takes hospitality seriously because it’s a . That being said, we’ve likely all experienced some degree of hospitality from God, the world, our family, the church, and region. The difficulty is, all of us have also experienced inhospitality.

 

Radical Hospitality of Jesus

  1. Jesus was with His -For the son of man came to seek and save the lost

First, you might seem to exclude Zacchaeus as a person needing provision as we are informed that Zacchaeus is a cheap tax collector and in case it wasn’t obvious, we’re also told he was rich.

However, this status and privilege, as you are probably aware, rendered him suspect by the first century Jewish community since tax collectors were despised to the point of being considered outsiders. All the more if one is the chief tax collector. Furthermore, the word for chief links this account from the outset with the one in the previous chapter about the ruler, who is elsewhere called the rich ruler or the young ruler,

2. He allowed margins of

Therefore, hospitality necessitates being open to interruption, just like the Old Testament hospitality, which involves the arrival of a stranger of provision.

We have to be open to others interrupting our lives and often these are the moments that are the real stuff of life when life feels truly lived. So, Jesus was just passing through.

Our doesn’t set his

3. invitation- the one who Jesus out is

 4. Imitation- Jesus’ to Zacchaeus naturally leads Zacchaeus to provide for others. Vulnerability and generosity breathe more of the same.

Now it is the rich, in fact embracing the poor, the crossing of another social boundary in near minutes. go hand in hand in this story.

Abraham, for the son of man came to seek and to save the lost.

    .

    So how do we do this? use the acronym B.L.E.S.S

    B-

    L-

    E-

    S-

    S-

     

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