First in a Series of 13 sermons on Six Chief Parts
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper,[f] to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be[g] in you.
Dear Friends in Christ
Dr. Dale Meyer devotion: “What king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace” (Luke 14:31-32).
Today is the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. December 7, 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor cripples the American navy. April, 1942, the Doolittle raid on Tokyo stuns the enemy but is militarily indecisive. Now Japan intends to finish off American power in the Pacific with a surprise attack on “AF.” But what did the Japanese code “AF” designate? Hawaii? San Diego? Australia? Our intelligence concludes AF is Midway, a small atoll halfway between Asia and North America. June 4-7, 1942: Outmanned 2 to 1 (the same proportion Jesus used), Americans ambush the Japanese, sink four carriers, losing only one, the Yorktown. “Japan’s six-month blitzkrieg had been stunningly halted, never to be resumed.”
· At the cross, the blitzkrieg of every one of our enemies was halted in stunning fashion, never to be resumed. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
· If you love me, keep my commandments.
1) Three kinds of law – moral (tells all men duties towards God and men), ceremonial (regulated the religious practices of the Jews in OT),political (state law of Jews). Only the moral law was written into our hearts. Jesus fulfilled and ended ceremonial and political law,
2) Summary of first table / second table
· Thou shalt have no other gods before me / besides me. God doesn’t want to be first on the list/ demands He be the only one on the list. As any good husband is properly “jealous” of his wife’s love, so is God “jealous” of our love.
1) Large Catechism, “A god is that to which we look for all good and in which we find refuge in every time of need. To have a god is nothing else than to trust and believe him with our whole heart.
2) Examples of fearing other gods more than God –what other people are thinking or saying of us / those who can hurt the body but not the soul / the loss of romance in youth / loss of jobs or homes in middle age / abilities in old age
3) Examples of loving other gods more than God– money and that which money can buy / left over giving / how much shall I keep for myself?
4) Examples of trusting other gods/ trusting in bank accounts/ having food and clothing let us therewith be content
· Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy god in vain. One of God’s love languages is words of affirmation / He cares how we use His Name / He cares about the words of praise and thanks we bring to him/ story of mom crying when I used a bad word.
3) Deceiving by God’s name
4) Calling upon it in every trouble, pray praise and give thanks
· Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy/ love language of quality time /God cares that we spend time in His Word / time in His sanctuary / that we find a proper balance between work, play, and rest/ Debi and I were just having a conversation about that in recent days.
1) Forbidden to despise preaching and His Word
2) Required to hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it
Three thoughts in closing:
1) Imagine tears trickling down our Father’s face when we love money and all that money can buy more than Him who spared not His only Son. If you love me, keep my commandments.
2) Imagine Jesus weeping when we lace our conversations with profanity for no good reason at all. If you love me, keep my commandments.
3) Imagine the Spirit of God grieved when so many professing Christians drift away from their local congregations/ absenting themselves from the Holy Supper / rushing into busy days without time in His Word. If you love me, keep my commandments.
The Kingdom of God is like a large church in a small town full of people who keep on falling short, but their Father in heaven keeps on giving them a second chance. They have so many good intentions which so very often go so awry, but Jesus Christ keeps on interceding on their behalf. They really do love God, but they have all kinds of competing desires that more often than they care to admit win the day, but the Spirit of God keeps on guiding, He keeps on teaching, He keeps on comforting, He keeps on blessing, keeps on whispering, Blessed are they who hear the Word of God and keep it.
Worship Sermons & Letters
Pastor Paul Muther