We Are Blessed Beyond Measure
We Are Blessed Beyond Measure
Hopefully you have first watched the video of the father & son participating in the Kona Hawaii triathlon that we have shown for a previous sermon. I chose to reshow it because it fits quite well with what we will discuss this morning.
I ask that we keep this video in mind as we progress through our message today.
The title of our sermon is, “We Are Blessed beyond Measure.”
All of us have over last many days have had to make abrupt changes in our lives due to the Covid 19 virus.
Hopefully, we have been using this time to not only be concerned about our country, friends and loved ones, but to meditating on God’s word and our relationship to it.
What about our shortcomings?
What about our limitations?
Why do we sometimes feel like we just can’t live up to a standard?
Or that we have failed to hit the mark?
If you’re like most people, you don’t feel adequate to all that life puts before you.
You might even feel confined, stunted, trapped, and exposed by them. You feel discouraged by how weak and how many things you can’t do well or at all.
But that’s only because we are mainly looking at ourselves from the wrong perspective, which is looking too much at ourselves!
God created us with very limited strengths and weaknesses, in order that we might come to know and delight in His glorious love for each one of us.
We are limited because He loves us!
Let me explain this statement. And let me say at the outset that I recognize one of many of my weaknesses, not being able to put into words fully what we are trying to say.
God created us incredibly limited from the very beginning because we were designed to live dependent on Him! That’s how much He loves us.
What do our limitations have to do with love you may ask.
It has everything to do with love.
Because the way God made us, we always experience love most in the places where GRACE is most needed!
This is true both in how we receive love (from God and others), and in how we give love.
In this video we just watched, the son could do nothing without his father. Just think how they both felt. The father was blessed beyond measure by giving his son such joy.
A joy the son could not accomplish on his own. He is severely limited in what he can accomplish alone. His father gave his son an experience that he could not otherwise have done. Because of the son’s limitations, the father felt a joy that he would not have otherwise felt.
How much did the son love his father and how much did the father love the son? It was only by working through the limitations before them that they came to realize the great love between them, the bond that was formed through this experience is hard to explain! It was the father’s love for his son that compelled him to push himself beyond what he thought could be accomplished. Just knowing that he was doing this for his son is what carried him through to the finish line.
Only by God’s grace have they been brought to this level of love. Only knowing that their limitations could only be eradicated by cooperation.
What do our limitations and shortfalls have to do with love?
Because the way God made us, we always experience love most in the place where GRACE is most needed!
Let’s face it, Humans always have and always will live only on and by the grace of God our maker.
We are such great sinners and in constant need of such amazing grace. That is why we feel a connection to the old song. It hits the mark right where we live.
In the Father’s giving of His only Son for our undeserving state to die in our place, we have been loved with the greatest love possible!
(Jn. 3:16 & 15:13}
15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for His friends.”
Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Those couple of verses should cause us to have an attitude of gratitude. And our response of gratitude immersed love for Him for His gracious love to us produces a holy love infused joy between God and us.
We gratefully love God because He so graciously and sacrificially loved us first. (1 John 4:19)
“We love because He first loved us”
(Eph. 3:19) – “and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.”
The more we learn to grasp the incomprehensible love for us in our great need, our created need, the greater our love for God grows!
Our greatest experience of God’s love for us is in the place of our greatest need for His grace!
It is also true that we experience the most love for one another in the place of our greatest mutual needs.
When God gave us our strengths, few though they may be, His purpose wasn’t to give us something to feel good about ourselves, He gave them to us so that we would have the privilege of loving someone else by graciously serving them in a place of their need, and then by receiving their grateful love in return!
And when God gave us our weaknesses, which are many, His purpose wasn’t to make us ashamed and discouraged. God gave them to us so we could have the privilege of humbly receiving someone else’s love as they graciously serve us in our place of need, and then joyfully responding to them with grateful love in return.
A few weeks ago Terry taught on the vertical relationship that we are to have with the Father, and the horizontal relationship that we are to have with fellow Christians.
Allow us to add this point. Just like the vertical love between God and us, there are the horizontal relationships of love between us as we extend love to one another.
And since God is love and all love originates with Him:
(1 John 4:7-8) – “beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
The vertical and horizontal relationships all meld together into one glorious communion of love!
Are we now seeing the beautiful design of love in our limitations and shortfalls?
They are not something to lose sleep over or worry about but they are a true blessing!
Mutual love happens in the very places of our various and different needs.
As John Piper says in his book, Desiring God, “Love is the overflow of joy in God that gladly meets the needs of others.”
(Luke 10:27) – “And He answered and said, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself;”
There it is; in that verse. The melding of the vertical and horizontal love of God! God’s glory and grace is revealed when however imperfect we are we depend on Him and our fellow believers the church.
Speaking of the church, God has given us so many limitations and shortfalls because he loves us. God want us to experience as much of His love, in as many ways as possible. And for that to happen, God provides us with a river of reasons and an enormous range of diverse ways to receive and give love!
And this is just what He has done! He has made each one of us a very limited part of His body the church, and He places us with other parts that are also very limited in different ways.
(1 Cor. 12:18 & 27) – “But now God has placed the members, each on of them, in the body, just as He desired.”
(V 27) – “Now you are Christ’s body, and individual members of it,”
What is being said in these two verses is, as the interdependent parts work together, the whole body functions and displays the love of God.
Time to wrap this up:
Your unique strengths and weaknesses are indispensable gifts to the body of our Lord the church. Without them the whole body suffers because the many expressions of God’s grace and love will be missed!
If any of us are discouraged over our limitations, it’s because we are not looking at ourselves from the right perspective. We are not seeing what God sees.
We began this lesson watching a short video of a fathers love for his son. We may have the tendency to view ourselves in the place of the father, the hero of this story. The sacrifice and hard work and preparation to be be able to carry out such a feat.
However, let us change that perspective and look at this video from the son’s eyes. He has limitations that would make it impossible to participate in the Kona Triathlon. But because of his fathers love he got to not only run the race but finish it. To feel the joy of crossing the line. Because of the fathers love he would carry that memory forever in his heart.
His father came to the aid of the sons limitation and seen him through. That is exactly what we are to be about!
Recognizing our faults, our limitations, our shortfalls, relying on one another to aid in carrying us through and thus experiencing the shared love of God.
I would suggest that all of us use this stay at home time to read 1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 13. And to think on this; What opportunities is God giving me in my limitations to experience more of His grace and love?
To those who have listened to this sermon and have yet to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, think on these words;
The truth is this, you are so limited because you are so loved!
Do not ever think to yourself that you are not good enough, or that you have too many shortfalls to be a Christian.
Look at it from the point of view of the son in our video’s perspective. With all his shortfalls and limitations he could of never even entered the race, but through the aid of his father he was able to overcome them and finish the race.
Our Father in heaven has come to all our aid and through His Son Jesus we can with all our limitations be carried over to the finish line! It is by and through the grace of God that all can be baptized into His church of imperfect people all working together through love.
If you would like to talk more about your relationship with the Lord please feel free to contact us. Thank you and may the Lord bless.