Friday, June 11, 2021
You have to realize that relationships have limits. You say, "But Vince, if relationships have limits and I have love-needs, and they can't meet my love needs, then where do I turn?"
Friday, June 11, 2021
Proverbs 20:6, Proverbs 18:24
Today, I want to talk to you about this truth: all human relationships have limits. I think you know that, but I think we sometimes forget it in the heat of relationships. Sometimes we put too much on people. We want people to meet needs they can't meet. We want people to love us in ways they can't love us. We want people to be something for us that they can't be, and the problem is not them. The problem is in our expectations. Relationships are important, you have to have relationships. The worst thing you can do to a human being is to put them in solitary confinement in prison. But you have to realize that relationships have limits. You say, "But Vince, if relationships have limits and I have love-needs, and they can't meet my love needs, then where do I turn?" You turn to the lover of your soul, to God, to Jesus Christ.
The rest of that verse says this, "But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Nobody knows for sure. But this seems to be proverbs doesn't necessarily do this a lot. But it seems to be a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our brother. He's our father, he's the Son of God, he is our Savior, but He is also our brother in a certain sense. He is the lover of our soul, and he will love you in a way that no human being can. Are you making sure that your most important relationship needs are being met by Jesus Christ and not by human beings? Because humans can't do it. And they'll let you down and they'll hurt you not because they're intentionally doing it, although sometimes they do, but because they can't. Only Jesus Christ can. Are you letting Jesus Christ love you? You know, to become a Christian is the way you start letting him love you. And if you are not yet a Christian, you can't experience the love of God. When you say, "Jesus Christ, you are God. Jesus, I am a sinner, I sin, I mess up, I make so many bad decisions that hurt you, others myself, my family," and when you believe he died on the cross in your stead, in your place for your sin, and you receive him into your life by faith alone you become a Christian. Then you have his love, then you have the love of God. And you will have your deepest love needs met through Jesus Christ. You need your human love needs met, but there's a limit to that. Jesus Christ is infinite. And he'll meet your deepest needs in ways you never dreamed possible, because he's the lover of your soul.
Monday, February 8, 2021
We live in a world that can make us feel very alone and isolated. Even people that we think are our friends, sometimes, can turn against us. Life can turn against us and sometimes we just feel so alone. You may think or even say "you'll never understand, you'll never know, why should I even share that with you" and we feel so alone. And Jesus says I'll never leave you and never forsake you.
Monday, February 8, 2021
This Sunday, Febraury 14th, we're beginning a brand new series called "You Are Not Alone" and today I want to talk to you about this idea. You are not alone. You are never alone. The great news of life is that you don't have to be alone. You know, you can not be around people and not be alone, just as easily as you can be around a ton of people and feel very, very lonely. So either case, the good news is that if you're around people, you can feel lonely, but when you have God, you're never alone.
And when God is with you, there's a tremendous comfort in that. Where do I get that from? I get that from you my life verse, Hebrews 13:5b-6. I'm starting at 13:5b because 13:5a says, "Be free from the love of money". Now, I have all kinds of problems just like you do, we all struggle in many ways, but persoanlly I don't struggle with money. It's just not a problem for me. I have other problems, which I'm not going to share with you here, but it's the second half that helps you understand that you're not alone. And it's my life verse.
It says this in Hebrews 13:5b-6, "Be content with what you have, because God has said, 'I will never leave you will never forsake you'. So that we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'". I'll never forget, it was April or May of 1985, I was graduating from our RIT, I was a brand new Christain and I had a calendar tacked up behind my desk. It was a Christian calendar and each month had a scripture, and it had this verse. At that moment, that spoke to me because I was going to graduate, move to Florida and I was going to be alone. My mother wasn't going to make my meals, my bed or anything else. I was going to have to do it all myself. (By the way, when I went to the grocery store, all I got was instant food. If it didn't have the word "instant" in front of it I didn't buy it. I felt like "wow", I'm going to be all alone. It was going to be three months before my wife and I got married. So I was going to be in Florida for June, July and August all by myself, then come back and get married, August 31, 1985. That verse gripped me, that God will never leave me and he'll never forsake me. Isn't that good?! He'll never leave me. He'll never leave you. Isn't that amazing?
You might think, "I've done some pretty dumb things". He'll never leave you, he'll never forsake you or turn his back on you. We live in a world that can make us feel very alone and isolated. Even people that we think are our friends, sometimes, can turn against us. Life can turn against us and sometimes we just feel so alone. You may think or even say "you'll never understand, you'll never know, why should I even share that with you" and we feel so alone. And Jesus says I'll never leave you and never forsake you. And in the bigger, broader context of Hebrews, the letter to Hebrews, Jewish Christians, they're considering going back to the Old Testament because the Christian life was getting hard for them. They thought, well, maybe we chose the wrong thing. One of the reasons why Jesus said this is to tell them not to turn back.
So I don't know what you're struggling with. I don't know what you're feeling alone, about. I don't know what loneliness is in your life. I don't know if you feel like no one is for you. God is for you. He's with you. He'll never leave you or forsake you. The moment you become a Christian he makes that pact with you and it's a good pact.
Are you struggling? Say "God I'm lonely but with you, I'm Never Alone. Comfort me. Fill me. Help me have your peace. Help me have your strengths." And God will do it.
Let's pray. Father, there may be a number of people reading this that feel alone. I pray that they would look to you and turn to you and remember that with you, they never have to be alone. You will never leave us nor forsake us. And as the text says, and you'll give us the boldness to say, "The Lord is my helper, who shall I fear? What can man do to me?". Thank you, Lord, for giving them this peace and comfort. In Jesus name. Amen.
You don't have to be alone. If you want to learn more about this fact that you're never alone for the next five weeks, that's going to be our series here at Lakeshore Community Church. We would love to see you here. If you can't make it here in person, you can join us at Lakeshorechurch.org and click the watch now link at the top of the webpage. We'd love to have you join us. Have a great day!