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How deep is your love?

We continue our sermon series entitled: “The Playlist of Life”. Preaching from Nathan Gordon. Service led by Dani Osoba.

Sermon Notes

Key verse (35) – This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.

Intro

Today’s song was released in the UK charts on the 29th of December 1977 by the Bee Gees. The song title and lyrics offer a personal challenge to demonstrate the depths of love in a relationship. Sometimes we may ask the question to a spouse, family member or friend “How much do you love me?” or “Do you really care?” This morning we are going to examine just how deep our love reaches for each other and our fellow humanity considering God’s command and example of love.  

Snippets from the lyrics

Pre-Chorus

I believe in you
You know the door to my very soul
You’re the light in my deepest, darkest hour
You’re my saviour when I fall

And you may not think I care for you
When you know down inside that I really do
And it’s me you need to show.

Chorus
How deep is your love?
I really mean to learn
Cause we’re living in a world of fools
Breaking us down when they all should let us be
We belong to you and me.

Key Point – We know that God loves us with deep and unconditional love, but the question this morning is how deep is our love for God and each other?  Have we placed conditions on our love for each other? Are we reflecting Godly love or a worldly version of love that is self-centred?

Love in the shallow end – Matthew 18:21 (Love with Limits)

Cause we’re living in a world of fools
Breaking us down when they all should let us be
We belong to you and me.

  • The lyrics from the song indicate a problem with the world’s perspective of love.
  • Living in a world of fools is not to degrade people in the world, but it speaks to foolish behaviour and a cheap imitation of love that lacks substance.
  • Here are some of the symptoms of love in the shallow end = conditional and selective forgiveness, resentment, and refusal to forgive.
  • Three strikes and you’re out! ~ The rabbis at the time of this text would teach forgiving someone three times was more than enough grace. (See Amos 1:3-13)
  • Peter offered another 4 strikes to make it 7.
  • Did Jesus offer another number that was symbolic? ~ 77 times NIV or KJV Seventy times seven 490? – The context means as much as needed!

Challenge – shallow end love limits the potential of true love in our world at large. Whilst we must be patient with people who may have genuine reasons for staying in the shallow end with love, we must endeavour to learn from Jesus and His unconditional love for all.

Love with armbands on – Matthew 18:23-30 & 6:14-15 (One Sided Love)

The Pre-Chorus

You’re the light in my deepest, darkest hour
You’re my saviour when I fall

And you may not think I care for you
When you know down inside that I really do
And it’s me you need to show.

  • It’s great to know that we can receive forgiveness from God who loves us.
  • We must ensure we not only receive forgiveness but also extend forgiveness to others.
  • If we fail to forgive others, our love becomes one-sided.
  • The servant was happy to receive forgiveness and pardon for his debt but refused to offer the same grace to his fellow servant.

Challenge – There may be logical and legitimate reasons why you should refuse to forgive someone else. However, if we choose to hang on to unforgiveness in our hearts, we unintentionally hold ourselves back from receiving forgiveness from God. (See Matt 6:14-15)

Love in the deep end – Matthew 18:24- Ephesians 4:32 & Ch 5:1-2 (Limitless love)

  • Christ-like love is deep and vast beyond measure.
  • The King in the parable depicts the father’s love and grace for humanity
  • The servant’s arrears amounted to ten thousand talents, which was the equivalent of sixty million day’s wages. (It was an impossible debt to repay)
  • Just like humanity we also because of our adamic nature are born with a debt that cannot be repaid ourselves. (See Rom 6:23)
  • Christ cancelled our debt on the cross and paid the sum with his blood.

Just as we have received the Father’s love through Jesus Christ His Son…. we must endeavour to demonstrate and reciprocate the same kind of love.

Challenge – How deep is your love? All of us are striving towards living and loving like Christ. We are living in a world of foolish behaviour and evil intentions, but God has placed us in the world to not fit in with the customs of the world, but to offer a Christ-like alternative that is deep in love, forgiveness, compassion, and kindness.

Questions

  1. How are we sometimes like the unmerciful servant?
  2. What effect does not forgiving have on your relationship with God? Why? – see verses 34-35
  3. Does true forgiveness always necessitate being in a relationship/contact with the person going forward? Discuss your reasons for or against it.
  4. Have you ever had to forgive someone of a financial some owed to you? What led to you making that decision to forgive?
  5. Why do you think the servant was unwilling to forgive the other servant despite receiving forgiveness from the King himself?
  6. Why do you think love has been diluted and become extremely shallow in modern society?
  7. Discuss cases of extreme circumstances such as Lucy Letby who was responsible for the deaths of babies under her care. Is it possible for parents to forgive Lucy? Think about God’s view in situations like this.

Service Details

Sermon Title: How deep is your love?
Bible Reading: Matthew 18:21-35
Preacher: Nathan Gordon
Worship Leader: Dani Osoba

Service Audio here

View Service Video here

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