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Crazy Love Series Sermon #2
~The Answer~
Tyson Graber, Herscher Christian Church
February 20, 2011
1 John 3:1


Last week, I stressed to you just how much God loves you, even before you could love Him, He pursued a relationship with you. Turn with me in your Bible to the book that many have called the love book of the Bible, 1 John.  Now, the love chapter has been said to be 1 Cor. 13, but the book of 1 John tells of God’s great love for us. 
 
1 John 3:1 ‘How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!’  (Through the love of Jesus and His sacrifice we can be in His family and we can be saved)

God’s great love for you led Him to do incredible things, even before you could know Him or love Him back. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for your sins, and He did this out of love. 

God’s love is a Crazy Love that led to amazing miracles in millions of lives!  We found last week that Christ-like Crazy Love often will lead us to do things to pursue relationships that we may not do otherwise.  For example, over the years, my love for my wife Tiffani has led me to do things I would not normally take the risks to do.  But when you are crazy in love with someone, you will often be led to do radical things to pursue and protect that relationship. 

It is exciting when you first realize there is hope for love in your life.  When you accept it, you will often answer it with action. 

Early on in our relationship, I was very eager to do many things that Tiffani asked me to do.  She could ask me to do things that probably now seem silly,  but for whatever reason, at the start of our relationship I would do things I would not normally be led to do usually without complaining.

For example, there were times when I would go shopping with Tiffani  in the mall ... for hours ... (even go into stores that had nothing for us to buy, for no good reason) just because she asked me to.  To this day she tells me I like to shop, but to be honest I just like being with her.

Now, this one may be hard to believe, but there were times early in our marriage that I would actually change my clothes if I came out wearing something that she thought was either mismatched, out of style or out of season.

Now, some of you guys may be thinking, “I'd put my foot down there, that would have to change in my house! No one is going to change how I dress!” And you know what?  You are exactly right, I agree!  That all had to change in our home, also.   So in recent years I have told Tiffani that if you want me to look good and wear the appropriate clothes, please just dress me from the start. She now lays out the clothes she feels I should wear.

The bottom line is that in a healthy relationship when you accept love from someone, it often will lead you to live differently with them.  It will lead you to action and to  behave differently because of that love.

When a relationship is new it is often easy to want to act in a changed way. But have you ever noticed that, if you aren’t careful, the way you answer an amazing love often goes from the crazy to the comfortable?

Early on in our marriage, when Tiffani would hear something in the house at night while I was sleeping she would wake me up and I would quickly seek out the noise and affirm that it was safe for her to relax and go back to sleep.

I was quick to action because I wanted to honor her.

Unfortunately, it seems that as time has past, even though my love for her has grown, I am not as quick to action in the middle of the night.  She can wake me up and tell me that she heard something downstairs and I am tempted to just go back to sleep.  Why?  Because I am comfortable!

So, usually, I will tell her its alright and we will lay there for a few moments in silence listening together, and then I will fall back asleep.  But, occasionally that will not be the end of it, because after I fall asleep she will hear it again, and she will wake me up and say, “I heard it again and I am really scared, please go see what it is.”

So, here is the deal.   I can stay comfortable, or I can get a little crazy and go after the sound that I haven’t heard in a house where I can’t see, wishing I was holding weapon that I don’t have.

But, as we lay there and she is whispering her fear to me, I know someone is down there ..., there has to be someone in the house.  I am thinking, “Great, it looks like I need to go and see. 

So, as I am leaving the room to go down the stairs, I am thinking to myself,  “What am I doing!?!”  Then she says something that doesn’t really help my anxiety of what may be down stairs at all, but it feels good to hear her whisper ..., “I love you.”

If we are not careful, our Crazy Love that first led us to action in the relationship can turn into something that we are just comfortable with, and we just get comfortable and never move in action.

I wonder how you currently are answering God’s call of love in your life?  Have you become content with being comfortable, or are you still confident in taking Crazy Love type of actions?

Think back to how Peter handled his relationship with Jesus.  Early on Peter showed extreme passion and purpose for Christ.  Jesus knew that Peter had great potential through God’s power to do amazing things for the church and God’s glory to the point where Christ said, ‘Peter, you are the rock which I will build my church.’

But after Peter denied Christ three times, and after Christ was crucified, Peter began to be less passionate and purposeful.  Even after seeing that Christ did raise from the dead and being reminded of Christ’s  plan, when left alone for a short length of time, Peter quickly went back to what he was comfortable with and did nothing to complete the mission of the Lord.

Peter went back to Fishing for Fish but Jesus had told him to be a Fisher of Men.

So Christ returned to Peter and some of the others as they were fishing and made Himself known to them again.  It was then that  Jesus challenged Peter to Answer the call of His love.  'What are you going to do with this Crazy Love, ... just get comfortable and fish, or are you going to do something greater?'

Turn with me to John 21:15-17

Jesus asked him three times 'Do you really love me?'

Peter replied yes Lord you know that I love you and each time Jesus responded with an answer that challenged Peter, ‘Then live it, do something.  Put your love into action!’

Jesus was asking, 'Why have you returned to what you are comfortable with?  Why aren’t you sharing my love with the world?  Why hasn’t my love compelled you to do crazy things to lead others to me?

From that day forward, Peter was about sharing God’s love, and through God’s power, Peter was the rock that began to build the church we now have a part of.  Peter did not stay comfortable, but he choose to take action for Christ..., and amazing things happened to glorify God.

Over the next few minutes were are going to try to apply some of those actions that Peter did to our own lives so that we can continue to live life  today — as individuals and as a church — no matter how crazy the world thinks we may be, that we are going to live our lives in a way that Shares God’s love with everyone.

If we follow the example of Peter as we answer God’s Crazy Love it will lead us to

1.  Confess Christ the Son of the Living God - Matthew 16:13-18
 

This is one of the first things that we see Peter do in response to what He knows and believes about Jesus and His love.

Jesus is the Son of the Living God.  He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, he is the one and only savior of the world. 

If you want to carry on the mission of Christ if you want to help spread His love.   You first must answer this question asked by Christ Himself.

‘Who do you say Jesus is?’

Was he just a good teacher?  Was he just a great religious leader?  Maybe he as a revolutionary? 

We must be committed to confessing for all that ‘Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God.’  We must be ready to stand up for Him and show the world we trust, believe and have hope that He is the way to the father.

Scripture says that no one comes to the father except through Him.  DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?

As we answer God’s Crazy Love, it will lead us to

2.  Claim the Holy Spirit 

 Read Acts 1:4-8

If our actions are going to help change Herscher and the entire earth for Christ, we must claim and receive the power of the Holy Spirit.  Peter did and it changed his life.

Acts 2:1-4

This same Holy Spirit is available to those who believe and have been saved by Christ today.  This amazing blessing of God living in us, empowering us is possible to each of you.

Do not leave without the Spirit.  Claim it!

As we answer God’s Crazy Love it will lead us to
      
3.  Call out in a Clear Voice God’s Message

Acts 2:14-41

What is your message to your family, to your spouse, to your neighbors, to your co-workers, to the friend, to your enemies, to the world? 

Ask God to give you a clear message about His amazing love in Christ Jesus.  ‘God let us have a voice that is clearly for your glory and proclaiming your son as King.’

1 Corinthians 2:3-5

3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

As we answer God’s Crazy Love it will lead us to

4.  Confront Sin

It may be difficult, and you may not want to hear this part of God’s call to action, but it’s a necessity.  Among the church family, between brothers and sisters in Christ, we must challenge sin or our message will be moot to the world.  We will merely be seen as hypocrites.

Jesus said this concerning sin and how to handle it. 
 
Luke 17:1-4

Let us never ignore sin but call it out to bring repentance and so that forgiveness might be given.

Acts 5:1-11

Peter was willing to challenge sin and we must be willing to do the same today.  If they would have repented, the church and they would not have been hurt.

Be ready to challenge, but please also be ready to repent.

Jesus said this about this matter also.

Matthew 18:15-17

Finally, as we answer God’s Crazy Love it will lead us to

5.  Carry Out Supernatural Changes through God’s power

Please hear me. I believe we can do supernatural things with God’s power.  He is on our side, and will see us through to complete His mission even through miracles, but we must move, and have faith in Him. 

We can’t just sit back and be comfortable.  We must allow His power to lead and work in us.  To many churches have a little success, then they talk themselves into getting comfortable and just watching the world around them instead of going out in the world and reaching it.

[Show CLIP from RIGHT NOW SERIES “Community Safari”]

Make no mistake, as Peter continued on God’s mission of building the church, he was involved in many things that were miracles.  Through God’s power, he did things that no man could ever do alone.

Read Acts 5:12-16

These people's lives were changed! 

In the same way today, I want you to know God is still in the business of changing lives, and I believe when we are committed to acting for His glory and the spreading of His love, He still allows us to help carry out supernatural changes through His power.

I have seen people healed through God’s power; I have seen marriages changed because of God’s love; I have seen people walk through these doors and accept Christ as their savior that many thought would never know the Lord.

Do miracles still take place?  Absolutely!  God is still active in the lives of many who are willing to Confess Christ  as King, claim the holy Spirit, call out to the world with a clear voice and confront sin.

I believe and challenge each of you to allow God to use us here at HCC to see and carry out the super natural for His glory!

Will you confess Him, will you claim His Spirit, will you call out on his behalf, will you confront sin around you? 

If so, I am excited to tell you what will continue to happen in and around this body of Christ.

Read John 14:11-14

DON’T GET COMFORTABLE! 
GET A LITTLE CRAZY AND ANSWER GOD’S LOVE!

Believe Jesus, follow the example of Peter as he answered his call for love and begin to ask for miracles in His Name.

AMEN!