The Scripture lessons for September 10 were Ezekiel 33:7-9; Romans 13:1-10 and Matthew 18:1-20. Pastor Roskowic focused his message on verses 8-10 of the epistle lesson.
Romans 13:8-10 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
As Pastor Roskowic shared, I had a number of thoughts regarding love:
- Love, agape love, is more than not hating. I can “not hate” someone, and still not love them. Agape love is not rooted in the emotions, although strong emotions can accompany agape love. Agape love is a commitment type of love. It is rooted in the will. It is a decision. You may hear someone say “I love you, but I don’t really like you right now,” meaning “I am committed to you and to be here for you, but right now my feelings towards you are not all warm and fuzzy.” This is the type of love that a man and woman pledge to each other when they say their wedding vows, and it is the type love parents have for their children, even when they are misbehaving.
- Agape love is an active love (Gal 5:6). It compels us to act, even when that act might be to be silent or to remain still (2 Cor 5:14). Agape love seeks to act in the best interest of the beloved, whatever that best interest might be (Phil 1:9).
- Agape love is a selfless, self-giving, sacrificial love just as Jesus gave and sacrificed Himself for us and for all humankind (Ro 5:7-8; 1 Jn 3:16,18).
- Agape love is an inclusive love, rather than a discriminating love (Lk 10:25-37; Jas 2:1-9). It know no boundaries.
- Agape love flows out of God’s unconditional for us and is an expression of His unconditional love in us (1 Jn 4:7-19).
- Agape love is the vocation, the calling, of all Christians, and it is the chief identifying mark of true disciples of Jesus (Jn 13:34-35; Eph 4:1).
Pastor Roskowic also spoke briefly on the Old Testament lesson.
Ezekiel 33:7-9 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.
As Pastor Roskowic shared these verses he challenged us all, not only to be watchmen and watchwomen in regard to watching and warning others, but also to be watchmen and watchwomen in regard to our own lives. He cited Mt 7:4 where Jesus instructs us to take the log out of our own eye before we try to take the speck out of the eye of another.
As Pastor Roskowic shared, I began to recall the many times Jesus encourages to be alert and to watch – Mt 24:4,42; Mt 25:13; Mt 26:41; Mk 13:5,33,37,38; Mk 14:38; Lk 12:15; Lk 17:3 to list a few. I also recalled Paul’s words in Galatians 6:1-2 –
Galatians 6:1-2 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Pastor Roskowic concluded his message refocusing us on the Epistle lesson and how Jesus did not “leave any debt remain outstanding.” Jesus settled all our debt on the cross once for all (Heb 10:10; 1 Jn 2:2). Thank You, Lord Jesus. Thank You!
Amen! So be it!!!
My thoughts, I would like to hear yours.
(All passages are taken from the NIV unless otherwise noted)
Chime in with your thoughts and questions in the comment section!