All I can picture now is Tom Cruise (back when he was cute and less cray cray) in his uniform singing in the bar with Goose. Totally off topic. My bad. I failed to walk the bridge this morning, so our choices are limited. It's Monday and we are going deep. Well, deep for me.
This past Sunday I actually paid attention to the sermon 100%. I'm not sure that this has ever happened. This is at no fault of any preacher. I just get distracted and my mind wanders. This Sunday- I even took notes! This is big people. Here goes.
We learned about effectual love. I had no clue as to what that meant when it came out of Rob Sturdy's mouth. Now I am proud to say, I know what it means. Thank you. Hold your applause. (All of the smart, deep stuff is straight from Rob Sturdy)
Loving effectually is loving in a way that can determine an outcome. Hate to break it to you (and me), but we don't have the ability to love effectually. We can't love someone enough, to prevent them from doing something. This is big. So many times I have thought that I could do that. Not so much. But, God can.
God loves us unconditionally, in an immovable way. We will never be at home in a world that loves conditionally and ineffectually. We will always feel strange here. Here is the scary part to me. The world teaches us to love conditionally. A give and take. I'll give you "this" if I can get "that" from you. We will be conformed to the love of the world instead of the unconditional love of Christ. The conditional love of the world is so powerful. It causes us to do things we are ashamed of. If we aren't being shaped by the unconditional love of God, then we will be shaped by the conditional love of the world. This scares the junk out if me. I can't even count the amount of times that I've tried to earn the love of the world.
Here's where we come in. We have to try to escape being shaped by the conditional love of the world. We can shape the world with our unconditional love of Christ. We have to refuse entering into conditional relationships. (these ones are tough). We can't play by the rules of the conditional world. We also have to go the extra mile. We have to do more than we "need" to do. Specifically with those that we don't necessarily enjoy (can I say that?).
This last little part stuck out to me. Sometimes (lots of times) we actually think that we are a benefit to Christ. I don't know if you have ever felt that way. True Confession: Sometimes, when things are great, I'm doing well, everything is going right- I can actually catch myself thinking that I am a benefit to Christ. Really? And then it all goes to hell and a hand basket. Insert "The Fall." Happens all of the time. I am in no way a benefit to Christ. Getting into that mindset is a trap. Straight up.
If you didn't get to hear this sermon- I highly recommend listening to it.