Sermon Seeds: Harmony

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Last week’s commandment reminded us: It all starts at home. (Honor your parents.)

So this week we begin the journey out the door. And we need to remember: it all starts in the heart.

Our commandment is: don’t murder. The focus in the Old Testament seems narrow and we find Jesus much later attempting to broaden our understanding by telling us no one needs to die, no blood needs to be shed for a murder to take place—it all begins in the heart.

Our judgments of others, our attitudes towards others, matter. These are the seeds of our actions—and Jesus is pretty clear: they can lead us to be guilty of murder.

What’s the answer?

When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was he answered by summing up all of them: love God supremely (first four) and love your neighbor as yourself (last six).

How do we accomplish those commandments that focus on loving those around us, including the less than lovely or loveable? First, we have to get the ones about loving God supremely.

Starting with no lying, stealing, or murdering is like started to read a novel in the middle; or building the roof before you lay the foundation.

Not the best plan. Not God’s plan.

And once we’ve got the order down, let’s try to live in harmony. Not all our notes will be the same…but we can work together to make something beautiful.

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Message Meme: Valuing Life

This week’s message will address the sixth commandment: Don’t murder.

As has been my practice in this series, I began my study by asking why would this commandment be important as God? God gives his rules to protect and/or grow us.

So why no murder?

Keep in mind these commandments are God’s foundational principles for the Jews who have just left Egypt and look forward to entering the Promised Land. They are leaving a place where their only value was their ability to work. God wants them to know their true value: he created them; he created them in his image; and he created them for relationship.

Those truths leave no room for murder—the intentional taking of another life.

Put that on one side of the equation: disregard for the created and loved life of another and on the other Jesus’ words:

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Would you give your life for anyone?

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