I’ll read anything Leonard Sweet writes.
Every book I read prepares countless sermons for me. I appreciate his insight so much. If I’m not careful, I’d probably share every episode of his LenTalks.
But I won’t.
But I will share this one about “Amen.” It’s not just “so be it.” It’s also “so do it.”
I’ve heard Dr. Sweet say many times how culture highjacks our slogans because we don’t even know we have them. That comes up in this video. The slogan he’s talking about today is “Just do it.”
We know love is more than a feeling. And that’s not only because of the song by Boston.
Feelings are temporary and subjective. They are not what you want to base a relationship upon or rely on in your walk with God.
Since we know love is more than feeling loving, many have said that love is an action. If you love someone, you do something. Like I always say, for God so loved the world he did something.
But we can go even further.
Of course, today we’re focusing on our faith in God. If you talk about love between people, the conversation can be different. Science will tell you there are certain areas of the brain that instigate and control love. Our love of God, though, is not a feeling. It involves action, but, more than anything, it seems to be a choice.
I mean that in two ways.
Yes, you chose to follow God. You could live life on your own terms or follow any other model of living. But you chose to believe what you heard about Jesus. His call to “follow me” is less a directive to do what I say and more a choice to live like me.
So, you chose to follow Jesus. Now what? Well, you have to continue to choose to do so.
You don’t learn everything about grace and faith the moment you choose to believe. There’s a lifetime of learning ahead of you. As you learn, you’ll have to keep choosing to believe. What if you learn something that is too hard to follow? Remember when an entire group of people told Jesus his teachings were too much? They left him.
When you’re challenged by grace, your next choice is obedience. You may remember Joshua giving that great line of faith. He said, “choose this day whom you will serve…but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
He said something as striking in the chapter before that. At this point, Joshua is “old and well advanced in years.” He’s passing on final bits of wisdom, instruction and direction. In Joshua 23:11, he says, “Be very careful, therefore, to love the Lord your God.”
This carefulness connects to the choice the people are going to need to make every day. It’s the same for us, too.
Every day is a choice to follow Christ. How are you going to respond to that person that speaks unfavorably to you? What are you going to fill your day with? How will you use your time and resources today?
These are only a few choices that come with choosing to follow Christ. It can be a lot. It can seem like a cross you have to bear. As Joshua said, be very careful, therefore, to love (or choose) the Lord your God.