Sunday Sermon 5.15.21
When our son was working in the entertainment industry, there was a phrase that we heard often, learned it’s meaning, and have ourselves implemented on many occasions. It is –
“Back to 1”
At the end of a scene or run through of a section, the director would call out, “Back to 1”. Everyone would then move and return to the start of that scene, their original positions. They would return to their first and beginning spot by readjusting everything to where it all started. People, costumes, props, equipment, lights, sound, crew – it all returned to 1, the original start spot (of that scene). Lines, marks, and brains all had to return to 1.
As I consider this, I realize that most, if not all of us could benefit from this practice.
What is our 1? Why do we need to return to it?
In the many scenes of our life, we find ourselves spending our energies, ideas, words, and feelings on those we love or things we love. We give, do, help, and speak almost constantly. And then, eventually, we notice our speech, feelings, attitudes and maybe even our actions are not filled with love.
Note taken, but we still continue with all we are doing, because after all, it still has to be done, and who’s gonna do it?
That is why, we need to go back to 1. That is why we must return to love.
Number 1 is love, and in this context I do mean love of God.
You see, I am a better wife, when I am loving God. I am a better mom, the more I love God. I am a better sister, when I am closer to God. I am a better friend as I have talked with God.
As I love God and fill up with His love, this enables me to step into each scene in my life fully equipped to pour out what He has poured into me.
When I go back to 1, back to God and His love for me, back to talking with Him in prayer, and in His presence, then I can do the things that I need to with love and motivated by love – not obligation.
Years ago, I was reading my bible and was in Matthew 22, I was reminded of what Jesus said about this when He said the number 1 thing in life is to:
“Love God…….and love others as yourself.”Matthew 22:37-39
I was so impressed with that challenge, that I drew a target in my bible over those verses to remind me that this was my focus, this was my target in life and this was my number 1.
Back to 1 is returning to the greatest commandment, returning to what is most important, and checking our love. How is our passion for God? How are we doing with talking to Him, hearing from Him and receiving His life changing love in our life?
The way we face everything and everyone in our life will be based on our number 1 relationship – with God. All other relationships flow from our relationship with Him. If we are filled up with God and His love and ways, that will flow from us. If we are empty of God’s love, so too will be our relationships and responsibilities.
Look at the full text of what Jesus answered, when he was asked, what is most important –
“Jesus replied, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.”Matthew 22:37-40
What you do is important. Who you are helping is important. The job you are doing is important. But what is MOST important is loving God. Your love for and relationship with God is number 1. Is it your focus, your target, and your priority?
The Apostle Paul told us this about love,
“If I speak…. and don’t have love… I am a gong, … if I have understanding…. and don’t have love…I am nothing… if I give all …. and do not have love, I gain nothing. These three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”1 Corinthians13′:1-3;13
Matthew mentions in the last days –
“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold”Matthew 24:12
In the end of the New Testament age, John the revelator, saw a church in Laodicea and said this to it:
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either one or the other! So because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”Revelation 3:15-16
Perhaps Matthew and John were seeing into these days, into our lives. Seeing times when love grows cold, when it no longer offers refreshing. Seeing times when love is hot, full of passion, healing and health.
The picture in John’s revelation of the lukewarm being spit out of the mouth, is an Aramaic idiom that means, “I am about to give you my mouth.” Or, we would say, I’m gonna give you a piece of my mind. I’m gonna say a few things. In other words, God has a few things to say to the lukewarm, He’s about to give them a piece of His mind.
Going back to 1 involves checking our “love for God temperature.” Hot- passionate for Him? Cold – offering the refreshment to others that He gives us? Or cold, in the way Matthew put it, Cold- towards God and the things of God. Cold – overcome by things that have put our love for God out.
Our love for God is our number 1. Love is the most important thing in all we do. Love is the motivation and motor for what we do. Love will sustain us in the long and tiring deeds of the day. Love, love, love.
I hear the Director calling, “Back to 1!”
Go with God,