May 1, 2024

Good afternoon Church family,  

In John 14:15, Jesus says, “if you love me you will keep my commandments.” 

I mentioned in my sermon this past week how one of the root reasons for all sin/disobedience is a lack of love.

Therefore, when we don’t obey Jesus, whether it be internally or externally, covert or overt, we are not loving Jesus. To me, that breaks my heart. 

Just as the guy in Mark 9:24 said, “I believe but help my unbelief,” so also we can honestly pray, “I love You, Lord, but help my lack of love.” I hope that you can all admit that and confess that prayer to the Lord because it is both a confession and a request. 

To pray that prayer, “I love you Lord, but help my lack of love” is what I would define as “praying in the Spirit” because Who but the Holy Spirit of God could give you an intense love for Jesus while pointing out your lack of love at the same time? 

I was weeding with my father-in-law the other day and we started talking about how important it is to pull up the weeds with their roots and all. Most of you know this: if you don’t pull out the roots, then the weed grows back. 

And turning to my son Micah, we tried to use that opportunity as an object lesson on sin as I told him, “Micah, all sin, that is all disobedience has a root reason for why you do it, and if you don’t pull up that root and burn it or throw it away, then the sin will grow back.” 

Then I said, “and do you know what the root behind all sin and disobedience is? It’s a lack of love for your authority figure.” 

I doubt that my son Micah at 4 years old really understood that, but my philosophy of parenting is to talk to them about profound realities until they get it someday. We always say, ‘kids are smart,’ and I agree. So I’ll talk to them like they are (I’ll also try to simplify truths for them) until they get it someday. The truth is people learn by grasping part of a truth before getting the whole of it. But more importantly, the Holy Spirit is smarter than any of us, and I pray that the Holy Spirit would contribute to my children’s understanding of grand spiritual truths. And that’s why I go on explaining things that they may not understand yet, because I’m trusting the Holy Spirit will help my kids grasp what they otherwise could never.  

Anyways, it’s a good reminder for us to realize that all of your struggles to obey Jesus is really a struggle to love Jesus. A lack of love needs to be uprooted from all of your sin and a love for Jesus needs to take root as the true source of obedience in your life. 

But the difficult part? Sometimes it’s nearly impossible to pull out these weed roots because they run deep and they entangle themselves with all of the flowers (Consider Hebrews 12:1-2 which speaks of “the sin which clings so closely” to us). 


And for that reason, let’s remember that we need to allow God Himself to do our weeding and uprooting. 

As Jesus will say in John 15, “every branch in me…that does bear fruit He prunes that it may bear more fruit.” 


God the Father will assure that He makes you grow as His child and the Holy Spirit will point out the roots to your various sin struggles so that you may let Him pull them out like a dentist pulling out a decayed tooth by the roots. 

Let God do your “root canal” and dig out that nasty festering self-love and selfishness. And may He replace it with His everlasting love, more and more and more. 

I’m praying that we all grow more in the love of Jesus as a Church, for this is what it truly means to grow as a Church family! 

With love in Christ, 

Aaron

From Pastor Aaron

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