I found myself re-counting the message from a sermon I heard many years ago this evening. Unexpectedly. It popped up, and is it inflated itself out of my memory, it is surprising how much body emerged from just a whisp of memory.
I wonder what my top three influential, formative sermons that I have heard have been – so far. This ones is contending to be one of them. I suspect each of the top three will be one that delivered a message I wasn’t expecting – even the opposite of what I would have found myself saying or believing.
It was a sermon of David Yonggi Cho’s. You can google him. He is no insignificant leader in the worldwide church. It was a tape I listened to.
He talked about serving God first, then his family, and lastly himself. He explained that the consequence was he was worn out, and his marriage was in great jeopardy.
It is at this point God speaks to him, and this is what he hears. his priorities are wrong. In fact they are upside down. It should be himself first, then his family, and then God.
NO!! Surely not. But the work persists. And opens out.
How can you love your neighbour like yourself, if you do not love and respect yourself first. And how can you relate to God and his people if you are not in a mutual loving relationship with those you are called to share your life with? If these relationships are running in line with God’s love in your life, then you are in a place to serve God with honour, and what you actually do is worthy and models the love you have for God, and his love for you.
It saved him from working for God, and using this as reason to neglect self and family. Doing work for God is not necessarily the same thing as putting God first.
Salvation comes and proceeds by grace, not works, though from salvation works of grace must flow. This is what Mr Cho was sharing the lesson of.
Apologies if I have not remembered it correctly, but this is the message I took away.