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725 People Matter - Stuff Doesn't (details.asp)
Main Topics: Love, Faith, Image of God

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Common Lectionary: Proper 19B

People matter, stuff doesn't; if wealth, rules or anything else start mattering more than people, we have lost the Gospel and misunderstood who God is.

Keywords: - Love, Shema, Jesus, Faith, Works, Trinity, Image of God

Key Scriptures: - Jam 2:14-17

Other Scriptures: - Mar 2:23-28, Luk 16:13, 1 Jo 3:17

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1. Two greatest commandments

   a. Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength

   b. Love your neighbor (and enemies) as yourself

2. People matter; stuff doesn’t

   a. If stuff starts mattering more, we’ve missed the Gospel

   b. Following ‘rules’ is not as important as loving others

   c. If you have plenty but do not help those in need, God’s love is not in you


Jesus said the two greatest commandments were, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all of Scripture--even all of life.  James says that faith that does not show itself by good deeds is no faith at all: it is dead and useless.  This is not salvation by works; if you have faith, it should be evident in how you live and treat others. Often we get absorbed by the drama of the moment, becoming passionate about a cause or a method of worship, and forget what matters.  Jesus came to teach us who God is and who we are to be.  God’s love is shown in how we love others; people matter, stuff doesn’t.  Sometimes stuff is essential to loving people, but if it starts mattering more than them, we’ve missed the Gospel and misunderstood who God is.  God is a Trinity of three persons--not ideas or philosophies--who are passionate, mutually submitted, loving, and intimate.  He loves us so much he was willing to die to bring reconciliation.  This is the image we are made in!  Jesus tells us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, to even love our enemies.  Following the ‘rules’, such as resting on the Sabbath or tithing, is not as important as loving people.  We must especially remember not to run over others in our search for wealth.  If you have enough money to live well, see someone in need but do nothing, God’s love is not in you, and you have lost the Gospel. You cannot separate the Gospel from everyday living: people matter, stuff doesn’t.



Copyright 1987-2008 - George Byron Koch