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Spring Harvest 2015: Wider 1

May 28, 2015

with acknowledgement to Krish Kandiah

Since Spring Harvest I have preached twice on this prayer in Ephesians.

At SH2015 we were reminded of the wideness of Jesus’ love. It is all inclusive. In that recent sermon I underlined that God’s love is for “Jew or gentile, people of all nations”.

I preached a while back on John 3:16 and the following is an extract from my manuscript. I was cautious as I was not sure about the church congregation  I spoke to and how they would view things but I hold to this, as being beyond dispute. God loves:

“• Christian, Jew, Muslim, Atheist

• Hitler, Gandhi, Hussein, Mother Teresa

• Lonely people, crowds of people

• Nations and continents

• Towns and cities

• Male and female

• Black and white

• Plymouth Argyle and Exeter City fans

• Big Issue sellers and directors of banks

Disabled and able bodied
Straight and gay

• Usain Bolt and people like me

• Together and individually

• From the very beginning, through the centuries and beyond”

(For some reason a few bullets have gone astray there!)

In a church I know very well, a preacher recently announced “God hates sinners”.

That is heretical. God IS love!!!! God’s love for mankind knows NO limit.

Where there is sin it needs to be dealt with, but hate for a human being is so not divine.

As I type this now I have just finished an old book. It took me less than 2 days. It had me hooked. “What’s so amazing about grace?”

I want to be amazed by that grace! Totally and utterly. What else would suffice?

Back before Spring Harvest I preached a sermon “Amazed by Grace” – not perhaps the most obvious title for a study on Jesus’ encounter with the rich young ruler, but grace is what I saw.

This was the challenge:

“So remember Christian, what did you do earn God’s love? What reason do you have for pride? None at all. You did nothing. It was all of Jesus. All you did was accept what he had done for you. Received the gift that he offered. You didn’t have to pass some kind of test, show yourself good enough, say a particular formula of words even. You reached out and received the gift of life. An expensive gift too. Bought by the blood of Jesus.”

That barely scrapes the treatment of “wider” at SH2015! I’ll come back to it…

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