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Esther Ellis Sunday 5th February 2017 'The love of God – The Sign of Life' Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” 1. The Sign of Life Without God the sign of our human condition is brokenness. Immanuel means 'God with us'. 'God with us' is a sign to us and to others, it's a sign that brings us to life. John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. Jesus is the sign that offers life, Jesus takes us from death to life. Points for Reflection & Prayer What do I understand by living a full life? Has my new life in Christ gone lukewarm or stagnant? 2. A life to Give Matthew 10:7-8 “As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” The only life that is worth giving, is the life of Christ. The Message puts it like this (Matthew 10:5-10): “Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge: “Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighbourhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously. Jesus Continues... “Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.” Baggage slows you down, sometimes it can even paralyse you. Points for Reflection & Prayer What does it mean to travel light for God? Are there things in your life that are slowing you down in your walk with God? 3. Counting the Cost of Worship Mark 14:3-9 3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. 4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. 6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” A simple and beautiful act of love and worship, cost her 1 1/2 years wages. That which was in the power of her hand to do, she did. The Woman did all she could, with all she had. Christine Cane says that 'Life is not a cruise ship, there is a cost in following Jesus, where am I paying the cost, or am I just enjoying the entertainment'? Points for Reflection & Prayer What is in the power of my hands to do? Am I prepared to give to God all I have? 'Lord, help me be known by Your life and love within me'.