Love Letter From God: The Rules John 3:16, Leviticus 19:1-2, 19:18

TRANSCRIPT with timestamp:


00.00 – 00.02

So we continue today our .


00.03 – 00.15

Series called love letter from God . Today we are talking about . Leviticus . And it is our .


00.16 – 00.21

Fourth message in the series . We started with a message on John 3:16 .


00.22 – 00.27

And then we have moved from Genesis to Exodus and now we find ourselves in Leviticus .


00.28 – 00.35

As always we start with our Key verse for the entire series which is John 3:16 .


00.35 – 00.51

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life . And then I’ll ask you to stand as we read the verses for today’s message . They’re .


00.52 – 01.11

From Leviticus. Chapter 19 verses 1 and 2 and then Leviticus Chapter 19 Verse 18 . The Lord said to Moses speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them be holy because the Lord your God and holy .


01.13 – 01.22

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people but love your neighbor as yourself . I am .


01.22 – 01.23

The Lord .


01.24 – 01.41

Let us pray . Hide me behind your cross Lord . May my words be your heart . You have told us You love us . Help us to know your love and live it every day of our lives . Amen . You may be seated .


01.47 – 01.49

I presently have three animals at home .


01.49 – 02.17

Two guinea pigs and a dog named Bear . I know that some of you have more . Some of you might have less. My dog Bear is an older dog . He is about 13 and when we got him he was already 5 . So he came to us with some very bad habits . Some of which we have been able to help him out of and some of which we have not . He was a rescue .


02.18 – 02.27

And at first when we first got him he was very afraid of us . He was particularly afraid of my husband but he was very afraid of us generally .


02.28 – 02.51

We had to teach him that we wouldn’t hurt him and that everything that we did was actually for his benefit . We taught him that. And even though we taught him that, and he is much better now sometimes he still gets afraid or worried and he came with a cage .


02.52 – 03.22

And when he gets like that he’ll put himself in there and sometimes he’ll stay there for a couple of days and he only come out at night and get food but then he’ll go back to his cage . We never know why we made him mad . Or what we did . Maybe to frighten him but . He he does that every now and again . And . He puts himself back in that cage because that’s where he’s most comfortable and in many ways teaching our dog to trust us .


03.22 – 03.45

Is very similar to what God is trying to do here for the Israelites . Reading Leviticus is not an easy task . I know of many people who have said they started trying to read through the whole bible they are going to do the whole Bible in an entire year and they start reading Leviticus and they say . What . Happened? .


03.46 – 04.25

This is hard . Genesis is great . It has lots of story we talked about Genesis stuff happening every single page . Even exodus . There’s all kinds of really good stuff in there too right . We read of God’s rescue of the Israelites from Egypt . We read of everything that’s happening in there . There’s so much stuff happening and then we get to Leviticus – I almost want a screeching brakes sound . Because . We get there and it’s . Rules. And odd rules very difficult rules rules that we don’t understand .


04.25 – 04.39

Because they’re not really meant for us . But what’s happening here if you understand it can make Leviticus .


04.41 – 04.59

Lively . It may still be really tough to read but what’s happening here is God is teaching people who live their whole lives in captivity . How to live as free people .


05.01 – 05.07

In a place that doesn’t have any rules in a place that didn’t have any ruler .


05.09 – 05.23

God is teaching them something they have no context for . They don’t know how to do it They’ve lived their entire lives from the time they were born until the time they get old under the rule of others .


05.24 – 05.37

Pharoah and Egyptian masters . Who told them what they can do what work they can do when they can do it .


05.38 – 05.41

And what materials they could use to do it with .


05.42 – 06.02

So here they are . They’ve been rescued . They’re hanging out at the base of Mount Sinai right now . Moses has been up to the top of the mountain . He’s come down with the Ten Commandments which they promptly broke . He’s gone back up to the top of the mountain . And . He’s come down .


06.02 – 06.19

And he has words to say to them that are who God is and really the summary of Leviticus is found in these two little passages that I read this morning . I am the Lord your God


06.21 – 06.26

Be holy as I am holy .


06.26 – 06.28

Love your neighbor as yourself .


06.32 – 06.54

There’s a whole lot of detail in between those things and all over the book of Leviticus and you find pieces of evidence of how God is and what God means . God expects them to live differently from the nations they’re going to encounter .


06.55 – 07.03

From the nations they are going to live among when they reach the promised land . And he’s giving them those instructions right now .


07.04 – 07.21

And as part of those instructions there are a lot of things that we don’t understand and don’t make any sense to us . But they were in place for them because they were very different from the way the world worked for them right then . And it is when we get to the Gospels that we hear Jesus say Look .


07.22 – 08.09

You missed the point when God gave you those rules . The point is love God . Love your neighbor as yourself . Those are really the two big commandments . All the rest of it you won’t do when you do those two . But you have to see what it looks like and the Israelites didn’t have . The convenience of an entire book that told them what guards would look like . We do . Well this is a book that shows us . This . Dynamic . That God intends for all of us now .


08.11 – 08.35

God says when you love me when you love me you will love your neighbor It’ll happen . It’s a vertical . Love God . And a horizontal . Love others . Because . Beloved! .


08.39 – 09.03

When each of us knows we are loved . We can love others . We can give ourselves away . Because the cost to us is not so great when we can see the love we have . The love that’s been given to us . It’s not so hard to give it back away .


09.05 – 09.10

Do you remember my dog right, Bear . Just talked about him two minutes ago .


09.11 – 09.43

When we first got him he would often Barkin snap and growl at people he didn’t know . He still does that on occasion because he learned that people could be mean . And most of the time nowadays he still just barks at them but if they bend down and they start to pet him . He will stop . Because he has learned that when someone is kind to him when someone pats him . He can stop being afraid .


09.46 – 10.18

That’s what God is telling us in the book of Leviticus . If you trust me . If you can learn to love me then the rest of these rules will be simple enough . Because you will begin to give away what you’ve received . You will start to love others because you know you are loved . If you just read Leviticus as a book of do’s and don’ts that are somehow a prerequisite or necessary for God to love you .


10.20 – 10.41

You’re not going to get very far . When you read them the other way . When you read them . As an extension of God’s love . Meant to show the worst things that we can do to each other . Aren’t the things God wants for us .


10.43 – 10.51

Aren’t the things God wants from us . Then reading Leviticus takes a different .


10.52 – 10.52

Turn .


10.57 – 11.07

When we read Leviticus through the lens of saying be holy like I am holy love your neighbor as yourself .


11.07 – 11.20

We see a whole different picture . And I know I’ve preached on this a little bit before . But I want to make sure that we don’t forget that little . Last phrase .


11.21 – 11.42

In that verse . Love your neighbor as yourself . I think that we forget that the . Prerequisite . For loving others . Is . Loving ourselves .


11.43 – 11.55

Usually doesn’t mean much if we say love your neighbor as yourself . And you don’t love yourself . That means some things like Sabbath, which God sets up are


11.57 – 12.05

important . Like Rest. Important. Honoring your Parents


12.07 – 12.14

Not stealing not lying . All of those things are ways that you .


12.15 – 12.16

Love yourself .


12.18 – 12.30

You love God . And then from that you love others . But in case you’re wondering sometimes we do forget this .


12.32 – 12.39

The Israelites certainly did many times we’re going to talk about that a lot . As we continue through our series in the next few weeks .


12.40 – 12.57

Yeah pretty much the rest of the Old Testament . We’re going to talk about how the Israelites did not get this . But that’s okay . We don’t always get it either and we have the benefits of Jesus and the Holy Spirit filling us and empowering us to do its .


13.02 – 13.33

This week . I had an opportunity to mess that up myself . I got really annoyed at somebody . In a parking lot . And I didn’t just let it go . Or spend a minute maybe calming down . I was mad . It was hot . And I got out of my car and I was yelling across the parking lot .


13.33 – 13.50

Now the whole time I was in the store is like what is wrong with you . Hello . I felt really bad pretty quickly . But . There are days and moments .


13.51 – 14.35

When our love for our neighbor our love for ourselves and our love for God falls short . That’s why we actively confess that . In our communion . Prayer . Every week . We say Holy God we come before you in humility for we do not live as we ought . We do not love you with our whole heart and mind and strength . We do not love our neighbor as ourselves . So we pray in all humility that you will change our hearts and minds that you will show us again how to love others the way you love us that you will put power and courage in our hearts to do your will .


14.35 – 15.01

This is a prayer that reminds us that even as Holiness people even as people who believe that Sanctification is possible that the Holy Spirit can work in our rise and change our hearts and move us forward . We know we get it wrong sometimes . And our loving God says that when we get it wrong . When we mess it up .


15.02 – 15.04

There is grace for us .


15.04 – 15.19

We should do better . We can do better . Because we have the power of the Holy Spirit in us . So we confess to it’s . We ask forgiveness for it . And we accept the grace that is offered in exchange for it.


15.21 – 15.30

And we don’t leave here today believing that we have to sin . We do not every day say Oh, God! i know i have sinned .


15.33 – 15.36

Because we didn’t have to live that way . We are free .


15.42 – 15.57

We know that that freedom that we have in Christ allows us to live better to choose otherwise . But . We leave here knowing that IF  We do . If we screw up .


15.58 – 16.02

We don’t have to leave in fear .


16.02 – 16.13

We don’t have to be defeated . We can question the grace of a God . Who has a way for us to be holy as God is holy .


16.15 – 16.26

Love our neighbors as ourselves . As we’ve been doing every week in the series . I will now Remind you .


16.27 – 17.02

Of what it looks like to say that the love of God is in every page of scripture . What does it mean to say God loves . God loves us enough to create us to form us from the dust . God loved us enough to let us fail to let us choose our own way over Goods to let us chain ourselves to sin and defeat in heartbreak and sorrow and death. God loved us enough to provide a rescue . A way back .


17.04 – 17.33

Through Wanderer’s murderers adulterers defaulters promise breakers foreigners strangers and lovers . God loved us enough . To show us mothers and judges and Kings and Prophets who loved and spoke for God . And kept reminding us of the promise of redemption . God loved us enough to show us how evil and wrong continually mess things up .


17.33 – 17.39

And how obedience to God fosters holiness and bestows blessing .


17.39 – 17.50

God loved us enough to send us Jesus . The only begotten Son of God to preach and live peace Grace hope joy and love .


17.52 – 18.04

God loved us enough to see Jesus rejected to see him die to see him buried . God loved us enough to raise Jesus from the dead .


18.04 – 18.21

And send the Holy Spirit to remind us of all we have in him and empower us to live like him . God loved us enough to want us to live like Jesus an abundant life infused with all the fruit of the Spirits redeemed free loved .


18.23 – 18.26

God loves us enough to still let us choose our own destiny .


18.28 – 18.38

God loved us enough to promise the hope of forever of resurrection from the dead and judgment . God loved us enough .


18.39 – 18.51

God loves us enough . God will always love us enough . For God so loved the world . God .


18.51 – 19.00

Loves you . God loves you . God loves you . God loves . You .


19.01 – 19.13

God loves you . God wants you to know that . God wants you to live in it . God wants you to be able to love others because you know you are loved .


19.15 – 19.35

And God’s love is expressed to us every week . Most tangibly as we gather at this table . The Son who died and yet lives . Gave everything . So we could know the depths of God’s love . So come . Drink the wine .


19.36 – 19.50

Eat the bread . Know you are loved . God loves you . Go . Love the world with him .


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