Messages from Pastor Raddatz

May 29, 2022, Mount Olive Houston, TX, Other Texts for today: Acts 1:12-26 & Revelations 22:1-6, 12-20

 ONE LOVE, ONE CHOICE, ONE FUTURE, All Bible Readings for Today


John 17: 20-26, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” ESV

Grace, mercy and peace, to you, from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Dear People of God,

How many love songs have been written?  It has been estimated that more than 100 million love songs have been recorded, and the variety is staggering.   

Why do love songs work?  I would suggest because it satisfies the yearning of all human beings to fill a need and a void in one’s life.  Love Songs are filled with hope and joy because we find that we are accepted almost without condition.  Has someone ever said to you, “I will love you on one condition?”  There are no conditions on God’s love.  He loves you without any expectations.

To understand this love I direct you to John 17:25-26 where we read: “O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you and these know that you have sent me.  26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it know, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them. ESV

Jesus prays that we would know one love.  This love written in the Word of God (in the Bible) and reveals the true God to man, brings him to faith, preserves him in the faith, is absolute Truth, and binds Redeemer and believer in an eternal bond of love. -Bul’s Notes

Jesus prays in John 17 that we all have one love.  To love means that we have to choose to love.   

ONE CHOICE, Acts 1:23-26: And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. ESV

Songwriter Nick Cave talked about duende in his lecture “The Secret Life Of The Love Song.” “All love songs must contain duende, because the love song is never simply happy,” Cave told an audience at the 1999 Vienna Poetry Festival. “It must first embrace the potential for pain. Those songs that speak of love, without having within their lines an ache or a sigh, are not love songs at all.”

What makes “love good”?  Some people think it has to do with mutual love, which is a love of give and take, but the highest love is all about give with no thought of receiving anything else in return (Agape love).  We are called to love ourselves even when we know WE ARE NOT GOOD.  For we can choose evil, and we can choose good.   Be careful about pointing fingers at Judas: for we also have betrayed Jesus.

I had to make a choice in College.  I was a reluctant resident assistant and towards the end of the year I was asked like all resident assistants to give a recommendation on next years applicants.  One Freshman had an older brother who was a troublemaker.  I wrongly thought that if his brother was a troublemaker than he was not far behind him. Yet, I seemed to forget that I was in the same position, though, my brother was fast and slick he went to another college.  I felt I could not recommend this person.  This applicant for next year’s RA position found out and found me and confronted me that I judged him on the reputation of his undisciplined brother instead of judging him for his own merits.  By God’s grace I recognized my error, and I reversed my decision.  I apologized to this younger brother.  How I can easily forget to take the 2X4 out of my eye before I want to take a spec of dust out of another’s eye.  I was glad I was able to make a different choice.

Christ chose to love you…chose to go to the cross and through Christ, God chose to forgive you and forgive me.   God hates sin but he loves us sinners.  God chose to love us and punish his son.   

The disciples were faced with a choice.   After Judas had done himself in, the disciples needed to replace him.  What I find ironic is they do not take a vote like we might today.  They cast lots.  It would be our version of “FLIPPING A COIN.”

Casting lots: The primary reason for casting lots was to render an impartial, unbiased decision on important matters. Once the lot was cast, no one could argue that the decision was the result of human intervention like nepotism, politics, favoritism, and so on.

I guess the lesson here is that our choice is taken out of our hands.  Does it seem like chance?  Maybe it does, but that is all too it.  God directs our future (Proverbs 3:5-6)

ONE FUTURE, Revelation 22:16-17: 16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. ESV

In this Bible reading the Church is called “The Bride.”   The Bride of Christ is a prominent symbol and metaphor used in Scripture to describe God's relationship with his beloved bride, the church (  Love is a choice.  

Sometimes it’s’ a choice between an engagement ring and a bass boat.  A number of years ago, I was officiating at a wedding.  While I was gathering with the Grooms party one of the groomsmen said to the groom, “Isn’t that your bass boat I see on your bride’s finger?”   He sold his bass boat and used the money to buy an engagement ring.  Just as life together begins with choosing someone, continuing to live with them also involves a choice.  This is why Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” (Matthew 22:37-39) The first commandment is to “Love God above all things.”

When Jesus returns to judge the living and the dead we are told that there will be a new heaven and a new earth.  This is from Revelation 21:1f.  This will be something we have never experienced.  One love, one choice and one future is all about one thing: JESUS!  He will keep you safe until the end.

Conclusion: God HAS BECOME ONE WITH US THROUGH HIS LOVE.   We are united with the Trinity. Until Christ comes we have the utter certainty of safe keeping, in Christ, now and forever. In Christ, God planned it for me from eternity. It will reach into all eternity. -Bul’s Notes

This peace which passes all human understanding will keep your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus, to life everlasting. Amen.

Pastor John Raddatz

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