What The Prisoner, Prostitute And Philanthropist Can Teach Us About Families
16 MAY 2021 | WSCS Weekend | PRAYER & PRAISE SERVICE
Ms Melissa Kwee
Scripture Passage: Luke 7:47; 2 Chronicles 7:14; 1 Peter 3:1-8; Colossians 3:15-21; Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (VIDEO)
READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | Families are the heart of the nation and family restoration is of paramount importance. Matthew 5:22-24 is a call to reconciliation. During this pandemic, strong families have enjoyed quality time together while others experienced much stress brought about by close contact in confined spaces. No one has a perfect family but honouring each other within the family is not optional.
Volunteers in the community seem to see more brokenness than health in families. When we choose to love those in need in society, it helps us to see our immediate family with new eyes. Service to others is truly God’s discipleship opportunity, hence the title of the sermon. Poverty is not only materiel but emotional, relational and spiritual.
1. The Philanthropist – Melissa came from a privileged background. She was a social activist but only encountered Jesus Christ in a dramatic way in her late twenties recognising that God had changed her heart in response to her sister’s prayers. Luke 7:40. Love swells in response to the sacrificial forgiveness offered to us by Christ.
2. The Prostitute –Melissa met an inspiring lady at a support group for those with addictions. This lady had incredible faith and great hope for family reconciliation. She had been forced into prostitution by her violent gambler husband. She did not give up on him despite having an affair with a kind customer. As a believer, she prayed for her husband, ended her affair and came to the meeting to give thanks that her husband had found a job and things were improving. She strengthened listeners with her humility and simple faith that God would honour her as she honoured the Lord. What if we chose to forgive difficult people in our families?
3. The Prisoner – While working with prisoners, Melissa researched a radical Brazilian model of justice where crime is defined as a violent refusal to love and be loved. Justice is about restoring dignity so that a person can once again love and be loved. A prisoner is called a “Recuperados”. Only Jesus can bring about this change. We are all prisoners in one sense or another, seeking recuperation. Whatever is more important than the Lord becomes our prison.
We are quick to judge others but what if we saw difficult family members in a new way as being in need of love, a new purpose and a new identity.
We are all called to be ministers of reconciliation and God longs for wholeness in our lives to heal our poverty of every kind.
Do I need to die to self and pray for humility like the rich young ruler, and have unshakeable faith like the prostitute and want inner freedom like the Prisoner does? And maybe in this place, I will humble myself and pray and seek God’s face and turn from my judging ways and then God will hear from heaven and heal our land. – 2 Chron 7:14
(Sermon Notes by Frances Lim)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
1. How has the Holy Spirit spoken to you through the preaching of God’s word?
2. Do you have any questions? (or How would you summarise the message of this section or story?)
3. What are the implications for us through this message?
- What are the personal implications (for you)?
- What are the communal implications (for our gospel community)?
- What are the missional implications (for those we want to reach for Christ)?