StoneBridge Community Church
UNEXPECTED #7: The Greatest Love of All
Pastor Jeff Cheadle
Locations & Times
  • StoneBridge Campus
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:30 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:30 AM
  • Growth Groups
    Simi Town Center Way, Simi Valley, CA 93065, USA
    Sunday 12:00 PM

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Today's Text in Context

Bob Utley, "John 15" from the series The Beloved Disciple's Memoirs and Letters

Memorial Day

"Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces. The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers." Wikipedia
1. The greatest love of all is…
1. The greatest love of all is sacrificial love.

Maximilian Kolbe

Maximilian Maria Kolbe, O.F.M. (1894 – 1941) was a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar, who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the German death camp of Auschwitz, located in German-occupied Poland during World War II. Canonized in 1982 by Pope John Paul II, Kolbe is the patron saint of drug addicts, political prisoners, families, journalists, prisoners, and the pro-life movement. John Paul II declared him "The Patron Saint of Our Difficult Century." Wikipedia

9 Things to Know About Maximilian Kolbe

Some interesting facts about Maximilian Kolbe, written from a Roman Catholic perspective. Ellyn von Huben, Word on Fire Blog.

Ernest Gordon

Ernest Gordon (1916 – 2002) was the former Presbyterian dean of the chapel at Princeton University. A native of Scotland, as an officer in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Gordon spent three years in a Japanese POW camp during the Second World War. Ernest found his sense of self and spirituality while a prisoner and one of the participant soldiers who helped build The Bridge on the River Kwai. Wikipedia

USS Pueblo

The taking of Pueblo and the abuse and torture of its crew during the subsequent 11-month prisoner drama became a major Cold War incident, raising tensions between the western democracies and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and People's Republic of China. Pueblo, still held by North Korea, officially remains a commissioned vessel of the United States Navy. Since early 2013, the ship has been moored along the Potong River in Pyongyang. Wikipedia

Liviu Librescu

Liviu Librescu (1930 – 2007) was a Romanian-American scientist and engineer. A prominent academic in addition to being a survivor of the Holocaust, Librescu is most widely known for his actions during the Virginia Tech shooting, when he held the doors to his lecture hall closed, allowing all but one of his students enough time to escape through the windows. Shot and killed during the attack, Librescu was posthumously awarded the Order of the Star of Romania, the country's highest civilian honor. Wikipedia

What Does the Bible Say About Sacrificial Love?

42 curated Bible verses about sacrificial love from OpenBible.
For reflection/discussion
Why is it important to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom? How do you feel when you hear stories about people like Father Maximilian Kolbe and Professor Liviu Librescu? What other stories have you heard about people sacrificing their lives to save others? Why are these stories so powerful and compelling?

Evolution and Altruism

Chuck Colson, "Evolution and Altruism" The Christian Post, November 30, 2006.
2. Our willingness to love sacrificially comes from…
2. Our willingness to love sacrificially comes from our being created in the image and likeness of God.
For reflection/discussion
What are your thoughts on the position held by proponents of "evolutionary psychology" and "sociobiology" that love, altruism, and sacrifice are survival mechanisms and basically selfishness in disguise? How does the Bible and Christian worldview explain altruism and sacrifice? Which makes more sense to you, and why?
3. We can show sacrificial love…
3. We can show sacrificial love in the simplest ways, (not just in heroic ones).

Loving Kim

"That is how love works: Jill gets a restful weekend, and I get a stressful weekend. It’s a small picture of the love Jesus showed: When Jesus laid down His life for me, I got His righteousness, and He got my sin." —Paul Miller, "Loving Kim" Discipleship Journal, Issue 130, (2002).

What Is This Thing Called Love?

Bob Deffinbaugh, "What Is This Thing Called Love?" from the series True Spirituality: A Study in 1 Corinthians

The Depth of Christ's Love

John Piper, "The Depth of Christ's Love: Its Cost" Desiring God, March 26, 1995.
For reflection/discussion
(1) Think about and thank God for the people who have sacrificed for you. Take your time. Think about those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom; for the gospel; for our safety. Think about and thank God for other kinds of sacrifices people have made for us. (2) What are some simple ways you can show sacrificial love to your spouse (if married), family, the people you work with, and others you know. (3) Think about and thank God for Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross to save us from sin and give us eternal life. What is a fitting response to that gift of love?

Join us next week as we celebrate Pentecost Sunday with a new mini-series on "The Three Faces of God"

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