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Eric's Sunday Sermon; For the Love of God?

Updated on October 22, 2016

I have no clue what is in this boy's head. I think he was out in never never land.

God is not a thing!!

Oh how mighty we become when we do things for the love of God. But hold on here just a second. Do we also do things for the love of our fellow human? Well by golly we hope so. We just cannot overlook what we do that is good for our fellow as being done just for them. Don’t worry I will pull up some scripture that validates humanitarianism as a critical part of spirituality. For sure this is in the top three really important lessons of living a life that is good and honorable. And you know what? We should add love of earth to the equation.

In this wonderful book that I normally read twice daily they have a really cool commandment for living. The writing goes something like this: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" You will find it in a “book” written by a physician historian named Luke. It is just so cool. For sure it is OK to be like your author here and live with your head in clouds seeking connection with your God. But it is not OK to stay there so much that you do not love your neighbor.

There are some who believe and espouse that loving means admonition and correction. Somehow that is not a gift I have. With my children, if I cannot show a better way then I should keep my hands to myself and my admonition in check. I have never found a need to correct others. I do not like it when you do it to me, so what I must do is love you as myself. For sure easier said than done. Or hold on a second. Perhaps easier done than thinking about it.

“Don’t do that”. That is malarkey. “Let me show you a different way”, is where it is at. Is that doing it for God or for them?

This child thinks whatever he is doing is rad, I must shut up and appreciate.

What stupidity adults exhibit when they try to control the mind of a child. Ouch!
What stupidity adults exhibit when they try to control the mind of a child. Ouch! | Source

Just lighten up and enjoy the theatrics. I like the women gangsters.

How about? "For God's sake". Maybe we should hold off on that concept.

Here is a strange dichotomy. In raising my children and coaching youth and preaching with children I emphasize that they should not act to please another. They must act in a goal of self-satisfaction. Doesn’t that sound self-centered and ego driven? Well now slow down with your judgment. That wonderful story of love above tells us to love another as we love ourselves. Can we see that point that we must love ourselves fully first. If you self loathe yourself is that how you love your neighbor? Setting a standard for yourself and really trying to achieve it is far more important than meeting my expectations.

However with all that said, the greatest gift in life is doing for others. This seems contrary to doing things for yourself. Well I am sorry but there is just a plain reality that one could even call a Holy mystery. Nothing does more for us than helping another. So you might even find yourself as a “helping others junkie”. And of course we all get co-dependency. That is where the rubber hits the road. And that brings us back to needing to set our own standards and try like hell to live up to them. For sure for people who love you, doing well is a gift of love to them. Kind of crazy.

This is a good time to reflect on the title here “For the Love of God?” When we do good for ourselves are we doing it for God or for humans, ourselves included? Do we need to say a prayer out loud or write it down? A God would already know what is in our heart. So it would seem we write down or say it aloud for ourselves or others.

Judge the people but love the message.

They have these things called "floating farms", 3,000 years old and we are just getting around to them.

Who do we plant and farm for?
Who do we plant and farm for? | Source

Hey this is really a good part!

Let us look at doing it for God. It would seem that that is like doing it for the universe. At least our universe. A bummer happens here, we must do a good thing there. We cannot expect our actions to present in a form of perfection. And we must accept that there is a balance because we ourselves and we as humanity make mistakes. I made someone feel bad, so I must make someone feel good. I failed so I must succeed. And when I do it for God I must also do it for myself and for you. A trinity of life balance and wellness. There is this cool psalm in 82 that says quite specifically and Christ repeats it “"I said, 'You are "gods"; you are all sons of the Most High.' Well let me tell you that if you do good to my sons you do much more than well for me. In this we must find self love in order to pass that along to other love. Brother Joe does his best. In fact does he not do that for me? Mother Theresa never healed my wounds of fed me or loved me. Or did she by loving another? Yep she loved me by loving another. There is this other cool concept, let me see if I can recall it is written by a great guy we call Mathew around the end of 25 of his book – if you do not do it for the least of these you also have not done it for God. Something like that.

Combine that with the notion that we are all gods and you have a full circle. Wow. I want to write this in all caps and scream it at you, but I listen to soft spoken more than someone who yells. If you do not act you do not act for you and you injure yourself and that harms me. Thank you very much for helping the homeless but you should really thank yourself more.

Now there is a way to wrap this all around us and reconcile. Yep you guessed it – love. I do not care if there are one million definitions of love, you know the kind of love I am talking about. A long time ago I was called upon to defend a Canadian Native North American in a capital murder case. I know we are all guilty and I know we are likewise all innocent. A single act or charge against us does not change our guilt or innocence. Yes we kind of won the trial. No death sentence and no life sentence. But that rather guilty lady kept repeating to me to walk in beauty. This was a native saying. It means to become that which is beautiful and that is love and walk in all ways in love. I like the phrase “in love”. We use it to mean a couple. But it is so much more. “In Love” means that love is in you. An all powerful force of life. An energy force that is not reconciled by our thoughts but rather by our souls.

I am a silly old bastard I cry over puppy dogs and love shown.

Please go back up and listen to sometimes we cry.

So when we act in love we do it for the trinity of God, others and ourselves. You get to pick your vision of God, others and yourself.

So reread the title here and think of the other concept of “the Love of God”. It is not an intention it is a way of being. We may act not so much to love our God, but rather to be loved by God.

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lawrence, what a great concept -- to listen with the heart. I will use that to remind me. Compassionate listening. Thanks much.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      This was quite thought provoking for me, why? Because there are days when I mess up, and there are days when a short sharp 'rap' on the knuckles from a friend is kinder than the kisses of my enemy!

      I really think it's the heart of the person trying to help that makes it, listening with the heart as well as the ears!

      A few thoughts.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lori that is a wonderful comment. For some reason the scripture and how you presented it gave me peace.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 11 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      You exude love Eric. And it blesses us all. I have had many unlovable seasons in my life and if people had not loved me back into the fold, and chose to love me instead of whack me over the head with "speaking the truth in love," then I don't know where I'd be. 1 Cor. 13 is so simple and so clear. If you do it without love it means nothing.

      I look at all the broken people in the political arena (of the circus variety) and see how loveless their lives are it breaks my heart. It's easy to get mad, and I've done that, but the Lord brought me around. I pray for them all the time. My prayers have gone from Lord, make them stop doing xyz or make them do xyz, to Lord, reveal your love to them and their need for you. We are called to love the unloveable.

      I love this passage from Luke 6:32-36:

      But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Devika your words cover in truth what you say. I am proud to be friends with you over the years. You are a benefit to all who know you.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 11 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I was not taught to hate any person of any skin color. I don't look at anyone as different from their appearance. A great message here. Accepting others and loving others is a way of life.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Dora. I sure enjoy writing hubs like this one. I am so surrounded by and receive so much love I am amazed everyday.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 11 months ago from The Caribbean

      I like your emphasis on being instead of doing. God is love. Our being love to others demonstrates both our acceptance and sharing of the love of God. Thanks for the many good thoughts you present.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Brian you are so spot on. My daughter who oversees about 1.5 thousand people was having a problem with one. He claimed she treated workers differently. I reminded her that my momma loved all us six children. But boy did she give us love differently. She just knew what was needed by whom when. She made clear instructions upon her death that she was never to be referred to as nice. Doing what was right always trumped her need for approval. We must adapt.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John, I do things that make me feel horrible about myself. And I stop that loving myself. I cannot remember a single time in my life where someone did not love me and bring me back. It is almost like a bank account. If you add to it when you are well, you have savings when you are not.

      Let us go love a stranger today!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby, I love it when you drop by. You just made me think that maybe judgmental may be the opposite of love. Maybe it is not hate and apathy. I was thinking of family disputes that do not quickly heal over. Is it because I am being judgmental?

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Manatita, I will check the photos. I just love the idea of being childlike in our connection with God. So for me it just makes sense to use my child's photos.

      I must be inspired as you say, lest I do not inspire others.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Mel, I got a diploma in physical security. I worked the docks where they build those funny stealth ships. Well I also worked the night shift patrolling Oceanside. Every dark corner rounding could be your last -- stick with the airport. I got in it because of 911.

      There is something strange about those all caps. The main preacher where I preached had a fancy microphone gig. I preached to the same group normally and never used a mike. Go figure no one ever suggested they could not hear me.

      As another note on that: They have researched it well. And Jesus could have been actually heard by 5,000. Special acoustic concepts. And that is without any God assistance.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 11 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      I can't find a reason not to love everyone and everything full blast all the time. "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good." Good enough for God; why not good enough for me? How to love your neighbor in practice changes moment to moment, depending on who (including oneself) needs what. The Good Samaritan didn't give the mugged man a hug. The innkeeper didn't give Joseph and Mary a puppy when their need of the moment was a place for Mary to give birth. Sometimes a hug and sometimes a puppy is just what is needed.

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      John , SFO/SVDP 11 months ago

      Eric, A very well put together piece to open the eyes of the blind and to enlighten the spiritual darkness of Some. I am on the better side because I get to be touched by your wisdom. Keep up the Good Work, My Friend, and this reaching by teaching the Folks that do need it. I have always told people that when I am helping those who need it that I get much more from them and out of the interaction than they do. You do a fantastic JOB of getting that point through to all, This includes the part on having Love for oneself so that we may more Thoroughly pass the love of GOD onto other people. Especially the unwashed and unwanted. When we have the right kind of self Love and pass that Love onto others. they feel it's genuine authenticity and respond in kind and we have done more for them and ourselves than we have expected. WE begin the process of rebuilding their Self Worth. (And I would say Our Own). God Bless. John

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 11 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I am so very much in love with your teaching of being nonjudgmental. I love the old cliché, " Walk a mile in my shoes. " To give love, what could be better? We all share that one bond, to love and be loved...

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 11 months ago from london

      Excellent! Did you change one picture? Strange I don't recall the second one of him: cute, spontaneous, childlike ...

      Hope you have a truly inspirational time!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 11 months ago from San Diego California

      I'm sitting in a security guard shack at the airport and I cannot watch your Van Morrison yet but I will later, because he is a cool dude. Don't worry, I am not under arrest, it is a new part time job. Trying to stay afloat in California.

      This was a beautiful sermon. Too bad people are shortly going to try and ruin it by ignoring the love parts of the Bible and condemning you Old Testament style, in all caps. I think you should write your next sermon in all caps, to wake up those of us drunks snoozing in the back pew. Great work.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill I stayed with my daughter to whom the news is very important. So we watched some. I had not in at least a year. It seemed like what I remember about reality TV shows (haven't seen one in several years). The teasers, the astonishing and the opinions as opposed to facts presented as facts. Now my daughter tells me that the ratings show that at least a couple hundred million watch that stuff. Lord help us.

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      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      A powerful message that is dearly needed in the world today. I can't even watch the news any longer. I don't recognize some of the players as members of my race. :) Pax vobiscum, my friend.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann, I have never really held a coin much without looking at both sides. Call it a pension for the flip side. I think that when we become passionate about our issues we lose some sight of our passion for loving others and ourselves. But I have that luxury, many must pick one side in order to survive.

      Thank you for all your support it means very much to me to have such a dignified lady express some joy at reading my sermons.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ed, my elder son and I were talking and emailing about some guilt over sin that we have felt. We agreed to share some of our bad acts with each other. No judgment just love. That is such a precious gift we can give others. Thank you much for your friendship.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Manatita, The sun is just creeping up here. In a few hours I shall be at one of the most famous churches in all the world. Walking along the beach below Torrey Pines. My eldest will walk in serenity with me. To give thanks, to be grateful just seems not enough for such glorious bounty that we have been given. So we must act on our appreciation for life.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John, one very cool aspect of that great commandment is that if we are busy doing that, then what the heck else do we have time for? OK I admit it I still find the time to muck things up.

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      Ann Carr 11 months ago from SW England

      Hello, Eric, on this lovely Sunday morning in England!

      You continue to make us think and it's part of your job to do the 'good cop, bad cop' routine, I think - in a good way of course! I like your style and I like your philosophy.

      To quote The Beatles: 'Love is all you need'.

      Ann :)

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 11 months ago

      I NOW know why I so often think , "Man that Eric is such a nice guy " I wish I had kids sitting in your classes ! What love you do teach !

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 11 months ago from london

      Naturally I do not know your life of Sadhana (worship; spiritual practice), but prayer teaches us all things. Both verbal and interior prayer. The selfless and soulful service seems to be already there. Use or continue to use music, the right kind and silent reflection from time to time. It is the Inner Voice or Pilot that teaches us all things.

      It is a pleasant Sunday. Thank you for reading my gentle 'nudges' done purely with Love. Have a great family day!!

      P.S. Not 'preaching,' but serving. Continue to be an instrument of the Lord.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 11 months ago from Queensland Australia

      A very relevant and powerful message for us all..."'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'..perfect advice. I love the song "Sometimes We Cry" that certainly fit your message.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Whonu, let me move on that notion. My wife is youngest of 6 as I am. But she is a female born in a country where the youngest daughter is to put all aside and care for her parents. 30 years ago they did not even marry. My wife is an accomplished professional but she is a great ocean away to care for mom. She for sure has done this out of love. But she for sure has done this out of tradition. That is double cool not double bad. Although I miss her.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bravo my friend Manatita. You hit the nail on the head. Is my reluctance a fear of commitment? Or is it a desire to have people think their own way? I have this uncomfortable feeling that He is moving me to be more direct and to preach rather than to allow. Man plans and God laughs, but He laughs with us not at us.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 11 months ago from United States

      I agree my friend, the greatest gift in our lives is helping others, especially the under priviledged and ill. It is up to us to be good stewards of the land and our people. Well done my friend and many blessings to you and yours on this fine Autumn evening. whonu

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 11 months ago from london

      A very powerful and convincing style, with an illumining ending.

      Here is an interesting thought: If you are walking towards the East, and someone insist on walking towards the West, you will not take him with you. If you are crossing a weak and narrow bridge, which can only take so much weight, logic will dictate that you go alone.

      To try to carry another with a different mindset, will not only be a very heavy load but quite risky. Let go and let God...

      You continue to write excellently, but your style is changing. Just saying. It is personal to you, but occasionally it may be useful to reflect whether or not you really wish to go that way. Strength! Courage! be wary of anything which may induce weakness... of what you cannot change.

      No need to prove anything, or is there? That is my Zen for the day. Perhaps my last one. Much Love, my Brother.