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Wasted on Jesus

The cross calls us to worship in ways others would call waste

Sermon One

Valentine's Day is tomorrow and I'm jittery. I love my sweetheart—no doubt about that—but I confess that Valentine's Day gives me the heebie-jeebies. I mean, we've been married 32 years, and I wasn't much of a romantic in the first place. After all those years, I've said all my sweet nothings a bunch of times. I read where, "More than half of men—57.8 percent—say they'll buy flowers, and almost one in five plans to purchase jewelry for Valentine's Day." I also read that a survey "found that the average consumer will spend $97.27 on Valentine's Day." Oh, man, I am so not there!

Here's the thing that really bothers me. Maybe I'm too introspective, but I wonder if this dullness with romantic expressions really says something about my heart, about my love for Susan. Maybe I take her far too much for granted, and that's why I can't really come up with a five-star expression of my love for her.

Today's text is a kind of Valentine story that poses the same question to all of us—when it comes to our love for our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are in the season of Lent—"a season for searching the soul." For the next six Sundays, as we study Matthew 26-27, we will search our own souls through the lenses of the people closest to Jesus in his last hours. This is a season for spiritual introspection, and I hope you will join me in giving yourself to this spiritual exercise for a few weeks.

One of the things that struck me in reading these last three chapters of Matthew is the juxtaposition of stories. Today's text—Matthew 26:1-16—is a case in point. The events described are not, strictly speaking, in chronological order, but Matthew has arranged these three sections to make a spiritual ...

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Lee Eclov is pastor of Village Church of Lincolnshire in Lake Forest, Illinois and author of Pastoral Graces: Reflections on the Care of Souls (Moody Publishers). Eclov also leads a gathering of pastors for mutual support and learning called Pastors' Gatherings. To find out more about these Gatherings visit his site www.leeeclov.com.

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Sermon Outline:

Introduction

I. The fulcrum of God's sovereign control of human history is the cross of Christ

II. The disciple who understands the cross asks, "How much can I give?"

III. The disciple who does not understand the cross asks, "How much can I get?"

Conclusion