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The Way of Wisdom

The wisdom of God transcends the wisdom of the world.
This sermon is part of the sermon series "God Is Big Enough". See series.


As Christians, we say we want to love God, and we want to love people. We want to serve the world. This idea comes from the core of Jesus' teachings and is rooted in the Old Testament. I want to look at the wisdom of God—this big God that we serve, whose wisdom is bigger than our confusion—and try to unpack what it means to love God, to love people, and to serve the world.

In this series we've talked about how God is big—bigger than our challenges. We've talked about God being bigger than our suffering and pain. Those messages have been on the comforting side. This message is not initially comforting. It may insult our pride. It will strike at the core of our self-sufficiency and our arrogant ability to believe we could just think things out for ourselves.

The Shema: Love God

We are going to start by reading words given to the people of Israel in the Book of Deuteronomy. These were the holiest of all the holy words of Scripture:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

These words were called the Shema. This was the central text of all Israel. The Israelites believed that wisdom began here: Love God. Love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength. The way that you express this love for God, according to this text, is ...

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John Ortberg is pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California.

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Sermon Outline:


I. The Shema: Love God

II. Guidelines for Shema

III. The wisdom of the world

IV. Pointing the way to true wisdom

V. Wisdom in full

VI. Love your neighbor

VII. Love God, follow Jesus