Pastor Dale Thomas
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Pastor Thomas has served First Baptist since 1996. He participates in the Keokuk Christian Ministerial Association as well as the Mid-American Baptist Ministers Council.
Previous sermons in synopsis can be found on the Sermon Archive page (under Pastor)
Below is the most recent sermon synopsis for our Worship message.
Sunday October 22, 2017
The Priority of God
Matthew 22: 34 – 40
We are all faced with placing priorities in our lives. Whether it is work, family, recreation, or any other interest, we may drive ourselves towards insanity if we respond to every opportunity or interest that crosses our path. Does God become an option of last choice, or is He our first choice of things to do? Our text speaks to the matter of where our first love is placed. For some that is easy, but for others it is a difficult decision. What does it mean to love God? One place that we find help in understanding is in 3 of the Ten Commandments: to never place any (thing) or god above the Lord God. The second is to not attempt to create another object as a god of our lives. The third is to remember the Sabbath Day is given to us as a reminder of God’s creation, and of God, and He is to honored for this creation.
Jesus spoke of the 2 greatest commandments as being to love God and to love our neighbor as our self (Mt. 22: 37-39). Yet again, we ask not how should we love God, but will we love our neighbors? But, it does not end there, for we must love our neighbors as we love ourselves. That is a problem! It is not just a matter of loving the neighbors, but learning whether we love ourselves as God has created and transformed us. Does our love for others reflect the great love that God has bestowed upon us in the forgiveness of our sins?
Our example of love for others is found in the words of Jesus in John 15: 13 – “Greater love has [no one] than this, that [we] lay down our lives for our friends.” We cannot forget the connection to Jesus’ parable of the “friend”- neighbor in Luke 10: 30 – 37. Our friend is the one to whom we show mercy: the unearned favor upon someone else’s life. Getting even is never right, nor is it good enough. Mercy and grace, forgiveness and love are the deeds of the heart that is centered in Christ.