Sermon Transcript

Pastor Paul Booko:  0:31  

Well, there you go, Hey, now that’s an example of bold and a little stupid, right? Well, hey, it’s great to see my dad back from his knee surgery. Yeah. And he is doing good. And we’re just so happy dad said “Now I’m having a little trouble with my eyes”. He said, “I can’t see the screens real well”. Well, we fix that now, too. Can you see these letters here, dad? You see these letters right here? There we go. B O L. D, come on. He said I can see hey, it’s great to have Derek and Amber here too. And God bless you guys. We love you. We’re in a very terrible car accident. But how many? No, you can’t keep a good person down. 

And so good to see you guys. And dad as well. And, and, you know, this new screen that we got? Have you noticed that you have seen this? Yeah, this is an LED screen. We were at a conference, minding our own business. It was a pastor leader conference up in Grand Rapids, and the company that makes these was there. And they said, “Hey, we’re gonna give this LED screen away at half price, 50% off for any church that wants it”. When I hear 50% off, that gets my attention right there. And so it was like, Well, when we get into our new auditorium, and we’re, you know, got our, our capital campaign going on till March of next year, raising funds to have our first level auditorium, we were gonna have a screen like this and our new auditorium. But it came available now. at half price. 

So they said first come, first serve. So a couple of churches got ahead of us. We’re number three in line. But we got it. Come on, there it is. And we appreciate Donald Monroe and his dad, Don, and Joey and Aaron and Gary, Jacob, Tristan, and Ben, who put it all together and put the electricity in for it. Let’s give it up for those guys who made this thing happen. Praise God. None of them got electrocuted. It was all a good day. Have a good day. 

Pastor Paul Booko:  2:46  

Well, we are excited about our series, here entitled boldly. And before we jump into that, and dive into that message, I just wanted to say a couple of things. We got the election coming up. And so I want to encourage all of you to register to vote. If you haven’t already registered to vote, then be bold. And vote no on proposal three. Yeah, vote no. In proposal three. We have a flyer at the next step desk. Go down to the next desk if you want a flyer that will inform you more about what this proposal is all about. Friends, it’s like, Oh, you shouldn’t get involved in politics. Hey, this isn’t politics. This is a moral issue. This is a moral issue right here. 

Okay. And we’re gonna talk a little bit more about this next Sunday when we talk about a bold worldview. But this proposal three, I mean, says that if it goes through any kind of abortion, even partial birth abortion when the babies come out can be aborted and killed. Anytime during the pregnancy, including up to the moment of birth, any woman at any age, even teenagers can get an abortion without their parent’s consent and even knowing about it. And it goes on. It’s just not a good thing. And so it’s a moral issue. We need to vote no. On proposal three, be bold. Get a sheet downstairs of the next step desk, and get more information about it. 

Pastor Paul Booko:  4:17  

Here, last Sunday, we had a healing service pastor Dwyane Vanderklok was here. He spoke on God’s power to heal sick bodies. He invited you up. We have people lined up across the stage here. Prayed for different people and people this week have been calling Bonnie and me, saying I got healed. I got healed. How many of you received some kind of touch from God last Sunday? Yeah, some of you did. And we’d like to know about it. Here’s what I’d like for you to do. If God healed you. We just want to encourage other people’s faith and share your story. So Facebook, message us here at the church, with your story of what happened, okay? You can also just go down to the next step desk today and tell somebody how God healed you last Sunday, and write it out. I’d love to share those. I could even just share them anonymously. We wouldn’t have to even give you a name, but it just loved to hear what God did. I don’t know, we serve a great God that’s still healing people, you know, today, and so share your story, you know, with us.

Pastor Paul Booko:  5:20  

So, also, this is the first as the gals said, Wednesday of the month, where we gather together on Wednesday at 6:30. But he says 6:30. And we have a great night of worship, our teaching, we go a little deeper. And it’s a great evening. We have a kids ministry for your kids. So come on out this Wednesday. It’s always the first Wednesday of the month for a great time of music and worship, and you’ll be so glad that you did. Hey, and man, you know the woman talked about sisters getting together on Tuesday, guys, we’re getting together every Saturday in November for God and doughnuts. All right. So do we have any men in the house today? Come on, guys. We had a great time. We had a great time yesterday downstairs, just hanging out with a band of brothers. And all the men bring a friend next Saturday and it’s a great time of meeting other men and strengthening your faith. 

Pastor Paul Booko:  6:14  

Well, we are in a brand new series starting today called Bold. Everybody says Bold and I want to take you deeper and challenge you in your faith through November. Today’s message is bold love and next Sunday’s bold worldview. And the third Sunday bold mission in bold faith you get the idea every week it’s gonna be a different subject on being bold. I mean we need to be bold and have a dark world. You know God’s light shines the brightest when it’s the darkest. So this series is going to pump you up and inspire you don’t miss one message in this series. I believe it’s going to make a difference in your life in so many ways so very excited about this and the first installment here today on bold love. 

So let’s have a contest. men against women. Oh, all the women say in loud voice bold. Okay, now all the men said in a loud voice bold. Oh, oh, there we go. Okay, okay, so who do you think is bolder, men or women? Well, let’s not even go there. Okay. But my goal in this series is that we would become bolder in our faith in interaction. Students, this is for you. Whether you’re in middle school, high school, you know, college, we need to be bold. We’re leaders, not followers, right? Yeah, we’re leaders, not followers, we need to be bold. The world is bold, we need to be bold. And so this series is all about becoming bolder in our faith. Now a definition of boldness is outspoken and courageous. Its behavior is orn on belief. 

All right, if you hear that behavior born out of belief, that’s what Boldness is. It’s being fearless. I love how proverbs 28 Verse one puts it. It says “the wicked flee though no one pursues, the righteous are as bold as a lion”. So, just for fun during this series, I want to encourage you to send us a video example of you doing something bold during the week. Okay. Well, I think I asked you if you don’t kill yourself doing it, okay? But do you send us your video? And who knows, you might even show it on the big screen. Sunday. But again during this series, because we’re full of faith, family, and fun, send us something that you think is bold. Well, today I want to talk about bold love, and God’s word defines love and First Corinthians 13. Take a look at this. It’s so challenging. Verse four and the following say love is patient. Love is kind, does not envy does not boast. It’s not proud. It does not do not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, and is not easily angered. Love keeps no record of wrongs. You do that in your marriage, or there’s no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. love always protects, always trusts, and always hope perseveres. Love never fails. There it is. That’s the definition of love. The Bible also goes on first Corinthians 14 verse one, real simple it says “Let love be your greatest aim”.

Pastor Paul Booko:  10:00  

So is love your greatest aim? That’s how God wants us to live and conduct ourselves, in our marriages, in our families, in our church, in our workplaces, and that we make love. Our greatest aim. That’s bold love because the Bible tells us to even love our enemies. Now it’s easy to love lovable people, right? Oh, you’re so cute. I love you. But people that aren’t so cute. People that you’d say that’s an enemies. Jesus said, Love your enemies. That’s bold love. Everybody says boldly. Okay, so I’m going to challenge you here today. But first, let’s have a little bit of fun. professionals were trying to define love and thought we would ask those who hadn’t been tainted by the world yet. So they asked a group of children aged four to eight years old. What is love? And here’s what they said. Rebecca, age eight said love is when my grandmother got arthritis and she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandpa does it for her even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love. Yep. Although men are going Oh. Here’s one. 

Some of them are kind of funny. Carl, age five said love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on cologne and they go out and smell each other. That’s the love now, you know? You heard it here I’ve never said that’s love. Here’s another one. Bobby, age seven said love is what’s in the room. When at Christmas if you stop opening presents, and just listen. Oh dropped the mic? Ah. Nika eight six said if you want to learn to love better you should start with a friend you hate. Well, we need more knickers in the world, huh? Noel eight seven said love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt. And then he wears it every day. That’s pretty good. Maryann age four said love is when your puppy licks your face even after you’ve left him alone all day. Now, Iris, I heard a statement that if you want to prove that your dog loves you more than your spouse, lock both of them in the trunk of your car. And then drive around for an hour and then open the trunk and see which one is happier to see you.

Pastor Paul Booko:  13:00  

Mark age six, said love is when mommy sees daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross, that’s funny. Jessica age eight said you really shouldn’t say I love you. Unless you mean it. But if you mean it, say it a lot, people forget. Good stuff, huh? Now some of those were funny, but you know what? Love Is it big deal and some children understand love better than some of us. Bold love means I learned to love like Jesus loved and make it my greatest theme. You know, like I said it’s easy to love nice people. But how about HTL people you know what an HTL person is? Hard to love people. Did you get any of those in your life? Or how about VDP People? Very Draining People. You get around them and they just drain you. It’s like, wow, this is draining. Jesus said We’re gonna love boldly. That includes everybody. 

He said these words in Matthew 22, when he’s out was asked, What’s the greatest commandment Jesus and all the scriptures all the Bible in verse 35, he says his words and follows. He says, well, ” The greatest commandment is to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul with all your mind”. It’s a love thing. This is the first and greatest commandment but wait, let me give you the second greatest. Love your neighbor as yourself. So Jesus said again, the greatest is love. Sometimes people will tell me, Paul, I like it when you go deeper on Sunday. And what did they mean when they say that? They mean I like it, Paul when you confuse me. And I leave thinking, wow, I don’t know what he was saying. But that was deep. That was deep. Hey, you know what? We like to put the cookies on the bottom shelf. So everybody gets cookies. And let me tell you something this deep. Love God, Love people. That’s it. If we can just get those two things down and you said this is the greatest commandment, love God with all your heart, and love people. Love people like yourself. Even Love your enemies. 

Pastor Paul Booko:  15:51  

Now there are four different words for love in Greek. Okay, so we’re gonna go deep. Now I’m gonna give you some Greek. Oh, yeah, your pastor knows a little Greek. And now you’re gonna learn a little Greek. Here’s see in the English language, we just have one word, love. In Greek, different words describe love. Let me give them to you. The first one is Storage which means natural affection. It’s the love you would have liked for your brother, or your sister, your siblings. Another word in Greek for love is Philia. That’s where Philadelphia City of Brotherly Love came from. Philia is another Greek word for love, which means friendship. That’s your golfing buddy. People, your friends you hang out with. The third word for love in Greek is Eros. That’s a physical attraction, a quiver in your liver. Okay, a love for the body, a biological attraction. 

All right. But there’s a fourth kind of love that is a God kind of love. And it’s called Agape. Everybody says Agape, hey, you know Greek now. You’re smart, Greek, Agape, and you know what that word means? Unconditional Love. That’s the love of a higher kind. That’s bold love. This is the love God has for you. When Jesus died on the cross, that was unconditional, love, love of a higher kind. Love this not based on your performance. That’s not based on your looks. It’s just saying, you know what, I love you. On your good day, your bad day, your e ugly day. It’s not based on your performance and how you look, it’s just, I love you unconditionally. This is such a great verse that describes Jesus’s love for us. 

And Romans 5-8, says, But God demonstrates His love for us in this While we’re still sinners, Christ died for us. While we were still ugly, while we were still doing Jesus bad while we are killing him on the cross, it says, while we were still sinners, still his enemies, He died for us. Now, that’s bold love. That’s the love of a higher kind. He didn’t say to get cleaned up first. Okay, here’s the definition of that kind of love, Agape love, Agape, is an intentional and unconditional expression that chooses to do something caring, or helpful, regardless of the cost or consequences to oneself. That’s Agape love is different from the others. It’s unconditional love. It’s God’s kind of love. 

Pastor Paul Booko:  18:53  

And that’s the kind of love God says we should love people with our wife, our husband, people in our family, even the uncle and aunt that drives us crazy. I know you’re thinking about them already coming to Thanksgiving dinner, and it’s like, oh, Lord, help me. But it’s saying, Okay, we’re gonna love them unconditionally. Love is not a feeling if you notice that love is not a feeling. Love produces feelings. But love is not a feeling in and of itself. Because bold love is getting up. I’ll prove it to you. Both love and you don’t feel like doing this, but both love investing up in the middle of the night. At two in the morning with a bucket and hold it for your child as they vomit. Now, do you feel like doing that at 2 in the morning? See, when I watched Bonnie do that. She knew I couldn’t because we both we’d start vomiting then. But come on. Thank you. Did Bonnie feel like doing that? No. You do that out of your love. Get it. Good. Your love for that child. Love isn’t a feeling. Love is an action. It’s a verb. It’s a different kind of love. Love is giving a person what they need the most but deserve the least. 

So Jesus says to all of us in John 13, verse 34, and following, he says A new commandment I give to you love one another, as I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you’re my disciples if you love one another. Bold love. How do you do it? I mean, think about the person you need to love the most. We think I can love him. I can love him. But not him. He hurt me. No, I can love this one and this but not that one. Who is that one, for you? Again, it’s easy to love people that are likable and love you back, right? But bold love says I’m gonna love you regardless. Because that’s how God loves me. With all my faults, he loves me unconditionally. So let me show you something. If I’m having trouble loving people, it might not be a people issue but a God issue. All right. The problem may not be a people issue, it might be a God issue. Because God, when you’re filled with God, you’re filled with His love, right? So maybe it’s not a people issue, but a God issue. Let me give you something even deeper. You’re as close to God as you are to the person you love the least.

Pastor Paul Booko:  22:05  

Wow. You are as close to God as you are to the person you love the least. I’m pausing for effect. That to sink in a little bit. You know, Agape love comes from God that allows you to show it to others. It doesn’t come from people like “Oh, I’m feeling this. Love energy from you”. It doesn’t come from people. It comes from God because God is love. It’s not like God is like love. God is love. That’s why First John 4, 7, and 8, says dear friends, let us love one another for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love. Friends, this is so important. Understand, that’s why we need to get filled up with God. That’s why it’s so important for you to come to church every Sunday, and to spend time with God during the week and read the Bible and say, God, I don’t want to start this day. Without you. I need you to fill me with your power and your presence, to love the heart to love people at work and in my life. 

And when you’re filled with God when you’re filled with who He is, that Agape unconditional love will come out of you when you’re squeezed. Why? Because you’re filled with God. And He is love. So God’s love comes out because you’re filled with him. Get it? Good. So let’s get practical and bold now. What should I do? What should we do when we are insulted? Have you ever been insulted? I have Proverbs 10 Verse 12 says hatred stirs old quarrels but love overlooks insults. It overlooks insults. Do you overlook insults? What is bold look like when somebody offends you? Have you ever been offended? Proverbs 10 Verse 12 says hatred stirs old quarrels but love overlooks insults. Love overlooks insults. How are you doing so far? What does bold love look like when somebody offends you? Says in Proverbs 19-11 “A person’s wisdom gives him patience. It is to one’s glory to overlook an offense”. You just drop it. You just drop it. Yeah. You just say you know what, I’m just gonna throw it throw blanket love over that. Listen, I’m just gonna let that go. You throw that over your wife, your husband, that person at work, says that I’m just going to overlook that I’m not going to let that penetrate my heart. It’s going to let it go. 

Pastor Paul Booko:  25:15  

When someone does you wrong, here are your options. Which one do you tend to pick? You can curse it. Have you ever been in traffic and somebody cut you off? And it’s like, ah, and you’re a Christian you wouldn’t say the curse word. But you thought the curse word, right? You didn’t give him the hand sign, but just. Boy, you sure thought about it. Man. So you can, you can curse it. When somebody wrongs you. You can nurse it. You can rehearse it. Or you can reverse it. How’s that? Hey, that’s where it’s coming to church just for that right there. That bold love says okay, which is gonna be what we bold love do, you can curse it, you can nurse it, you can rehearse it. Don’t we do that we rehearse over and over in my mind? I can’t believe she said that. I can’t believe it on Facebook. They put I can’t vote and then over and over. I can’t believe they didn’t invite me to that party. I can’t believe he said that. I can’t rehearse it over and over and over. Or you can reverse it. Which one do you do? Bold love reverses it and overcomes evil. With good, and forgiving. And let’s go. 

First Corinthians 13-5 says love keeps no record of wrongs. no record of wrongs. So when someone wrongs you, what do you do? You face the hurt, don’t deny that it hurt. Just say that hurt. And process your grief, say that hurt. But then forgive it and let it go. If I just say let it go. That’s what forgiveness is you face it, you face the hurt, you forgive it and then you’ll let it go. And as we close today, I just want you to think about people who have hurt you in your life. And I want you to let them off your hook and put them on God’s hook. Because resentment will poison you. So you got to let it go for your own sake. Let them off the hook and put them on God’s hook. Why should we forgive? Because they deserve it? No. They don’t deserve it. But to be forgiven by God means I have to Bold love does the right thing. Because the right thing is what God did for you, and what God did for me. 

So your homework assignment is to do an act of kindness this week to somebody who hurt you. Here’s your homework assignment. That’s practicing bold love. Here’s what I’m learning. Here’s what I’m learning. See if you can you can relate to this. Loving, difficult people start with the realization that watches this. That I’m a difficult person. Loving difficult people starts with self-awareness and saying you know what? I can be a difficult person at times. And maybe so can you. So how do you want people to treat you when you’re difficult to love? Jesus had Do want the others as you would have them do unto you. Say amen or Ouch. Yeah, bold love. It all starts with self-awareness and saying, okay. All right, put down the magnifying glass on other people and pick up the mirror. I can be difficult. I can be hard to love sometimes. 

Pastor Paul Booko:  29:24  

Now, this message might seem basic. This message might seem repetitive. You know, I’ve heard that before. Paul, you’ve shared this stuff before. But just as we’ve all reread the Bible and Scriptures. Once you read the Bible, you think, Well, I don’t need to read the Bible and I’ve read all those stories. I don’t need that anymore. No, how do you know God will speak and keep speaking to you out of truths you’ve already read? So messages like this, you know, they’re still relevant. They’re still applicable, you know, to our lives. It’s not that we need to hear a new word. We just need to start practicing what we already know, to be true and right. That’s deep. I’ve heard that 1000 times. Yeah, but are you doing it yet? And I went out to St. Gregory Abby, this past week. And they got 500 acres of land, I’m just walking in the woods, just self-reflecting on this message and, just saying, God, where do I need to grow? And use this to encourage and strengthen people on Sunday, and I just was asking God to help me. Practice this, you know, first. 

You know, I’m like you, I’m a pastor. But I’m also a human. And it’s been hard for me to love people at times because people have hurt me. And I’m not saying this for sympathy, and I even hesitated to share this, but I just want to, you know, keep it real, you know, I’ve been gossiped about. I’ve been slandered. People have hurt me. My name, my family, this beloved church, Bonnie, and I have given our lives to these 47 years. My humaneness rises at times, and I want to defend myself and strike back. So like you said, this is about me, okay? I’m gonna say something about you. Because you hurt me. And being human, I know, I probably, have hurt some of you. Even though unintentionally. And for that time, I’m truly sorry. But this might make it difficult for some of you to love me. Because maybe I let you down. Or I didn’t say or do something that you want me to do? How many of you know, you can’t please everybody? Bye, but still, it’s real. And it’s like, man, you didn’t come through for me. 

But I want you to know today that Bonnie and I love each of you dearly. And we will continue to love you. And I know this love thing can be difficult. It can be complicated. A challenge for all of us. You know, but Jesus gave us the same message you know, over and over again. Where he said love and you say yeah, but you don’t know my ex? You don’t? Yeah, I don’t know your ex. Yeah. You don’t know my story. And I don’t. But Jesus said love period. Love regardless. Now how about looks it’s different for different people in different situations. You know, I get that. But you can pray for that person who hurt you. You can bless that person who hurt you. You can forgive that person who hurt you. You can release that person who hurts you becomes easier to do when you remember how much God has forgiven you and that forgiven people forgive people. So this message today was probably more for me than anybody else. And pray for me as I’m trying to be an example of bold love and what that looks like. Friends, if we get anything right, can we get this love thing, right? That’s the ballgame. That’s everything.

Pastor Paul Booko:  34:18  

May we be known as the church that loves the best. We love the best. We take in everybody. Even the guy that was mentally ill this week and he walks around town dressed like a woman and he’s just out of his mind a bit and he was vandalizing our building this past week and took some of the bricks in front of our building and was throwing them at the front door. He was kicking the door in trying to break the windows and it’s even loving people like that, loving people like that and showing God’s love to them as best as we know how. I did a funeral service yesterday for one of our members here, Leah. She was only 39 years old. And many of you knew her single gal. She was driving you to know on 131. And a guy got in a passing lane and hit her head, killing her instantly. But what a woman she was, lived a big, impactful life. Bold love for Jesus while she was with us here on planet Earth, loving Jesus with all of her heart and loving people with all of her heart. She was an example to us, of bold love. And it reminds us, friends, that love is too short to hold grudges, it’s short. She got up that morning. She was in a he was in one of our gals, Bible studies that morning. And that afternoon. She was in eternity. 

None of us are promised tomorrow. We don’t know how long we have been on this side of heaven. Hey, if you knew today was your last day on planet Earth, would you live it any differently? Would you let some things go? You know, death and funerals are great for us that are still alive because they make us stop and look at our lives. And ask what would people say about me. At my funeral? How am I living? Am I living with bold love? I want to end by reading a statement somebody wrote, it was anonymous. We don’t have the name of this person. But it was so powerful. It says “Do it anyway”. And I’m going to read the first line. And all of you will read out loud and those of you watching online as well. Read Out Loud the second line so I’ll read the first line and you read the second line. 

Okay. So let’s do this together. “People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. If you do good people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. People need help but may attack you if you help them. Give the world the best you got and you might get kicked in the teeth”.

And that’s what bold love looks like. So let’s, let’s pray together. And God just thank you for messages like this from your word that challenge us. And God, I just pray that you would pour your love into our hearts so that we can pour it out. Help us to love boldly. God help us to forgive that person that we might even be sitting next to today right now. God help us to treat each other the way you treat us. With bold, unconditional love. And Lord just as you have forgiven us, may we freely forgive those who hurt us.

Pastor Paul Booko:  38:49  

With heads still bowed and eyes closed. I want to pray one more prayer with you. And this is a prayer of salvation if you’ve never invited Christ into your life. Friends, we can’t practice this kind of love without God in our lives. And all of us need to be born again. And if you never invited Christ into your heart, I’m going to lead you in prayer. And I’m going to ask you to raise your hand in just a moment. But it’s understanding that the greatest love story ever told was that God sent the best to heaven to earth. His Son, Jesus Christ, He died on the cross for all your wrongdoings, he still would have died if you were the only person on planet earth. He loves you that much. And then he was raised from the dead and he’s alive today. And he’s knocking at your heart’s door but you got to open the door of your heart to let him in. And you don’t have to have all this figured out. You just have to say, I’m a sinner who needed a Saviour. I need a fresh start. I want to give God my life as best as I can, as best as I know how. 

So if that’s you today, and those of you also watching online, I’m going to lead you in prayer. But if you’re in the life service, would you just raise your hand and be bold and say I want to pray that for today, thank you. Thank you. God sees that hand I see your hand Thank you. Let’s pray this together with those you put your hands down and let’s just pray together with these that are praying for the first time and let’s just join them and say this prayer together just say, Heavenly Father. “I believe Jesus is the Son of God. I’m a sinner who needed a Saviour. Thank you for dying on the cross for me. I invite you into my life. You gave your life to me. Now I give my life to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen. And amen.” Thank God for the six hands that were raised today to accept Christ.

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