A Special Love!
Sermon shared by George Dillahunty
Summary: In the deepest heart of every person, Almighty God has planted a longing for Himself; and He is a God of love! Our hearts cry out for Him to care for us - to be involved with us - and, to love us!
Denomination: Church of God
Audience: General adults
About Sermon Contributor
Rev. George R. Dillahunty
685 Grant Avenue
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452-3047
April 03, 2010
Text: Malachi 1:11 (King James Version)
"'For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same My Name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto My Name, and a pure offerng: for My Name shall be great among the heathen,' saith the Lord of hosts."
Topic: A Special Love!
The late great American author, Eugenia Price (1916 - 1996), once wrote, "In the deepest heart of every [person], [Almighty] God planted a longing for Himself, as He is a God of love. No matter what we say, our hearts cry out for [Almighty] God to care, to be involved with us, to love us. This is His idea. He created this longing in us. It is the longing toward the 'light that lighteth every [person] who cometh into the world.'
The human race longs for love because the human race longs for [Almighty] God. [Almighty] God and love is not similar. Love is not merely one of [Almighty] God's characteristics. 'God is love.' No matter how it looks to us, nothing changes this. He is not dead. He is. And if we believe He is, then we can know that He is love.
Anyone can be freed to see both the truth about our world and the truth about [Almighty] God and come out free not only to believe in love, but to love. This does not happen overnight, but it can begin happening at any moment to anyone, and because [Almighty] God is growth and life as well as love, it can go on happening."
Almighty God has shown special love to some people - for the sake of all people! His purpose was never to make Israel the sole focus of His love! He had in view those Egyptians who would attach themselves to Hebrew friends when Israel was delivered from Pharaoh! He had in mind Ruth - the Moabite - who would say to her mother-in-law - Naomi - as recorded in Ruth 1:16 (NLT): "...Don't ask me to leave you and turn back. I will go wherever you go and live wherever you live. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God." He had in mind the queen of Sheba, who would later travel a long way to see the extent of king Solomon's riches and to learn the secret of his wisdom!
The Gentiles were a partial fulfillment of the Lord's original intent to bless all the nations of the earth through the descendants of Abraham! By choosing to make an example of Israel, the Lord gave everyone else reason to want to have what Israel had; and, to ask questions about her God!
At the end of Old Testament history ("His Story"), the Lord used the same tactic on Israel! When the Prophet Malachi wrote to Jerusalem - in 450 B.C. - he called attention to the fact that Almighty God could be more pleased with the Gentiles than He was with Israel!
It is not too difficult to see how Almighty God could appeal to our envy! Many of us can see ourselves in the image of a litte child who discards his or her toys; and, who treats them roughly until he or she sees another child pick them up and play with them! Many of us who are husbands know what it is to take our beautiful wives for granted until we see another man flirt with them!
Almighty God knows the feeings of envy that can be stirred up when we see someone else pick up the treasures of opportunity that we have thrown away! Yet, the Lord is not just playing "mind games" with us - He is serious when
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