Sermon Illustrations

What would it mean to obey this command? Jerry Bridges helps us think through what that looks like in his book, The Gospel for Real Life. Here are just a few points he lists.

To love the Lord your God with all your heart … soul and… mind means…

• Your love for God transcends all other desires (as in Exodus 20:3 “you shall have no other gods before me”, there is nothing that you love more than God himself at anytime).

• You always delight to do his will, regardless of how difficult it may be (as in Psalm 40:8, “I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” Not just obeying God, but doing it with delight at all times, never out of duty.)

• A regard for His glory governs and motivates everything you do – your eating and drinking, your working and playing, your buying and selling, your reading and speaking—and, dare I mention it, even your driving. He references 1 Corinthians 10:31 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

• You are never discouraged or frustrated by adverse circumstances because you are confident God is working all things together for your good (according to Romans 8:28).

How are we doing so far? How are we measuring up to that standard of obedience? And that’s just the first commandment. What about the second commandment. What does loving your neighbor as yourself involve? Jerry continues. It means…

• You cherish for your neighbors the very same love that you bear toward yourself.

• You take a genuine interest in their welfare and seek to promote their interests, honor and well-being.

• You never resent any wrongs they do to you, but instead are always ready to forgive.

• To paraphrase 1 Corinthians 13:4-5, you are always patient and kind, never envious or boastful, never proud or rude, never self-seeking. You are not easily angered and you keep no record, even in your mind, of wrongs done to you.

How big is our debt by those standards? How long is our record of debt to God? I think we can see from God’s word that it is very long indeed. It contains many thousands of times when we have not obeyed these commands. In fact, I think we can confidently say that not 5 minutes go by on any day when we do not violate some aspect of these commands.

Even as I’m preaching this sermon, I know that I’m falling short of God’s command to be only motivated by a concern for his glory—there’s always some aspect of desiring to please man and win approval mixed with it.

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