Summary: How is your Love for God seen in your life?
September 14, 2008
Text: Deuteronomy 6:5
Subject: Loving God
Title: Because He First Loved Me
Last week I spoke to you about letting your love for others be manifest in your flesh. If we are ever going to impact the world for Christ they have to know that the church cares about them – not just when they show up at our doorstep, but also by going out to minister to them. That is really the love of God working through us.
We know that we have God’s love in us because Jesus Christ has poured out His life for us and we have received Him into our hearts by faith. We sing the song, “I love Him, I love Him, because He first loved me, and purchased my salvation on Calvary’s tree.”
In the King James Version of the Bible, the word translated love is used over 175 times. 160 of those times the original word is agapeo or agape referring to the kind of love that God has for us. It is a forgiving love that holds no grudges. It is an all-encompassing love that removes our sin from us no matter how badly we have acted. It is an undeserving love that he gives us because of grace.
Now I want to take a step in a different direction for just a minute. If God has poured out His love for us (and He has) then how does that love affect us? I mean is it the kind of love that just makes us feel good about ourselves, all warm and cuddly, and then we just go about our own business until we need another good feeling? No! God’s love touches every part of our humanity – spirit, soul and body.
And that’s where we wanted to get to today. In the scriptures God calls us to love Him with the same kind of love with which He loves us – agape love. That means when we love Him in return we are supposed to do so with every part of our being – body, soul and spirit. Jeremiah 17:10, “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct…”
Let’s look today to see what the scriptures say about how we can love God in return for His love for us.
5Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Lord, open our eyes to see and our ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
I. LOVE THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART. What does it mean to love God with all your heart? Seven times in the KJV the phrase “with all your heart” is used. In each of those instances the word heart comes from the Hebrew word that means the heart as the most interior organ or the inner most part of a man – the inner man. It is a man’s spirit that is at the center of his being. So if we are referring to the heart of a man as being the center of who he really is, then it is his spirit that defines who he is. I want to share with you some of the things that accompany that kind of love – love from the spirit of a man. Deuteronomy 11:13, So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul—14then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil. 15I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied. If you are loving the Lord from your spirit - that is the innermost part of your being – if your love for Him goes down deep, more than just saying you love Him or feeling your love for Him – if it is truly coming from the spirit man, then you can expect blessings. Verse 14 says that the Lord will send autumn and spring rains or early and latter rain. The latter rain can be seen as the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into the lives of believers as the love the Lord and seek to draw closer to Him at all costs. Now, the only way that you can love the Lord with all your heart, or spirit man, is to have a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. There is no other way that anyone can love Him, because it is through that relationship that mankind, in his brokenness through sin, can be restored to God. Jeremiah 29:13, You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. God will deliver those from the bondage of sin who seek Him. I want you to notice what happens when you seek Him with all your heart. Going back to our original verse - 5Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. – What happens in the other parts of your human existence – outside of the spirit man – flows from the spirit man. Matthew 12:34, For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. What you have in your spirit will flow out into your speech. Now look at what Romans 10:17 says, So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Where does real faith stem from? Is it from the mind or emotions? Is it in your actions – the physical body? No it is from the spirit of a man but it flows into both the mind (soul) and the body. The word translated “Hearing” means both to hear and to understand. You hear with your physical ears and understand with your mind but it flows from the spirit.