Summary: 1st sermon in 4 part series looking at the 4 major points in John 3:16, inspired by Max Lucado’s book.
God Loves, Isa. 53:1-11
3:16 Series, week
Intro: Anyone know what tonight is?
The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences Awards…also known as the Oscars, live from Los Angeles, CA.
A celebration of movies that most of us will never see starring actors that many of us have never heard of…yet it will grace our televisions for weeks and months leading up to tonight.
Well, except for those of us on Dish Network since we can’t catch ABC right now.
Too bad, I think Hollywood is doing a tribute to Fidel Castro tonight…they just love him there.
One of the big things for some leading up to the awards show is the “red carpet” where the fashionistas show up and flaunt what they are wearing.
Of course the standard red carpet moments consists of the people who have more money than good sense showing up and being asked, “Who are you wearing?” in reference to fashion and jewelry.
And believe you me…the jewelry that some of these people will be wearing can only be called ridiculous.
Bracelets, necklaces and ear rings that would very easily be worth 5 digits and more than most of us make in a year…and in some cases more than some of us combined.
Yet, no matter how no matter how much money a person has on their hands or neck line tonight…it only fails in comparison to what is perhaps the most valuable piece of jewelry ever; the hope diamond.
45 ½ carats with an estimated worth of around a quarter of a billion dollars.
SHOW PICTURE and GET DESCRIPTION
ASK: How would you like to sport that to your next class reunion?
ASK: Do you realize we all have a hope diamond that is far more valuable than this rock will ever be?
If you have your Bibles this morning I want you to turn to Isaiah 53.
There is not a single word of scripture that is without value, but if there is one that speaks with so much truth and so much clarity that it alone stands as the hope diamond of Scripture it is the verse I want us to look at this morning.
Show 3:16 diamond and read it.
Over the next few weeks we are going to be considering this verse…bit by bit and piece by piece.
And this morning we are going to begin by considering the first section of John 3:16, “For God so loves…”
And let’s consider it by reading our Isaiah 53:1-11.
Read and pray.
Transition: Isaiah is a true marvel of Scripture.
He was a prophet about 750 years before Christ came, and his name comes from the same Hebrew root that we get the word “salvation” as well as the name of Christ, “Jesus”.
The book of prophecy we have from him reads much like a small Bible.
Our Bible has 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament telling us about God dealing with His chosen people and much of it centering on their rebellion and the judgment they would face as a result of it.
And than we have 27 books in our New Testament that tells us how God fulfilled those first books and actively involved Himself in giving us the grace that saves.
In the book of Isaiah we find 39 chapters where Isaiah preaches to Judah about their rebellion and the judgment that was pending as a result of their actions…and then the next 27 chapters are those where Isaiah proclaims the words of hope that can be fulfilled by the God of grace.
And it is there we begin this morning considering the truth of God loves.
Have you thought about that much lately…God loves.
Sure we talk about it all the time, the love of God, and that God loves us…but have you really thought about it.
Stopped and really let that reality simmer and make an impression on your heart and mind.
That is what I want us to do this morning, not only talk about the love of God, but really let it make an impression on our lives this morning.
Three realities of God’s love I want us to consider this morning, first of all…
1. It is Passionate
We refer to the days and hours leading up to the crucifixion of Christ as the “Passion”.
We go to “Passion Plays”, or we watch the movie “The Passion of the Christ”…and too often people don’t really think about why we call it the “Passion”.
It is because of the love that went into this great act of love.
For God so what…?
Loved, it was because of His passion.
Reread vs. 3-4 (and opine)…the Savior went through this for you and for me; and in spite of who we are and what we have done.