Summary: God has initiated a loving relationship with you and wants you respond in love and obedience.
God Loves You and Wants You to Love Him Matt. 22:37, 38
INTRO.: Moses was a very special person in the sight of God, Who revealed Himself to Moses as to no one else. When the children of Israel sinned against God by worshiping a golden calf, God threatened to remove Himself from them and send them on their way alone. The story is in the 33rd and 34th chapters of Exodus.
Moses begged God to go with the people and God relented because of His special relationship with Moses. The Lord would speak with Moses as friend, face to face. God told Moses, ""I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name." (Ex. 33:17.) Then God did a most unexpected thing. In response to Moses’ request, God allowed Moses to view His glory.
In another place, God rebukes Aaron and Miriam for presuming they have the same relationship as Moses and God makes a statement about Moses He never made about anyone else. It’s recorded in Numbers 12:6-8. Certainly, God maintained a very special loving relationship with this man, Moses.
But, God also loves you and me and wants us to return that love. His Father’s heart yearns for fellowship with His children. Let’s think about the love relationship God wants with us:
I. First, let’s establish an old, trite truth: God loves you and me. It needs to be restated occasionally.
A. He loves us like a Father and has ever since the beginning of time.
1. He wanted nothing more than to walk and fellowship with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We were created for fellowship with Him.
2. In fact, He loves the entire world of people. John 3:16. We hear it so much we often take it for granted.
3. There is no love like that of a father. A father loves no matter what a son does.
B. The God Who loves us takes the initiative in establishing this love relationship:
1. ILLUS.: The Apostle Peter’s confession of Christ was made possible because God revealed Himself to Peter. Matt. 16:17.
2. The Bible is not a record of man’s search for God, but a record of God’s efforts to reach our to man.
3. Sin has so marred our lives we will not come to God on our own. Rom. 3:11. We have a desire in us for something better but we seek fulfillment in other ways.
4. You are in His house today because He has reached out in love to bring you to Him. John 6:44, 45
C. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of Christ. Rom. 8:35-39
1. Even the most wayward son or daughter is always loved by their parents. If not, we see them as poor parents.
2. We can’t run their lives when they are old, but we still love them. Our hearts are broken if they don’t return our love.
3. ILLUS.: I knew a family whose son had left home never to return or contact his parents. Every mother’s Day, his mother was heartbroken remembering him. They would have accepted him back in a minute if he would have returned to them.
II. God wants you to love Him in return. It’s the greatest commandment. Matt. 22:37, 38. Without this, nothing will be right.
A. We demonstrate our love by giving of ourselves to the object of our love:
1. When a man loves a woman, he gives her gifts, flowers, a ring in order to "win her love."
2. God has given us so much. Even life itself. He even gave His only begotten to win our devotion and make it possible to love Him eternally.
3. Your loving relationship with God is the most important thing in your life.
B. God calls upon us to offer ourselves to Him. Rom. 12:1, 2
1. He means He wants us to think of Him, talk to Him, and worship Him.
2. He wants us to keep ourselves pure for Him.
3. If you have a desire within you to serve God and do His will, He has put it there. Don’t resist His love. Phil. 2:13
C. He wants no competition for our affections.
1. He warned the Jews not to worship other Gods or take Him for granted because He is a jealous God. Deut. 6:13-15
2. Matt. 6:24 Jesus told His followers it’s impossible to serve Him and the world.
3. If we love this world and its things, we cannot love God. We should not place our affection on things that will perish.
III. Our love must be demonstrated in obedience.
A. This is the word of Jesus to His disciples. John 14:15
1. This is a command with a great promise. The Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who love and obey Jesus. V. 16