Summary: As we look at following and serving God, we need to experience His love, and love God.
February 10, 2019
For the past few weeks we’ve been looking at some really tough passages which call us to put God first in our lives. We’ve seen Jesus tell people who wanted to follow Him, “to let the dead bury the dead” and “if you want to follow me, you can’t look back.”
We’ve seen Jesus say some pretty radical things, like last week . . . when He told us we must HATE our parents, spouse and kids, hate our brothers and sisters, and even hate life itself. If we couldn’t do that, then we couldn’t be His disciples.
That’s all pretty dramatic, pretty harsh, it’s in your face. Yet, we realize that Jesus’ point is that we must place Him first in our lives. We need to love Jesus more than we love anyone or anything else. If we love Jesus more, then we love everyone and everything better. Our love is then healthier, because it’s God’s love. God’s love is what drives us to become a better person.
It happens because we embrace God’s love. We allow God’s love to filter in us through our filters, the walls we build up. It happens because we’ve accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. We’ve said “Yes, Lord, I believe in you, forgive me of my sinfulness. Create in me a pure heart, a right heart, a spirit that longs to know you, a mind which grows in your wisdom and a body which is your temple!
I wonder about how well we understand, how well we believe, how well we allow it to fill us . . . . God loves us. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said –
11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! – Matthew 7:11
Isn’t that true about God? We are sinners, yet we love our kids, our grandkids, our nephews and nieces, and we would do anything to help them, yet, Jesus reminds us we’re evil, we’re sinners . . . BUT God who is perfect, will give us so much more.
I remember about 17 years ago. We were living in a small farm town in central Illinois. Debbie was at home with the boys and I would often walk the 3 blocks to church. I would often come home for lunch, and when I would walk into the house, I would have 2 boys come charging at me. They would grab my legs and I would pick them up and play with them. Eventually Debbie had to kick me out of the house to get back to work.
My point is that the boys had this deep amazing love for me. Not that they no longer do. Now, it’s hey dude, what’s in the wallet? Granted, I’m glad they don’t jump on me, but that love they showed way back then. It was amazing! It was just a simple kids love for a parent.
And isn’t that how we should feel about God? Shouldn’t we want to greet God everyday and jump into His arms, hold onto His legs, laugh and be silly in His presence? Shouldn’t that be the love we have for God?
We’re supposed to have a love relationship with God. But it seems like we have spiritual amnesia. No matter how much we learn about Jesus, or learn about God’s creation, no matter how we see the galaxies through the Hubble telescope, or see another sunset, or look at a newborn child, or whatever it is that draws us to God’s glory . . . we still seem to forget, don’t we?
We seem to move about our day without giving God another thought. We wake up and we’re off to the races. It seems that it’s so much harder than it should be to love the God of the universe. The great Creator. The One who created me, who created a purpose in me, who gave me life, who died for me. The One who adopted me into His family. It should be simple.
But then again, I think about how I love Debbie. I know there are those days where I fall short. I don’t do as I should. I get a little more hyped up about a comment than I should. I get to see her physical presence all the time, but it seems like I take her for granted. I know she’s there. I expect her to be there. Yet, my love is imperfect, and it would seem it shouldn’t be.
Yet, it’s the same with God. Do we sometimes just forget to love God? How often have we been distracted, that we kind of forget about Him. We go to pray and the phone rings and we forget to pray. We think about reading the Bible, but something happens and we don’t read.