Summary: This sermon is about enjoying God's Treats that come when we love and obey Him - 1. His Holy Spirit 2. "Jesus moments" of manifestations and 3. Creating a Home (Life) with God at the Center
Theme: God's Cookie Jar
Loving God and Obeying God leads us to three great Supernatural Treats - 1. The Infilling Presence of God's Holy Spirit 2. "Jesus moments" of manifestation 3. Creating a Home (Life) with God at the Center
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world!
This morning as we listened to those scripture passages, especially the one from John chapter 14: 15-24 I am reminded of my mom's cookie jar. Growing up there was nothing I liked more than peanut butter cookies or chocolate chip cookies. My mom made some of the best peanut butter cookies in the whole wide world.
There was just one hitch. Most of the time you got a cookie as a reward for doing one of two things :
+showing some love to her or (LOVE)
+doing exactly what she wanted you to do (OBEDIENCE)
It wasn't that way all the time but a lot of times cookies were one of her ways to make sure that I cleaned my room, took out the garbage, washed the dishes or helped around the house. They were also a reward for doing some chores as well. If you went outside and picked some flowers or did well on your homework or on a test or something along that line then you would get an extra cookie or two. And then there were those times that you got a cookie just because - just because she wanted to tell you that she loved you. Those were by far the best cookies.
I don't know if I loved those cookies more for how they tasted as I did knowing that when I got one that meant I had done something that she loved and appreciated. My mom had this wonderful way of making life fun. She even knew how to make doing your chores fun. While she was strict and at times her judgment was swift and sure my mom was/is one of my life's greatest heroes.
This morning, as we look at our passage in the Gospel of John, our Evangelist shares with us that in a very comparable way the LORD has some wonderful treats for all us of us who love Him and obey Him. You could say that the LORD has come treats from His Cookie Jar that He wants to share with all of us.
As we read this particular passage we discover that the Apostle John uses the word "love" eight different times and refers to "keep my commandments or keep my word" at least four different times. Love and obedience. Obedience and love.
That's what I would like for us to look at this morning - love and obedience. I believe based on Scripture, reason and experience that those two qualities and those two actions open up for us a host of goodies from God's Cookie Jar. Goodies that include
a. The Infilling Presence of the Holy Spirit
b. "Jesus moments" of manifestation
c. The LORD inviting us to make our Home/Life with Him
I. We see first of all that the LORD wants to TREAT our Love and Obedience with the Infilling Presence of His Holy Spirit - v. 16-18
The Apostle John tells us that LOVE PLUS OBEDIENCE leads us to being able to experience the infilling presence of God's Holy Spirit. We know this morning that to love the LORD is to live out the words of Dt. 6:5 - "to love the LORD with all our heart, with all your soul and with all of your might."
At first, that sounds like a tall order doesn't it? After all, how does one love the LORD with all that they possess - heart, mind and soul? We see a little later on in John 21:15-17 Jesus asking the Apostle Peter the love question. Jesus appears to seven of his disciples on the shoreline and while sharing a meal with them asks Peter three times - "Peter, do you love me?"
We are to understand that the Apostle Peter was on the verge of giving up on the mission that Jesus had given to His disciples post- resurrection. The Apostle was on the verge of going back to his old fishing business but Jesus approaches him and begins to deal with Peter concerning his love, his commitment and his obedience to His Heavenly Father and to Him.
At first Peter attempts to deflect the questions by quickly telling the LORD that He knows that he loves Him. In other words, Jesus that is a rather silly question. You know that I love you. Let's move on.