Summary: In this message we will talk how to begin loving God with our heart, mind, soul and strength. God has offered us an incredible invitation to enter into intimate relationship with himself.
Going All In, In Loving Him
I don’t know about you, but I am never going back!
NOW – I would like to start out this morning with a brief devotional thought that comes from one of the chapters some of us read this week in our FCFH… Matthew 8, I read it on Friday what an amazing chapter! It opens up this way….
Large crowds followed Jesus as he came down the mountainside. 2 Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him.
Wow, what a bold and risky thing to do.
I MEAN - lepers are supposed to stay far away from people.
YEAH – but this guy is too desperate about getting to better to care rules 101 for lepers… his heart had to be just about pounding out of his chest. NOW - I wonder how this huge crowd that had just heard those powerful words Jesus spoke on the mountainside and who were now following Him.. were thinking? Doing? Saying? As this leper drew near to Jesus and knelt before Him.
(Now, I have been to a leper colony and to be honest I was a little nervous and cautious about keeping my distance)
BUT – apparently this desperate man could not have cared less about what the crowd was thinking, feeling or saying…
Because he needed a healing, he wanted to get better.
“Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”
When I read those words, this Friday morning (and tried to see and feel the full impact of this encounter)
I starting wondering…
• What are you thinking Jesus?
• What are you feeling?
• Jesus is you heart breaking over this man’s physical condition and circumstances?
• AND - is it breaking because this guy is not even sure that you would be willing to heal Him?
NOW LISTEN – there is one thing about this guy that is extremely commendable…
He has no doubt that Jesus can… that Jesus does have the ability to change and heal his present condition.
Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.
Wow… Can you imagine what this X-leper is – thinking, feeling, doing?
UNDERSTAND – Matthew 8 paints an incredible picture…
OF A - God who is more that worthy of your love.
OF A - God who longs to heal and restore and change our present condition and circumstances.
I MEAN – that is pretty much what we see Jesus doing in Matthew 8…
• He heals this leper
• He heals the Centurion’s servant
• He heals Peter mother in law
• He heals many who were demon possessed
This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said, “He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases.”
AND – oh yeah, in Matthew 8 he also speaks and a powerful storm suddenly becomes calm.
Who is this man? Even the winds and waves obey Him!”
Who is He?
He is a - mighty, powerful, awesome, compassionate, uncontainable God of infinite grace and glory, a God worthy of our love!
Okay – here are a few Scriptures that have a common theme and will set up our conversation this morning.
(let’s stand and take turns reading, you can go first)
Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. – Psalm 36:5,7
Great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD! - Psalm 117:2
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken… Isaiah 54:10
Long ago the LORD said to us: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. – Jeremiah 31:3
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. – Zephaniah 3:17
“This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: My love for Mount Zion is passionate and strong; I am consumed with passion for my people! - Zechariah 8:2
You love them Father, as much as you love me. – John 17:23
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.
May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.