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Summary: Jesus desires that those people would love Him the way the Father loves Him.

Growing In Love – John 17:26

Intro.: How do we grow in love for God? Do we hope for it? Do we wish for it? Does it just happen as a result of our being Christians? READ TEXT

I’m blown away by the implication of this phrase. Jesus, who has been consciously aware of the Father’s pleasure in & affection for Him from before the foundations of the world, is asking the Father to take this affection & place it in people who have not even been born yet. Jesus desires that those people would love Him the way the Father loves Him. WOW! 2 ?’s:

1. How much does the Father love the Son?

a. It is a love between the Father & the Son thru the Spirit

b. It is with an eternal, boundless, unchanging love

2. What would our lives look like if we loved Jesus the way the

Father Loves Him?

a. What would we do differently?

b. How would our priorities change?

c. What would it look like for each of us?

Jesus prayed this particular prayer so that an unbelieving world would see an indescribable quality in the church and be inspired to follow Jesus.

I. How does God cause us to grow in love?

A. John 17:26a “I have declared to them Your name& will declare it…”

1. A personal revelation of the glory inherent in the name of God is

crucial to our being able to enter into reality of Jesus’ declaration

2. In the same way that God showed His glory and declared His name

to Moses in Exodus 34, Jesus declared the name and glory of the

Lord to an entire generation and then asked for the same to be

released into the whole earth

a. His purpose: to awaken love in the earth by revealing Gods glory

B. Paul prayed in Ephesians 3:19 that the church in Ephesus “would

know the love of Christ which passes knowledge”.

Question: How could they know something that passes knowledge?

Answer: I don’t know, but Paul prayed it and God cause it to be recorded in His Word, so it must be a real thing by God’s grace.

NOTE: In the garden, Adam experienced continual revelation and encounter with God until Adam and Eve sinned. What Adam knew and experienced has been reinstated through the second Adam, Jesus, who ushered in greater righteousness, better promises and greater access to God via the Holy Spirit.

1. We were made to feast on God

2. We were made to get lost in God

3. And we were made to see, to hear, to encounter and to live in the

realm of the Spirit.

II. Have we been deceived by this concept of love?

A. Have you ever heard this, “You’re so heavenly minder, you’re no

earthly good”?

1. Truth: You can be NO earthly good unless you are heavenly minded

2. W/o a fresh understanding & awareness of the Spirit realm, you

have no eternal contributions to make in the temporal realm.

3. Heavenly mindedness is crucial to be able to spiritually assess

situations and recognize eternal truths.

B. Paul commanded the believers at Colossi to set their minds on things

above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God, Col. 3:1-3

1. This not a casual, “I’ll-get-around-to-it attitude

2. It is a deliberate, focused, resistance to any obstacle tenacity that

drives us to get deeply rooted in God and the things of God.

3. Paul was saying that our life on earth IS NOT the extent of our life

a. In reality, we are seated in heavenly places with Christ

b. Our true identity is found in accessing & living in the realm of

the Spirit

c. This is a relatively new or even foreign concept to most of the

church.

III. It about being fascinated by God

A. We are a bored generation

1. It takes a Playstation, a Wii or an action-filled movie to move us

2. Truth: God’s not boring, WE’RE boring!

B. We were created by God with appetites for pleasure and fascination

1. But we have settled for a facsimile, a cheap imitation for so long,

that most of us don’t even realize what we’ve been missing.

C. We were made to be stunned at Gods ways & awestruck by Who He is

D. We are meant to be amazed and captivated by His glory

NOTE: After Ezekiel experienced the heavenly vision of Ezekiel 1, he sat by the river Chebar for 7 days, astonished at what he had seen! People probably thought he had gone mad, sitting there speechless, staring off into space for a week. Has that ever happened to you after watching a good movie or playing a great video game? I doubt it!

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