Summary: 1. Measure your attention. 2. Measure your attachment. 3. Measure your affection. 4. Measure your actions.
How to Know if You Love God
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Feb. 19, 2012
*Last Sunday in 1 Corinthians 13, we studied the kind of love that God wants all of us to have: God’s kind of love, agape love, the same type of love that the Lord has for us. This morning please open your Bibles to Mark 12, so we can focus on our love for God
*I understand that we’ve got some excellent young debaters in our church, but I’m sure they would ever try to get into a debate with God. You just cannot win an argument with the Lord.
*Unfortunately, that’s what the Pharisees, Herodians and Sadducees were trying to do in Mark 12. It was the last week of the Lord’s ministry before the cross. And these leaders were so hard-hearted toward Jesus that they were trying to trip-up the Lord.
*Of course, Jesus knew exactly how to answer them, and He pointed out their errors very well. That is the background to our passage this morning about our great need to love God. Let’s read it in Mark 12:28-30.
28. Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, "Which is the first commandment of all?''
29. Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.
30. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.”
*What love we are commanded to have for the Lord God! -- Total love. Our love for God is supposed to touch every part of our lives.
*Albert Barnes explained that loving God with all your heart means “to fix your affections supremely on Him, more strongly than on anything else. And to be willing to give up all that we hold dear at His command.
-Loving the Lord with all your soul means with all your life. This means, to be willing to give up your life to him, and to devote it all to his service; to live for him, and to be willing to die at his command.
-Loving the Lord with all your mind means to be willing to submit all of your mental ability to his teaching and guidance.
-And loving the Lord with all your strength means to be willing to labor and toil for his glory, and to make that the great object of all our efforts. (1)
*In sum, we are supposed to love the Lord with every part of our life.
-Nothing should be off-limits to the Lord.
-But how can we measure our love for the Lord?
*One time back when our Katie was in high school, she went to the grocery store with her mom. And while they were there, Katie read an article that said if you really love your wife or girlfriend, your eyes will dilate when you turn to look at her.
*Katie decided to check it out on me as soon as they got home. They rushed into my office, and Katie said, “Dad, turn around and look at Mom.” And when I did, my eyes did dilate. Whew! -- I passed the test.
*That may be one sort of goofy way to tell if you love your girl, but how can you tell if you really love God? -- God’s Word shows us four ways this morning.
1. First: Measure your attention.
*When Jesus told us the greatest commandment, He was quoting from Deuteronomy 6, and here in vs. 29, the first thing Jesus said was, “Hear, O Israel.”
*God tells us to hear. But are we listening? Are we paying attention to Him?
-That’s a big part of loving the Lord with all of your mind.
*I want to assure you today that the Lord is trying to get our attention. In Psalm 19:1-3, King David said:
1. The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
2. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.
3. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.
*So, God speaks through nature. His Holy Spirit is here to speak to our hearts. And He will always speak to us through His Word.
-But are you listening?
-Are you paying attention to the Lord Jesus Christ?
*As far as we know, the vast majority of those chief priests and Pharisees were not willing to listen. Are you willing to listen to the Lord? Eight times in the Gospels, Jesus cried out: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”