Summary: If we love Jesus... 1. We should store God's Word in our hearts. 2. We should stand on God's Word. 3. We should start living by God's Word. 4. We should help spread God's Word.
How to Measure Our Love for the Lord
The Gospel of John
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Prepared February 13, 2020
*Please open your Bibles to John 14 as we continue to focus on the night before Jesus died on the cross for our sins. This is one of 6 chapters in John's Gospel that focus on that momentous night. Here in the last few hours before the cross, Jesus spoke to His disciples about the most important things. One of the most important things of all is the Holy Spirit of God, and we will focus on God's Spirit next time. But another crucial topic in this section is our love for the Lord. How does God measure our love for the Lord? This is so important that Jesus mentioned it 4 times in tonight's Scripture. Please think about that as we read John 14:15-24.
*One time back when our daughter Katie was in high school, she went to the grocery store with her mom. 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 sort of a goofy way to tell if you love your wife, but how can we tell if we really love God? The truth is that there is only one way to measure our love for the Lord, and that is to "keep" the things Jesus has said to us. The Lord gave us this standard 4 times in tonight's Scripture.
*In vs. 15, Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." In vs. 21, Jesus said: "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me." In vs. 23, "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.'" Then in vs. 24, Jesus put it in the negative form: "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me."
*THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO MEASURE OUR LOVE FOR THE LORD, AND THAT IS TO "KEEP" THE THINGS JESUS HAS SAID TO US IN GOD'S WORD. But what does it mean to "keep" the Lord's commandments, to "keep" His words? The original Greek for "keep" in all the above verses means "to guard them from loss or injury, to keep your eye on them, to give them careful attention, and take care of them." John Gill added that keeping the Lord's commandments means observing them constantly, in faith, and with a view to His glory." Ed Wood said this word "keep" means "to guard the Lord's commandments like someone guarding a precious treasure." (1)
*Loving the Lord then all comes down to what we are going to do with God's Word. We must treat God's Word like the treasure it truly is.
1. AND IF WE LOVE JESUS, WE SHOULD STORE GOD'S WORD IN OUR HEARTS.
*In 2 Corinthians 4:5-7, Paul was writing about the gospel or good news of Jesus Christ. There Paul said:
5. . . We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
6. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
*Christians: WE are the vessels that need to be filled with the treasure of God's Word. Of course, this means we have to hear God's Word, and hear it on a regular basis. That's partly why in Matthew 4:4, Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
*There Christ quoted something He told Moses to say 1,400 years before the Lord came to earth. This Scripture is found in Deuteronomy 8:1-3, and Moses said this to the Children of Israel:
1. "Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers.
2. And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.