Summary: I hope you passed last week’s love test. And assuming that you did, let's consider 4 results of loving God that will be evident in our lives. (Powerpoint available - #227)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(REVISED - 2018)
(PowerPoint slides used in this sermon are available at no charge. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request - #227.)
A. Last week, my sermon was titled "The Love Test," & we looked at a couple of passages of Scripture. The first was 2 Corinthians 13:5 where Paul tells the Christians in Corinth to examine themselves to see if they are in the faith.
He says, "If you are in the faith, Christ will be living in you, unless you fail the test." And then we found that the Bible is very specific in describing what it means to be "in the faith".
We also looked at 1 Corinthians 11:28, where Paul says that we are to examine ourselves before we partake of the Lord's Supper to make sure we are "recognizing the body of Christ".
SUM. So I hope you passed that love test. And assuming you did, let’s consider 4 results of loving God that will be evident in our lives.
I. IF WE LOVE GOD, WE WILL KNOW GOD & HE WILL KNOW US
A. The Bible tells us that if we really love God, then we will know God & He will know us. How well do you know God? How do you picture Him? What is He like?
ILL. Psychologists say that most of us perceive God to be much like our earthly father. So if your father was a strong disciplinarian, you probably see God as a strong disciplinarian. If your father was kind & tender, then you probably see God like that, too.
B. I think some people were like that back in O.T. times, too. For hundreds of years they kept looking toward heaven, saying, "Does God care? Does God know our pain? Is God grieved when our nation suffers?"
You see, many of them thought of God as being harsh & full of wrath. But then God came to earth as Jesus. John 1:14 says,
"The Word became flesh & made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One & Only, who came from the Father, full of grace & truth."
What they saw in Jesus was a God of love & forgiveness - concerned & compassionate. You didn't have to be someone important to gain an audience with Him. In Jesus they saw a God who really cared.
ILL. Some years ago a friend of mine went back home to be with his father while his mother was in the hospital. He says that this was the first time that he had ever spent 4 consecutive days alone with his father since he was a little boy.
He said, "Now I did see dad when he & mom came to visit. And of course, we went there to visit, too. But there were always other people around."
"He really can't remember ever just sitting down & talking one on one with him like he did during those 4 days. And it was a revelation to him.
He said, "My dad was a strong disciplinarian. You knew what was right & wrong. And if you didn't do what was right, you suffered the consequences. My sister & I knew that."
"And I think that I have probably always looked at God in that way, too. But during those 4 days I saw my dad in a different light. We were dealing with a crisis in our family. The doctors came in more than once & told us that it was touch & go & that mother might not make it."
He said, "I saw my dad cry. He reached over & touched my hand, & I heard him say, ‘Let's pray together.' I had never heard him say that before. And we prayed many times together during those 4 days."
"I saw a father who was getting old, who needed help. And I thought how our roles had reversed. He used to lead me. Now I am helping him find his way through the hospital & to the cafeteria. It was a complete role reversal."
"When I left to go home, we drove down the road together. I drove my car & he drove his until we came to a fork in the road where he would turn one way & I would turn another. Then he pulled off to the side & stopped & waved me down.
"As I got out of the car on this lonesome country road, dad came over, big tears in his eyes. He said, ‘I just can't tell you what your coming has meant. I don't think I could have made it through these last 4 days if you hadn't been here.'"