Summary: I hope you passed last week’s love test. And I’m going to assume you did. Now, this morning, I want to talk about 4 results of loving God that will be evident in our lives. (*Powerpoint available - #227)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Changed e-mail address: PowerPoint slides used in this sermon are available at no charge. Just e-mail me at email@example.com 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."
The Bible is very specific in describing what is required of us to be in the faith. And we discussed that last week.
We also looked at 1 Corinthians 11:28, where Paul says that we are to examine ourselves before we partake of the emblems of the Lord’s Supper to make sure we are recognizing the body of Christ.
He says that if you don’t do that, then you eat & drink judgment unto yourself, & that’s why many are weak & sick.
SUM. So I hope you passed last week’s love test. And I’m going to assume you did. Now, today let’s talk about 4 results of loving God that will be evident in our lives.
I. IF WE REALLY LOVE GOD, WE WILL KNOW GOD & GOD WILL KNOW US
A. The first result is given in 1 Corinthians 8:3. It tells us that if we really love God, then we will know God & God will know us. Listen to 1 Corinthians 8:3. "The man who loves God is known by God."
And 1 John 2:3 4 says, "We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. The man who says, ‘I know Him,’ but does not do what He commands is a liar, & the truth is not in him."
How well do you know God this morning? How do you perceive Him? In your mind, what kind of being do you envision? Who is God? 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 & gentle, then you probably see God like that, too.
B. I think it was that way in O.T. times. For hundreds of years they kept looking toward heaven, saying, "Where is God? Does God care? Does God know our pain? Is God grieved when our nation suffers?" And they had their own perception of God. Many of them saw God as a God of wrath & judgment.
But then God came to earth as Jesus. John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the Word, & the Word was with God, & the Word was God." And then again in John 1:14, "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, a God of forgiveness, a God who was concerned & compassionate about people on the streets. You didn’t have to hold high rank. You didn’t have to be someone special to gain audience with Him. They saw a God who cared about everyone. Is that how you see God today?
ILL. Sometime ago a friend of mine went back home to be with his father while his mother was in the hospital for surgery. 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 see dad when he & mom come for a visit. And of course, we go there to visit, too. But there are 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 & you knew what was 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 may not make it."
He said, "I saw my dad cry. I felt my dad reach over & touch my hand, & I heard him say, ‘Let’s pray together.’ I had never heard him say that before. And we prayed many times during those 4 days with each other."