Summary: This sermon deals with what does it truly mean to love God, and why do we want to limit our love.
Just How Much Should I Love God
Suppose for a moment you fell in love with someone and the person said, “I love you.” Then you responded, “I Love you too.” But what if they said, “just to be sure about this, “how much do I have to love you, to keep you by my side.” How many of you would be slightly offended by this question? How many of you would be having second thoughts about this person? How many of you would think this person is trying to keep their options open for something else and isn’t ready for a full commitment?
What do you think of a person who wants to do the bare minimum to get by? As long as I at least get a D, as long as I at least don’t come in last, as long as I just walk across the stage, that’s enough for me.
Have you ever ran into someone who wants to know what’s the minimum requirement that I have to do, to make it into heaven. At funerals, we try to reach at least the minimum amount of works that a person has to do to make it in. Many people think of entrance into heaven, is based on a scale of good works verses bad works. Some people actually think they keep the 10 commandments and that’s going to get them into heaven. As George and Mabel were leaving church after their once a visit trip on Easter, the pastor said, it sure would be nice to see them more often. George said, don’t worry pastor at least we’re keeping the 10 commandments. The pastor looked at him with a look of disbelief. George said, “I didn’t say we were perfect, Mabel keeps six of the commandments and I keep the other four.
When it comes to actually going to heaven, the minimum requirement and the maximum requirement are one and the same. Eternal life is a gift from God. The maximum thing you can is receive God’s gift. The minimum thing you can do is receive God’s gift. God’s gift to the world is Jesus Christ. Whoever believes in Jesus Christ and confesses him as Lord of their life shall be saved. No matter how many ways the Bible tells us this, we still want to be saved by works and bargaining with God.
Do you know what God wants from us? God wants our love. Giving God our love is the only way God can give to us, all the blessings that God wants us to have both in this life and in the life to come. In the Old Testament, God had delivered his people out of a life of slavery by doing numerous miracles. Even though God had a perfect plan for housing, food, clothing, and fun for them in the promised land, because they didn’t love God, they rejected it.
God still loved them and was with them for the next 40 years as they stumbled in the wilderness, waiting for those who rejected God to die off.
They were now on the verge of getting another chance to go into a place of blessing and God tells them: Deuteronomy 10:12-13 (NIV2011) 12 And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
How do you feel, when you’re doing something for somebody else’s own good and the person says, “I don’t want you doing nothing for me.” And then person goes ahead and messes up their life. When they come back to you asking for help again, what’s the first thing you want to say. “I Told You So.” The good news for you if you are away from God, is that God wants you back, and He’s not even going to say I told you so.
I want you to know this morning, that there is a God who loves you. A God who truly wants what is best for your life. A God who knows what tomorrow is going to bring in your life. A God who knows what will really make life worthwhile and purposeful for you. A God who has revealed Himself in Scripture and who wants to reveal Himself to you. All he wants from you is love.
I am not talking about a feeling for God, but a choice to follow God. Feelings come and they go. You can’t really love God, until you have actually tried to follow God. It’s like this, you can’t feel your way into getting into good shape. You have to do certain things such as running, lifting weights, jogging or walking in order to genuinely be in shape. Once you get there, you may not feel like you are in shape but you are.