Summary: many Christians are apathetic about their relationship with the Lord, this sermon is to counter that and by God’s grace help them to stay on track
Keep The Fire Burning
Did you ever notice that a lot of times when people first come to the Lord, when they are a new Christian, that they have a passion and a fire for God, but then it seems after a while, that fire kind of burns out. After a while they kind of loose their desire to serve God, and they just aren’t dedicated to the things of God like they used to be. Well, 9 times out of 10 this happens because of disillusionment. Christians become disillusioned, this comes from either a lack of understanding, a wrong focus, or wrong expectations of God, and eventually disillusionment can lead to apathy. And apathy leads to spiritually unhealthy Christians and idolatry. I remember a Peanuts cartoon in which Charlie Brown was talking to Lucy. He remarked about the tragedy of so much apathy in the world today. And Lucy responded, "Yeah, it’s terrible. But who cares?"
Now a lot of times you see these same things in people who are having marital problems. Husbands and wives become disillusioned, because they are either focusing on the wrong things, they had the wrong expectations of what their spouse should’ve been, or they just don’t understand how marriage is supposed to work, and so they become apathetic in their marriage, and they loose the passion that they once had. And so today I want to talk about how to keep your love for God alive, and how to keep the passion in your relationship with Him.
How do I love God passionately? In our text Jesus gives us four ways to love God. We call this the Great Commandment (Read Mark 12:30)
He tells us first that you must love the Lord your God with all your heart. To love the Lord with all your heart means to love Him with pure devotion. It’s not enough to give Christ a place in our hearts. We are called to love Him with all of our heart. When you love someone with all of your heart, you think about them almost all of the time. You long to be with them. They’re the priority in your life.
And to love God with all your heart is the same. It means that your heart is devoted to Him. It means that you are faithful to Him. He becomes the most important thing in your life.
But the love we are to have for God has another characteristic. You are not only to love God with all your heart, you are to love Him with all your soul. To love God with all our soul means that our love for God ought to be full of passion. And we are all people of passion. Some people are passionate about sports, some people are passionate about their work, some people are passionate about hobbies, like art, or music. People are passionate about all sorts of things, but how many of us have the same passion for God that we have for these other things?
We cannot afford to be apathetic about our love for God. We must be excited about our relationship with Jesus. We must be passionate. In the Song of Solomon, we hear about the passionate kind of love we ought to have for God. Song of Solomon is a pretty racy book, if you think about it. But it’s describing a passionate, all consuming love. And about giving everything you’ve got to the one you love. And it’s a perfect example of how our love for the Lord should be. Real love is passionate love. To love God with all our soul means that we must be involved with all our emotions in our relationship to Him. And when you’ve really given Jesus all of your heart, then it’s easy to become excited about following Him.
Our love for Christ begins with a pure devotion and expresses itself by being full of passion, but there is another element. Jesus says that you are to love the Lord your God with all your mind. This is a love that is thoroughly considered. Today it seems that some Christians are so open minded that their brains are falling out. Emotionalism is a big problem in the body of Christ today. You see churches and pastors who say things like, “We’ve got to make things bigger and better to reach the lost.” But let me tell you something, the church or the pastors are not supposed to be here to entertain. In Romans chapter one the apostle Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for IT is the power of God unto salvation.” The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation, not the worship music, not the pastors preaching ability. The Gospel. But what happens a lot of times is that we have people coming to church because they like the emotional charge that they get, and because they feel good. But they are never equipped for the working of ministry, they are never built up in their most holy faith, and they are not rooted and grounded in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which is sound Biblical teaching. And then when the storms come they end up disillusioned and apathetic.