Summary: The love of God is intrinsically linked with the worship of God and love for the brethren.
Love Feels No Loads, I John 5:1-6
A discus thrower developed his skills alone in his highland village in Scotland. This was in the nineteenth century, before the days of professional trainers. He made his own discus from the description he read in a book. What he didn’t know was that the discus used in competition was made of wood with an outer rim of iron. His was solid metal and weighed three or four times as much as those being used by his would-be challengers.
This committed Scotsman marked out his field the distance of the current record throw and trained day and night to be able to match it. For nearly a year, he labored under the self-imposed burden of the extra weight, becoming very, very good. He reached the point at which he could throw his iron discus the record distance, maybe farther. He was ready.
The highlander traveled south to England for his first competition. When he arrived at the games, he was handed the official wooden discus—which he promptly threw like a tea saucer. He set a new record, a distance so far beyond those of his competitors that no one could touch him. For many years he remained the uncontested champion.
In today’s text we are instructed that for those who love God, His commands are not burdensome. Just as the Scotsman’s strength for throwing his discuss was increased by the heavy weight of his training, so too, our strength, our endurance for carrying out the commands of God is increased by our love for God.
This morning I want to talk to you about our greatest source of strength for living out the Christian life; namely, learning to rest in God as we are empowered by genuine and pure worship of God. The Christian life, with its high ideals, ethics, and morals, the commands of God, are difficult, without a doubt impossible to attain apart from the presence of God dwelling in us, and apart from us learning to rest in the very sovereign grace of the God who created us.
Today’s text reads, “If you love the Father, you will love His children.” What does it mean to love God? The idea of loving God is intrinsically linked to the idea of worship; adoration of the divine; intimacy with the very one who created us and sustains us; giving us the very breath of life. What is worship and how do we do it?
Praise is cheap today. Everything receives praise! Turn on the television or any radio station and listen in as the latest gadget is praised as breakthrough technology that will enhance our lives. Or listen to the gloating of the latest brand of toothpaste, breakfast cereal, or movie star.
Our overly commercial culture has exhausted with its praise of everything; at the same time the culture has elevated everything to a high status of worth and as a result deflated the very idea and meaning of worth. It is not, therefore, simply enough to praise God in the same fashion as we do every other appendage to our life; as though God were merely a facet or apparatus to our lives.
God is worthy of praise, adoration, worship, because He is holy. He is perfect, righteous, and just; deserving of adoration. He is wholly different from every other thing in our experience and all that we are, all that we ever hope to become, is completely contingent upon Him. He is intrinsically holy because all of reality is contingent upon His character!
I say this in stark contrast to the message emanating from the modern culture which tells us that we are the measure of all things. The modern culture elevates self to such a high place that men and women are necessarily disappointed by our own lack of ability to live up to the status we ascribed unto ourselves.
Indeed, it is a matter of the clay having assumed the role of the potter. It is a matter of the culture having replaced God with a million little gods; all named “me.” Where is worship to be found in such a culture? Where is connection with the divine to be found in such an utterly disconnected society?
In the modern culture, it occurs to me, we are inundated with so much information and distractions that seldom do we find time for connecting with God. How many are those who are even unable to make time to attend Church on any kind of regular basis on Sunday morning to spend time in worship?
Many have job schedules that necessitate working on Sunday. Others are compelled that they need that time to rest or relax from a busy week. The suggestion that one cannot make it too church to worship God belies a total and complete misunderstanding as to the very nature of worship.