Summary: True love for God demonstrates itself when we exalt the savior (not ourselves) and give everything we have.
In the Broadway play My Fair Lady, Eliza is courted by a man named Freddy, who writes her love letters every day. But that’s not enough for Eliza. Take a look (show video clip from My Fair Lady, “Show Me” song). Eliza's cries out in frustration:
“Words! Words! I'm so sick of words!
Don't talk of stars burning above! If you're in love, show me!
Don't talk of love lasting through time. Make no undying vow.
If you love me, show me now!”
It’s so easy to say, “I love you”, but real love shows. Real love demonstrates itself in action.
Jesus said the most important thing in life is to “Love the Lord your God”, but how does that love show itself? How does that love demonstrate itself in action? Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Mark 12, Mark 12, where we see what a true love for God looks like.
Mark 12:35-37 And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.” ’ David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly. (ESV)
They were delighted, because Jesus had stumped the teachers of the law. He had posed a question which they couldn’t answer.
They taught, as the Scriptures do, that the Messiah is a descendant of David; and yet, David Himself, in those same Scriptures (Psalm 110), called the Messiah, “Lord.” How can that be? How can the Messiah be both King David’s descendant and King David’s Lord? Well, there is only one answer. The Messiah is God in the flesh. He is the God-man, Jesus Christ. As man, he is a descendant of David, born of the Virgin Mary, who can trace her lineage back to David. But as God, He is David’s Lord!
My friends, Jesus is the Lord, God himself! He is God who came in human flesh to save sinners, and that is something the teachers of the law did not want to acknowledge. They refused to exalt Jesus as Lord, and it made them look foolish. But if we truly love God, we will…
EXALT JESUS AS LORD.
Unlike the religious leaders in Jesus’ day, we will worship Christ. We will submit to him and yield to his control. For Jesus Himself said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word” (John 14:23).
There are a million Methodists who live on the Fiji Islands, and each summer 20,000 to 50,000 of them gather for a conference. Now, before the conference begins, they have a massive choral contest with about 10,000 people participating, but a few summers ago (July 2009), the government shut them down. “No choral contest this year,” the government said. There is a lot of turmoil in Fiji, and according to news reports, “Church officials said the government fears the conference and singing contest will lead to further political instability.” Nothing like singing Methodists to make a government nervous!
We laugh at that, but the Fiji government might be on to something. Commenting on this story, Lee Eclov, a pastor in Vernon Hills, Illinois says, “Christians worshiping the Lord really are dangerous – although perhaps not as those officials feared. Worshiping God in Christ upsets world systems. It is revolutionary, subversive. It brings another kingdom into view. (Kim Cain, “Fiji Bans Massive Methodist Hymn-Sing,” Religion News Service, 7-31-09; Lee Eclov, Vernon Hills, Illinois; www.PreachingToday.com)
My friends, we are citizens of another Kingdom – the Kingdom of God. And when we exalt Christ, our King, we make other earthly kings nervous. It threatens their power, because we choose to adore and obey Christ more than any other man. It threatened the power of the religious leaders in Jesus’ day. That’s why they sought to get rid of Him.
But those of us, who love Him, worship Him. We gladly submit to Him, because of our love for Him. So exalt Him even when days are dark and times are tough. And…
DON’T EXALT YOURSELF.
Don’t put on a show to make people think you’re better than you are. Don’t seek to elevate yourself in the eyes of those around you.
Now, that’s what the religious leaders in Jesus’ day did. They wore long, flowing, white, linen robes, because that’s what the important people in their day wore. Only the common people wore clothes with color. And every time a teacher of the law passed by, on the street or in the marketplace, they expected the common people to rise and address them as “Master.” Also, whenever an important person in Jerusalem hosted a banquet, he invited a teacher of the law to be there as a trophy to show off to his friends. That person gave this teacher the highest place at the table, even over his own parents! These teachers also had the seats of honor in the synagogues. They sat at the front with their backs to the chest containing the Torah in full view of the congregation (William L Lane, The Gospel of Mark, p.440).