Summary: A Series on the Family of Faith inspired by the "Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren.

25, April 2004

Dakota Community Church

Love in the Family of God

Part One: Loving God

1Peter 2: 1-12

9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

2Corinthians 6: 16-18

For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

"I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people."

17Therefore "Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you."

18"I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,

Says the LORD Almighty."

I want to spend the next few weeks looking the qualities of the family of God that separate us from the world.

This week:

Love in the Family of God.

Luke 10: 25-28

25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"

27He answered: " ’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ’Love your neighbor as yourself.’ "

28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

Listen again:

" ’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ’Love your neighbor as yourself.’ "

For those of us who have been around the church for a while I’m guessing we will have heard those words many times.

But what does it mean – to love God? If I asked you now if you love God – what would you say? How do you gauge something like that?

What does love for God look like – feel like – how does it show itself? What does it look like if we don’t love God? Why do we sometimes find it hard to love God?

You would think that we should we able to answer those questions fairly easily – but I’m not sure that that’s the case.

You see ‘not loving God’ raises some interesting questions – disturbing questions.

What is our worship here together if we don’t love God?

- Is it just a ‘feel good sing along?’

Why do we serve if we don’t love God?

- Is it self-promotion with a veneer of God?

Why study the Bible? What use is biblical knowledge without love for God?

- We end up practicing religious behavior without passion or joy.

- We begin to become more and more like Pharisees.

1. We love God by spending time.

Is loving God an order, a duty, a command that we must obey – like a household chore? “Gotta love God today – I’ll do it between 7.00 and 7.30am?

Romans 12: 11-12

11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Philippians 4: 4-6

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Colossians 4: 2-3

2Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.

1Thesselonians 5: 16-21

16Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

19Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21Test everything. Hold on to the good.

There are 56 references to prayer in Paul’s letters alone. The whole point of the gospel is to reunite us in fellowship with God.

- When you love someone you want to spend time with him or her.

- It is not a chore.

- The key to every success you long for in life is in the secret place.

Psalm 31: 19-20

19Oh, how great is Your goodness,

Which You have laid up for those who fear You,

Which You have prepared for those who trust in You

In the presence of the sons of men!

20You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence

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