Summary: Jesus was empowered to love, serve, and confront Toxic people by the power of the Spirit, and the love of the Father.

Jesus & Toxic People 3 Father’s Day 2009

Receiving the Father’s Love

Ephesians 3:14-19

Recap last two sermons

Jesus is able to love and serve Judas, and able to confront toxic people because he knew the Father’s Love, and he had the power of the Spirit.

John 13:1&3

Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

…. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;

Luke 3:21-22

When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

- connection between the Love of God & the filling of the Holy Spirit

Clark Pinnock’s book on The Holy Spirit is called “Flame of Love”

It is said that a person who knows that they are truly loved can do anything.

Many people experience the deep and abiding love of God when they are filled with the Spirit.

The “Toronto Blessing” was more about experiencing the Father’s love than it was about manifestations etc.

Paul prays for the Christians at Ephesus that they might have “power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the Love of Christ” (Eph.3:18)

John Stott says of this verse; “The love of Christ is ’broad’ enough to encompass a1l mankind, ’long’ enough to last for eternity, ’deep’ enough to reach the most degraded sinner, and ’high’ enough to exalt him to heaven.”

Leslie Mitton expresses it this way, “Whether you go forward or backward, up to the heights or down to the depths, nothing will separate us from the love of Christ.”

Ancient commentators went further. They saw these dimensions illustrated on the cross. For its upright pole reached down into the earth and pointed up to heaven, while its crossbar carried the arms of Jesus, stretched out as if to invite and welcome the whole world.

I like the version of the Nut-Brown Hair - it is a children’s book I read my kids. At bed time the little nut-brown hair tells his dad that he loves him “this much” with his arms stretched out wide. Not to be out done, the big nut brown hair says “yes, but I love you this much” with his much longer arms spread out. And thus begins the battle - “I love you as high as I can jump . . . I love you al the way down the road as far as the river, I love you down the road and over the river . . . ” When God says “I love you this much” with his arms stretched out, he always wins.

There is a common saying that says, “I asked Jesus how much he loved me and he said ‘this much’ and stretched out his arms and died.” God’s love for us is most evident in Jesus death on the cross. But it doesn’t end there: God is not like the husband who says to his wife. “I told you I loved you when I married you, and if it changes I’ll let you know.” No, God is constantly telling us again how much he loves us.

Paul does not stop there in his prayer though, he prays that we would “know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you would be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” It is not enough just to “know” his love in our heads - we need to experience his love that surpasses knowledge.

To know this love is a miracle – we get this knowledge through the power of the Holy Spirit. – Ask him

What Might Stop Me from Knowing God’s Love?

Dry Sponges – maybe you haven’t experienced a great deal of unconditional love in your life

“Soak” in God’s love – Airport,

Meditate on God’s Love – God’s Love letter, “who I am in Christ” – do it

Earning Love – whether you had to earn your parent’s love, or just felt that way, like the older brother in the prodigal.

“Nothing you will ever do will be worth more to God than you.” - Rev. Zina Jaque

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Doubt - doubting that God will send his spirit, or that he even does such things.

In Luke 11:9-10 Jesus says: (p. 72)

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