Summary: Deals with Jesus definition of the Greatest commandments.
***THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT***
Audio Link to listen to sermon: http://chirb.it/rI6mC3
1.) Man wonders about his primary duty to God.
A.) Jesus came into this world, that He might teach us an acceptable way to worship and serve.
B.) Once we have come to that place of an obedient saving faith in Christ, our Lord would encourage us to be motivated by His love.
C.) The distinguishing characteristic of the Christian religion is that it is built on and expresses itself in terms of love.
D.) The very heart of the Gospel is that God loves man and has revealed His love in the gift of Jesus Christ.
2.) The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes understood man’s duty in terms of obedience.
A.) “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecc. 12:13)
B.) The eighth Century BC prophet Micah defined mankind’s duty to God in a remarkable statement”
ba.) “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”-Micah 6:8
C.) It remained for Jesus to define the duty of man toward God in terms of love.
ca.) You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” -- Matthew 22:37
I. THERE ARE TWO MAIN REASONS WHY MEN DO NOT LOVE GOD.
1.) Men find it difficult to love God because they have not been taught that God is lovable and worthy of their devotion.
A.) They have been told dark and hard things about God which cause them to be frightened.
B.) Sadly, God has many times been misrepresented.
C.) From the beginning of human experience the Evil One has been misrepresenting the character of God.
ca.) That old serpent, the Devil, supplied Eve with a subtle suggestion that the Creator God was not a good God.
cb.) The devil gave Eve the idea that she and Adam would be deprived of life at its highest and best by the prohibition to eat from the Tree of knowledge of good and evil.
cc.) From that day to this, by every method at his command, Satan has implied that God is not worthy of man’s faith and trust.
2.) Many do not love God because they do not understand His commandments.
A.) When the nature and purpose of God are not understood as being motivated by love, it is only normal that man in his natural state will misjudge the commandments of God.
B.) It appears that his divine commandments are too restrictive on the one hand or too demanding on the other.
ba.) John the Apostle interpreted God’s commandments for us.
baa.) 1 John 5:3
II. GOD IS LOVABLE AND SHOULD BE LOVED.
-- 1 John 4:19
1.) In order to love genuinely we must recognize the object of love as being worthy of our adoration, devotion, and confidence.
A.) The properties of love are said to be two:
aa.) The desire to please.
aaa.) Part of what it means to love God with all our hearts, is that we have a desire to have a life that is pleasing to Him.
aab.)When a couple are in a loving relationship with each other it is only natural to want to please that special person in our life.
aab-1.) In a romantic relationship with another person each partner normally has a desire to please the other person.
aab-2.) It is only natural to bring that person gifts, to spend time with them, do acts of service for them, or whatever it takes to please that person, and show that we are thinking of them, and giving ourselves for their benefit.
aac.) It is no different in our relationship with God.
aac-1) If we are honest about loving God and wanting a relationship with Him, it is only natural that we will want to please God as well.
aac-2) We should find it as natural to love Almighty God in much the same was we would our spouses, or special others.
aac-2i.) We should naturally have a desire to do things for Him, to spend time with Him, to give Him gifts, and just to give ourselves for Him, and Him alone.
ab.) The desire to enjoy.
aba.) The other side of a relationship and expressing our love to God is just desiring to enjoy Him and our time with Him.
abb.) For any relationship to be successful it needs both parts: We need to give of ourselves to them, but we also need to take the time to enjoy them as well.
abb-1.) God wants us to not only give of ourselves to Him, he also longs for us to enjoy Him, and his company.