Summary: Describes God’s love for us and our inability to change that. Expanded outline.
Several weeks ago, we began this study on the marks of a disciple, a follower of Jesus Christ. At that time, looking at the Bible we saw that,
A disciple of Jesus Christ is someone who:
1. Has a changed life
> 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.
2. Loves Jesus more than anyone else in the world
- Luke 14:26 If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, and even his own life—he cannot be My disciple.
3. Loves Jesus more than anything else in the world
- Luke 14:33 In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not say good-bye to all his possessions cannot be My disciple.
4. Loves Jesus more than comfort and security
- Luke 14:27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
5. Continues in His walk
> John 8:31 If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples
6. Loves God’s people.
> John 13:34-35 I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Since then we have started looking at some disciplines the Bible shows, and you may use, to help you grow and mature as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
This morning, we are going to take a momentary pause in this series, because I have a fear. I am afraid that what I have been teaching, and the other disciplines I am going to be teaching for growing disciples, might be misunderstood or misconstrued as things you must have in your life, or things you must do in order to make God love you.
Let me say right off, that God loves you and there is nothing you can do to change that situation. God loves you and there is nothing you can do to make God love you more, and there is nothing you can do to that will cause God to love you less.
Tell somebody, “God loves you, and you can’t change that.”
I. GOD LOVES YOU, AND YOU CAN’T CHANGE THAT
Every once in a while you will hear a child in a broken home, a child in a divorce situation, or an unloved child, talk about how disappointed they are that they couldn’t get their parents to stay together. Or, they talk about how they wish they could have done the right thing or acted the right way, so that they could get their parents to love them. How do you feel when you hear a child say something like that? Doesn’t it break your heart?
It breaks my heart when I hear a child say something like that. It also breaks my heart when I hear people who seem to believe that God doesn’t love them because of the bad things they have done, or when they talk about things they do in order to get God to love them.
My friend, God loves you and you can’t change that. First, I want you to understand, without a doubt, that there is nothing you can do that will cause God to love you less.
> Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. …
1. Nothing you do will cause God to love you less.
> John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Not when the world was good. Back before anyone could do anything to earn God’s love, God sent His Son. …
> Romans 5:8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!
When did God prove His love? When did Christ die for us? While we were still sinners!
2. Nothing you do will cause God to love you more.
It is God’s love, it is God’s grace that has allowed you to be saved, not anything you have done, and nothing you do will cause God to love you more. …
God loves you, and you can’t change that.
II. CHRISTIANITY IS ABOUT A RELATIONSHIP, NOT RULES
Tell somebody, Christianity is about a relationship, not rules.
1. Religion is about rules.
Let’s face it, religion is hard work.
* A good Muslim has to pray 5 times a day. He or she will also fast for a whole month every year.