Summary: In this study, we reflect on God's goodness, and how his goodness drives me passionately towards him. *This sermon is adapted from Mark Posey, “Why I Love the Lord”, Pulpit Preview, vol. 9, March 17, 2017.
1) When Excess is Good: On his 99th birthday, Carl J. Printz, for many years the Commissioner from Sweden to Canada, stepped quickly onto the television stage, his keen eyes expressing wisdom and understanding of his years. He was asked for rules by which such a long and useful life might be achieved. He replied: “I would suggest one definite rule and that is, one must be temperate in all things.” Then he added quickly, “Perhaps I should say all but one, for in the Bible you can read the commandments to love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind, and your neighbor as yourself. These are the only things we can rightly do to excess.”
2) He is echoing the teachings of Jesus (Matt. 22:37-40; Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:25-37). If someone asked you, “Why do you love the Lord?” What would you say? In Psalm 116, the chapter begins with, “I love the Lord.” He then explains why he loves the Lord with all his heart, soul, and mind (cf. Deut. 6:4-5).
a. He heard his pleas for mercy (vv. 1-2).
b. He is gracious and merciful to him (v. 5).
c. He “preserves the simple” (v. 6).
d. He has dealt “bountifully” with him (v. 7).
e. He delivered him from death (vv. 3, 8-9).
3) When the psalmist considered God’s goodness, he exclaimed in praise, “I love the Lord.” When we reflect on God’s goodness, it reminds me of a myriad of reasons why we love the Lord.
I. We love the Lord because he’s so good to us (Deut. 6:10).
A. There are people who enjoy God’s goodness who don’t realize it or refuse to acknowledge it.
1. Every “good and perfect gift” comes from the Father (Jas. 1:18)
2. He sends blessings such as rain, enjoyable weather, sunshine, and food on both the “just and unjust” (Matt. 5:45).
B. In Deut. 6:10ff, the Lord reminded Israel of his goodness to them. They love God because he was good to them.
1. They were delivered from Egypt, and he provided for them manna and quail.
2. They were protected even during a time of punishment.
3. Now, they were to be given wells they did not dig; gardens they did not plant; and, houses full of good things.
C. Application: How has God been good to us?
1. He has given us his revealed will so we may know him eternally (2 Pet. 1:3; Eph. 5:17).
2. He has given me hope and security for the future. I do not know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow.
3. He has given me mercy and kindness leading me to repentance (Rom. 2:4). God’s mercy and kindness is a motivating influence in our lives.
II. We love the Lord because he never breaks his promise (Ps. 89:1, 34)
A. “But you promised”: If you’ve raised children or are raising them you’ve heard, “But, dad you promised!” You may have broken a promise due to forgetfulness, neglect, or maybe circumstances changed. Sometimes we break promises.
B. In Psalm 89, a man named Ethan praised God for his faithfulness. Note what he says:
1. He praises him because of his steadfast love (vv. 1-2).
2. Note the quotation of God in v. 34, ““I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips.” (Psalm 89:34, ESV)
C. Application: God will never break his promises to us. Note Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” What has God promised?
1. Endurance will be rewarded with eternal life (Jas. 1:12; 1 John 2:25).
2. He will return, and we will live with him in a new heaven and earth (2 Pet. 3:13).
D. God’s promises are precious because they allow us to live godly lives escaping the corruption of sin’s influence (2 Pet. 1:4).
III. We love the Lord because he offers grace to all especially the undeserving (Eph. 2:1-10).
A. “I was that worm”: An old native American, after living many years in sin, was led to Christ by a missionary. Friends asked him to explain the change in his life. Reaching down, he picked up a little worm and placed it on a pile of leaves. Then, touching a match to the leaves, he watched them smolder and burst into flames. As the flames worked their way up to the center where the worm lay, the old chief suddenly plunged his hand into the center of the burning pile and snatched out the worm. Holding the worm gently in his hand, he gave this testimony to the grace of God: “I was that worm.”
B. This illustrates well Ephesians 2:1-10:
1. We were living in sin walking away from God and his promise of life (vv. 1-3).