Today’s Scripture:  “17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;” (Ephesians 3:17-18)   

Introduction:

After yet another short break…here we are back to work to close out this series…we’ve got 6 messages left in this series…and today we’re going to be talking about God’s love…this is always one of my favorite topics because this is the one major area that all of us need to have a greater revelation and understanding of.

The number one area that we all struggle in is our own personal walk with God, and the number one reason we struggle in this area is that we have a limited and worldly understanding of love.  What we need is to get a serious Biblical revelation of God’s love for us…we need to understand that we are extremely valuable to God…and the only way to get this understanding is through the Word of God.

Opening Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we come before You today as we get into this message to seek a greater understanding and revelation of Your love for us.  Lord…I pray that those who read this message who need that revelation of Your love for them would not just have this message work within them to help reveal that love…but that they would have an encounter with You…where You personally speak to them…and maybe for the very first time…hear You speak to them that You love them…and that they are valuable to You.  I yield myself to You and ask that Holy Spirit would speak, give me unction and utterance, and that I would speak only that which You would speak through me by the supernatural ability of the Holy Ghost…l ask for ears to hear, minds to be opened and renewed, and hearts to receive, respond, and be encouraged this day…in Jesus’ name…Amen & Amen.

Today’s Message:

Friends, the most powerful moment I had in my life besides the day I came to really know Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and that God was my Father…was the day that He spoke to my heart and told me that not only was I valuable to Him, that I am His, but that He loves me.  Friends…when God spoke to me that He loved me…it changed my life forever…because it’s one thing to know of the love of God…but it’s a whole new thing to know that God loves you.  Not because you read it in the Word of God, not because some preacher stood up behind his pulpit and told you, but because God…Himself…told you that He loves you…that was one of the things that happened that day in November of 2010…and like I said…that changed my life forever…because God’s love for me wasn’t just head knowledge…but it was spoken by Him to my heart…and once you understand that…I would venture to say it’s as powerful as the moment you receive Christ as Lord and Savior.

Do you have any idea how much God loves you? I don’t think I do either. I’m trying to “grasp” this love as Paul exhorts us to do. But, it’s not an easy task, is it?

You know, I had always thought up until that day that I had a pretty good grasp and understanding of the love of God, but like I said that knowledge was really “head knowledge”…and while that is certainly important to have…the most important thing that happened to me is when the head knowledge of God’s love went from being just head knowledge to revelation in my heart…and once that understanding got deep into my heart and soul…that changed my life forever.

But can I tell you the truth…even though my knowledge of God’s love has gone from being just “head knowledge” to being a revelation that has gotten deeply entrenched into my heart…I still have a very limited understanding of the love of God because it’s limited to my understanding of the love that I experienced through the world.

I believe one of the more powerful things about real praise and worship music is that it helps to give us a greater picture of God’s love.  Also, the more you really study Bible passages like 1 Corinthians 13…that also begins to deposit serious understanding and revelation that entire chapter is a description of God’s love for us.  Then you read more verses like 1 John 4:8 that tell us that God is love…but like I talked about before that there are three things that I don’t believe we’ll ever really fully be able to grasp or comprehend…God’s grace, God’s mercy, and God’s love…until we meet Him face to face…and even then as we’re gathered around the throne…I wonder if there’s going to be a complete revelation of the knowledge of just how much God really does love each and every single one of us…and that means YOU too.

The other day I was at the Pharmacy picking up a prescription. My youngest son was with me and was actually just sitting on a bench waiting for me instead of rearranging all of the pain relievers and laxatives.

While I was waiting, I looked over at him. He wasn’t doing anything but just sitting and waiting while I waited. He was not quoting a scripture that he memorized. He wasn’t putting away the dishes without being asked. He wasn’t showing love and kindness toward his brother. He was just there. And the love I had for him welled up inside of me and I had to fight back the tears.

That is how God loves us. Just for who we are. Yes, a life of obedience to Him and being in fellowship with Him throughout the day gives Him joy, but He loves us because that is just who He is. He is love and He loved us enough to sacrifice His only son for us. He cannot not love us.

This is a beautiful illustration of a parent’s love for their child…and it does help a bit to illustrate God’s love for us.  However, for those of us who didn’t necessarily receive that kind of love from our own parents…that may be a hard illustration to wrap your minds around…so perhaps the best point in  that is this one here:

That is how God loves us. Just for who we are. Yes, a life of obedience to Him and being in fellowship with Him throughout the day gives Him joy, but He loves us because that is just who He is. He is love and He loved us enough to sacrifice His only son for us. He cannot not love us.

I used to be like everyone else who described God’s love as “unconditional” until I had my pastor at New Life Christian Center teach that God’s love is not unconditional…it’s perfect.  Absolutely perfect…there are no flaws, no conditions, and no points at all where God doesn’t love us…because as is so rightly pointed out here…God is love.  He can’t not love us because for Him not to love us…that would go completely against who He is…God is the perfect description of love…and when we see things written about Jesus being “moved with compassion”…it’s just a small sample size of just how much God’s heart burns with love and compassion for us.

If you are a parent, do you love anyone enough to sacrifice your child for? Yeah, me neither. When I think about the love I have for my own sons, I think I get a glimpse of just how much God loves me.

The even deeper question to ask is:  do you love anyone enough to sacrifice your child for knowing full well that the person you love enough to do that for might only not appreciate what it is you’ve done for them…but refuses to accept that you sacrificed your child for them.  Do you love anyone enough to sacrifice your child knowing that the person you sacrificed your child for would blame you for everything that goes wrong in their lives in addition for rejecting what you sacrificed for them?  Do you know anyone that you love enough to sacrifice your child knowing that the person you sacrificed your child for would reject and maybe even deny that you sacrificed your child for them…until their last breath?

You’re being a little dramatic aren’t you brother Bryan?  Am I?  Because the truth is that’s what we do to God every single day.  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…but there are those who claim and even deny the very existence of not just His Son, but God as well…but God still loved them enough to sacrifice His Son for them…knowing that they would never soften their hearts and believe upon the very Son of God…and the God that they mock…but God still loves them to this day.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…but there are those who have not only rejected His Son…but they blame Him for everything that happens that’s been horrible in their lives, and in their pride proclaim that any success they have or had in life was because of their own hard work and determination…and has nothing to do with God…but there are people who do that…but God still loved them enough to sacrifice His Son for them…and He still loves them.

God loves them not because they love Him, but because He is love…it’s the very nature of God to love us regardless of who we are or what we do because He is love.  He cannot…not love us because the Word of God says He does…and for Him to not love us would mean that He would be going against the very thing that He exalts above everything else…His own Word.

So…the God loves us because the Word of God says He loves us.  God loves us because the Word of God says He IS love.  He loves us for who we are…as we are…and no matter where we are…what we’ve done…or where we are at in life.  He loves us enough to look over at the thief on the Cross to promise that at the end of that day…they’d be in paradise together.  That’s a message not just to the thief…but to us that we can come to Him just as we are…and His response is always going to be…”My dear child…I love you.  Of course I will save you.”

Friend, rest today in the fact that our God, the Great I Am, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last…loves you completely and without reservation. And our only reasonable response to Him should be giving Him our complete lives. In this bold act of faith, I believe true joy and contentment resides.

And with that…I believe we’ll close this message.  There’s no denying the fact that our God loves us.  He’s done so much to prove it, but the problem is that we need to not just receive it…but get the revelation of it from our heads into our hearts.

I pray…friends that you have that encounter with God much like I did that one fateful day in November when I heard the Lord’s voice unmistakably say to me that He loved me, and that I belong to Him…and my prayer is that you will have that encounter too…because once you have that knowledge that He loves you…not because you read it in the Bible or someone told you…but that He…Himself told you…then it goes from being something you know about…to something you know without a doubt.

Points for Pondering:

  • Do you really believe that God absolutely loves you?
  • Do you ever feel that you have to do something to earn God’s love?

Be A Doer Not Just A Reader:

  • Spend a few minutes with God and allow His love for you to fall upon you and drench you.

Conclusion:

Friends once the revelation of God’s love for you comes it’s the most freeing thing that you’ll ever experience, and it’s an encounter that no one will ever be able to take away from you.  Once you hear God say that He loves you…there’s no greater knowledge…because it’s then that you truly realize that you belong to Him…and that there’s absolutely nothing you can do to cause you to not belong to Him…and that then frees you to know…and I mean truly know what Paul writes at the end of Romans 8.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Closing Prayer:

How we need to know, Lord God that You truly love us more than we could ever imagine or understand.  It’s the one area that all of us (myself included) fail and struggle to understand and comprehend…as Paul writes…Lord God…this is my prayer for myself…as well as those who are following along by reading this message…and that prayer is this…That Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith; being rooted and grounded in love, and that we may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of Your love for us…and that Your love for us would make that journey from our heads and into our hearts.  Lord…I pray that we all would have one of those all important encounters with You…and I pray…Lord that I would have a fresh encounter as well…the one where You tell us in Your own words how valuable we are to You…and how much You love us…even though You know we have such a limited ability to really understand just how much and what kind of love that is…that You have for us.  I pray this in Jesus’ name…Amen & Amen