God’s Love for us is the Main Thing
Our Mission Purpose is: Presenting Jesus, the revelation of grace and truth that transforms lives.
We are privileged to be the donkey that carries Jesus into Jerusalem. The donkey hears the cheers of the people as Jesus rides into Jerusalem but knows the cheers are not for it, but for Him. The donkey takes pleasure in that he is doing what he is called to do but more important is He is presenting Jesus to people.
It is not his job to interpret Jesus, just present Him as He really is.
He is greater than we know, He is more loving and forgiving than we know, He is more patient than we know. I am not convinced that we are doing well at presenting the real Jesus.
In 1692 an old Puritan wrote, Wouldn’t it be great to hear an owner of a gold mine say to us, “You would honor Me so much if you would go into My gold mine and dig and carry out as much gold as you can carry away!”
In the same way God is saying to us – it would glorify Me much if you would go into My Word and dig out as much grace as you can carry away for yourself. The more grace you have the more I will be glorified.”
“God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.”
“God is most glorified in me, when I am most satisfied in Him.”
When this happens people will be begging to come to this church wanting what we have.
What does it look like to be most satisfied in God? This is a vital question! What is the most important thing for us?
Every Jew was taught the Main Thing was found in Duet 6. This was the first and most important scripture to memorize called the Shema which means “Listen”. It was a prayer recited first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
One time a lawyer asked Jesus, What must I do to inherit eternal life?
He said you know the scriptures – how do you read it. The man quoted the shema. Jesus said, you answered correctly now DO THIS and live.
- The emphasis of the OT covenant of law was your love for God but the emphasis of the NT is God’s love for us.
- The law was to show us we are incapable of loving God with all our heart. So, God demonstrated how He only could love us with all His heart by sending His only Son Jesus, to redeem us with His own blood.
- The new covenant is all about God’s love for you, not your love for Him. Under grace God does not want you to focus on you trying to love God but focus on His great love for you. This is the Main thing!
Ill. All the religions of the world focus on searching for the god and try to gain his favor by trying to do what pleases him. But Xnty is different. Instead of us searching for God – He is searching for us. Instead of us reaching up for God, He is reaching down for us. This is what Jesus is all about. He is God and he came down to earth as one of us to bring us to God. God is holy, perfect and without any sin. We are sinful at birth and cannot connect with God on our own. No matter how hard we try we cannot erase our sin. By His death for us and His resurrection He did this for us! He bridged the sin gap between man and God as the God-man – Jesus.
“We love Him because He first loved us.” I John 4:19
Why do we have a cross in our church? It is a sign not of our love for God but of His great love for us! It is a sign of God’s new covenant He made with us through Jesus. The gospel is about God’s love for us not our love for Him.
- Communion table has signs of the covenant God has made with us. This is My body, My blood not your body or your blood. This is my covenant with You and for you. It is not based on your love for Me but My perfect love for you!
Ill. Night before Jesus was to be crucified, he tried to prepare the disciples to understand God’s unchanging love for them. He knew they all would fall away because of the hard things about to happen they would not understand. He told Peter that he would deny Him and that the others would fail so He says this,
“Remember as the Father loves Me, so have I loved you, remain in My love.”
Then He took bread and the cup of and said, “This is my body broken for you, this is My blood, My covenant with you” do this to remember – to remember My love never fails. Even though you fail, my love for you never fails! This will cause you to remain with Me.
- The questions we should be asking ourselves today are:
Do I know how much God loves me today?
Do I really believe God loves me right now?
This makes all the difference in the world on how quickly you will be able to repent and get back on your feet again. It makes all the difference in the world on how we are presenting Jesus to the world!
Our love for God can fluctuate but His cannot.
“For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE OF GOD which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
Are you persuaded that as a child of God that nothing, not even your sins, or failings can ever separate you from the love of God?
If you can get this revelation that this is how God loves you – then you will be able to make it through anything this life.
People often have the wrong view of God because of the people who say they are Christians are not presenting the real Jesus. Many have created a god in their own image to suit themselves and are presenting this Jesus.
This scripture is revealing God’s perfect love commitment/covenant to us. Once we get this revelation then we can endure anything that comes our way.
Ill. After Peter denied Christ 3 times just as Jesus said would happen. Peter is filled with shame and condemnation and decided to go back to what he knows before he met Christ – to fishing. This is his way of saying I have tried to follow Christ, but I keep messing up. Jesus confronts him. “Do you love (agapeo) Me more than these? (the fishing business). “Yes Lord, You know I phileo You. ( You know my failure but you also know I still love you but just not at the level You love me. Jesus said, “Then feed My sheep”.
Simon do you agapeo Me? Yes Lord you know I phileo you. “Tend to My lambs.”
3rd time Simon do you phileo Me? Peter was grieved because Jesus used a lesser word for love that Peter used. “Yes Lord, You know all things – You know my failures, you know that I Phileo You.
“Feed My sheep!”
Jesus accepted Peter’s failure to love Jesus with all his heart. He was showing him the Main Thing is God’s love that would never fail!
In other words don’t quit on Me because I have not quit on you! My love for you has not changed because of your failures. Instead God’s love restored Peter like He has restored us over and over.
It is this revelation of God’s love that puts people who have failed back on the firing line again. Someone here today needed to here this and to now recognize God’s grace upon you.
Grace is unearned, unmerited, undeserved love and mercy and forgiveness from God. If you can deserve grace, it is no longer grace.
The NT is not about your love for God – it is about God’s love for you! People who know they have been forgiven much, become people who love Jesus much and without fear of what other people think.
The revelation of God’s love for us will spark spontaneous worship without the fear of what others will think of you.
Ill. Like Mary who crashed a dinner party in order to wash Jesus’ feet with her tears, hair and an alabaster box of spikenard. She poured everything in her heart out to Him Who had forgiven all her sins.
When you look in the mirror what do you see? Do you see yourself trapped in all your failures and sins? Or do you see what God sees? If you will trust in Jesus as your Savior and Lord then God sees you as accepted, beloved, righteous, favored, blessed, healed, free from all condemnation and guilt and shame.
This is the Main thing! Not our love for God but His love for us. Our part is to Keep the Main thing the Main thing.
“Keep yourselves in the love of God while you are waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, which leads to eternal life.” Jude 24