Read Jeremiah 31:3
Three Questions -- One More Time...
We continue through the book of Genesis and are up to chapter 42. If you want to hear me preach that chapter, you will have to go to the Burns Flat CPC Facebook page and watch the 9:00 am service.
Why not preach it here? We had this wonderful thing happen this week. It was called camp. We sent 27 young people to camp, and as far as I know, we brought the same number home without any stowaways.
So, this morning, I give you three questions. They will be familiar to some.
The questions are:
How long will God love you?
How much does God love you?
What are you going to do about it?
To the first question. How long will God love us?
The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
Here it is in The Message translation.
God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will.
Expect love, love, and more love!
It seems that our world is going absolutely bonkers, but our God just won’t stop loving us. It’s not about how well the world is doing. It’s not about our performance, though our very lives should be a living sacrifice—an ongoing offering—to God. It’s not about how well we scored on our Law of Moses test.
It’s about love. It’s all about love. Why?
God is love!
God wants us to have his divine nature. He wants us to know love and to be love and to do that he just keeps on loving us.
Mark your calendars. Tom just worked REO Speedwagon into the sermon.
And I'm gonna keep on loving you
'Cause it's the only thing I wanna do
I don't wanna sleep
I just wanna keep on loving you
Evidently, God thinks that we are worth it. Go figure.
Question 2. How much does God love us? We know this answer by heart.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
I can comprehend my own child or grandchild going into the service and perhaps risking his life for his country. I get that.
I have a hard time comprehending the trust that Abraham had in God when he told him to sacrifice his one and only son, Isaac. That’s some stuff right there.
Risk of death is one thing. Giving your son over to death is another. I am glad that God called me to be a Marine officer and to pastor a church in Burns Flat, America instead of what he asked Abraham to do.
I don’t know if I would have it in me to sacrifice my own son. As much as I preach trust in the Lord and as much as I try to live trust in the Lord, sacrificing your own son just seems like a bridge too far.
Yes, there were some teenage years when it might have been easier, but sacrificing your own son is too much.
When it came to loving us, God said that no price is too high. He paid the price in his own blood—the blood of Christ Jesus.
When you wonder how much God loves you, visualize Jesus on the cross. His arms are stretched out wide to make it difficult to breathe. The Romans were devious like that. They built good roads and aqueducts, but they knew how to maximize pain as they killed you.
But as you visualize Jesus being executed on the cross think of his arms stretched out for you. How much does God love you? More than you can imagine.
So now, to my favorite question. What are you going to do about it? What are you going to do in response to this fantastic, unbelievable love of God that we know in Christ Jesus?
But we are promised more than just being saved from the flames of hell. We are promised fullness. We are promised abundant life.
Our salvation is one thing. Our response to salvation is another. Our response is our discipleship and our discipleship begs the question: Do we realize how much God loves us?
Do you realize how many Christians have a casual response to their salvation? Jesus died for me. That’s cool, bru. What’s for lunch.
How could our response be anything less than everything we have given willingly to God. Yes, we tithe and make offerings and sing hymns of praise and sometimes stay awake for the sermon, but I am talking about more.
I am talking about in everything we do, doing it for the Lord. Our jobs, our school, our time with our families, and our time alone is all meant to be an offering to God.
God wants to see us bring glory to his name and enjoy him while we do it.
Do we comprehend that? God wants us to enjoy bringing glory to his name. It’s not a gotta-do. It’s a get-to-do—a blessed-to-do.
Even our loving response to God’s unfathomable love is designed to be a blessing to us.
Let’s respond to God’s love by living fully for him and enjoying him every step of the way! That doesn’t mean that we quit school, quit our jobs, or begin our lives as homeless people. We live fully for God in whatever it is that we think or do. Our thoughts, attitudes, and actions belong to God.
That’s generally where I stop. If I am asked to speak at an event that I thought I was just attending, I rely on the three questions.
If I am meeting with a group for just about any purpose, somehow, I work in these three questions.
Today, I want to ask you a fourth question. Did you grow nearer to God over the past week?
Was it just fun with friends or was there something more? You might not believe the number of people in this world that just go to the next thing.
They don’t understand purpose. They have no purpose in their lives. They just do whatever is next.
These words come to mind.
You who believe in the God who is above all love are people of purpose—God’s purpose. His purpose for you is woven with love.
God is love and he wants to manifest his love in this world through you.
So, I ask again, did you draw closer to God this week.
If you didn’t, it’s time to take inventory of your life. Do you have a relationship with God or do you just know about him?
If you did draw nearer to God this week, build upon that momentum. Keep moving nearer to God. He is coming nearer to you. Build upon what you have accomplished.
Some of you might be thinking, he’s just talking to the campers… No such luck!
The three questions are for us all as is the fourth. Did we grow nearer to God this week? We were not at camp but we are people of purpose.
Did we draw nearer to God?
If the answer is no, then it’s time we take inventory of our lives. If we find ourselves just going on to the next thing without regard to the purpose that God has given us, take inventory.
If it’s yes, then we too should build upon that momentum.
God will never stop loving you.
He loves you so much that he sacrificed his Son for you.
He has commanded us to love each other as much as he loved us.
Are we getting to know this God of love better each day? Did we draw nearer to him this week?
Consider that the God of all the universe wants a very close relationship with you. Come to know him better each day.