Opening Scripture: Turn to Matthew 22:37
37Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.”
The title of tonight’s lesson is:
LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD
Three part series.
- #1 With all your heart
- #2 With all your soul
- #3 With all your mind
Many of us are familiar with C.S Lewis he was a British author who is widely known for many of his famous books.
I believe C.S Lewis hit the nail on the head when he wrote the following quote:
Christianity if true is of infinite importance.
Point #1 WITH ALL YOUR HEART
JOKE: The scripture doesn’t say love the Lord with all your kidney… or all your appendix … because who knows what that’s for anyway?! Cass?
How important is our heart?
Would anyone disagree if I said that it is of infinite importance?
Our life kind of depends on it?
If you don’t believe me that its of infinite importance…just talk to Sarah who works as a perfusionist and I’m sure she will tell you that you need your heart in order to live.
Our heart is essential to our survival… we simply could not live without it.
And how much of this organ that is vital to our lives does God want….?
He wants every beat of it!
He wants all of it!
Give him any less of it…. And you will not survive as a Christian.
You will die spiritually.
The word all in the greek is “Holas” and it means “all, whole, and completely”
The word “heart” in the greek is “Kardia” and it denotes the centre of all physical and spiritual life.
- The heart is the vigour and sense of physical life
- And the centre and seat of spiritual life.
- Therefore God requires all of your vigour and all of your zest for physical life, AND he requires that you place him in the center and seat of your spiritual life!
Question: I have a very important question for each of you tonight…. And it is simply…
Have you given God all of your heart?
Have you given God all your vigour and zest for life! Or do you have a greater zest for work, school, marriage, or fill in the blank__________________
Have you placed God at the center seat of your spiritual life?
Something we can all be really encouraged by is the fact that
God loves us with all of his heart.
How do we know?
Scripture: Turn to John 3:16
“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.”
So loved the world.
The love we read about in this passage is an agapeo love. It is to love dearly. A sacrificial love.
He gave his one and only son.
His only child.
Quote: Author Elizabeth Stone said “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”
Jesus fully had Gods heart.
And yet God sent him to die in our place.
If any of the mothers in room here tonight saved your life in place of their childs would you ever question their love for you?
Their love for you would be unquestionable.
When it comes to Gods love It is absolutely unquestionable that God loves you with all of his heart.
He gave his very best so that we could have an eternal relationship with him.
The question is:
Do you love God with all of your heart?
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.
1 John 5:2
This is how we know that we love God’s children when we love God and obey His commands.
It is very simple… To love God is to obey him.
If your discipling partner has to try and repeatedly convince you to obey the scriptures…
What you are really doing is refusing to love God.
God gave you his best! Was the sacrifice of his only son not enough for you?
When we repeatedly flirt with the world, or refuse to love God with all of our heart….
It is the equivalent of telling God that Jesus isn’t good enough for you.
Do you love God? Is Jesus enough for you?
Illustration: It’s been so encouraging watching Brian and Jhoally fall in love. They dated long distance. Then Jhoally moved to Boston and as she lived with Coltin and I for a while I had the encouragement of watching her make him little gifts…
And as Brian and Jhoally have worked along side Coltin and I in the ministry we have gotten to know them and come to love them a lot
We can all see that Brian and Jhoally love to spend time together! So much so that there about to venture into spending the rest of their lives together!
Their love is tangible. It can be seen.
And their wedding is going to be one to remember!
I want to use a hyperbole here. That is an exaggeration to prove a point.
Lets all just imagine for a minute that September 5th comes and it’s the most beautiful wedding we have ever seen.
The first few months go by and married life is treating them well and then suddenly…
Jhoally becomes a little with drawn. She starts to say things like I need some space, and you take up a lot of my time. Then one Saturday night she texts Brian and says I don’t think I’m going to come home tonight. I just feel like I need a break!!
Wouldn’t that be tragic! They exchanged vows in the presence of God and his kingdom!
Amen Jhoally is an awesome faithful woman of God and I don’t think she would ever do that!
But wouldn’t that be devasting!!!!!
The truth is we have all seen much much worse then that happen.
Anytime someone walks away from God and his kingdom they forfeit the vow they made when they entered a covenant relationship with God.
I hope this helps us get perspective.
Turn to Ecclessiastes 5:4-7 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. 5 It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. 6 Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? 7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God.
Illustration: On July 10th 2006 I made the most important vow of my life.
I vowed in the presence of God and his Kingdom that “Jesus is Lord.” And then I entered the waters of baptism when I was 19 years old.
If you are a baptized disciple you made the same vow when you made your good confession!
God teaches us in this passage that when you make a vow do not delay in fulfilling it and do not protest to the temple messenger (aka your discipling partner) that your vow was a mistake.
That is foolish…. And God has no pleasure in fools.
To try and take a break from Gods kingdom is the equivalent of trying to take a break from God.
Look at Colossians 1:15-20
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Is vs 19 We learn that God was pleased to have his fullness dwell in Jesus.
The fullness of God can be found in Christ.
And just above that in vs. 18 we learn that Jesus is the head of the Body and the Body is the church….
Should a head ever be separated from a body?!?!?!
So for us girls… if we try to take a break from the church the body… we are also trying to take a break from the head that governs the body and that is Jesus.
I think we can all agree that we need Jesus.
We all need someone to love us, to lead us, to listen to us… and we find that in his Body.
I don’t know if your anything like me but the thought of giving all of my heart is scary!!
When I think of giving all of my heart….
I think of the dedication that takes
The denial of self
The surrender of self….
However this is God we are talking about!
Question: What does God do with our heart when we give it to him!
Point #2 What are you gonna do with it God!?
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
He chisels the stone off of it, and he makes it soft again.
He gives you a soft heart, one capable of retaining his word. And in turn he softens your face…
You can normally tell when someone has a heart of stone… bcs their eyes and face are also like stone.
Why don’t you give your heart fully to God….?
He will soften it.
He will also soften your eyes… and your expressions.
You may still be wondering what are you going to do with it God!!?
Ezekiel 11:19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them;
God wants your heart to be fully unified with his.
He will give you a heart that is dedicated to him and his purposes.
-It’s awesome to be a part of a dedicated team! Teamwork makes the dream work.
Is your heart undivided when it comes to your purpose. What would your bible talk leader say?
God wants to give us a heart that’s unified and that’s undivided in our love and commitment.
Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart—
Gods desire is that we give him all of our heart and in doing so he fills us with blessedness!!
If your not happy its because you have not given God all of your heart.
God wants every one of us to experience the highest levels of fulfillment and blessedness imaginable!
Q: What are you gonna do with it God!??
A: I’m going to make you happy.
The list of what God is gonna do with your heart when you give him 100% of it goes on and on but lets look at one more passage.
2 Chronicles 16:9
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
Gods eyes are scanning the earth… and when he finds someone whos heart is fully committed to him. He stops and he strengthens that heart!
Q: Will your heart be strengthened this evening?
In closing let us leave here tonight determined to Love the Lord our God with all of our heart, with all of our souls, and with all of our minds!!
To God be all the glory!