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Loving God

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
December 26, 2022 12:00 am

Loving God

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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December 26, 2022 12:00 am

Why should your love for God be present in every area of your life?

In Touch
Charles Stanley
In Touch
Charles Stanley
In Touch
Charles Stanley
Lighting Your Way
Lighthouse Baptist
What's Right What's Left
Pastor Ernie Sanders

Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Monday, December twenty-sixth. Could your attitude toward the Lord accurately be described as love? Listen closely for a refresher on the basics of what it truly means to love God. Do you love God? I knew that's what you were going to say. If you ask the average person on the street out here, do you love God, they're probably going to say the same thing.

Yes, I do. If you ask them to describe the God that they love, you'd be absolutely shocked at what some people would say. There are a lot of people who think they love God, they don't even know Him. There are a lot of people who think they love God, who really have been saved, but when it comes to loving Him, they don't really love Him. They don't understand that.

They don't realize that, but they don't. And so, I'd ask you this simple question. What characteristics are there in your life that when somebody sees you and watches you, they would see by your lifestyle that you love God? And I would ask you the question, when you look for characteristics in other people, what do you look for that indicate that that person loves God? There's a lot of mistaken ideas about loving God and about love in general. In fact, a lot of people don't know how to love anybody.

They wish they did, but they don't. And the tragedy is that many people will live their entire life never feeling loved. And many people will live their entire life never knowing how to love someone else. And when you look at the Scriptures and look at what Jesus said, and how He refers to the Old Testament and where love fit in God's big plan for the nation of Israel and for all of us, you'll see how very important it is. So, I want you to turn, if you will, to the twenty-second chapter of Matthew. And what's happening here is that the Pharisees, the Pharisees, have been challenging Jesus and as soon as they finish, the Scripture says that the Sadducees, they took their turn of arguing with Jesus. And so, I want us to read this passage to sort of set the tone for what we want to say here. Beginning in the thirty-fourth verse of Matthew twenty-two. But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together.

One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, attesting Him. Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? And He said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment.

The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole law and the prophets. So, what Jesus did, He just sent them all the way back. He sent them all the way back to Deuteronomy, which they, of course, were familiar with, I'm sure. Deuteronomy, the sixth chapter.

So, I want you to turn there for a moment. This was a very important passage of Scripture to the nation of Israel. It should be a very important passage to all of us because of what God includes in what He says very clearly in this particular passage. Beginning in chapter six of Deuteronomy and verse one. He says, So that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments, which I command you all the days of your life, and that you do not fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and the judgments, which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land which you are going over to possess it.

They're on their way to the Promised Land. And He says, And if you obey Me, walk according to these, then God's going to bless you in a very unusual way. He says then, O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you in a land flowing with milk and honey.

Then He says again, Here, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your might. These words which I am commanding you today shall be on your heart. Now watch this, He said, You shall teach them diligently to your sons, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up, you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.

You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Now, think about this. He says this is so important. Above everything else, our love for God is singularly the most important thing. It should be a part of not only your life, but the life of your family, teaching it to your sons, teaching it to your sons, and naturally to their daughters, and that every member of your family, every day, you would be conscious of the love that God has for you and your love for Him.

And isn't that the way we should raise our families? In the mornings early, we're talking about the Lord. During the day, we're talking about the Lord, whether we're sitting, whether we're walking, whether we're working, whether we're playing. Jesus Christ should be foremost in our thinking all the time because He is first and foremost in our life. Now, when He said we're to love Him with all of our heart, all of our soul, all of our mind, what do you mean by that?

Simply this. Our heart, for example, is like our innermost being. This is who we are. Our soul is like our emotional being.

And our mind is like our mental capacity. So, He simply say, with your whole being, your mind, your heart, your soul, your body, all of it, we should be expressing love toward Him continually. When we are expressing love to God, what we're doing, we're acknowledging not only that He's our Heavenly Father, but we are giving of ourselves to Him totally and completely for His purpose to bring Him joy.

We're loving Him, that's what we're doing. We're giving ourselves to Him totally and completely. Listen, for His purpose and for His joy. When He's loving us, He is continually pouring out His blessing and His love toward us. What He's doing, He's pouring out His goodness upon us in order to do what?

That we might see His good purposes in our life and that we might fulfill His purpose and bring Him honor and glory. Somebody says, why should I love a God I can't see? Why should I love a God that I don't know where He is, that I can't hear? Why should I love that kind of God?

Well, there's a reason. I would say the first reason is because He created us. Listen, if He hadn't created you, you wouldn't be here. And somebody says, well, I was an accident.

No, you weren't an accident either. God is a sovereign of His universe. You say, well, I was not wanted. God wanted you, He wouldn't let you been born. And so, God created you, He gave you life. And so, one of the reasons we should be loving Him is because He's the reason we're here. So, He's our Creator.

Secondly, look what He did. God was so interested in you and me understanding what He's like and who He is and what He really is like and who He really is totally, is what He did. He's so interested in that and also in the fact that you and I could be forgiven of our sins.

And one of these days when we die, we don't have to worry about where we're going. He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, into the world. Why did He send Him?

He sent Him for two reasons primarily. Number one, He wanted us to know Him in a deeper way than the Old Testament saints knew Him. They knew God primarily as the Creator, as the sovereign of the universe, the one who held everything in His hands. But the intimacy that you and I have with Jesus and with the Father, they didn't quite have it like that. I'm not saying they all didn't.

Certainly if you read the Psalms and the intimacy that David had, but generally their idea of God was He was a God of justice and holiness and righteousness and the ark of the covenant. You don't touch this, you don't touch that, you don't go in here. This separates us. And so, their idea of God was so vastly different from ours. And so, what did He do? The Bible says that Jesus came, He says, If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father.

I am the Father of one. They didn't get that. The Pharisees want to crucify Him for saying, You're claiming to be God. But He says, If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father, because the Father and I are one, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit makes up the Trinity, which is the Godhead, which is one. And so, He loved us enough, listen, living out a life unequaled by any life that's ever been lived. And not only living out that life, but then being willing to lay it down, to be willing to die in order that you and I could be forgiven of our sins.

And that you and I could have a personal intimate relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. And so, He loved us enough to show us what life's like, what the Father's like, a loving Father, forgiveness of sins. And listen, He chose the most powerful method of expressing love ever known to man. And that is when He crucified His only begotten Son. The greatest expression of love ever known to man could ever be known to man, and He didn't do it because any of us deserved it, but simply because He loved us. And so, why should we love Him? Because He created us. And because He was crucified for us. He went to the cross for us. And then, something else I want you to see for a moment, and that is, I want you to think about the commitments that God has made to every single one of His children. You're talking about motivation for love. These commitments are motivation for us to love God.

First of all, here's one of His commitments. He says, I'll never leave you nor forsake you. Nobody else can promise you that. Nobody else can.

There may be some who'd like to, but they can't. I'll never, not mostly, I'll never leave you nor forsake you under any condition. Secondly, He said something else nobody else can promise. He said, I'll supply all your needs. That is, whatever I call you to do, I'm going to supply your need.

And you know that passage in Philippians that Paul made so familiar to us. He says, I'll supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory, which means according to His supply, which is always unlimited. Who can promise to meet all your needs? You say, well, I have this need.

Listen, you have emotional needs, physical needs, your psychological needs, on and on and on we could go, material needs. And here's what he said, I'll meet all your needs. Who can promise you that? Only God.

Why shouldn't I love this God who's so committed that He'll never leave me nor forsake me? Under any condition, that He'll always be there for me, whatever the supply may be. Thirdly, he said, I'll answer your prayers. Ask and it'll be given to you, seek and you'll find.

Knock and it'll be opened. He shall ask anything in my name, I will do it. There are certain conditions to that, but he says, I'll answer your prayers. All of us have been in situations in which only God could make that provision.

Only God could change that circumstance. And that's who He says He is and that's what He does in our life. And so, when you think about loving Him, my, my, what does it take to get a person to love God who has such, listen, these are divine commitments. It's one thing for me to say to you, here's what I'll do for you. It's something else for the Creator, the Sovereign of the universe to say, here's what I will do for you.

I will never fail you, never leave you, never forsake you, never lie to you and keep my every single promise. Only God can do it. Then I think about how many times has He forgiven us of our sins? Can't count them.

Let me ask you a question. How many times have you ever been to God and confessed something and God said, I'm not going to do it? I'm not forgiving you of that. Mm-mm, that's too bad, I'm not forgiving you.

You can't name one. He says, if we confess our sins, He, watch this, He's faithful, now watch that next word, faithful, which means you can always count it, and just, which means He has a right to forgive you. Well, how does He have a right to forgive you? Because the Scripture says, the soul that sinned it shall die. Well, how can He forgive me of my sins if He says, my sin's going to take me out? Because Jesus took our place on the cross, that makes it right for God to forgive sinners for their sin, even though they've sinned against God because He's already paid the price. So, He says, if we confess our sins, He's faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Who can forgive you of your sin?

Somebody can forgive you for what you do to them, but they can't forgive you for your sin against God. And when you think about an awesome God who is able to do that, and then think about this. He didn't just put us down here to do our best. He says He gave every single one of us a spiritual gift, one or more gifts. When you trusted Him as your personal Savior, the Holy Spirit came, watch this, this is awesome. A Holy Spirit came to indwell you in order to express through you the spiritual gift or gifts that God has given you in order to enable you to do well whatever God has called you to do. In other words, God equips us. He gives us spiritual gifts. People have the gift of service, of exhortation.

They have the gift of administration. And on and on and on the Bible goes with seven major primary gifts. He's gifted every single one of us with more than one gift to do what? In order that you and I, listen, that we could do our work and do it well. So, He hasn't left us alone just to work it out by ourselves. So, think about it.

He's not only created you and equipped you, He has made it possible for you to live your life and make it productive and fruitful. Listen, I think everyone should want to come to the end of their life and look back and not think, ask the question, where did it go? What did I do? Has it all gone?

Was it a waste? You want to come to the end of your life being able to look back and know in your heart that you did your best to live a life that was godly, that you wanted to spend your life and invest your life so that the people who left behind, listen, they're better because you were there, they're closer to God because you were there. They know more about God because you were there.

That is, your life is making a difference. And then, of course, I think about how He fills us with the Spirit. Those spiritual gifts, those spiritual gifts come with the presence of the Holy Spirit. That is, you and I have a promise that He will enable us through the power of the Spirit to live out those gifts and to execute them in a way that's pleasing and honorable to God. Then, of course, one of these commitments He's made, He's made a commitment to you and me that He has prepared a place in heaven for us. He said, I'm going to prepare a place for you, and if I go to prepare a place for you, I'll come again to receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you're going to be also. That's a commitment.

That's one thing for somebody else to say, well, I'm one of these days so-and-so. When Jesus says, one of these days, you're going to die, and I want you to know that I already have a place in heaven for you. What a commitment. Nobody else can make that commitment.

And when people say, I don't believe in Jesus, how foolish. Only Jesus can say, I've gone to heaven to prepare a place for you, and if I've gone to prepare a place for you, I'll come again to receive you to Myself, that if where I am, there you're going to be also. Who can make that kind of commitment?

Nobody. Not only that, He says, He promises us He's going to give us a resurrected body. You've been living all these years, you don't like the way you look, one of these days it's all going to be good.

You'll be thirty-three years old and absolutely beautiful and handsome no matter what it is. Well, then you say, well, that wouldn't be true. Well, let me ask you something, does God create things that are not perfect?

I don't think so. Heaven's going to be the absolutely, the ultimate in the power of Almighty God. Listen, who's expressing His love toward us while we're here, imagine what it's going to be like to express His love toward us when there are no inhibitions, none. Everything will be perfect. Who can promise that? A resurrected body. Who can promise heaven? Who can promise eternal life?

Only God. Just look at that list of commitments and ask yourself the question, why should I love Him? Look at all these reasons I should love Him. Then I would say one other thing, and that is because, and I think to me this is the most important, because you and I can have a personal intimate relationship with God through His Son Jesus. Which means there is no relationship in life to equal it, none.

Not brothers and sisters, not marriage, nothing. There is no relationship equal to a personal intimate relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. And that is a commitment He's made to every single one of us who will come to Him through His Son Christ, through the Cross at Calvary. And embrace Him as He embraces us. And make us one with Him as He desires to be one with us. There's nothing in life to match that.

You say, I don't know what that means. You'll never know what it means until Jesus becomes your Savior until you begin to pursue Him, not only as your Savior, but your Lord and your Master and your very life. And I would simply say this, no matter what you do in life, how successful the world may see you and how well you may do everything you participate in, if you do not love God, you will never be happy, you'll never be satisfied, you'll never be contented, you'll never be able to accumulate enough wealth, popularity, prosperity, anything else, because God made you. He made you to love Him so He could love you and work in your life the things that prosper you, but also bring Him glory and honor. And I want to invite you to ask Him to forgive you of your sins because that's the beginning step. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins. Without Christ, you're lost. You have no relationship to God. You don't understand who He is. And listen, you'll never understand who God is until Jesus becomes a vital part of your life.

Then all of a sudden, everything begins to change. And so, I would invite you to ask Him to forgive you of your sins based on what He did at the cross, surrender your life to Him, and let God change your life and begin to reveal to you this awesome God who has committed to you everything we've just mentioned all the days of your life. Thank you for listening to Loving God. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-26 05:15:15 / 2022-12-26 05:24:27 / 9

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