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The Gift Of Love – Part 2 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
January 10, 2024 1:00 am

The Gift Of Love – Part 2 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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January 10, 2024 1:00 am

No more poignant image of human love can come to mind than a mother with her child. Divine love is captured in God the Father sending His Son for us. In this message, Pastor Lutzer identifies three kinds of mothers who love unconditionally. Isn’t that exactly what Jesus has done for us?

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Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. No more poignant image of love can come to mind than a mother with her child.

We especially feel this connection when we consider Mary with the infant Jesus. Love takes many forms, human love and divine love like that of God the Father in sending His Son for us. Today, more teaching about the final gift we can't live without, the gift of love from the Moody Church in Chicago.

This is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, as you consider this final gift we can't live without, you'll be focusing on the love of mothers as an example of the infinite love bestowed by God. And you know Dave, for those who are listening who belong to Jesus Christ, God loves them with a special love. As a matter of fact, Jesus said in John 17, thou hast loved them even as thou hast loved me. And we know that the Father has loved the Son from all of eternity.

If only we could grasp that. I'm so thankful for the many of you who support the ministry of Running to Win. And as I like to emphasize, because of people just like you, this ministry continues to expand.

As a matter of fact, at the end of this broadcast, I'll be mentioning that more specifically. But right now, I want to ask you, would you consider being an endurance partner? We're hoping that we will have 50 new endurance partners this week. And of course, here it is.

It's Wednesday. Consider it. Go to endurancepartners.org. That's endurancepartners.org.

To find out more information or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Help us to spread the love of God around the world. The problem with human love is simply this. Sometimes it isn't strong enough to weather the storm. Because you see, human love is based upon the person who is loved. Human love says, when you change, I no longer will love you.

30 years ago, I was preaching in a church. The woman came to me and she seemed to be attractive. But I did notice that part of her face was scarred. And later I learned that part of her arm was scarred. In fact, much of her body was scarred. She was in a terrible fire. And much of her body was burned. In fact, there were times when she didn't think that she would live. Her husband walked into the hospital, saw his wife, left her and the kids and says, you're not the woman I married.

He could not handle it. So he divorced her. And then he went and he married someone else who was more beautiful. Because human love says, when you stop being lovable, I will no longer love you. And I will find someone who will do for me what you should be doing for me, but aren't. So that's human love. It's transferable.

It's OK, but it can't weather the big storms. Also, 30, 35 years ago, I understand there was a song that went something like this. Please release me, dear.

To live with you would be a sin. Please release me so that I could love again. And we might say and again and again and again and again. If you ever wondered why in Hollywood there's so many divorces and the marriages don't last, it's because they live with this mythology that marriage is supposed to make you happy. And so when somebody doesn't make them as happy as they think they deserve to be with all of their money and fame, I divorce you because I'm convinced I'm going to go with someone else who is going to make me really more happy than you can make me happy.

And so on and on it goes. And human love ends up failing. Nothing wrong with it, but it's not strong. Contrast this with divine love. Divine love is so strong because it is based on the lover. Divine love says I can go on loving you even if you change, even if your body is burned and scarred. Divine love says I can go on loving you when you have Alzheimer's disease and when the going gets difficult and when the romance has to be over because reality begins to set in and all of the difficulties of old age and marriage begin to break upon us. Divine love says I can go on loving you even if you don't do for me all the things that in my heart I think you should. Look at what Jesus said about divine love. He said in verse 27, well we can pick it up at verse 35, but love your enemies. Now that's divine love. Love your enemies and do good and lend expecting nothing in return and your reward will be great.

But I want to go back to verse 27 where he explains it even in more detail. But I say to those of you who hear love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. I need to pause here and say that all divine love involves action. Every once in a while people say you know I just love the whole world. I just love the whole world and you know all those starving children, I just love them all.

No you don't. You have some sentimentality because of their situation. If you love them you would do something about it in some way because love always involves sacrificial involvement. For God so loved the world that he gave. Now Jesus is telling us that there is a kind of love that is so strong that with it we can love an enemy and he goes on to say exactly how we should love our enemy.

Here's what the text says. It says bless those, first of all, do good to those who hate you. What you do is you think to yourself there's the person who hates me, there's a person who's an enemy, what I want to do is do something good for him. You see if there's a standoff, you hate me and so I'm going to hate you and we're not going to do anything for each other. As a matter of fact we're going to do all that we possibly can to torpedo your career because I hate you.

Can you imagine what that does? Now that's the way in which the world lives but Jesus is saying that's not the way you treat your husband who has not done you well. You do good for him.

I could tell you stories of children who have been abused who have done good to the parent who abused him. You say well you can't expect that because you don't feel like it. Well this kind of love is stronger than feeling. This kind of love is a choice that is so strong that with it you can love an enemy who hates you. I notice what the text says, you do good, you bless those who curse you. Somebody at work who wants to see your downfall, somebody who has been delighted to see you destroyed.

What do you do? Do you treat them in the very same way? No you bless them. You think of ways of blessing them and if you can't think of a way to bless them you go on with the text and you pray for those who abuse you and you do not pray that God would heap vengeance upon them and vaporize them. What you do is you say oh God this person has deeply wounded me but what I want you to do is to bless them in ways in which they will see your love and your compassion and your concern and that they will turn from their ways and be converted.

That's the way in which you bless those who curse you and pray for those who despitefully use you. That's what divine love is all about. Love costs everything. There's a television program, I don't know whether it's a TV program or whether it was advertising a movie, I just saw it on the screen. It says that love costs you nothing.

Are you serious? Love costs you nothing? Love costs you everything and this kind of love is so divine that if you see it in the life of someone who is not a believer and there may be in some cases particularly among mothers and their children, you know it is because the divine image has been stamped upon the human being and we are creatures. All creatures still have the divine image even though it has been effaced, it has not been totally erased and because of common grace you sometimes see examples of love in the most unlikely places. The kind of love that is divine, the kind of love that sacrifices, the kind of love that says I can endure this even if you're not to me what I think you should be. It is a divine love. The Bible says in Romans chapter 5 it says that the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has given unto us. It also says in the very same chapter that divine love is indicated when it says while we were yet sinners Christ died for us while we were his enemies. That's divine love.

Divine love says I can go on loving you even if you don't like me even if you're my enemy I have resources to know that it is dependent upon me not you. Now we here as a church would like to be able to say to the city of Chicago this is a place where you can find a sense of love and acceptance. We want to have ministries to parents and their children and we do of course have ministries to children of all age groups in our Sunday school. We have mops, mothers of preschoolers trying to help mothers. We want to be able to reach out to those who are single mothers they are the ones who should be the special object of our concern as they try to be mother and a father to their children. And with a new building the Christian Life Center we have more room than ever to welcome the city of Chicago to welcome people to connect with people to become a part of their lives and to be able to say that if you want a place where there are people who love one another this is the place where it happens and it happens beyond these walls it happens in our small groups it happens wherever we find ourselves in our evangelism and in our work throughout the city of Chicago. May it be said that this is the place where love exists.

You've heard me say it before when it comes to the world the world can out finance us they can outnumber us and they can out entertain us but may it never be said that they can out love us because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given unto us. Now no one can provide a better example if we want models on how to love no one can provide a better example than mothers. Mothers in our congregation mothers whom we have known mothers whom some of you are right now loving in the midst of difficult circumstances but divine love is giving you the grace to love. The other days I was preparing this I thought of three different kinds of mothers and I've known many mothers in each of these categories first of all the mother who has to love a child born of a relationship with a man who mistreated and used her. Some of you are in that predicament you developed a relationship with a man a child has been born he's walked out of your life the man is not contributing to the welfare of the child he's not connecting with the child and maybe he's the kind of person that you do not even want to have connect with your child I don't know but as you look into the eyes of that little child you see in his face the very image of his father the man who wronged you who did you injustice and who used you and some of you mothers are in that situation and you are going on and loving that child and I say from my heart to yours your responsibility is to love that little child as if he were Jesus and to give him what he desperately needs or to give her what she desperately needs the love the acceptance and the attention of a parent who cares and so we go on loving because love says I can endure anything because of who I am and because of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in my heart I think for example of parents who love special needs children it's very difficult to do and sometimes as we've indicated as we've learned today it may take years to accept this we have one among our own relatives story I'd like to tell you about a child with a skin disease that there are only about 800 people in all the world known to have this disease what a burden God has placed upon these parents and yet through it all through times of anger and misunderstanding and the total change of scheduling and the ruining of many plans they can look back within time and say surely God has led us and surely this child this child is a gift of God I was in Dallas this past week for my 40th I shouldn't have told you that 40th reunion of graduation from seminary I didn't intend to say anything about it but now it's out 40 years ago I'll tell you I was I woke up in the morning and I said Rebecca I'm scared because I don't know whether or not I'll recognize any of my classmates and I don't know whether or not they're going to recognize me I mean what is this 40 years most of these we haven't seen each other and I'll tell you 40 years has done a number on some of those folks probably told you I looked into the mirror the other day and I said to Rebecca I said honey I don't look 65 do I she said no no you sure don't but you used to now that the cat is out of the bag taking me to the airport then I had to go somewhere else and I won't go into the details but taking me to the airport was a man with whom I spent about those 40 minutes of a child that has a hearing disability born deaf and he was telling me how that he learned sign language his wife learned sign language their other daughter learned sign language because he said one of the most terrible things is that if you are born with a hearing disability hearing impaired in most instances the father's never learned sign language and therefore they can't communicate with her own daughter or their own son so he was telling me all the good things that have come as a result of this and the difficulty of acceptance but also the knowledge that this child was given to us by God my she has now graduated from college and she has just accepted a teaching position to teach the hearing impaired the love of God constrains us here's a story one mother gave birth to a baby Ella with a very rare syndrome that causes physical deformities and mental retardation she struggled for years to accept her daughter's disabilities when her daughter was 11 this mother paused and reflected on her daughter's life she said when I went to buy my daughter a birthday card for her 11th birthday I paused to read all of the cards for daughters in the supermarket and realized that I would never find a card with the right words on it to tell my daughter what she means to me I stood in the crowded noisy store and fought back tears hoping that no one would notice me there are no cards to say happy birthday to my special girl to celebrate that she is alive that she is so unique how different other mothers and daughter relationships are compared to mine and mine she says is based on love not to say that the others aren't she says and love is enough it has to be the relationship I have with my daughter is complex and all-consuming what I feel for my daughter is the greatest pain and the deepest love both this dichotomy greets me in the morning when I wake it sleeps with me as I dream it sits with me as I work and at times is a pain that I experience that is so great that I experience it physically well she writes and I'm concluding this this child has taken away much that I thought I needed but she has also brought me a great gift she has taught me the meaning of unconditional love that's divine love it's divine love there's another category of parents and that is those of you who have children who have grown who have hurt you deeply because they've gone perhaps into homosexuality perhaps they have left home perhaps they are some of those prodigals that we have been praying for and they're way out there some of you god bless you you don't even know where your children are and you have to go on loving and caring many years ago there was a woman dying in a Boston hospital and she told the nurse before she died the woman had actually slipped off of a platform that's why she was dying in the hospital and she told the nurse I sold everything that I had in California and I have gone from California now to Boston stopping in various cities going to hospitals and to police stations trying to find the son who left home and I haven't found him but if you should ever hear his name or know of him let him know that there were two people who didn't give up on him and the nurse said who and she said his mother and God and with that she died seeking her son the love of a mother one more story in Wales there was a woman who was walking along with her little child caught in a terrible snowstorm in the morning as they were searching for her they discovered her dead body she had died in the snowstorm but her outer clothes were taken off and she had taken all of her clothes and wrapped her little child in her coat and her clothes and to the astonishment of everyone the little child was alive that child turned out to be the prime minister of Great Britain actually because his name was David Lloyd George who served from 1918 to 1922 as prime minister of the United Kingdom the mother was gone but she had no idea no idea whom she held and whose life she spared and as I thought of that story isn't that exactly what Jesus has done for us has not Jesus Christ come to this earth and has he not died for us and shown us unconditional love and in effect says I'm taking off my robe of righteousness and I'm giving that robe of righteousness to you to spare you God did not spare his only son but delivered him up for us all and with him he freely gives us all things if you're here today and you've never trusted Christ as savior that is the gospel Jesus in our place suffering Jesus in our place giving us what we do not have namely his righteousness by which we must stand before God giving it to us as a free gift if we're willing to humble ourselves admit our sin and put our trust in him alone that is the gospel and that is unconditional love greater love has no man than this but a man laid down his life for his friends and you are my friends if you do what I command you let us bow together in prayer our father in this world that is so starved for love we ask that you shall make us ambassadors of love who is Jesus Christ for us the biracial child the child without parents the trauma that exists in some homes can we help can we be friend can we aid can we be there and then father even in our good homes we pray that there may be love and acceptance and the ability to reach out beyond our own boundaries to touch the world to touch the city in Jesus name we pray amen amen let me ask you a question have you ever wished that you could witness to someone in Egypt if you support the ministry of running to win you have done just that I'm holding in my hands a letter from someone who says I've been feeling depressed for so long I was surfing social media and I found your program it gave me a sense of meaning although I am not a Christian I've started to like Christianity and my heart is drawn to the Bible and the verses in it I'd love to know more about it please and thanks to our partnerships I'm so glad that this listener will learn a great deal more about Christianity running to win us in 50 different countries would you consider becoming an endurance partner someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts hope that you have a pen or pencil handy because here's what you can do you can call 1-888-218-9337 or go to endurancepartners.org that's endurancepartners.org learn more about our ministry and pray about becoming a partner along with us a regular partner so that we can get the gospel of Christ to Egypt and around the world call right now 1-888-218-9337 or go to endurancepartners.org you can write to us at running to win 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard Chicago Illinois 60614 for believers on the racetrack of life there's no substitute for a good beginning no matter what the task or opportunity how we begin sets the tone for how we'll end up and the series that begins next time on running to win has one purpose to get you started right plan to join us this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the moody church
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-10 02:55:16 / 2024-01-10 03:03:40 / 8

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