Greetings, friends and new listeners. Welcome to this program of the R.G.
Hardy Ministries. I'm Sharon Notts thanking you for joining us today because we know faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. I'm very excited to bring you today's message, How to Measure the Love of God. The apostle Paul told the believers at Ephesus that he was praying for them that they would come to comprehend the breadth, the length, the depth, and the height of the love of Christ that passes knowledge. Now in order to measure a thing you have to have a tool and a standard.
It might be a ruler or a yardstick, a tape measure, a scale, or something by which to measure. And in order to measure the width, the length, the depth, and the height of God's love, we must use the standard of scripture. And there is one verse in the Bible that is the perfect tool that we need to measure the love of God. How many know that death came into the world because of what? Sin. Adam and Eve were not supposed to know death. But the Bible says when they sinned that death entered the world through the sin of Adam. And when it entered the world through the sin of Adam, it passed down to every man or everyone in the human species. So when death entered in because of sin, it passed down unto everyone so everyone dies. Amen. How many know that in the human race mortality is 100%?
Everyone dies. Amen. But because Jesus was without sin, because Jesus was sinless, death didn't have a claim on him. But when he hung on that cross, the Bible says he took upon himself and bore in his own body our sins, your sins and my sins. And he became the sin bearer. And then when he carried the sins of all the world, remember God so loved the world, then death could lay a claim on him because he was carrying your sin and my sin.
How many say amen? So he went from Gethsemane to Golgotha to prove how far God would go. What is the length of God's love? He loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten son.
Amen. That whosoever believeth in him should not perish. Our third question is how deep? How deep is the love of God?
Think about that for a moment. How deep is the love of God? The answer is in whosoever. God loved the murderer, the drunkard, the junkie, the dealer, the prostitute, the homosexual, the lesbian, the child molester, the thief, the liar, the blasphemer. It doesn't matter how deep, how deep someone has fallen into sin, whosoever God is able to reach down in the lowest pit and lift them up. No matter how deep in sin you have fallen, I came to tell you God's love is deeper still.
Amen. No matter how far you've fallen, and maybe you knew the Lord once, maybe one time you were saved, a new God and walked with God, but you've gotten away from the Lord. You're like that son that Jesus talked about in Luke the 15th chapter. He had two sons and he loved them both dearly. But one day that younger son came and said, Father, give me my part of the inheritance. And the father did.
The father loved him and gave him his part of the inheritance. And the Bible says shortly after that, that young man left home. And the Bible says they went into a far country.
He went far away. And the Bible says that he had a party good time. He lived rightestly. That meant he went to parties. He went to bars. He went to discos. I mean, he went to the nightclubs. He just had a good time. He just did anything that he wanted. He had girlfriends and more girlfriends. He just had everything that he thought his heart could desire. He had good time after good time. But the Bible says that one day his good times ran out. One day his good times came to an end. The Bible says he spent all of his money.
And guess what? He didn't have any more girlfriends or boyfriends or any friends. He had nobody. He had nothing. And the Bible says that he found himself in a pigsty.
He was so hungry because the famine had come to that land. Let me tell you something. When you go away from the father's house, I don't care where you go. You can go to a tropical island. You can go to the most beautiful spot on the face of this earth, but a famine is going to come.
Amen. You're going to find out a famine is going to come when you get away from the father's house. And there he was. And the Bible says he didn't have any money anymore and he had to get a job. And you know, being raised a son of privilege, he probably didn't know too much about feeding pigs. In fact, I know he wouldn't know the first thing about feeding pigs because the Jewish people won't have a pig anywhere near them.
So you see, this was the absolute humiliation. There he was out there feeding pigs. I mean, even Gentiles, they don't want to feed pigs. Amen.
Much less Jewish people. And there he was out there in the pigsty feeding the pigs. And here's the thing that always strikes me no matter how many times I read this story. The Bible says that he would have fain eaten the husks. In other words, he was so hungry he wasn't picky anymore. He would have eaten the husks after the pigs got done chewing on them. He would have gladly eaten them, but no man gave to him.
He was so far down that he didn't even have the husks that the pigs had to eat. But this story has a good ending because the Bible says, and he came to himself. You see, one day he woke up.
One day he came to his senses and he looked at where he was. He said, my God, my God, how did I ever get here? How could I have gotten so far away from the way I was raised? I was raised in church. I was raised to serve God. I was raised in the house of God.
How on earth did I get here? I used to be a prince and a princess in my father's house. I used to have Sunday clothes and I went to church and I worshiped God. I used to have times that I would rejoice with the people of God. I had peace. And when I went home, I laid down in a nice comfortable bed and I ate at a table, good food. And I had pretty clothes on on Easter Sunday morning when I used to go to church.
He woke up. He said, my God, the servants in my father's house are better off than I am. The servants in my father's house have got more to eat than I do.
The servants in my father's house are not out in the pigsty eating with pigs in the mud. He said, my God, and this is another thing that strikes me. I have sinned against heaven. I will go to my father and I will say, father, I have sinned against heaven in your sight and I'm no more worthy to be called your son. I accept that I'm not worthy.
Just let me be a servant in your house. Amen. And you know what happened. When he was on the way, the father came every day to look down that long road. And one day the father looked down there and he saw his son coming. He was tattered and ragged. He was filthy. His hair was matted with the mud of the pigsty. He didn't have any clothes. He didn't have any shoes on his feet.
He looked like he hadn't seen a good meal in a long time. But when the father saw him, he ran and his arms opened wide. He said, my son, my son that was dead, he was dead and now he's alive.
He was lost, but now he's found. And you know, the son did, he said what I just said. He would say, I'm not worthy. Just make me a servant.
His father said, hush, hush. I don't want to hear that. Go get me the finest robes. Go give me the best shoes. Go get me the ring and put it on his finger. We're going to have a party like we've never had a party.
We're going to have a party like we've never had a party because my son that was dead is alive. You know, last night I heard this Christian group singing the song Amazing Grace and I got to say that's my favorite song. My favorite song would be Amazing Grace if I had to choose one.
Probably everyone knows that. Even sinners know that one. And they were singing and I was singing along with them. Next thing I know they said Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound. They'd say, a soul like me. I went, I said a soul?
A soul like me? The man who wrote that song, his name was John Newton. And John Newton was a captain of a slave ship. He was one of the ones who went to Africa and put those poor men and women and put them in those ships where they were crowded in there and jammed in there and had to take that perilous journey over the Atlantic Ocean in that horrible thing that many of them died on the way here.
And then when they came they were sold on the slave block. He was the captain of one of those ships. I would say that's a pretty rank sinner. I would say that's a pretty low down sinner. But one day he met Jesus Christ. One day he got convicted of his sins. One day he realized what a sinner he was and God saved him and he became a preacher of the gospel.
He went from a captain of a slave ship to the preacher of the gospel and he wrote that song and I think he knew what he was talking about. He didn't say who saved a soul like me. He said who saved a wretch like me.
A wretch like me. Because when you fall into the very lowest pit of sin you become a wretch and I can prove it in the Bible. Paul said in the Romans the 6th chapter he talked about the plight of the man that was under the bondage of dominion of sin and wanted to be free but he said the good I want to do I can't do and the evil that I swear I'll never do it again. I will never take that drug again. I'll never ever take another drug again and tomorrow he's out there doing it. That one that says I'm never going to drink another drop of alcohol but there he goes he's drinking it again. That one that says this is the last trick I'm going to turn. I'm going to get away from this lifestyle.
I'm not going to be a prostitute anymore. That one that says I'm getting out of this homosexuality. That one that says I'm getting out of this terrible place. But he says the evil that they don't want to do and the thing that they hate.
There they are out there doing it again. And what did he say? He said oh wretched man that I am. Who shall save me from this body of sin and death?
But there's one more verse. Thanks be unto God. Thanks be unto God. Thanks be unto God through Jesus Christ.
So I don't care how far in sin you have fallen. David was the king. He was God's chosen king. He was his anointed one. He was his chosen one. He was the one that God said is a man after his own heart. What a testimony. I mean the preacher didn't say this. The prophet didn't say this. God said this.
I have found in him a man after my own heart. But do you know David fell into adultery and David fell into murder? They're the two worst sins in the eyes of men. In the eyes of men if you go out there they say what's the worst sins?
Well I don't know. They've done made adultery now so it's nothing. You may not think adultery is so bad until your husband cheats on you or your wife cheats on you.
Then you realize how bad it is. How many say amen? But David fell into the sin of adultery and murder. But you know what he wrote in Psalm 40 after God had set him free and delivered him? And you can read the prayer that he prayed in Psalm 51. If you need to get back to God and you don't know how, go to Psalm 51.
But he said in Psalm 40 he brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay and he put a song in my heart. So no matter if you've fallen into the miry clay in the horrible pit, it doesn't matter how far you've gone. Somebody said sin will take you further than you want to go. Sin will keep you longer than you want to stay. And sin will cost you more than you want to pay. Amen. Because that's what sin will do to you. You can't play with sin and win. You will lose every time. Amen.
Every time. So I want to ask you how much are you willing to pay for your sin? What price are you willing to pay to have your sin? Jesus said what will a man give in exchange for his soul? If you gain the whole world and lose your soul, what has it profited you? If you're living in sin and you think well you know I just can't give up this woman, I just can't give up this man, I just can't give up this drug, I just can't give up this lifestyle, is that the price you're going to pay for your soul? Is that the price you're willing to pay for your soul?
Amen. But I'm here to tell you this morning if you think that it's helpless and hopeless, if you think that you've gone too far and you've gone too far down, how deep is the love of God? It's able to reach down in the mare clang. It's able to reach down in the horrible pit like the song we used to sing.
We don't sing it much but we used to sing it. I was sinking deep in sin far from the peaceful shore, very deeply staying within, sinking to rise no more but the master of the sea. He heard my despairing cry and from the water lifted me.
How safe am I? Do you know it? Sing it. Love lifted me.
Lift your voice and sing it. Love lifted me. When nothing else. When nothing else. Could help.
Could help. Jesus' love. Yes, his love. Love lifted me. Oh, yes, his love lifted me. When nothing else. When nothing else.
Could help. Love lifted me. Hallelujah. Lift your hands and say hallelujah. How deep is the love of God?
Reach down in the mare clang. But I got to tell you, we agreed up front that John 3.16 is the greatest scripture on love in the Bible. Didn't we all agree to that? But we cannot overlook the fact that the greatest scripture in the Bible on love still speaks of judgment because whosoever believeth in him should not perish. Should not perish. So there we are introduced to the fact that some will perish.
That if you choose not to believe, don't make any mistake about it, you will perish. You see, you've got to make a choice. You've got to make a choice. He said I said before you, you get to choose the way of life and the way of death. Now you choose what you want.
Do you want to believe in him or do you want to perish? Amen. It's either sin or salvation. It's either life or death. There's no in between.
Amen. You've got to choose. It's either going to be your way or God's way.
But you've got to choose. You see, that's one thing God will never do. He will never violate your right or my right to choose.
Never. God will let you choose to the degree that he'll let you go to hell if that's what you choose. Amen. So if you choose to walk out of here this morning and go your way, God will let you go your way. Amen.
The Father didn't try to stop that young man from leaving. He let him go. Amen.
And thank God he got back. And thank God some of you this morning are going to get back to God. Amen.
How do I know that? Because God's Word doesn't return void. And I'm not up here preaching for my benefit. How many say Amen? God is knocking at somebody's heart's door today. Now you have to make the choice to open up and let him in. You've got to let him in. Amen.
So you've got to choose. The Bible says be not deceived about sin. Now I've been quoting verses and I haven't had you read much, but I want you to read this one.
Turn to 1 Corinthians, the sixth chapter. I'm closing in. I'm getting close to the end. So hang in there a little bit.
We're almost through. All right, 1 Corinthians, the sixth chapter. Look at verse 9. Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived. I don't care what else you take out of here this morning.
You're not going to go out and just be deceived. I don't care what you hear on TV or radio or what people say and what homosexual bishops say and what other people, you know, these people say, I saw a commercial now that the United Church of Christ is putting out and they're saying we love everybody and accept everybody. And they've got, you know, all these different people from all walks of life and it's a real pretty nice little commercial and it looks real nice, you know. And then they zoom in on, you know, an elderly couple and they're smiling and they zoom in on black people and white people and Hispanic people and Asian people and, you know, they're all, you know, they're getting, make sure they don't leave anybody out. And they say we accept everybody. Come whoever you are, we accept you all in Christ. And then they zoom in on a lesbian couple.
Boy, even the babies aren't crying. All right, let's see what it says here. Be not deceived. Neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor effeminate nor abusers of themselves with mankind. In here you have the homosexual. Infeminate is the homosexual that plays the passive role or takes on the feminine, you know, the female role, which is an oxymoron, but anyway that's what they do. And then the abusers of themselves with mankind is the one that takes on the dominant man role. So this refers directly to homosexuality or in a lesbian relationship one takes the man's role and the other one the woman's role, whatever.
Two of the same sex. Nor thieves nor covetous nor drunkards nor revolvers nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God. Make no mistake about it. They might belong to the first church of the United Christ down here. They might belong to the first church of the blessed the politically correct down here, but they're not going to inherit the kingdom of God. But don't leave yet.
Don't leave mad. Let's go on to verse 11. And such were, were some of you, and such were some of you, but, somebody say but, but you are washed, but, somebody say but, you are sanctified, but, somebody say but, you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God. So I don't care how far you have fallen.
He's able to reach down and bring you out. And the Holy Ghost didn't say but three times just because he wanted to fill up some pages. You see the word of God is very explicit. And when he said but, but, but he was making a point. He could have said it would have had the same meaning but were some of you but now are you washed, now are you sanctified, now are you justified. And it would have said the same thing and meant the same thing. But he wanted to drive home a point.
He wanted to make it emphatic. You were, but now you're not. You were in the mori clay, but now you've been lifted out. You were a rank sinner, but now you've been washed in the blood of Jesus. You were violent and unclean, but now you are sanctified. You were a wretch, but now his amazing grace has lifted you. Love has lifted you.
I've been longer on point three than any and that's okay. That's where the Lord wants me to. I won't be this long on four, but I don't want you to go out of here without realizing the love of God can reach down. Isaiah said in Isaiah 1 18, though your sins be as scarlet, he'll wash them white as snow. And though they be as crimson, he'll wash them white as wool.
Amen. He said in Isaiah 38 17, behold, I had great bitterness in my soul, but thou God in thy love has reached down and delivered me out of the pit of corruption and has cast all my sins behind your back. That's how deep the love of God can go. So how wide is the love of God? For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.
He went to that degree. God became flesh and died on a cross. How deep is the love of God? The love of God can reach down into the deepest pit, into the lowest low. And I love this verse in Hebrews 7 25. God is able to save to the utmost all of them that come unto him through Christ Jesus.
He's able to save to the utmost, to the nth degree. You know, I'd like to say it this way, from the gutter most to the uttermost, he's able to save you. That's how deep the love of God is from the lowest pit to the highest heaven. And now how high is the love of God? We found out how wide for God so loved the world. We found out how what length he gave his only begotten son. We found out how deep, how deep, how deep that whosoever believeth in him should not perish. How high is the love of God but have eternal life, but have eternal life. Hallelujah, hallelujah. If that doesn't make anybody else happy here tonight or this morning, let me tell you it makes me mighty happy. Jesus said in John the 14th chapter, in my father's house, there are many mansions.
And if there were not so, I would have told you so. But I go to prepare a place for you, for you, for you, for you, for me. And he said, and if I go, I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am, there you may be also.
That's how high the love of God is. It can lift you out of the mare clay all the way where God's house is, where Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us. And that makes me happy because Paul said in 2 Corinthians the 5th chapter, he says right now we're in the house of clay. He likened it to a tabernacle of skin because the tabernacle in the Old Testament was made out of skin.
It was made out of goat skins. So he likened our body. We're skin.
We're just an earthly tabernacle. And how many know that no matter what you do, like I said up front, no matter what you do, you can't stop it from decaying. The Bible says from dust you are to dust you will return. How many know where most of the dust in your house is? It's under your bed. When you're sleeping at night you're going back to dust.
Your skin cells are falling off while you're sleeping. That's why you ought to wash your sheath at least once a week. Amen. It's true. All the dust bunnies, you know we see that euphemism, they're dust bunnies, but they're really our skin falling off.
You didn't, some of you are looking at me like I'm making this up. That's what's under there. Amen. Why do you think the dust mites come? Because they are eating off. Oh Lord, I ain't going down there. I'm trying to show you this is nothing but a bag of bones. This flesh, the Bible says the outward man is perishing. Perishing. That's why I said up front, God's more interested in your inner man.
The outer man, no matter what you do, is perishing. You can get a, you know, a brow lift, a facelift, a Botox. You can get your eyelids done. You can get your jaws raised up. You can get everything else lifted up. Because you see the law of gravity is everything is going down. And the longer you live on this earth, the more you're at the mercy of gravity. The longer you're under the influence of the law of gravity and the more it's pulling you down, it's trying to pull you back down into the earth. And we're laughing, but it's true. Gravity is trying to pull you back down into the grave and it's pulling us down.
And the older we get, the farther south we're going. But this old body of mine might go south, but my soul and spirit, he said we're in this body and we're groaning because we want to get free. It took all the grace of God that I could muster, that God would give me to get into this pulpit this morning in this physical body. This physical body, it's always given me a hard time. But thank God I only have it for a little while.
I only got it temporarily. Amen. I've got a body.
I've got a house in heaven. Oh, it's beautiful. It's perfect.
Amen. There's no flaws. There's no wrinkles, crinkles or dimples.
There's no blotches, blemishes or brown spots. There's no rose or no flag. How many say amen? Hallelujah. There's no aches and there's no pain.
There's no disease in that body. The Bible says there's no more sorrow. There's no more pain. There's no more crying. There's no more dying.
There's no more saying goodbye. Hallelujah. Oh, the love of God can reach to the highest heaven. The love of God can lift you up.
The love of God will sit you at the right hand of Jesus. John got a peek and he was able to tell us what it's going to be like. He said, I saw it from the east and the west and the north and the south. He said, I saw it from every nation, every tribe and every tongue.
Some had brown faces and some had black and some had red and some had white, but they all had the glory of God shining on them. Hallelujah. The love of God will lift you to the highest heaven. Hallelujah. Because Peter said we've been begotten again under a living hope. We've got a place in heaven, a body, an inheritance. It's incorruptible.
It's undefiled and it fadeth not away. And it's reserved in heaven. That's how high the love of God is. One of these days, I don't know when it'll be. I don't know if I'm going to live for the rapture or if I'm going to go.
I don't know. I might not be here next Sunday. Some of you might not be here either. I've been seeing and hearing reports of a lot of people lately dying in their 30s and their 40s.
How many say amen? You don't have any guarantee. Some of you are in dangerous places when you go get your drugs. You go out in some places you don't know if you're going to get shot.
Some of you take awful risks going out there in that world of sin. You don't know if you'll live next week. But I've got a promise.
I know. I know my Redeemer lives. I know my Redeemer lives. And I know I shall see Him. And though the skin worms eat this body and then the skull of the skin worms eat this flesh, with my eyes I shall behold Him.
I shall see Him as He is. And when I see Him, when I see Him, in all of His glory, in all of His majesty, my God, when Moses came down from the mountain after being with God 40 days, his face shone so bright that they couldn't look at him. He had to put a veil over his face and preach at him, to preach to him. My God, I'd like to have so much anointing that I had to come out here like this. Because I had so much glory on my face.
Hallelujah. And that was this earthly body. That was a body that was probably by that time well over 80 years old.
Well over and maybe older because when he died he was 120. What do you think it's going to be like when you get your glorified body and it looks just like his body? Because he said I shall see Him as He is. And when I see Him, I shall be just like Him. It doesn't matter what you think of me or remember, but know that Jesus with the end of His cross is asking you to let Him in. Would you bow your head here this morning while Pastor Hardy comes? God is talking to some of you because there are people here today that God is knocking at your heart's door. And I am not going to be remiss, I'm not going to give you some tidy little prayer and say God bless you.
I know that some of you, the Lord is talking to you and just like that young man had to wake up and realize, look at yourself. Are you where you want to be? If you're in sin, if you should live another year, do you want to be in the same place you are this time next year? Do you want to be in the same horrible pit? I'm going to tell you this, you won't be in the same place you are next year. You're either going to come to the Lord Jesus or you're going to go further and further and further.
It's not going to get better, it's only going to get worse. Amen? But Jesus is offering you an opportunity here this morning to come to the Lord. Whether you think you're saved or not, pray this prayer with me. Say Jesus, be merciful to me a sinner. Forgive me of my sin, all of my sin.
Deliver me from all the power of the devil. Come into my heart right now Lord and take charge. I confess you as my Savior. I confess you as my Lord.
I thank you for saving me right now. I thank you Lord. Hallelujah. Praise you.
Amen. What an exciting and uplifting message how to measure the love of God. This was Apostle Paul's prayer for believers that we would comprehend the width, the length, the depth, and the height of Christ's love that passes knowledge.
Now in order to measure anything you need a tool and a standard. And God's word tells us who He is, what He has done, and what He will do. So scripture is the measuring tool we need. And the greatest verse in the Bible that describes the love of God is John 3.16. Phrase by phrase we can calculate how wide that's wide enough to wrap His arms around the whole world, how long that is to what degree God's love will go, how deep His love can reach down to the gutter and the deepest pits of sin to whosoever will, to how high.
Lift them from the guttermost to the uttermost to spend eternal life in heaven with Him. You know the first song we teach our little children is, Yes, Jesus Loves Me, for the Bible tells me so. And God wants everyone to know that His love, He said, is from everlasting.
So if at any time you hear a voice saying to you, God doesn't love you, it's the voice of the devil. And you need this message for yourself or perhaps to share with a friend or loved one who is in a trial or with the unsaved persons in your life who need to know how much God loves them too. To order How to Measure the Love of God, you can receive it on CD for a love gift of $10 or more for the radio ministry. Request offer SK114.
That's S as in Sharon, K as in nots, 114. Mail to RG Hardy Ministries, P.O. Box 1744, Baltimore, Maryland 21203. Or you can order online at RGHardy.org, where you can also order on MP3. But to receive How to Measure the Love of God by mail, send your minimum love gift of $10 to P.O. Box 1744, Baltimore, Maryland 21203. Be sure to request offer SK114. Until next time, this is Sharon Notsaying, Maranatha.
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