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Abounding In Love

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
August 30, 2015 6:00 am

Abounding In Love

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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Happy Lord's day summit starts in our campus locations around the triangle. My name is JDM. One of the pastors here at the summit church. We are one church that meets in several different locations, but were one body of people and together right now we are studying Exodus 34 were in a series called the name in which we are looking at what it means to come to know the name of God and how to know him through his name today. Exodus 34 if you have a Bible, is where you would want to begin to turn how we are going to look at how love is a part of the essential description of God's name can ask questions like how do you know that God loves you.

The howl of what you do when you can't feel the love of God. What do you do when you feel like it you have any love for God in your heart has love of God over overwhelmed you.

That's the kind of questions you can answer or try to at least so Exodus 34 if you have a Bible again to get out and turn there all of us know what it's like to have a situation where we and someone doesn't love us as much as we seem to love them. I was with several of our pastors is your turn in your Bible was Eddie Patrick.

You mentioned earlier the summer in Columbus, Ohio, and on one Knights was game six which turn out to be the final game of the NBA finals and so the pastors that I was with and I thought be great. You want to gamer in Ohio. It's you become exciting.

It was actually downright disappointing, not just as the outcome but because it was just a thought to be more in approval into good sports bar which is pretty famous was half deserted door. There were watch a game or even our wings or whatever and then engrossed in conversation.

I look up and suddenly the bar is now, getting filled out but they're all women in their mid-30s and they all dress like it would be dressed in high school and I thought this is like an odd group to watch basketball game and so we are back going again have a conversation and then I would promise you would more than three minutes later I looked up and the place is now, shoulder to shoulder. Standing room only people, flowing out the doors.

All of them women in their mid-30s were dressed like they would've interest when they were in high school I looked out the window and that UMass jumbo or northerly campus art as he was with me. I looked out the window and out in the street are 1500 1500 women on their mid-30s all dress like they would be dressed in high school and about what is happening right now were on the streets of downtown Columbus so I turned one of these girls is that around what was going on as I go. The new kids on the block concert right on the road just let out this reunion tour and so were all here to see them like now it makes sense. I went home and told my wife that probably a good 40% of those women were convinced when they were in middle school that they were going to marry Donnie from new kids on the block right you really get all dressed up in your best tube top outfit with your parachute pants and you stand on the front row with all the other girls and you were gonna scream. I love you Donnie with all of them but you were to yell just a little bit louder than everybody else and he was an attorney and you guys are a lot guys in this one, moment of enchantment you were to have an and later in the concert or a bouncer was gonna bring you a note that said you got the right stuff, baby.

You're the reason why I sing the song and you guys are going to get married and you could have two little kids with floppy hair, but it never happened. It never happened it right because right now you're married to Phil from accounting he sitting right beside you this morning. He is slightly overweight, balding, draws a minivan just didn't turn out now you look at some of these girls too. In the same thing with Justin Bieber and you tell them it ain't never gonna happen sweetheart and it comes from a slight place of bitterness in your heart because you did marry Donnie, but that's okay because you're discipling the next generation and part of that is helping them to live on planet Earth right you gotta shake them to wake them from that bad dream, right will you may or may not ever have been a groupie at some point in your life and psycho would at some of you look at a guilty and like you sorta like and started taking it so I know that some of you are most of us, even if you have a minute groupie. No, what it's like to love somebody who doesn't love you back or be into somebody that's just not that into you. I think for me, one of the most mind blowing things in Scripture. One of things is hardest for me to get my mind around is that we see God the Almighty God. The self-sufficient creator, which means that he doesn't need anything theologians call that the SALT of God. He doesn't need anything or require anything be happy he's happy in himself we see that God continually putting himself in that position we find him constantly reaching out to love people who don't love them back.

When he really has no reason to want to tell you this weekend that understanding that one thing about God will probably do more to change your life than any other realization, you could have in your life, I began this series with this statement by AW toes or what comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us what comes in your mind. When I say God is the most important and most defining thing about you because we tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God, you begin to resemble what you worship rather for whether it's for ruin or restoration on the most determining fact about any man is not what he had a given time, I say or do what he and his deep heart conceives of God to be like what you believe about God is the most life defining relationship shaping fact about you. If you believe that God is angry and distant and you're going to feel fearful and insecure. If you see God as a judge mental tyrant that means you will become an intolerant bigot but when and if you come to see the steadfast love of God. It's going to give you a joy and a fullness and a freedom that will redefine you and all of your relationships that will transform you into being the kind of loving person that you've always wanted to know which of your that you've always wanted to be all our deepest longings are for love our day and we know that just listen to the songs that we sing and listen to watch the movies that we put out we want want love that's what our souls want on Exodus 34, six and seven Moses asked God if he can see God for who he really is a God put them into a cave and a mountain covers him with his hand.

God says this, Exodus 3319 back will be there. I will make all my goodness. God says pass before you and I will proclaim before you my name, the Lord, that's how I'm going to reveal my glory to you.

It's my goodness, it can be expressed in a name. My Holiness were at 734 verse five and the Lord descended then in the cloud and he proclaimed the Lord in Hebrew use the proper name of God, Yahweh literally means I am I am I am a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, the element that dominates this description of the name of God's love is presented here in this name like a many sided diamond.

So let's walk through to get several descriptions that all kind of turn the diamond of God's love and show you different dimensions of it, merciful and gracious, that may at first sound to you like. Needless redundancy like saying something is redundant and repetitive but merciful and gracious in Hebrew have slightly different shades of meaning merciful comes from the Hebrew word rock whom, and it is about a feeling of compassion.

The word translated gracious is walk-on noon and it comes from the action that you take when you feel rock whom rock whom is the feeling Walker noon is the action God felt his people's pain, and then he acted on their behalf. He saw us in our pain, and he couldn't just sit by the rock whom in his heart forced him to take an action he had to do something to deliver us, slow to anger is love does not preclude his anger is love makes him slow to it. He is angry about sin, but he loves us even as much as he hates our sin, he overcomes his anger because he wants to save us all. It is a perverse and twisted idea to say that God's love preclude his anger because when you really love something or someone. It demands that you get angry at certain things. It is because I love my kids that I am angry at the things that I see destroying them.

If I see them.

For example, lie or do something that I know is going to hurt them. It makes me angry. Not in spite of the fact that I love them. It makes me angry because I love them.

People say oh you know the Bible says. First John 418. God is love, and they use that somehow to conclude that God never gets angrier judge is Sandy just a sentimental deity. You just sappy all the God is angry at sin precisely because he loves us the same writer who wrote first John 418.

God is love, also wrote first on 16 God is light and in him is no darkness at all. The light of God's presence exposes and drives out darkness. God wants us to be filled with light and goodness of love like he is because he loves us his love is a purifying love, not being satisfied with only goodness in himself. He wants goodness and love and those that he loves kind of like the way you love.

A cancer patient. You don't simply rejoice in the back of your cancer free because you love them you hate the cancer that is eating away their body and you desire them to be cancer free as well to God's love is not preclude angry at sin, but it does make him slow to it because he loves us more than he hates her sin and he would rather read us of our sin and he would get rid of us because of our sin is love. Moses says there is love, God reveals a steadfast step as means it does not change based on his moods or how worthy or not worthy. We are on a given day is love is more of a settled resolve something like what I would feel for my children that this is how King David said Psalm 103 as a father has compassion on his back.

By the late rock whom is a father has rock whom and his children, so the Lord has rock whom on those who fear him.

There's probably nothing that is taught me more about the love of God and having children.

There is something about when as a dad I see one of my kids suffer even if the suffering that they're in is their own fault. I do not stand above them and say why don't fault you deserve it might sit at first but when I see them suffer.

My heart always begins to change and every parent knows this right you look at your kids and it's not rhetoric it's not if I could take the pain from them even it's pain of their own doing and if I could somehow take it into me so that they would be happy and awkward suffer. I would gladly do it. This is how a father feels about his child.

This is how God feels about you. We have this wrapped up his emotions and yours. Isaiah will probably take it even further. Isaiah 49 gentlewoman forget her nursing child, that she would have no compassion on the son of the rock whom on the son of her womb, and never seen a newborn child and their mother and a lot of women over the years who were not baby people at all like your baby but all of a sudden they have their baby and all the sudden they become suddenly intent with this baby and it's like this. Tenderness in this rock whom this mercy because I come out of them that my wife is always motivated person so mental met her, but when we did have our first baby. There was a part of her that she used it what you like me will be met at 3 o'clock at night and you know, our first daughter is due to their weeks old, and all the sudden she would sit up in bed like a dog. Her dog was have any idea what's going on with you and she's like something to get terraces something and it's the slightest whimper and she which it is bound out of bed and she's trying to get up to terraces raising the ocean half-asleep and she bounced off the phone is auto pinball, trying to get out of the room and on but we made a rookie mistake. This is for you future dad from uncle Janie about three or four weeks aftercare.

I was like I thought Karis is been sleeping through the night. Now the last week or two. I had been sleeping to the night Karis brought him a job that I learned my lesson. Yes of course I heard her to but I wanted to give you time to bond as you had it not a mother with a newborn child. Of course not, they can never forget them or something, but what Isaiah says, yeah. Even these may forget, yet I will never forget you. Behold, I engraved you on the palms of my hands. I have actually made you part of who I am. I am more into with your pain in the most starry eyed mother is with her newborn God nanny cam is always on and he knows when even a single hair falls from your head. I know a lot of attentive obsessive mothers. I do not know one that can tell you the number of hairs on their child's body and when one single one falls off yet. That is how your heavenly father feels about you the depth and the length of God's love revealed in Scripture is shocking. In fact it is so shocking that God chooses to reveal to it to us through a series of stories rather than a set of propositions because there are some things that really cannot be explained adequately. They really have to be sensed and felt so when God began to describe his love. He very quickly goes to illustrating it for you so that you can identify with it and understand what is talking about when we show you what I mean. Let's start with the book of Jonah and the book of Jonah is a place for you to see Exodus 30 467 come back up.

God called a prophet named Jonah to go and preach salvation to the Ninevites and Jonah didn't want to do it. If you remember, when I walk you through this book of the Bible. I told you that before we get all self-righteous about Joan and I well you to know what God told him we ought to stop and at least consider who the Ninevites were and what they had done to Israel.

They were pretty close neighbors of Israel and they were some of the cruelest people that we know about the ancient world, not too long ago. Some archaeologists uncovered in ancient Assyrian library and one of the books in that library was a book of records of the conquest of the kings of Nineveh when some of the conquest.

Automate would've involved Israelites.

Here are some of the actual statements that complement book, but they on earth these real amount of heads I wrecked it from his city. Their use and their maidens. I burn up in the flames.

Another one said this, I cut their throats like lambs. I cut off their precious lives as one cuts a string like the many waters of the storm. I made the contents of their gullet and their entrails run down upon the wider their hands cut off. I slayed him his skin. I spread upon the wall of the city. I pierced his chin with my dagger through his jaw.

I pastor wrote up at a dog chain upon them, and I kept him in a kennel in the city square. I tied them up and made them listen to the frozen soundtrack both day and night one of theirs is not real how to decide which one it is, but you can see why Joan I don't want to plant a church in that of yours is not want these people to be saved.

I want them to die.

So God brings on the whale incident that you grew up in church you know about eventually Jonah relents and he goes and preaches the Nineveh, not because he loves them and he said a change of heart because they don't want to be whale bait and sure enough they repent. So Jonah says this chapter 4 verse one but it displeased Jonah exceedingly and he was angry.

He said Lord is this not what I said I told you this is going to happen when I was still in my country.

This is why verse two I made haste to flee to Tarshish, for I knew I knew you weren't gracious got a walk at noon God and I knew that you were rock, whom I knew that you were slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love the quote from Exodus 34, six and seven I knew you would relent from disaster. I know it's Jonah finds God's love scandalous because God's love reaches out the people that Jonah knows are completely unworthy of God's mercy and his love is forgiveness and regret, explaining the irony of the book of Jonah is that Nineveh is not some random bad city that God throws in as if to say, hey, there's a few really bad people I love, along with all of you good people.

Nineveh is us in the whole point is is that God doesn't love you good preview bad people, along with the good people God only loves bad people because that's the only kind of people that there are.

We are Nineveh and one day you and I will see with clarity the love that God extended to us and how much he had to forgive us and when we actually see that you have a hard time believing it because we think were Jonah in that story but note were Nineveh and you see in that when Jonah looked to these people and says they don't deserve forgiveness and love and God says that's how I feel about you.

I'm to come is the real Jonah and I'm in a dive for the real Ninevites and Jonah your Ninevites in this is how I love you.

Some things can't be explained.

They have to be felt spirits. That means if you ever had the experience of being really betrayed by by a son or daughter or parent or neglected by a friend or a spouse, but for whatever reason you can't stop loving them and you keep reaching out for them in that moment you get a glimpse of what God feels and what he is done with you. Some things can't be explained have to be experienced. And Jonah felt that I got the tattoo I was go to Hosea another prophet shortly thereafter. Hosea was a prophet of God who was given the most unusual assignment in the Bible God said to him was a 12. Go Hosea and marrying a prostitute, but you didn't see that one common Hosea and have children with her. This will illustrate how Israel's act like a prostitute by turning against the Lord worshiping other gods.

How would you like to get that job or that coin and seminary pastor the youth pastor to be a missionary in your deleted denomination. Your America prostitute enjoyed so Hosea is given that assignment because God needs to demonstrate some things about his character. So Hosea, who has to be the most underappreciated man in the Bible obeys any goes America prostitute named Gomer that enough. She's a prostitute earnings, and he didn't just go to the formalities. Evidently Hosea says that he actually falls in love with her. Yes kids with her, but soon after they marry she cheats on him and eventually she leaves him for a man that is abusive to her and amendable will not even provide for her most basic needs throughout the book.

Hosea pleads with her to come back, but she won't do it. Hosea even gives the man that she is living with now money so that he can take care of her basic needs, but she seems woefully to stay blind to the fact that the money that is being used to care for her come from Hosea.

Eventually this man sells her back into the sex slave trade and God tells José comes and appears on the second time Jimmy said go and buyer back off the auction block. You can imagine. Hosea same buyer back. She humiliated me she is dishonored me. She has broken my heart. She's in the situation because she messed it up and now you tell me to go humiliate myself again and buyer back and God says yes chapter 3 verse one the Lord said to me go again. I love this woman who is a serial chronic adulterous. Even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, which include you. Hosea go they turn to other gods. Hebrew scholars tell us what the scene would've looked like slaves sex slaves in those days were stripped down naked so that the buyers could see what they were getting in there with all these men that are just putting in prices so they can abuse these women and use them for their needs, their stance Hosea in front of his wife now stripped naked who is cheated on him again and again being bent on by men who were given this trader and finally Hosea stands up and raises his hand and says I will top the highest bid. I'm going to make her mine again. God was trying to reveal his nature to Hosea he was trying to give José a glimpse of his love, and he says Hosea, you and I have given our hearts, the people who utterly reject us in working to spend our time in our lives and our efforts going after them said there's some things I cannot explain to you in proposition you have to seal them and until you experience these things. Hosea never can understand the depth of my love or how my heart works like I think the most remarkable verse in Hosea may be the most remarkable verse in the Old Testament is Hosea 11 eight. God says how can I give you up Israel. I can't. How can I let you go. I can't.

My heart is torn within me. In other words, God has bound up his happiness in ours. He can't be happy until we are happy if you were Gomer's friend and your girlfriend and she can burn your house and this confided in you and she basically says man I'm leaving my loving husband is give me a great home and her wonderful kids and leaving for this guy who mistreats me and abuse me that they provide for me.

If your friend you like stuff it full don't do that. I will say she ignores your advice. When she comes back over your house. Night after night after night and you had the exact same conversation might at some point you like what I I'm not going to have a friendship with somebody that is this hardhearted and this is a list of the most basic advice. But if that person Gomer is your beloved daughter or if you're married to her in your heart is become so bound up with hers that her wounds have become your wounds and her happy your happiness is not contingent on her happiness. This is how God reveals he feels about his people about you listen God was happy before he made us you need us to be happy he would've been happy after he had he destroyed us after we sin, but God has so voluntarily wrapped up his emotions in our pain that he cannot be happy again until we are happy, diligent, JI Packer says this is amazing by his own free voluntary choice. God will not know perfect and unmixed happiness again until he is brought every one of his children to heaven by his own free voluntary choice God cannot be happy again till all those that he loves have been brought safely to heaven. I told my wife after we had our fourth child was like you know I'm thinking never to be happy again in life to someone on ISA because at some point before kids one of them always is unhappy just the way God's work out one of them is always unhappy in them when they're unhappy that I feel unhappy and so brought the rest of our lives. This is from a cycle through one of them to be unhappy at some point. Therefore, I will never be happy again as long as I'm alive until I'm dead. Then I can be happy again right because that's how you feel about somebody that you love God says this is how I feel about you.

That was and is Gomer's name in Hebrew means completion God's love and happiness cannot be complete any longer until he saves us even if we are the greatest source of pain in his life, which we are. And even if we brought that pain that we are experiencing onto ourselves to the hymn writer says and can it be, and can it be that I should gain an interest in my Savior's blood died he for me who caused his pain for me who him to death pursued amazing love how can it be that now my God should die for me.

What is amazing is I look at the very things that I used to rebel against God. God turned into my salvation.

Donald Ray Barnhouse, an old mobile preacher you put it like this wasn't the pursuing love of God is the greatest wonder in the spiritual universe. It's not the stars. It's not the makeup of the atom. It's the greatest wonder is the love of God when we see this love and work at the heart of Hosea, we wonder, is God really like that but he is think about it many years later, many years later, God would give man the trees of the forest and the iron in the ground he would give them the ability then the format iron and the nails in the fashion there is treason to a cross and then he would stretch out his hands upon that tree and allow us to mail in there and in so doing he would take our sins upon himself. This is our God, and there is nobody else like him.

By the way, Hosea comes from two Hebrew words are combined me. God saves amazing love how can it be that now my God would die for me died he for me who causes pain for me who him to death pursued. Is it possible that the very thing that I used to rebel against God.

The cross was to become the instrument of my salvation.

Amazing love. By the way, did you notice that both of those are old testament stories can I take a moment to address one of the most confused twisted ideas of people have about the Bible. They think of is like two deities in the Bible.

There's an Old Testament, God the father and he's a mean and grumpy deities always mad watches Fox news every night.

He's ready to kill everybody in Jesus is like a son went off to college and all these liberal ideas about grace. We came back to have his like that. Come on. These reports are bad or creative and funny in the Grand Canyon is also what will try to rescue them right. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus's greatest stories of wonder about the love of God are always about the love of the father. The father that is revealed in the Old Testament Becky once told a story.

Maybe his most famous story ever about a dad who son came to him one day and said dad I hate living here. I'm sick of you Jimmy my inheritance and I'm a leave and never come back. Honestly, I cannot imagine anything more painful. My life and for one of my kids a look at me one day and say that we have no more use for you.

We don't want to know you. We don't want our kids to know you. Would you hurry up and die already because they know please be good for something. As you leave us some money.

The sun takes this family inheritance and he goes out to the far country, and he blows all of it decimates the family fortune and he destroys the family reputation Jewish law, by the way, said that a son who did much less than that could be killed whenever a son would dishonor the family or for son ran away from home. They would perform a ceremony call back to Zaza because those are meant literally the cutting off and it was where they got together. They declared the son to be legally dead.

And from that point on, nobody in the family or nobody. The community would ever speak to that person again because he was caught off this father never performed that ceremony. In fact, Jesus said he stood at the gate of his house every day looking off in the distance that the written in the direction that his son and gone and then one day Jesus said he finally sees the sun coming home.

He's poor, he's blown all the money he's worn out. He is broke and he is hurt and the father doesn't run after him in judgment. The father pulls up the start of his rope and begins to run on those days grown men did not run in our day. Grown men do not run but in those days were in a row get a lift up your skirt and exposure needs which the dam was like being publicly naked.

It was something considered shameful, but there comes a time when any motion rock whom so dominates your hearts that you forget about this is not that you're thinking that you will think about what people are saying about you because you're so overwhelmed with emotion when I see this picture, I always think of that iconic video picture of Jimmy Valvano in 1983 when NC state Wanda national championship PCM using the video running around the basketball court like he has lost his mind like a human being a rabid dog and if you're his PR person you hate a better cut this out. You look dignified Jimmy Valvano site.

I don't think they just won the national championship who saw the coming week is when the national championship.

I don't care what other people say here's this father he's not making a calculated I don't care about my dignity, my boy, my son is coming home. Jesus said this is the father thought about you. The cross was the father running after you. The cross was the father exposing himself to scorn and ridicule and pain just so we could get us back in Hebrews 12 says even think about the pain in the ridicule even think about the fact that he was naked on the cross even think about the torture.

All he was thinking about is I get my children back to first John 31 behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we that we would be called the children of God. John 316 for God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever would believe in him would not perish but have everlasting life.

Limitations of the Trinity is hard understand there's a lot of things about it. I don't like, I can explain to you name some things I'm not sure I understand fully. But I do know this, that in Christ death on the cross was in the father himself was suffering for our sins because God did not send somebody else to die for our sins did it himself is what makes the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons are wrong is God and create a lesser being and say goodbye for them got that I will do it myself. We know that the father and the son are one being, but at the same time we know that the father and son are separate and that's where it gets confusing and we know that the father loves the son more than anything which makes the sacrifice even more painful because I'm pretty sure that I could give up my life for you more easily than I could give up. My son Adam's life for you.

My on my dad used to teach our Wanda program when I was in the fourth grade and I remember him telling the story on heat report.

It is true it might want those legends and whatever but these are the stories of God, who worked as a switch on a railroad with it. Back in the old days we had to manually serve switch the tracks of the train want to go to different track and so is being operated that the switch on this bridge. I'm standard day nothing really out of the ordinary. There is a big passenger train coming down with hundreds of people on high speed barreling down this this track and there was a get on this right track. Nothing out of the ordinary when all of a sudden the sky gets an emergency message that there's been a bad mistake of the previous station and there's another passenger train that got put on the same track. Also coming out about 75 miles an hour also filled with hundreds of people there no more than 2 miles apart. There's no way they can stop they will collide. You have to switch this track immediately, so the father looks out to switch this train coming on this one to the striker here when he sees that his seven-year-old son has gotten down into the gears in the machination of this. This track and he knows that he pulled that leverage most likely going to crush his son. His son came here and there is no time to react and so we have to make a split-second decision, do I crush my son do I save these hundreds of people's lives in the last minute. He does what he feels like he has to do because the amount of people on the train. He pulls that lever crushes his son and his train goes by at full speed filled with people on this train were laughing and and eating, oblivious to the fact that this guy just crushed his son so they could stay alive under my dad telling us the story in a one and I remember him doing it with tears in his eyes and remember me thinking what he do that to me if I was in that I don't know all there is to understand about the Trinity, but I know that there's something about the fact that God gave up not only himself, that God gave his only son, that suddenly helps me to see the kind of love that we are talking about, that God willfully endured so that you and I could be saved. Henry now and in the book the return of the prodigal son says perhaps the most radical statement of Jesus ever made in his life. Luke 630 6B merciful the rock whom the way that your father in heaven has been rock whom to you as I have been to you. This is how I want you to be to others, so I have three questions for you.

Here they are number 11 you believe in the steadfast love of the father. Do you believe in it.

You see in the stories they're all about you.

You are none of that.

He beyond everybody's comprehension came to forgive. First Peter says the Angels are confused by it. They want to look into it they can understand that I got. What would you go after the people. These people don't deserve to be forgiven. These people deserve judgment and their amazed by its you or Nineveh you were Gomer that he won't but he can't let go, like Gomer, you stood there naked and ashamed and he walked out and bought you back and he closed you, not with your robes of prostitution.

He put back on his robes of righteousness. You are the prodigal son, for whom he stands daily on the gates of heaven longing for you to come home for whom he slew not the fatted calf but himself at the cross, whom he closed not with a garment that you had purchased, but one that was purchased by his blood, and there are times that you cannot feel the love of God. Listen, I'll be honest.

There many days I cannot feel the love of God and on those days when I cannot feel the love of God.

I take myself back to be stories in this situation were God declares his love to me in his name and he says I am. This is how I am. It's all I always will be. I do not change, and I know that the love that he demonstrated for me in the stories and the love that culminated on the cross.

That is the declaration of his love for me. That's where he proclaimed his name. I told you the probably the greatest demonstration of the love of God happen on the night before Jesus died, he goes into a garden called Gethsemane were he just wants to spend a few moments alone with his father before the greatest trial of his life. But the most odd thing begins to happen in Luke's telling of the story.

Gethsemane Jesus begins to be terribly afraid. The word is horrified.

It's the same word that we would use if you saw your family massacred in front of your eyes feel something in the garden. There's nobody there driving nails in his hands. What's causing that emotion.

It was so terrifying. Jesus said he almost died from it. Jesus did not exaggerate us on a figure speech. He literally almost that the EDM begin to sweat great drops of blood. A medical condition. The doctors call he might try doses which is where your under such emotional strain that the capillaries in your face, burst your extremities burst in your little begin to bleed out of your pores.

What was it that Jesus Christ who would cast out demons and raise the dead and walked on water. What did he see that terrified them so badly he almost died.

Luke gives you a clue because Jesus calls out of the father's name three times in those verses and not a single time. Is there an answer.

What's happened is God is already begun to turn his face away from his son Jesus goes to experience the rating radiance and the fellowship of the father that is known from all eternity and all he's met with silence. The crucifixion began in the Garden of Gethsemane a long time before the first nail went into Jesus's aunts. Here's the question why did God give Jesus that vision. There why not wait until the next day when Jesus would be on the cross to show him all that, why give him a glimpse of it in the beginning that's Jonathan Edwards questioned the theologian to give you his answer. It was so we could see Jesus go to the cross voluntarily, knowing full well what he was about to experience so that his love for us would be put on display even more, God wanted us to see Jesus see what he was about to go through. See very clearly so that when he walked out of that garden and set his face to the cross, we would know he did not do it. It did not taken by surprise. He knew exactly the price that he was going to pay and he was going to do it because he wanted to purchase and that means that there are times when I don't sense the love of God. I don't feel good to me. There are times I look at my circumstances and honestly forgot if you love me why this happening, but I know that my soul has found a resting place.

My soul has found an anchor.

It is found a place that I can run into and it is the name of God, because the name of God was declared to me throughout the Bible, the name of God was demonstrated for me at the cross and I know that if Jesus would not turn his back on me when literally hell itself, squeezing the life of out of him. I know that he will not turn his back on me now if you are the kind of person that has to determine God's love based on whether your business is going well in your family is going well, and based on how you feel you will be unsettled every day of your life when you come to understand that it is based on the settled work of Calvary that God says I am not. I was, I am means I don't ever change. I am yesterday today and forever. Then you will find an anchor for your soul that will let you weather any storm because that is the one thing you will be sure of is that God's love has been forever settled and demonstrated. I and I always will be. And I never change. Do you believe in his love for you.

Some of you say I believe in his love, but it's more like God sentimental and I'm also what can happen in your life and summons her roommate revealed that you're not awesome. You suddenly wake up one day and realize your Nineveh in your dome and then at that point, you're not gonna have your positive self-image to go back to it's only going to be what God declared in the cross, your life can fall apart and you need an anchor that anchors the finished work of Jesus on Christ the solid rock actually all of the ground is sinking sand.

Number two had you embraced his love for you and you embrace his love for you receive this more next week, but he's not a forces love on you. You gotta choose to receive it. Salvation is a gift. It's found in a personal relationship with Jesus. It's not just believing in him that he's there it's trusting him personally for yourself. That's why we say personal relationship with you as you ever received him personally, as your Savior. If you're a believer are you renewing yourself in the reality of this love daily.

Romans five Paul says the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to shed abroad.

God's love in our hearts that were shed abroad.

That's the King James version's use of that unsettled balloon is poured out it's not a little tiny word.

If the same were the Jews when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost. It's a flight it's not just fleeting moment of emotion that you have or you get goosebumps when I go on an alliterative role in a short yelling is not talking to the choir on crescendo or somebody hit in the record. Like it or not, God of the devil's were talking about is this understanding that God just pours out his love and there's the sense of intimacy because you know that you belong to God the Holy Spirit that that's not special when you get every once in a while it's not what happens once a week in church is to be the daily reality of the believer and the Holy Spirit gives it to all those people who ask. Are you living with the sense of that love was and I promise you if you were not living in the awareness of that love. There is no possible way that you feel any connection to God, so you don't love God, you will feel affection to God and what you need is not me standing here yelling to you about you to love God you can't your love for God will always be based on the perception of his love and his tenderness toward you messages for my kids come home in a bad mood and so I yelled kids about six or seven things right when I walk in the door. The normal time but you know I'm sometimes my kids have already figured out every square inch of our house and they know how they can avoid dad in whatever room he's in, and how to get from one room to another without going to the room to go to the crawlspace about what they need because they don't want to be a dad's presence because that is angry because they feel this judgment coming for me. Well compare that when I come home and I just I can't wait to see him and I kiss him and reset my ladder to me that he would believe this, look what I colored was blessed to be here. Look what I blew up and understood God's awesome awesome awesome right. They just want to be close to me based on their sense of my tenderness toward them.

If you don't feel the tenderness of the father. There's no way you feel close to God. That's why by the way those of you who say all I I get God but I normally understand the need for Jesus. There is no way that you feel any connection to God. You know why because you only know God as creator and judge, and you can never feel close to a God that is on the creator and judge. It is only when you come to know him. His father father who long for you after you ran away you come to know and his lover lover who kept loving you even when you betrayed and that's how much he loved you couldn't stop it when you come to know and the Savior that though you were Nineveh he would redeem you – when you begin to develop this warmth, a feeling of affection for him is knowing the love of God for you that produces love for God in you, there is number three last one. Had you sensed his love in you. For others since his love in you. For others, I often say this, but this just know way to experience the magnitude of rock whom mercy to be the recipient of of of one afternoon the grace and stress remain the same but we always say that those who really believe the gospel, who understand it, they always become like the gospel. Why, because you can experience that kind of power and just remain the same selfish, self-centered, unforgiving, stingy person that you've always been that kind of mercy and grace when it impacts you transforms you and you become like that that the illustration that I use with your this is basically this on budgets. I can imagine some of the sermon, the man sitting up here. The man walks often screen comes down to campus. Whatever right, but many times survive six minutes about your campus or look around like going on right back six minutes later, I can run and bust a little rough as a dog only the legally I'm so sorry I'm late because I believe I was ever here try to get here in my region 540 flatiron car so I cannot change. Flatiron is taking tar all want to lug nuts. Roll down the middle.

540 and went to get it and take it on the rise and pick it up here this horn and I turned and when you know it there's a tractor-trailer semi, and the 75 miles an hour man. He hits me, not 300 yards. I guess you didn't see that he had me because after I landed and skated for about 20 yards and ran over he was under, now why I guess he felt bad because he stopped fidelity and sweet… Ran over me again.

I got hit by a truck available incentive amount now ran over twice man I was inconvenient. I got up not down the blood not rule over here and that's why I'm late. Your response to me is your life you're a liar because in you got hit by a tractor-trailer on Sunday about miles an hour, you won't differ you all different.

Everything about you. Be different. For since day just like you were there is no way you of the love and the mercy of God.

There's no way magnitude of God and then bitterness and money is there's no way to pursue self-centered life and have any beloved God gave toward you.

That's all we always talk about money here not because we need an offering is because I know the trail of your money show.

It shows with an eye on cannot receive that kind of mercy, self-centered with all that God is. That's why give him that I was dancing you're going God forgive you your Nineveh, bitterness, and helping about how good you claim to have understood him or seen that loving grace and then just be silent. Not with people that are around you burning heart filled with a sense of God's love and grace. If you don't talk about Jesus is not that you met evangelism that you had no real. The loving grace of God and over and three questions are my question for you.

You believe in love. The father is a bad maybe you need to say God not believe. I believe I believe because of the gross believe in your second year received his love for you. It's an offer. It's a personal offering will force it on God. I'm going I'm coming back got a minute I got on the prodigal son, I received the gift of salvation you offer to me right now is this love your life is gone. I know my money, and treasure my talent all the more the whole room of mine that were as far as love so amazing, so I will father is

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