Sunday, September 20 was an especially exciting Sunday as we kicked off our four week Immeasurably More series. The series is part of our epic faith adventure to build a ministry center that we firmly believe God has called us to do. This center will allow us to continue to be the church to our community for generations to come.
The intent of Jeff’s sermon was to communicate just how loved you are by our great and good God. You see, if you are able to grasp that you are deeply loved by God, than it will free you to find all your contentment in Him. You will find that your tight grip on the things of this world will slowly lessen as you turn your heart’s attention and desire to our powerful, mighty, and beautiful Father.
When you enter into a love relationship with God through Jesus Christ, it is not a one-time decision or a final destination to which you have arrived. Scripture consistently reminds us that you must be changed. You cannot stay the same person you are and expect to experience the richness of his love. It is a progressive surrender.
Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Romans 12:2 (emphasis ours)
Our call to enter a love relationship with The Father through Jesus is also an invitation to be all-in, as a living sacrifice. Remember, sacrifices don’t get up and walk off the altar. Once a sacrifice has been offered, there is no turning back.
Therefore, I urge you, brother, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
Romans 12:1 (emphasis ours)
Our Immeasurably More series is based on scripture found in Ephesians 3:20-21. However, when we reach back to Ephesians 3:14, we see that our selected verses are part of a prayer from Paul as he states, “For this reason I bow my knee to the Father (v. 14).” In the passages to follow, Paul urges us to stay rooted and grounded in God’s love (v 18-19).
In 2 Corinthians 5:14 we learn that we should not only be rooted in God’s love but we should also be controlled by it.
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died.
As you reflect on what the Bible teaches us about love, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the love of Christ control you?
- Does the love of Christ strike you so deeply that your ability to face the day is changed in light of that love?
- Does the love of Jesus motivate you?
There are two questions that can reveal whether your relationship with God is based on trust or based on performance to please Him:
- “Does God love you when you obey him?
- Does God love you disobey him?
You might be tempted to answer “yes” to the first and “no” to the second, but the answers are Yes and Yes—and it’s all because of Jesus. The pressing question is: do you really believe His love is extravagant regardless of what you do or don’t do? The Bible repeatedly teaches us that love precedes obedience.
If you love me, keep my commands. (John 14:15)
Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them. (John 14:21)
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love. (John 15:10)
All three of the examples above are Jesus’ direct words. Don’t you think that when the God of the universe speaks up we should listen intently and allow His words to penetrate our hearts?
As you continue to reflect on the depths to which our God loves you with an extravagant and everlasting love we urge you to listen to the sermon in its entirety and make sure to also apply what He is teaching you in a practical way.
Be in prayer for your friends and family.
Pray that they will grasp the extent to which God loves them. Pray that there will be obvious reminders of His love that can only be attributed to Him. Pray this diligently and consistently, as we must remember following Jesus requires consistent transformation and action.
Determine practical ways that you can remind yourself that you are deeply loved by The Father.
Sometimes it is as simple as writing out a Bible verse that resonates with your heart. It could also be listening to a praise and worship song that speaks to you.
It is very important that you are also willing to ask those closest to you, your spouse, friends, or parents, for example, to pray for you so that you can fully comprehend the love of God for you. Pray that your grasp on the things of this world would pale in comparison to His glory and that your grip will slowly loosen as your contentment is found in Him.