God’s Extravagant Love (2 of 6)

God’s Extravagant Love (2 of 6)

Sun 19 Jul 2009 AM

Christian life is a response to God's love, a continuing response. We love Him because He first loved us. Meetings aren't enough. I must meet with God. I must feel His presence, encounter His presence and I must learn how to respond.

If you love Me, you'll trust that what I say will work out good for you, and you'll do it. Many Christians want to come into an experience someone else creates, rather than a lifestyle where they walk and enjoy God. The measure of your maturity, is not your experiences, it's what do you do with people
Audio Transcript
Okay, why don't we just open our Bible then, Matthew, Chapter 22, Verse 36. We started last week on a series called Extravagant Love, and I began to share with you about the passionate love of God. I happened to share a verse out of Song of Solomon and some of the young people got that wrong. They thought I was talking about kisses and wine; I wasn't talking about that at all and the Bible says His kisses are better than wine. In other words he's saying that the touch of God in our life is more intoxicating and has better effect on our life than wine drinking would have. But the Bible abounds in God's expressions of love and we saw last week this verse, how God calls us to love Him and that's what we're going to focus on today, is on loving God, whole-hearted love of God.

Last week we were looking at how we love Him as a response to being loved first of all. In other words God starts it going. God always sends people into our lives. God sent His Son into the world, God continually initiates bringing us into relationship with Him, and we saw that God's love is extremely passionate. There's feeling and emotion and we saw how He loves people. It's not the concept of God that many people have, but we looked through some verses in Song of Solomon and it explained how deeply passionate God is. I love that. We serve a loving, passionate God who desires to communicate, but also requires and calls us and invites us to make a response. Isn't that fantastic? Last week we looked into the story of the Prodigal Son, one of the most vivid New Testament stories to show what the heart of God is like, and I have a picture I got off the Internet, it's a picture by Rembrandt. How many know who Rembrandt is? Some people there, all the grey headed people know Rembrandt, the others haven't got a clue. Well if you had one of his paintings you'd be pretty wealthy actually, they're worth millions and this is a great picture if they can just get it up there for me. Can you get it? It's up, it's on the sides, okay then, great.

Okay then, now we saw last week how Jesus wanted to show people or talk to people what the Father was like and so He shared a story of a lost sheep, a lost coin and then a lost son. You remember in the story of the Prodigal Son how he decided he wanted a life independent of his father so virtually what he said is dad, I'd prefer you were dead, give us the dough, I'm out of here. That's what sin is like. We say hey God, we want to carry on our life like you're not around. We just want to enjoy what you've given us, and do our own thing, so sin is like that. So this young man went out into the world and he had a great time, then he used up all his money. There was a famine, an unexpected famine and he ended up in such desperate lack; all his friends that he'd made with the money - because when you've got money you've got friends, you've got no money, not many friends, only authentic friends. He lost all his friends. He ended up so desperate that he got a job working for a pig farmer and even they didn't pay him any money. They just exploited him and said if you want pay, eat the food the pigs have got, so he was fighting with the pigs for the food. Then the Bible says he came to his senses, and the thing was that turned his life, his life turned when he remembered the kindness of his father.

The kindness of his father turned him back when he remembered it. In other words we respond when we experience the goodness of God. See, our love for God is birthed, it's a response to someone expressing God's love to us. Someone came to us, God sent them. Someone prayed for us, God called them to pray, and then He got us to an environment and we began to feel the love of God. Before you know it you're up the front, your hands are up, you're praying and you're crying and you're wondering how you got there. You weren't clever and thought well I'm just going to go to God today. God began to draw you and then you were touched by His love and wanted to make a response to that love, so the Christian life is a response to God's love, a continuing response. Jesus wanted to show what God is like and so He used this story of the Prodigal Son.

Sermon Notes
Keywords: God's love, compassion, Half-hearted, very expressive praise, danced mightily, tender worship, passionate worship, connect with God, meditating, meditation, discipline, strong praise, whole-heartedly, relationship, honour, maturity,kindness, generosity, abundance, religiosity, self-centred