Keep Yourself in the Love of God (3 of 6)

Keep Yourself in the Love of God (3 of 6)

Sun 26 Jul 2009 AM

Jude 20: Keep yourself in the love of God. Why do I have to guard, or protect, or watch over this area of encountering, experiencing, and walking in the love of God?

There's an enemy that wants to keep me from it. The devil brings spiritual pressure around us. You've got to guard against isolation and loneliness.
Audio Transcript
Well we're just in a series now on the Extravagant Love of God, and I want to just do the third in this series. We're sort of breaking it up into three parts, so this is the first part, and Jesus was asked remember in Matthew 22, what's the great commandment? He said well the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul, all your strength. Then the second one is love your neighbour as yourself, and on this is everything of God's requirements, the law of love, and so He laid it out. So we're looking at three aspects and three different sections we're going to cover. The first is loving God passionately, and the first we saw was that God is a passionate lover of people. He expresses His love in a whole variety of ways. You may not have experienced it, doesn't mean He hasn't expressed it, and we looked at that and we saw not only that we respond to being loved by loving Him.

The Bible says we love Him, because He first loved us. Our loving God, our passion for God, is an overflow of responding to what He's given us with hunger and appreciation and longing for more. So this part of what we're doing is the first part, loving the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength. We've covered two, the passionate love of God, and loving God with a whole heart. Today I want to speak about keeping yourself in the love of God, keeping yourself in the love of God, then following that we're going to look at a couple of messages around loving yourself. Jesus said love your neighbour as yourself, so one of the challenges in loving people, people can be difficult, people can drain us, people can be disappointing, all kinds of things can happen when you work with people. It's only to be expected you have all these challenges, but if we're going to move to touching the lives of people and impacting them, we need good foundations.

One of the foundations is a passionate love of God, that we ourselves are continually being fuelled with an experience of God's love, His abundance, His care, His support, His strength, His wisdom. We need to have that, so that's what we're focussing on at this stage but if we don't have a source then we'll look for that elsewhere, so people tend to look to meet the needs that only God can meet, they look for it in other things. So the source of addictions, whether it be pornography, alcohol, gambling, workaholism or whatever it is, the source of that is a deep rooted sense of feeling unloved, so unless that's addressed, the addiction can never be solved. Some people pour out their need to be loved into helping people, so helping people can be more a means to get my own needs filled than actually overflowing the love of God. So it's very, very important, one, that we develop a vital spiritual life, so we have inner resourcing to be able to accomplish things for God, and two, that we have a proper value on ourself, neither at the one end, so self-centred everything's about us and what we can get, nor at the other end, where we have such little value on ourself that people walk over us, we're exploited, taken advantage of, and we burn out.

Burning out is the consequence of being unable to set good boundaries that define who you are, and recognise what you can give, so we'll look at that in another session. So I want to finish the first of the three on loving God whole-heartedly. We started the whole passionate love of God, now I want to look at keeping yourself in the love of God, so we need just a few things as we talk about the love of God. The first thing is it's the nature of God to love. It's His nature. That's who He is and heaven, heaven is filled with love. It's an atmosphere, it's a spiritual reality. It's the life of God, when it manifests itself people feel embraced and celebrated and loved, for example if you're going into a place where there's people you can feel the atmosphere. If you are not welcome, you feel you're not welcome in lots of little ways, or when you go to a place where you're celebrated and welcomed and affirmed and gathered up, you feel something come around you. You feel welcomed. There's an environment that nurtures your connecting, and so in heaven there's a spiritual environment full of the love of God. The trouble is that's in heaven, we need it here.

Sermon Notes
Keywords: Burning out, boundaries, love of god, spirit man, inner man, tangible, experience love, unity, connectedness, creation, Jesus Christ, transfigured, inner life, prayer, manifestation of God, glory, words, identity, loneliness, isolation, workaholic, unloved, balance in life, driven, meditation, "No Arms, No Legs and No Limits"