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Fig Leaves and Other Christian Coverings (1 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 2 of 8
Let's have a look in Luke, Chapter 10. You know the story, and a lawyer had spoken to Jesus. He said to Him: well teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life? He asked him: what's in the law, what do you read? He said: you shall - now look at this - love the Lord your God with just your mind? No, he says: love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, all your mind, everything; and your neighbour as yourself! He said: you've done right, do this and live.

Now notice what Jesus identified was the primary thing above all things. Number one, this one, if you're doing this, you're doing okay. He says: love the Lord fervently, every part of you. Your mind has got to learn how to love the Lord. Your emotions, love the Lord with your emotions; love the Lord with your body; love the Lord with your spirit; every part of us. We tend to re-read it. We read it like this: love the Lord with your spirit on Sunday. But that's not what it says. It tells us that the commandment is, the one commandment that sums the whole Bible up is: passionate love, wholehearted love, your heart, that's your emotions, your mind, your thoughts, your feelings, your body, your strength - passionately loving God. You can understand then, if there's no passionate expression in a service where God's people are gathered, there is something wrong! It's not fulfilling what Jesus said is the number one thing to do - to love Him.

We love Him because He first loved us, so we need to begin to experience His love, and as we experience His love, we allow His love to bring healing, restoration, change in life; and we express something. We must express something, and it's not just - notice Jesus didn't say it was all about God word. He said: it's also about touching people. Listen, loving people is the number one indicator of how you're doing with God. Now how mature you are, how really you've caught the heart of God, it must come into our interactions with people. Spirituality, without engaging people, does become totally disconnected, and irrelevant, and part of the problem. God calls us to engage Him, to have encounters and experiences with Him, and then to overflow with what we have to people, who desperately have need. Jesus made it very, very clear: God loves us passionately!

Now God is not some person up there who's heavy, and serious and grim, who's got a big stick, and He's looking at you. He's not like that. The Bible says: He rejoices over you with joy and rejoicing! God is passionate. We are made in His image and likeness. Jesus was a passionate person. You say: oh that's not me - well you're messed up. There's something wrong. You're missing out on life. You're missing out on something, because Jesus, we're designed by God to reflect what He's like. If you look at the life of Jesus, He was an amazing person. He represents fully what God is like, and He was very passionate. He rejoiced. That means He laughed, and celebrated, and rejoiced. He wept openly over the grief of His friends. He prayed, He prayed with strong crying, that's passionate, and with tears - that's emotion.

When He was facing oppression, and a struggle, and the greatest challenge of His life; going into the garden, knowing tomorrow He's going to die, He wanted friends to be with Him - and He was sad that they wouldn't stick with Him. Before He came into this experience, He wanted them to come with Him; He wanted friendship. We just don't see sometimes, how full of expression Jesus was. Kids loved Him. Kids like smiley faces. Anyone who knows kids - they like smiley faces. You've got a serious face, they don't respond. They just see - the body is saying it all - heavy face, keep away. Adults are pretty much the same aren't we? See, so God is full of expression. Look at the expression and everywhere you look, there's expression, so God wants us to have expression, learn to be able to do that.