Sunday, January 27, 2008


Subtitled: 3 Cities, 3 Reactions, 2 Philosophies, 30000 gods, 5 Truths, 1 Answer, 40 minutes


Acts 17 tells the story of some of what took place during Paul’s Second Missionary Journey, part of which was in Greece.

Paul had just finished ministry in the city of Philippi, leaving behind a young but strong church.

Dates of Journey: Approx 49-51 AD

Key Scripture: Acts 17:22,23 (NIV)

…"Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.

23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.


A) 3 Cities in which Paul Preached the Gospel in Acts 17:

a. Thessalonica

b. Berea

c. Athens


B) 3 Reactions:

a. Thessalonica – Opposing the Word

vs. 1-5 – (niv) …they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.

2 As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,

3 explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ," he said.

4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.

5 But the Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city.


- a busy city on a main road

- for 3 weeks, as was Paul’s custom, he reasoned with the Jews in the synagogues

- Some Jews believed

- Many Greeks believed



- Paul went to his “near culture” first – he tried to reach those most knowledgeable and close in understanding to the Old Testament

- Paul’s message & method was simple:

a. Opened & reasoned the Scriptures

b. Explained Jesus’ death & resurrection

c. Proclaimed Jesus was the Messiah

d. He endured persecution

e. The Church survived – Paul commended them later (1 Thess. 1:6-10)

f. Interesting that no later mention or epistle of Berea where they had eagerly received the gospel versus Thessalonica where the church was born in the midst of opposition and persecution!

g. Paul was even able to explain deeper or more difficult truths the church – don’t think that new Christians can’t handle truth!

h. Church at Philippi – newly planted by Paul – sent financial support and help to Paul twice – even though they were very poor – Philippians 4:15,16

b. Berea – Receiving the Word:

vs. 10-13 - 10 ¶ As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue.

11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

12 Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

13 When the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, they went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up.


- 40 miles on another road

- Here the Jews received the Word

- Paul left Silas and Timothy behind to help the young believers

- Sopater, one of Paul’s Missionary Team was from Berea (Acts 20:4)


- Keep telling people about Jesus even after you have faced opposition

- We should be like the Bereans:

a. Receive the Word

b. Be of a ready, eager mind to learn the Word

c. Examined the Sciptures Daily

C) Athens: Mocking the Word

vs. 15-31 - 16 ¶ While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.

17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.

18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, "What is this babbler trying to say?" Others remarked, "He seems to be advocating foreign gods." They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.

19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?

20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean."

21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

22 ¶ Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.

23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.

24 "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.

25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.

26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.

27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

29 "Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone— an image made by man’s design and skill.

30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."

2 Philosophies:

Stoics – Pantheists – All is God, God is all, Reason is all, Value Duty, Discipline, hard work, Fatalists

Epicureans – Pleasure seeking, cyclical view of life, “atomic materialists”, only matter, gods are simple representations of man’s aspirations

30000 GODS

Background in Athens:

- 10,000 people and 30000 gods!

- Center of religion, culture, superstition and philosophy

- Roman empire – State Sponsored Pluralism

- Parallels to our modern culture

- A World Not aware of Judeo Christian Values

- A World Biblically Illiterate

- In many places in America – outside the Bible Belt – kids who see a cross around your neck may ask “Why are you wearing that PLUS SIGN?”

- Cultural Themes are similar in Athens and our Post Modern world:

a. Skepticism

b. Relativisim

c. Hedonism

d. Subjectivism

- As D. A. Carson puts it:

a. All opinions in the matter of religion are equally valid

b. All religions equally lead to God

c. To say anything different is to be a “hateful” person, exhibiting “hate speech.”

- With no god, with god-in-all, You can do anything you desire…there is nothing to repent of

- Hard Work, discipline and pleasure can get you anything you want in this life and then you will die, but there is no eternity, no personal God, or because God is merciful, He receives everybody anyway.

- Postmoderns use “judge not let you be judged” to justify moral abandonment or indifference.


- This is why Paul’s Methods and Message are important and relevant to us today!

- God has given us a great KEY to evangelizing our generation!

- Paul’s Methods and Message answer the Basic philosophical questions of life…such as those echoed in the title of the painting by Paul Gauguin: “Where do we come from? What are we? Where am I going?

- Paul complements them first and then points to the problem and solution


5 TRUTHES – of Paul’s Message in Athens (and to us today…)

1) The UNCHALLENGEABLE JUDGE - God is the Creator and Governor and yet He is near or immanent

2) The UNIVERSAL COMMAND - Man is ignorant of God and alienated from Him and is Called to Repentance

3) UNCOMPROMISING JUSTICE - God will Judge all men by Christ

4) IRREFUTABLE FACT - God raised Jesus from the dead – providing a Savior

5) INESCAPABLE DAY - God has appointed a Day of Judgment for all


Jesus is the answer to your questions today:

Who am I?

- I am a creation of an Almighty God

- I am ignorant of God’s ways and separated from Him

Why am I here?

- I was created to love and serve God

- I was created to love and serve people

Where am I going?

- to an eternal future – either with Christ or without Him

- to an appointment for a judgment day

Hebrews 9.27 – It is appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgment…

You can reach your generation with truth of Jesus.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Kingdom Advancement

Isaiah 42:8
8 I am the LORD, that is My name;
And My glory I will not give to another,
Nor My praise to carved images.

Romans 8:27-30
27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

1. To be glorified is to enter into the blessings of the full glory of God, which we now experience in part.
- 2 Corinthians 3:18
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2. To be glorified is to receive our adoption as sons and the redemption of our body
- Romans 8:23
23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

3. To be glorified is to be free from corruption and death
- Romans 8:2
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

4. To be glorified is to experience the goal for which we were chosen, called and justified
- Ephesians 4:1
1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,

5. To be glorified is to obtain that good for which God has been causing all things to work together.
- Romans 8:28
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

6. To be glorified is to have a share in the glory, which belongs to Israel
- Romans 4:13
13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

- Romans 4:16
16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all

- Galatians 3:29
29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

David’s Heart


Key Scripture: Acts 13:22 "And when God had removed Saul, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.”

Last Sunday we learned that there is a difference between seeking God’s heart and seeking His help. We concluded that:

Those who have God’s heart, have God’s help.

This morning I want us to look at the heart of the man David. God testified that David had a heart like His heart. A heart that would inspire and motivate David to do accomplish everything God wanted done.

God’s heart is always a heart of love, a heart of forgiveness, mercy, kindness and care. Despite the moments of frustration, anger, hurt, disappointment and even acts of rage, the heart of God always wins over judgment, condemnation, criticism and rejection.

If God is ever moved to punish or correct, it is because He has been given no other choice and then He quickly moves to accept repentance and forgives with His tender mercies. David wrote that God would not keep His anger forever nor would He treat us according to our sins but He takes pity on us as a Father, caring for and encouraging his children. (Psalms 103)

God chose David because of David’s heart … his outlook on life … the platform and perspective from which David viewed the situations, disappointments and challenges of everyday life.

God could be assured that when the dust settled in David’s life that David would come down to a very predictable decision, choosing what was right, honest, merciful and kind. That in the end David would be Godly, like God, in his judgments and in his actions. God trusted that in the end, David would do all God wanted him to do.

It appears that God is willing to endure and wipe away all of the mistakes of a person who is neither motivated nor captivated by fear nor by selfishness but by God’s heart. So, lets look at this man whom God chose to use as a poster boy for His own heart.

No challenge in David’s life was greater or longer lasting than his relationship with King Saul.

If you are familiar with the story you will remember that the prophet Samuel anointed David to be King over Israel when he was yet a young boy. Afterward God promoted David to live in the proverbial palace serving Saul and eventually David became the much praised captain of all the armies of Israel.

Saul grew jealous of David’s popularity and decided to kill him. After several attempts David fled from Saul’s presence and remained a hunted man in exile for many years.

1 Samuel 26

23 "May the LORD repay every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the LORD delivered you into my hand today, but I would not stretch out my hand against the LORD’S anointed.

24 "And indeed, as your life was valued much this day in my eyes, so let my life be valued much in the eyes of the LORD, and let Him deliver me out of all tribulation."

During those hears of living on the run in caves and desert places David had several clear chances to kill the King. However David demonstrated the depth of his character and trust in God when he declared that he would not put forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed, but rather he would trust God to deliver him and bring him to his destiny. (1 Samuel 24:6; 26:9; 26:23)

It was immediately after one such encounter when David decided that he needed to get completely away from Saul’s grasp. We pick up this story in:

1 Samuel 27 NKJV

1 ¶ And David said in his heart, "Now I shall perish someday by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape to the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me anymore in any part of Israel. So I shall escape out of his hand."

2 Then David arose and went over with the six hundred men who were with him to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath.

3 So David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, each man with his household, and David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal’s widow.

4 And it was told Saul that David had fled to Gath; so he sought him no more.

5 Then David said to Achish, "If I have now found favor in your eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there. For why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you?"

6 So Achish gave him Ziklag that day. Therefore Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah to this day.

7 Now the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was one full year and four months.

So David moves to the city of Ziklag.

In those days Ziklag was a city located approximately 17 miles Northwest of Beersheba.

* Ziklag was originally inherited by the tribe of Judah as we read in Joshua 15:31.

* Later in Joshua 19:5 we see Ziklag re-allotted to the tribe of Simeon.

At some point Ziklag came under the control of the Philistines and was eventually given to David by King Achish as a place of residence and refuge for him and his renegade band of 600 men and their families where David lived for one year and four months.

* The name Ziklag means ‘winding’.

During this one year and four months David falsely presented himself as an ally of the Philistine king. He continued to lead his 600 men against the enemies of Israel, completely destroying their towns and villages never leaving one soul as a witness against him. When questioned by King Achish David lies and says that he was raiding Israelite towns. King Achish believed David hated Saul and was paying him back for all the injustice and misery of the past.

After the one year and four months Achish decides to go to war against Saul farther north in the Jezreel valley and he invites David and his band or warriors to go along and be his personal guard.

Saul assembles the armies of Israel by the fountain of Jezreel at the base of Mount Gilboa on the Southern side of the lower Jezreel valley. Just three and one half miles to the north, across the valley floor, Achish gathers his armies at the town of Shunem.

It was at this point that the military commanders of the Philistine army approach King Achish and demand that David be sent home, back away from the battle for fear that he might get into the heat of the fight and change sides to help Israel win against them. Achish defends David’s loyalty but eventually sends David back home to Ziklag.

The next day, when David and his men approach Ziklag it is evident that something is wrong. Upon arrival they find that their sworn enemies, the Amalekites, have raided the South and destroyed Ziklag, burning it to the ground and carrying off captive both of David’s wives along with all of the wives and children of David’s 600 men.

Both David and his men were so distraught that they wept until they could weep no more. Then, in anger David’s men spoke of stoning him for the loss of their sons and daughters.

David however, with his wounded spirit, standing all alone, makes a decision that only a man after God’s Own heart can manage to make in such a time as this:

1 Samuel 30 KJV

6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

With this encouragement David set out to pursue the Amalekites and recover all that has been taken. David’s men began to follow him but many were too tired and distraught to continue and so 200 stop at the brook Besor. They just can’t go on. (Interesting to note the name ‘Besor’ means ‘Cheerful’. At times people cannot go beyond cheerful, what makes them happy or feel good, to pursue the destiny. However David and 400 of his men were able to go beyond the cheerful moments of life to accomplish the will of God.)

Sure enough David found the Amalekites, rescued every person so that not one was lost, gained much spoil and killed almost every one of the Amalekites.

1 Samuel 30:24 … The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All shall share alike." (NIV)

When David returned with the spoil and the people those men who went with David to the fight did not want to share with those who stopped at Besor. David however, established a custom in Israel which still stands today. Those who go to battle and those who stay by the stuff all share alike in the spoil.

Two days after David returned to Ziklag he received a messenger who told that King Saul and his three sons, including Jonathan, had lost their lives in the battle against Achish at Mount Gilboa. The messenger brought Saul’s crown and arm band to David in tribute to his destiny.

Finally, there is no one left to pursue David … no one standing between him and his rightful place on the throne of Israel … now … all his troubles are over … what a great day to rejoice!!!!!! NO!

No? No! Not for a man after God’s own heart. There will be no rejoicing today … not over the death of the King and his sons.

Rather, David tore his clothes, wept and mourned and refused to eat due to the loss of this great man, the anointed of God, King of Israel, David’s master, lord and king.

At that point David was moved with grief and wrote the ‘Song of the Bow’ as a befitting passionate cry for the relationship he had with those whom he so respected and dearly loved. He commanded this song be taught to all the children of Judah.

2 Samuel 1 NKJV

19 "The beauty of Israel is slain on your high places! How the mighty have fallen!

20 Tell it not in Gath, Proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon—Lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, Lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.

21 "O mountains of Gilboa, Let there be no dew nor rain upon you, Nor fields of offerings. For the shield of the mighty is cast away there! The shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.

22 From the blood of the slain, From the fat of the mighty, The bow of Jonathan did not turn back, And the sword of Saul did not return empty.

23 "Saul and Jonathan were beloved and pleasant in their lives, And in their death they were not divided; They were swifter than eagles, They were stronger than lions.

24 "O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, Who clothed you in scarlet, with luxury; Who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.

25 "How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan was slain in your high places.

26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; You have been very pleasant to me; Your love to me was wonderful, Surpassing the love of women.

27 "How the mighty have fallen, And the weapons of war perished!"

Sure enough David is crowned King in the process of time and reigns for forty prosperous years. Although David is never seen as perfect, in fact far from it, nonetheless he is always a man after God’s heart.

What makes a man able to weep at the death of an enemy … it’s because he is a man, a man after God’s own heart who treats his enemies like God treats enemies … just like Jesus said …

Matthew 5 NKJV

44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

45 "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Today I challenge you to make the choice to change your perspective on how you think and feel about those who may be standing in the way of your success. Those who may hate you, spitefully use you, wrongfully accusing you or persecuting you.

Love covers a multitude of wrongs.

Take upon yourself the heart of God and decide that you will be more:

* Loving

* Forgiving

* Merciful

* Kind

Don’t let life, friends or family matters discourage you, distress you and defeat you.

Let God fight your battles and you will always have the victory.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

God’s Heart


Key Scriptures: Song of Solomon 8 (The New International Version)

6 Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.

7 Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (NKJV)

Last week we ended the year 2007 with a Sunday message designed to point the way to a better, brighter and more blessed future as we prepare ourselves for the certainties of life. We saw in the scriptures how fear and selfish greed had been the downfall of so many bible characters that were given great opportunities to serve God.

Our conclusion was that in order to succeed we must rid ourselves of the selfish greed and the fear which motivates us to make irrational, self serving decisions. We ended last Sunday reading from 1 Samuel chapter 13, verse 13 and the first part of verse 14.

This morning I want to pick up where we left off, in the middle of verse 14, and tell the rest of the story. Allow me to catch us up …

1 Samuel 13 NKJV

13 And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you. For now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.

14 "But now your kingdom shall not continue. …

Verse 14 continued: … The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you."

Saul was after God’s help not God’s heart. God is seeking for people who will pursue His heart and not just His help!

For today’s purposes, let me say that there are three identifiable parts of man as well as three distinguishable parts of God. They can be defined as:

The Head

The Hands

The Heart

These correlate to: The Soul; The Body; and The Spirit

Many people would love to get into God’s head … to:

Know God’s thoughts

Have God’s knowledge

Just like Eve who desired to be wise and become like God, knowing the difference between good and evil.

Genesis 3 NKJV

5 "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

The pursuit of knowledge for knowledge sake is vanity.

Many others seek after God’s hand

To benefit from His blessings

To control the hand of God, what He will and will not do

To determine the work of God, the scope and timing

To have God’s abilities, His power, might and demonstration

The seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19:13ff did not know Jesus but attempted to exercise the power of His name …

Simon the sorcerer of Acts 8 offered money in exchange for God’s power.

Acts 8 NKJV

18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,

19 saying, "Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit."

God does not respond favorably to those who only seek knowledge or power but rather …

God favors those who pursue relationship

Those after God’s heart …

Pursuing and investing in a relationship with God

A mutual love affair filled with passion, commitment and jealousy. (We are told jealousy is motivating – Romans 10:19 & 11:11)

Not the jealousy motivated by envy or fear, but by love

Those after God’s heart …

Desiring to be covered with His banner of love

To feel the life, the excitement, the inspiration of being in love with a God Who loved you first and loves you more.

An abandoned passion, yielded to matters of the heart, unmoved by what others may think

Luke 10:42 "But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."

Like Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus

2 Samuel 6

22 "And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight.

Like David dancing before the Lord

Like the woman with the alabaster box of oil

Luke 7

37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,

38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.

45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.

46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

God is Light, Life and Love and each facet of God demands expression however, none more than Love.

God’s expression of Love was the giving of His only Son as a sacrifice in exchange for a relationship with you.

God does not favorably respond to people who only want to know what He knows or be able to do what He can do, no, God is looking for people who want a relationship with Him. God is looking for people who want to know Him not just know about Him or know how to do what He does.

God is looking, seeking, for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23)

God is offering relationship. And along with relationship comes God’s wisdom and His power. When you have the heart of God, like any other person, you have all of Him.

The Apostle Paul put it this way …

Philippians 3 NKJV

7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.

Why? Why would he be willing to give up everything in life?

Philippians 3 NKJV

10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death

There is only one way to know Him.

John 3:7 “You must be born again.” … and …

As the prophet Hosea said in Hosea 6:3 … You will know if you follow on to know the Lord.

The most crushing words which will ever be spoken will ring through all eternity as a testimony that salvation is by grace and relationship and not by works when the souls of men are cast out of the presence of the Lord because … He never knew them … Matthew 7:23

God is longing for someone to understand how much He loves them and what price He paid for the privilege of loving them.

God wants to be loved back … He wants to hear it, feel it and see a demonstration of it.

This is why He is seeking for those who will worship Him, so He can hear it. Our praise is a sweet smelling sacrifice to Him. He inhabits the praises of His people.

He is a jealous God, He wants to feel pursued as the only God in your life.

Exodus 34:14 Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. (NIV)

He desires to see you live and demonstrate His love to others.

Even though God wants no other God competition, He deeply desires, even demands, that we love one another.

1 John 4 NKJV

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.

When the love of God is perfected in us, no fear or selfish greed will be able to tempt us or to motivate us to stray from that relationship.

That’s the first scripture we read together this morning, remember:

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (NKJV)

Ask yourself today: What are you after? God’s help or God’s heart?

Repent, return and rekindle the passion of your love for God. Only He can satisfy your soul.

Additional Scripture References:

Ephesians 3

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins."

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Timothy 1:5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,

1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

Romans 8

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.