1) Happy 4th of July
This weekend, we’ve celebrated 244 years of freedom.
As a nation, we have freedom of:
-of the press
Many other freedoms that we take for granted.
The greatest freedom that you’ll ever know is found in Jesus.
He came to set you free from bondage of sin.
2) It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery- Galatians 5:1
When Jesus came to earth,
the Pharisees had established 613 man-made rules.
These rules were so stringent that
no one could be "good enough" to get to Heaven.
Jesus came & taught
Salvation by Grace.
His message was totally liberating.
Regardless of Jesus’ teaching,
the Pharisees wouldn’t give up.
They continued to try to trick & trap Jesus
in his words.
In Mk 12, a Teacher of the Law
found the “perfect trap.”
Mk 12:28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
How could you possibly pick one?
However, Jesus doesn’t hesitate…
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
He begins by quoting the Shema. ("Hear, O Israel:”)
Shema- Jewish Prayer
It’s the centerpiece of the morning & evening prayer services.
Vss 29 & 30 are directly from Deut 6
It’s a well known passage to every Jew.
Dt 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
What do these 6 verses tell us?
LOVE GOD LIKE CRAZY
-Let Him permeate your life.
-Live for Him.
-Talk about Him.
Share Him with your:
Talk to Him when you get up.
Talk to Him when you drive to work.
Talk to Him when you go to bed.
Be consumed by Him.
They wanted to put God in a box.
Problem: He doesn’t fit.
Do you know how vs. 8 was later understood?
8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
6) Picture of Phylactery
Somehow, I don’t think God intended
for a literal translation.
That misses the point.
God wants us to be crazy in love with Him.
As humans, love (for God) doesn’t come easy to us.
It’s a lot easier to come up with
a List of Laws.
Laws can’t fill the need for LOVE.
We may not know it,
but we have an innate desire to love God.
When we come in contact with His love, we’re set free!
Love is the 1st Fruit of Spirit (Gal 5)
I want to spend the next few weeks
talking about LOVE.
7) We’re going to discuss:
Love of God
Love of Self
Love of Others
The Holy Spirit wants to
help us experience true love.
A love that:
-never puts us to shame
Rom 5:5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
That’s the role of HS.
Where does He wants to pour God’s love…
INTO YOUR HEART
1 Jn 5:1-5 says:
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
In 1st century, these words were liberating.
Jews were burdened by trying to:
-be good enough
-perfectly obey the law
-do enough good things to please God.
Today, well-intended Christians still miss the mark.
They’re trying to be “good,”
But have no relationship with Him.
God doesn’t want “good people.”
He wants people who are crazy-in-love with Him.
When you have a relationship w/God,
His laws are NOT burdensome.
You don’t “have-to”
-read your Bible
-go to church
YOU WANT TO
When your “have to’s”
THEN, YOU’RE ON THE RIGHT PATH
In Eph 3, Paul prays for Ephesian church
He prays that they might truly understand
How HUGE Christ’s love is.
As he’s praying, he prays that
HS would help them understand.
Eph 3:14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
My prayer is that HS
would do the same for you.
Allow the HS to show you
How much God loves you!
Allow Him to grow
your love for God.