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To Love God

What do You Want from Me?  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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“Keep the main thing the main thing.”

Every Conference we would go to seemed to think the main thing was something else.
self-care
margin
doing your best
faith
servant leadership
Seve like Jesus
Others centered
Bible centered
Gospel centered
Christ Centered
Evangelism
Church planting
leadership
Multiplying leaders
The Great Commission
There are alot of important things. Many of these things are valid. But the question still stands:
God, what is the main thing you want from me?
what is the main thing?

Jesus was asked this question

Mark 12:28 ESV
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”
Jesus points back to a passage in Deut. 6:4-5
Deuteronomy 6:4–5 ESV
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Love the Lord your God.
What does “with all your… “ mean?

this is a way of commanding the people to love God completely, wholeheartedly, without any reservations; it is a love that includes emotion, intellect, will. So love here contains not only the elements of liking and affection but also devotion and commitment to God.

With all of your being.
From the inside out.
With everything you have.
With no reservations.
But who is this God who we are called to love?

The Lord is One: (Deut. 6:4)

The Popular Belief:
“All religions are valid,”
“You can pray to any god.”
“All gods are the same.”
There is only One true God.
He is our only God.
There is no other true God.
What about the Trinity?
As Christians we worship God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
How do we speak about this without falling into heresy?
Tri-Theism: each are a God.
Modalism: Like H2O
Partialism: Like an egg.
He is one in essence, yet he is three persons.
Each person of the trinity is God: Father, Son (Jesus), Holy Spirit
This is important because of multiple reasons.
God is love.
God is not dependant upon his creation.

Why should we love God?

Because it is where the greatest blessing is found Dt. 6:1-3

Deuteronomy 6:1–3 ESV
“Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.

Because He is The Lord Deut. 6:4

Deuteronomy 6:4 ESV
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Because he first loved us 1 John 4:19

1 John 4:19 ESV
We love because he first loved us.
. This is my chance to share the gospel.

What if I don’t really love God all that much?

The command is not a demand to manufacture false emotion but to cultivate a disposition

How do I cultivate a heart of love towards God?

Key: Delightful Saturation with God’s Word and Ways

I say “delightful” because there is a way to be saturated in the word of God in a way that you despise it rather than delight in it. There is a way to ritualistically memorize, read and study the Bible in which seems like a religious chore.
Many people have memorized the words of Jesus only later to despise the things of Christ and defect from their faith.
Why? God’s Word was not a delight to them. They still had a hard heart. They were never truly converted.
Psalm 119:11 CSB
I have treasured your word in my heart so that I may not sin against you.
They have memorized God’s Word, but it has not been a treasure to them.
This is what we are going to see in the following verses

Memorize and Meditate on Scripture Deut. 6:6

Deuteronomy 6:6 ESV
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.

Teach and Talk about Scripture Deut. 6:7

Deuteronomy 6:7 ESV
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Personal Story: GF
“Let kids find their own path and their own beliefs.”
“We shouldn’t force any one religion on them.”
Mistake: Inability to distinguish between what is preference and what pertains to reality.
Preference: what flavor of ice cream you pick.
Reality: Ice cream is not a vegetable.
Problems arise when we fail to make a distinction between what is preference and what is reality.
Dating: This is why it is so important not to establish a dating relationship with someone who is not growing in their walk with Jesus.
When you choose a spouse, you are picking the person you are teaming up with to train up children in God’s ways.
You’d better pick someone who agrees with you about the goal.
Start now with your friends, talking about God’s Word, what you are learning and how to apply it.

Keep them in the forefront of your mind Deut 6:8-9

Deuteronomy 6:8–9 ESV
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Jewish practice is to take this literally
The act in itself is a means to the end of keeping God’s commands on your mind, constantly revewing and reciting them so that they sink down into our heart and we become them.
Practical Idea: Scripture Memory Cards

The main thing is to love God with everything we have

He is the One and only God.
We should love him because:
There is a blessing as we love and follow him.
He is the Lord
He first loved us.
We cultivate a disposition of love towards him by delightfully saturating ourselves with his Word
Memorizing and meditating
talking and teaching
Keeping them on the front of our mind
The real test of our love: John 14:21
John 14:21 (M:BCL)
“The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me.
What is your life going to look like 10 years down the road?
The person who puts this message into practice.
More like Christ
More peace
Direction from the Lord
More understanding
More love for God than they have today.
The person who continues in the way that seems right to them.
At best they will be the same.
More and more away from God. Heb. 2:1
Hebrews 2:1 ESV
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.
Don’t loose track of the main thing.
Discussion Questions:
when Jesus was asked what the most important command was, cited Deut. 6:5, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart...” Why do you think this is the most important commandment of all?
1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.” Why do you think God’s love for us is the source for us being able to love?
Tonight, we went over several ways to cultivate a heart of love for God. How are you going to apply this to your life?
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