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Love Like God

Advent 2017  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Vision Statements

Ford Motor Company - “people working together as a lean, global enterprise for automotive leadership.”
Levi Strauss - “We are the embodiment of the energy and events of our times, inspiring people with a pioneering spirit.”
Google - “to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
AMAZON: Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
Amazon - "to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
49th WG - “Tight community of Airmen - proud of their service, caring for their people, while remaining mission focused.”

Jesus’ Vision Statement

Matthew 28:19 NIV
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

In Order to achieve That Vision, Jesus Gave an Immediate Mission

As We Prepare For Jesus’ Birth, It’s helpful to re-center on His purpose for coming in the first place.

If Jesus had a mission statement, I think it would have been this…
It’s helpful to re-center on His purpose for coming in the first place...

It’s helpful to re-center on His purpose for coming in the first place...

This passage occurs just before Jesus’ Crucifixion
As we get ready to celebrate his birth, it’s good that he didn’t remain as, one Ricky Bobby offered in Talledega Nights, “Little Baby Jesus In A Manger.”
Jesus grew up, became a man, healed, taught, died, and rose again. In between, he left some words for us to remember him by.
You might think of this passage as His last Will and Testament for the church.
John 15:17 NIV
This is my command: Love each other.
John 15:
Some of you are thinking that love is just something that happens. You can’t command it. You just experience it.
Some of you are imagining that there may be people in your family, at school, in social circles, at work, who are impossible to love.
You might be thinking that
But Jesus doesn’t give us that out, so today we will look at what it means to love like God.

God Commands Us To Love

John 15:12 NIV
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Matthew 22:37–39 NIV
Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Matthew 22:37–39 NIV
Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
1 John 4:19 NIV
We love because he first loved us.
John 15:
Matthew 22:38–39 NIV
This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Jesus most certainly had a vision for what success looked like for the disciples, and for the church…He wanted a world of disciples.

The Bible is very clear that no person can love like God, unless they first receive the love of God.
1 John 4:19–21 NIV
We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
1 John 4:19 NIV
We love because he first loved us.
And the mission that would lead to that is the sharing of God’s love in Jesus Christ to the world.
Galatians 5:14 NIV
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
1 John 4:8 NIV
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:20–21 NIV
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
Without the love God, the church has nothing…Nothing.
We cannot love rightly, unless we are in relationship with God. It’s impossible to love like God, unless you know God!
Love is the means by which a world of disciples is made.
The issue we want to address today is what that love looks like.
The world has one definition of love. God values other qualities.
Important therefore to know what Godly loves looks like, if we want that world of disciples.

Characteristics of The Love of Jesus

Je 3:
Jesus didn’t love in such a way that people would receive it as a feeling.
He loved in such a way that lives would be transformed.
A person whose life is transformed by God…THAT’S A DISCIPLE!
That sort of transformation has love as its character.
Qualities of the love.
Holiness
He Loves Permanently
He Keeps His Promises
Obedience
Holy and Just
What does that mean to you?
We will explore what it looks like for us to embrace these same qualities.

First Quality of Love: Holiness

Ephesians 1:4–5 NIV
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—
Ephesians 4:1–5 NIV
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
God created us individually, and as the church, to live in holy and blameless ways.
God legally views as holy and blameless through the salvation Jesus gives us.
Romans 3:23–25 NIV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—
Romans 3:
Our salvation is objectively completed by God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
This implies no work on our part, but it is instead the work the God chose to do for sinners, that’s all of us, before the foundations of the world!
Colossians 1:22 NIV
But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—
Through Jesus, we are both forgiven, and viewed by God as holy because Jesus took our place.
If you fear because you have offended God, remember that Jesus with his own lacerated hands has nailed your sins to the cross, and having satisfied the divine justice for them by his death, he has removed them from your soul.
Courtroom - Not Guilty

Holiness Placed In Us

Holiness Placed In Us

Ritzema, Elliot, and Elizabeth Vince, eds. 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Modern Church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2013. Print. Pastorum Series.
But God doesn’t leave it to mere declarations of holiness.
He wants to MAKE us holy, as well and he imparts a Spirit of holiness into us through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:38–39 NIV
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
And he then imparts a Spirit of holiness into us through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22–23 NIV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
To be a believer in Jesus Christ is not to tack just one more thing onto your life.
Romans 12:9 NIV
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
To love like God, we completely reorient ourselves to the love of things that God deems perfect and righteous.
To be holy, is very simply to love God, and love our neighbor, by the way God defines love.
Not by the way our sinful inclinations might want to define love.

Christians Love Permanently

Jeremiah 31:3 NIV
The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
Jeremiah 3:13 NIV
Only acknowledge your guilt— you have rebelled against the Lord your God, you have scattered your favors to foreign gods under every spreading tree, and have not obeyed me,’ ” declares the Lord.
God’s love never has an escape clause.

Christians Keep Their Promises

Illustrations for Biblical Preaching Sanctification, Process of

God deals with some people like grapes. He seems to take them in one bite, to take hold of their whole life all at once. Others are dealt with more like onions. God seems to take them one layer at a time.

Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.

Christians Love Lavishly

1 John 3:1 NIV
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Exodus 34:6–7 NIV
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”
Ex
1 John 3:1 NIV
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Psalm 33:5 NIV
The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.

Second Quality of Love…Closely Linked…Obedience

John 15:10 NIV
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
Note, that the love is always there, but remaining, or abiding in that love is not a given.
To remain, enjoy, and experience Christ’s love fully is to obey Christ commandments…most especially to love God and neighbor.
Luke 10:27 NIV
He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
If you’re looking for specific examples of what this looks like, look to the 10 Commandments.
First Three Commandments focused on love for God
Next seven commandments focused on love for neighbor.
300 Quotations for Preachers Faith and Obedience Are Bound Together

Faith and obedience are bound up in the same bundle. He that obeys God, trusts God, and he that trusts God, obeys God. He that is without faith is without works; and he that is without works is without faith. Do not oppose faith and good works to one another, for there is a blessed relationship between them; and if you abound in obedience your faith shall grow exceedingly.

There are times when Obedience may not make sense.
- Peter fishing all night, no luck. Jesus told him to cast his nets in one more time...
Luke 5:5 NIV
Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

5 Simon answered, “Master,y we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.z But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

Luke 5:5–6 NIV
Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.
Problem with sin is that God’s ways don’t always make sense.
In those scenarios, we will always experience the love of God in its fullest through obedience…Always.

Application

Holy People Love Holy Living
I want you now to take a note of one unholy thing in your life.
As we pray in a moment, I want you to remember this...
Holy People Love Holy Living
They know they are forgiven.
They also know that there is more joy in holiness and obedience than in sinfulness.
Are you willing to repent, turn away from, and give to God that unholy, broken thing in your life?
Write it down. If you don’t want to write it, commit in your mind to God as we pray...
Psalm 51:3–19 NIV
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.
Psalm 51 NIV
For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.
Dear Father
I lay bear before you the darkest areas of my life. I give you the things which I have done wrong, And the areas where I have failed to act as I should. I never want to live like this again.
Right now I chose to turn away from everything I know to be wrong about my life. As I kneel before you in adoration I ask for your forgiveness, And I give you all my shame, guilt and wrongdoing.
Thank you that you accept me and embrace me. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit now. Focus my heart on You, And empower me in everything that I do.
I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, My Saviour and Protector.
Amen.
Read more: http://www.lords-prayer-words.com/prayers_before/repentance_prayer.html#ixzz528k6WGw5
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