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The Love Test

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If we claim that God is our God, then our love for Him must be displayed exclusively in every area of our lives.

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Introduction

As an active member or regular attender of Ebenezer Bible Fellowship Church, I am sure that you have heard the truths of God in his word, and particularly how God’s Word reveals who God is. I am also sure that if I were to ask by a show of hands this morning, “Who here loves God?”, most if not all of you would raise your hands. But how do we/I know we/I truly love God? Is there some way to measure our love for him, or even if we truly love him at all?
For wether we realize it or not, church attendance, worship, giving, teaching Sunday School, or even preaching can be be done in a superficial, half hearted, or in a divided-hearted way. In fact, many times our business is a cover-up for our lack of love. I am reminded of how the apostle John described the Church at Ephesus in :
Revelation 2:1–5 ESV
1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 “ ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
Rev 2:1-5
Revelation 2:15 ESV
So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
So if busy Christian activity does not prove we love God, what does? I believe the answer lies in Moses’ pre-promise-land takeover instruction book called, Deuteronomy. One month or so before Joshua led the Children of Israel into the promise land, just prior to Moses’ death, Moses gives them the most important instructions they will need to carry out the conquering of Canaan. Without a doubt, these same instructions are meant for us, and will help us determine how much we love our God.
Revelation 2:1–3 ESV
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. “ ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.

Text: , page 151 (pew bibles)

Main Idea: “If we claim that God is our God, then our love for Him must be displayed exclusively in every area of our lives.”

1. Loving God Begins With Knowing God (vs. 4)

Verses 1-3, is the prologue to this section.
Deuteronomy 6:4 ESV
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
duet 6:4

A. Knowing God as the eternal covenant keeper

LORD - (Yahweh), the self existing one (I am), who keeps his covenant with His people.

B. Knowing God as the Ruler and sustainer of all things

God - (Elohim), creator, ruler, sustainer of all things.

C. Knowing God as the unified one

LORD is one - Or The Lord our God is one Lord; or The Lord is our God, the Lord is one; or The Lord is our God, the Lord alone
Let there be no mistake, we are talking about the only True God, and Jesus His son who perfectly reveals and shows us the Father.
Psalm 86:11 ESV
Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.
John 14:7–9 ESV
7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
ps 86:11

2. Loving God Involves Total Abandonment of Self (v. 5)

Or The Lord our God is one Lord; or The Lord is our God, the Lord is one; or The Lord is our God, the Lord alone
deut 6:5
Deuteronomy 6:5 ESV
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2016).

A. Abandoning our emotions and affections to God

All your heart - the locus of a person’s thoughts (mind), volition, emotions, and knowledge of right from wrong (conscience) understood as the heart.
the locus of a person’s thoughts (mind), volition, emotions, and knowledge of right from wrong (conscience) understood as the heart.

B. Abandoning our character and will to God

All your soul - the part of a person (or animal) that thinks, feels, wills, and desires; perhaps an extension of the literal meaning throat.
the part of a person (or animal) that thinks, feels, wills, and desires; perhaps an extension of the literal meaning throat.

C. Abandoning of physical activities to God

All your might - the property of being physically or mentally strong.
the property of being physically or mentally strong.
Matthew 22:37 ESV
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
1 John 5:2 ESV
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
This idea of abandonment of self is wrapped up in the phrase “bondslave” (doulos), which is used 36 x in the NT to identify one who has given up his rights to freedom for the sake of lovingly committing his life to his master. ()
Acts 17:28 ESV
for “ ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “ ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
(Exodus 21:5-6)

3. Loving God Means Cherishing His Word (vv. 6-9)

Deuteronomy 6:6–9 ESV
6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 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. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deut 6:
There is a direct link between loving God with all our heart, and having God’s word in our heart. Since God is to be exclusive, His Word is naturally included with Him. Therefore, we cannot love God and not cherish His Word.

A. Cherishing the Word means teaching it diligently to our children (vs. 7)

B. Cherishing the Word means inclusion of the Word in the normal things of life (vs. 7)

C. Cherishing the Word means allowing the Word to control my behavior and guide my home. (vss. 8-9)

John 14:15 ESV
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
John 14:24 ESV
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
john 14:
1 John 5:2 ESV
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
1jo

4. Loving God Necessitates His Rightful, Exclusive Place as God (vv. 10-15)

Deut
Deuteronomy 6:10–15 ESV
10 “And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, 12 then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 13 It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. 14 You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you— 15 for the Lord your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.

A. God is God even when it seems we don’t need him anymore (vss. 10-13)

B. God is God alone and will not tolerate idolatry (vss. 14-15)

20:5 jealous. When used of God, this word describes His passion for His holy name, a zeal that demands the exclusive devotion of His people. It is employed when that claim is threatened by other deities (Deut. 6:15; Josh. 24:19).

God has no rival, no competing power, no equal, and therefore, he will not tolerate us thinking that he does!
Psalm 86:8 ESV
There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.
Jealous (vs. 15) - When used of God, this word describes His passion for His holy name, a zeal that demands the exclusive devotion of His people. It is employed when that claim is threatened by other deities (; ).
When used of God, this word describes His passion for His holy name, a zeal that demands the exclusive devotion of His people. It is employed when that claim is threatened by other deities (; ).
Note: We cannot say that we love God and disregard Jesus, His son, for Jesus is the eternal God, the 2nd person of the trinity and cannot be separated from the Father and the Spirit.
R. C. Sproul, ed., The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries, 2005), 121.
John 8:42 ESV
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.
John 14:15 ESV
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
John 14:24 ESV
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
John 14

So What?

Do I know God through the intimate time spent with him?
Do I spend more time following my heart and my dreams and the magnifying of me?
Do I understand the necessity of the word of God in everything I do? Have I learned to think biblically in all areas of my life?
Where is the eternal God in my life…are there other gods of my choosing that are in his rightful place? If so, what will I do about it
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