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The Greatest Love Story

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The Greatest Love Story

 Her name - Helen. Rich husband, kidnapped by husband’s rival. He launches 1000 ships to get her back. Helen, wife of Menelaus, king of Greece was pursued. Something in this stirs us. What a love story! Few have ever felt so pursued. Ever even noticed?! Mom busy, Dad gone, spouse working late – working with kids. We want that love story; to be pursued.

 I AM!! You are too! We are the object of God’s undying love and unending pursuit and He has used countless centuries to prove it to us.

 To keep our fire, our passion in our X-ianity, we need to be reminded of God’s love for us and the extent to which He has gone to show us His love.

 What a script-Helen’s story; what a love story! I propose that we take the next few minutes to look at God’s relationship with us and we’ll see the greatest romance ever written. We’ll see God’s love for us before time and in Creation. We’ll see the Breakup, the Pursuit; and we’ll see the Happy Ending as it’s being written.

o Where does this relationship start? We tend to start with Adam and Eve…

I. God’s love for us began well before Creation.

A. Eph 1:3-4 – God has us in mind even when He has a relationship. John 1:1-4 – says that the Word was with God before time as we know it even began. God had a loving relationship “in the beginning.” Yet, He has us in mind!!

B. Hopefully, I know the answer – Do you ever look @ greeting cards? Get Well. Happy Birthday. Happy Anniversary. Weird – “Thinking of You” cards. Nice to get, though.

C. Ephesians 1:3-4 is our “Thinking of You” card from God. When He had all this other stuff to keep Him busy – angels, upcoming Creation…He was thinking of us.

1. God, from before time began, was working on a relationship with mankind.

As the story unfolds, Genesis 1 begins…

II. In Creation, God’s love and desire for the love of man reaches its 1st crescendo.

A. Think of the greatest gift you’ve received from the one you love. Dress, jewelry, trip – whatever. Mine was maybe my kids. Not a traditional gift but still great. Whatever you have in mind, I’m sorry, pales in comparison to God’s 1st gift.

B. Gen 2:7-8 – God creates man and right off takes him and figuratively leads him into the Garden and says, “Open your eyes – it’s all yours!”

1. Let’s not jump ahead to what we know is coming – consider Creation! This is all for mankind and it’s perfect!!

C. God gives His creation a perfect world to live in and what’s more, He gave them the freedom to enjoy as they see fit – with one condition…

III. And that one condition leads to the heartbreaker…the Breakup – the FALL.

A. Listen to God’s heart break in Gen 3:13 – “What have you done?! All I asked was one thing and you couldn’t do it?!”

B. This may stir up some hard memories, but have you ever been there? Felt the heartache, the betrayal, the hurt?

1. I can just see the scene in the movie now – the hero has just completed the courting of the “love interest” and all seems well – then he sees his girl drive by with his worst enemy - - too sad!!

C. This is the hurt God must have felt when in Gen 6:5-6 we see God regretting He had ever made man. God was hurt by the breakup!

But God doesn’t quit. Like anyone in love…

IV. God begins to pursue the one He loves – us!

A. Jer 31:31-33 – After the relationships with Abraham, Moses and the Exodus, the straying Children of Israel, David, and the Divided Kingdom – God knows…He knows that He’s not done with them. (READ) He knows He’ll win them back.

1. Hosea 2:14-16 – paints the picture of God and His desire for His people.

B. John Eldredge, author of Sacred Romance, and Journey of Desire writes that “the OT is simply the long story of God’s pursuit of humanity.”

C. For centuries, God continues to send prophets to court His people back to Him. Then, when it gets to its worst – God goes silent for 400 years. He doesn’t call, and He doesn’t answer the people’s calls.

What’s He doing? Where is He? Waiting…Gal 4:4 – “…fullness of time…”

V. God has the greatest gift of all to give to win His people back.

A. Fable in Belgium - prince loves commoner. Knew he could ride in his royal carriage, take her to be his wife – but he wanted love. She’ll have nothing to do with him.

1. He shows up at her door in clothes of a commoner and she bows – he says “I am no longer king. I have renounced my throne to win your hand.”

2. John 3:16 - most popular verse of all time screams to us the intention of God’s heart toward His people. He loved us enough to give up His son. Rom 5:8 – still with enemy, He sent Christ to die – that’s love!

B. We may wonder about God– how does He work? What’s He thinking? Is He mad at us? Does He care? After that day at a place called Calvary – there can be no doubt.

C. The question is: How do we respond? Not one of those “Bible is love letter” people.

1. If I write my kids a note – clean, pick-up, I love you – they better do what I tell them. If they don’t, what good is my declaration of love? What good is theirs?

2. John 14:15 – 1 John 1:6 – If you don’t do, and say you are – you’re a liar!!

v Does God love me? You? You bet! God loves us with an unending, unquenchable fire that, when we see it in the pages of the Bible, we just can’t help return.

v God has loved us from before time began; He created the world for us. Even after we fell and cheated on God, He still came after us, to win us back. Won us back with the greatest act of selflessness and goodness ever known to man – gave us His son!

v What lengths will God go to win us? What does He expect – obedience. One command is to be immersed in baptism and live for Him forever!!

o We offer an invitation to respond – you will…here or there. If baptism, come up here – if not here or there, but you will respond.

o If you have obeyed and wandered away – decided to “date around”– God wants you back still. His love is that great.

o Luke 15:20 – Prodigal Son –Father saw son coming…HE RAN!!! God loves you and me so much that, no matter what, He wants us back!

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