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Love God..... September 13, 2020

You shall LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Matthew 22:37 ESV When Jesus was asked by the Pharisees, "Which commandment is the greatest?" Jesus answered, “You shall LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD.” It is very important to note the identity of who God should be in a disciple’s life... THE LORD YOUR GOD. The Lordship of God in a person’s life is the surrender of your will to his will. The most important and imperative part of this surrender to his Lordship over your life is to Love God with your total being.... your heart, soul, and mind. When loving God as his child, you will grow in the desire to be more of what he has called you to be... holy. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14 ESV Being holy is not something we are by our actions, but is the imputed righteousness of his holiness by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is given to the believer when professing Jesus as Lord over their life and confessing their sins in repentance before God. What will cause a person to Love God as Lord of their life?

The Realization Of Sin There is a mindset today that everyone will go to heaven. When you ask the question, how do you know a person went to heaven, the answer, many times, is akin to a statement such as, they were a good person. I must ask, if this is true, then why was it necessary for Jesus to die? If being a good person is all that is necessary..... then why Jesus? The simple answer is, it’s not. You could never be good enough to escape the punishment of death that was earned by sin. The Scribes and Pharisees were extremely religious people when Jesus walked in the world. Jesus said, “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20 ESV. In fact, the righteousness of the most religious people of that day was not enough because as stated in Hebrews 9:22 ESV, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. A person must realize that their sins have separated them from God, but Jesus is the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world. John 1:29 ESV. When you realize and take responsibility for the sin in your life, you are in the beginning stage of becoming a follower of Christ. Next, you need to .......

Repent Of Sin: As Peter preached, “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.” Acts 2:38 ESV. Repentance is not just knowing you are a sinner but is changing the direction you are going in life. Jesus said, “Those who are well, have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:31-32 ESV. Jesus himself preached repentance ...... From that time Jesus began to preach saying “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17 ESV. When a person repents, it is because they have realized the fact that they are a sinner in need of mercy and grace from God. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:1 ESV This will cause you to ..... Love Much: In the passage of Luke7:36-50 it tells of a woman who found Jesus and came in and washed his feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. She then kissed his feet and anointed them with oil. Why would she do this? Jesus answers this question in verse 47...I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven- for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little. Remember, the cross hadn’t happened yet but, this woman knew somehow that Jesus was who he was and was able to forgive. Because we have the evidence and history of the cross, how much more will we be held accountable if we neglect so great a salvation which God provided? (Hebrews 2:3). The reality of the cross and the sacrifice made by God himself should cause a person to understand how much God loves them. Yet, it seems many hearts grow cold toward this teaching. The person who grows in their understanding of the cross will grow to love God much. Especially when they understand all from which they have been forgiven. You will love much when you are forgiven much.

Over the next few Sundays, we will be learning about loving God with our whole being... Heart...... Soul...... Strength. If love is not the underlining reason and purpose for your faith then could you be in danger of being a ... noisy gong or a clanging cymbal? 1 Corinthians 13:1. Our sin is what put Jesus on the cross; His love for us is what kept him there. May we grow to love him more every day as we grow in our understanding of the love God has for us.

Application: This week spend time at the feet of Jesus with a thankful heart. Remember that you are a Christian / Disciple because Christ died in your place and suffered the payment for your sin upon the cross. You were bought with a price and that price was the blood of Jesus. Remember ... For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV This is not just an intellectual / head-type knowledge, but a redeemed-by-the-blood-of-the-Lamb / heart knowledge. If you have not yet come to a heart knowledge of God’s forgiveness of your sins, if you haven’t yet called upon the name above all names in repentance, the invitation for you is a standing invitation from God that you may be forgiven of all your sin. A thought to remember if you delay or do not accept God’s forgiveness and the gift of eternal life from him: How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? Hebrews 2:3 ESV And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12 ESV That name is Jesus... The Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world. John 1:29 ESV.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David