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  • Writer's pictureFinal Harvest Church

Loving God

God wanted people who will not commit adultery- so He said: Don’t commit adultery. He didn’t want thieves: So He said ‘don’t steal. He didn’t want people to covet: So He said Don’t covet. He didn’t want people to harm each other; So He said love your neighbor. He wanted life to be an expression of love as it is for Him; so He said Love your God with all your heart, soul & strength.


Who is God? 1 John 4: 7, 8 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.


To have a sustained Christian walk, what do we need to have? 1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


Love is what you need. The ultimate purpose of mankind is to fall in love with God with everything you have.


Matthew 22:36-40 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 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. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”


The common factor between both commandments is ‘Love”. Check the two words – law & the prophets. Law = first 5 books and; Prophets = rest of the Old Testament hangs on the commandments of love.


Can I marry a girl who doesn’t love me? No! Even if I love her I cannot. Similarly God. We can never be the bride of Jesus if we don’t love Him.


I love my wife so much. It is only when I love her less that I begin to argue. Love is the fulfillment of everything. Then there is a hard part.


Matthew 10:37 37 ‘Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.


In the end, it is us and God. That means it is I, Jesus, and Love. Smoking, drinking, etc are not a problem to give up when you love Jesus. There are no rules in love. Reason: you just don’t do them because you love Him.


Love means everything to God and should mean everything to us too. At the end of our lives Jesus will either tell us “I know you” or “I don’t know you”. That settles where we stay in eternity.


Matthew 7:21 – 23 21 ‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?” 23 Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”


To the one who had prophesied on you.. will you say ..you prophesied on me and it came to pass but you will go to hell. Just see the healings..will you tell him…you healed my mother ..but you will go to hell? You drove out demons and delivered ..but you will go to hell. So when all these guys are not going to heaven then whom are we raising up? Why are we building colleges, delivering messages, holding seminars, and running churches? If what we do doesn’t have love .. it's nothing.


Love is to know, to change, to grow & to mature. We can tell the way people conduct themselves and tell whether they have the love of God or not. Whether they are walking with Jesus or not. If you have God you have love.


Isaiah 64:8 Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.


Isn’t that good news? Even if we or the people who come to us are a have has worried all the days of their life…this is the good news. You don’t have to live and die like that anymore. If you are like clay... you are still moldable.


Where did you get the idea that you cannot change? From where did that idea come that “it's just my nature to worry”? or I will always be pessimistic! Can you tell the same about your broken leg? If we are sick we seek medical advice. Jesus wants us to change and have a heart like His.


Psalms 23: 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil;


Just imagine the scene in Heaven and on the table set before you…

• Romans 8:1 ..you are beyond condemnation

• You are a member of His Kingdom Colossians 1:13

• You have been adopted Romans 8:15

• You have access to God at any moment. Ephesians 2:18

• You will never be abandoned Hebrews 13:5

• You have an imperishable inheritance. 1 Peter 1:4

• YOU ARE NOT REJECTED - ALL BECAUSE OF LOVE

The First and Great Commandment


I. THE CALL TO WHOLEHEARTED LOVE FOR GOD


Deuteronomy 6:4-5 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.


A. Hear = Heb. Shama (shaw-mah')

1. God called Israel to "hear"—give attention with your whole being

2. One of Jesus' most repeated exhortations in the N.T. was "He that has an ear) to hear, let him hear!" Some form of it is used 16x in the N.T. (Mt. 11:15, 13:9, 43; Mk. 4:9, 23; 7:16; Lk. 8:8; 14:35; Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22; 13:9)



B. The words of Jesus

Matthew 22:37-38 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.


1. Jesus interpreted the reality of this commandment to us, by informing us that this is the "first" and "great" commandment.

2. We must press to the limits of what the words "first" and "great" imply.


C. These verses reveal the "why" behind God's creation work as well as His redemptive plan.

1. God's ultimate purpose for creation is to provide a family for Himself and an eternal companion for Jesus, a companion that would be equally yoked with Him in love.

2. Jesus will rise to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords in the earth.

a. As a King, Jesus will be obeyed, but as a Bridegroom, He will be loved.

b. A king's inheritance is to rule over obedient subjects


Psalms 2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.


• There will be mandatory obedience: God will cause creation to obey Jesus. In the end, there will not be anyone who will not obey or bow down to Jesus.


Philippians 2:9-11 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


D. But a bridegroom's inheritance is a partnership with a loving bride.

1. This involves voluntary (swatchhanda) love: God will raise up a people equally yoked in love.

2. He wants us to love him with all our heart and mind, because He loves us with all His heart and mind.


II. WE MUST CONTINUALLY REALIGN OUR LIFE AND MINISTRY TO MAKE THE FIRST COMMANDMENT OUR FIRST PRIORITY


A. By the very definition of love, we must invite Him.

1. He will not force us into a relationship of voluntary love.

2. He waits until we invite Him into the concerns of our heart.


B. God's purpose is to select and train a Bride who would be prepared by voluntary love to reign with Jesus.

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.


1. The First Commandment will be in the first place in the Church when Jesus returns.

2. He supernaturally empowers us to love Him this way.


Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.


3. Love is so pure that God chooses that He will impart that into our hearts by the Holy Spirit only.


1 John 4:19 We love him because he first loved us.


4. Jesus prayed for us that we, as His people, might be supernaturally empowered to love Him with God's love


John 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

III. LOVING GOD IS THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. IT IS WHAT GOD WANTS FIRST

A. Loving God is the first priority to God.

1. Jesus did not call it the first option, but rather the first commandment.

2. This is the first emphasis of the Holy Spirit.

3. Loving God is the goal


(1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:)

5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.


4. It is the main purpose of our lives.

5. However, it never ends with loving God. When we love God it always overflows with loving ourselves and others.


B. The Song of Solomon has two main sections. Chapters 1-4 focus on the Bride receiving her inheritance in Jesus. Chapters 5-8 focus on Jesus receiving His inheritance in the Bride.


C. Since loving God is His first priority, we must plan our ministries with this as our first goal and the means by which we measure success.

• Growth in numbers is good, but that is not the real test of God's favor. Let's ask the Holy Spirit to mark all of us so that this is our top priority in our ministry mission statement.

• That each one we minister to has evidence of God in his life.


D. God has everything, yet He is searching for something. What does God search for? What does He want first and the most?

• It is love that He is after. He is after our heart. He wants our voluntary love.

• When we find what God is looking for, then we find the answer to what we are looking for.


John 4:23-24 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.


E. Many are searching to know God's will. The first issue in God's will is to love Him.

1. The mystery of our life is found in this truth.

2. God wants us. We cry,” Lord, what are you doing in my life? Why are you allowing certain things to happen?” He is after our heart! God does everything for love.


F. Christianity is an ongoing encounter of love with a person.

1. A deep sense of mission to change a city or nation will not keep us steady unless we encounter Jesus in love.

2. The labor of ministry makes us weary without the small but consistent stirring of love in our emotions by the Spirit.


IV. LOVING GOD IS THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT, CALLING, AND LIFESTYLE


A. Loving God is the greatest thing we can do. It has a genuine impact on God’s heart and ours.

1. Our Greatest Calling is to move God’s heart and to be moved by God’s heart.

2. As ministers – 80 calls out of 100 are problems. Unless we love the Lord we ourselves may end up depressed.

3. He is not moved by false emotions.

4. We touch Him by every movement of our heart to show love to Him by obedience. It is the most extreme lifestyle.


B. Do you know the way that you move Him?

1. Each time we repent of compromise it moves Him.

2. We move His heart by sitting before Him.


Luke 10:38-42 38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.


• We move His heart by doing small acts of service for others, because of our love for Him.


Matthew 10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.


C. Our greatest satisfaction is to know and feel His love, to love Him, and to overflow in love for others.

1. Our identity is found in this.

2. Let's confess, "I'm loved by God and I am a lover of God, therefore I am successful!" This is the way God sees us.


D. Loving Jesus has the greatest reward in the age-to-come and thus, it is the only way to enter our greatest destiny.

• You can be one of the greatest people in history by loving God

Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.


V. LOVE IS DEFINED BY OBEDIENCE


A. Jesus defined loving God as being deeply rooted in a spirit of obedience.

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (Deuteronomy 6:1-9)


1. There is no such thing as loving God without seeking to obey His Word.

2. Loving God requires more than singing to Him or having sentimental feelings about a "god we make in our own image."


John 14:15-23 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.


B. What does Jesus command us to do? He commands us to love Him, ask Him for things, be near Him, and enjoy His glory with His liberating holiness.

1 John 5:2-3 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.


C. "Affection-based obedience" is obedience that flows from experiencing Jesus' affection for us and giving it back to Him.


• We have to receive His ministry and we will be able to minister.

• It is the strongest, deepest and most consistent obedience. Why? Because a lovesick person will endure anything for love.


D. "Duty-based obedience" is our commitment to obedience even if we do not feel God's presence.

• God's Word requires us to obey God even when we do not feel inspired to do so.


E. "Fear-based obedience" is obedience motivated by the fear of negative consequences.

a. It is biblical to appeal to shame and fear to motivate people.

b. Scripture has many "do's and don'ts" such as "do not commit adultery," "do not steal" etc.

c. Without the fear of the Lord, we will sin when our heart is unsatisfied with God.


F. Obedience based on affection does not need the added pressure of the fear of God's discipline. We obey simply because we love Him.

· We do not have to deal with the added difficulty of shame (being caught), or to be watched to avoid dishonesty with money, laziness, pornography, etc.




VI. REVELATION OF THE SUPREMACY OF THE FIRST COMMANDMENT


A. We need a revelation of the supremacy of the first commandment.

1. It is the standard of evaluation at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

2. God measures life differently than man because He has all the money wisdom, fame, influence, and time.

3. What will matter is whether we grew in love for God

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (KJV) 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.


B. We are not left guessing as to what God considers greatest.

1. In seeking to stay up with popular ministry trends, some regularly change directions in their ministry. We must not get our ministry focus from the latest trend but from God's Word.

2. God is raising up forerunner messengers (agragami doothalu) to call others to define love as God's highest purpose.

· They will make the First Commandment their primary focus for their life and ministry.


C. Our greatest strengthening is found in "affection-based obedience" that flows from experiencing Jesus' affection and responding back with love.

1. It is the most consistent obedience because a lovesick person will endure anything for love.

2. People in love are untouchable.

3. We set our heart to live as extravagant lovers of God without getting trapped into bitterness toward those who mistreat us.


D. What is your greatest dream for your life?

1. The anointing to love God is our greatest possession.

· The reward of love is found in possessing the power to love.

2. No sacrifice is comparable to what He gives us in His love.

· Anyone can quit, but a person really in love cannot/won’t.

E. The church of Ephesus was a great revival center in the early Church (Acts 19-20), yet they did not sustain the freshness of their love for Jesus.


1. They became workers for God more than lovers of God

Revelation 2:1-4 1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.


2. Lovers will always outwork the workers.


F. When we work without intimacy, we work as a slave or a hireling.

1. The heart of a bride is refreshed as she labors for her wedding day.

2. Service without the foundation of devotion leads to burnout, disappointment, and wounding.

• Thus, the service is not sustained over decades.


VII. A NEEDED PARADIGM SHIFT (SOUL EARTHQUAKE): MAKING THE FIRST COMMANDMENT FIRST


A. Our first loyalty and preoccupation is to a Man, Jesus Christ, then secondly to His mission and our role in it

John 15:1, 4-5 1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. . . .4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.


1. It is common for those serving the Lord to be preoccupied with the mission because it is deeply tied to our role and identity.

a. But, our first priority is not the mission, rather it is loving Jesus Himself.

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.


b. In order to love Him as He loves us, we must become like Him.

c. We become what we behold.


B. The power of martyrdom is found in being preoccupied with the First Commandment.

· The book of Revelation is Jesus' plan to fill the earth with those who are living in obedience to the First Commandment


Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.


C. We must make a determined decision to set out heart to make loving God our first priority.

1. We must establish a vision to go deep in God.

a. This will require much focus and continual effort.

b. It also requires that we must be focused on pursuing it more than gaining things and influence.

Psalms 91:14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.


D. The power of articulating our love and gratitude to Jesus is often overlooked.

1. It will change our life if we regularly say out loud things like, "Jesus, I love You, I thank You and trust You.

Hosea 14:2 Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we offer the fruit of our lips. (Luke 17:15-19)


2. Speaking to Jesus about our love for Him is very important. It is one of the elements in building an intimate relationship with Him.


VIII. PRAYER ASKING GOD TO HELP US LOVE HIM


1. Let's take the time to set our hearts to make the First Commandment first priority in our life and ministry. If you want this, set your heart and ask for the Lord's help to do it.

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