Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Greatest Commandment

Last week - John 13:34-35 - "Love One Another"  (need, definition, application).  As we explored and defined, passed by Greater Commandment - "Love God"

So, Matt. 22:35-40
--- the background - 248 (thou shalts) + 365 (thou shalt nots) = 613 total laws
--- the question - which is more important
--- the answer = from Deut. 6 and Lev. 19
                         with addition "on these 2" - hinge all the law and prophets

On one hand - pretty straight forward - "Love God"
However, what's that mean?  look like?  work out in everyday life and practice?

So... last week, looked at "Loving One Another" (according to Bible definition)
This week - "Loving God" (as defined in Scripture)

Will look at 4 general ways we are called to:
1) love Him and 2) manifest, express that love


According to Scripture the way to love God is to:

I.  OWN HIM - ie:  confess, claim Him as your God
example:  Deut. 6:5  "your" = possessive adjective - My wife, child, church, etc.

We are to "own" Him:
1)  Personally - "the Lord your God" - compare Thomas - John 20:28
2)  Wholly - "all heart..."  whole being  (head, heart, hands)
3)  Exclusively - Ex. 20:1-3 - no other god before me, YHWH period!!
4)  AS HE IS - "the LORD.."  Accept Him as He is.  Not remade into my image, my preference
Example:  I love God But reject the harsh, critical, narrow, judgmental God of the Bible

II.  OBEY HIM - (most often quoted as way to love Him)
Deut. 11:1, 30:16
John 14:15, 23-24
1 John 5:3

Note:  text Deut. 6:5 - "shema" (Heb. meaning = if don't obey, didn't HEAR!)
The idea carries into Greek - aKouo = to hear
                                          - hupaKouo = to obey

Note also:  you cannot obey if don't hear (ie: don't know )
Point = need to know His Word before can do His will!  You must know what the Word says in order to obey Him!!!

III.  SERVE HIM - Josh. 22:5, 24:14-16
Definition = attend to, work for, respond to orders, meet needs of.....

This is more than submit to, but = do for.   I submit on my Knees.  I serve on my feet.
Question:  How to "serve" an Omnipotent God???
               1)  As spokesman, ambassador, representative - examples:  prophets, Apostles, us
Primarily  2) BY SERVING HIS PEOPLE!!!
Matt. 25:31-40  (Jesus to Peter - feed my sheep)
1 John 4:19-21

IV.  CONTINUE IN HIM  (with Him)
Josh 22:5 - hold fast to him
Deut. 30:19-20
God's love toward us is not moody, flighty, wishywashy.  Likewise our love toward Him should be stable, constant, etc.

Objection!!!  I can't always control my feelings!!!
Answer:  Agape love is more than feelings = acting in love IN SPITE of feelings

There is great need to develop our knowledge of God.
However, also great need to develop our Relationship with God!!!

John 17:3 - you express this "knowledge" when you

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