Saturday, April 16, 2016

Expressing Love

Psa 119:162  I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.
Psa 119:163  I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law.
Psa 119:164  Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules.
Psa 119:165  Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.
Psa 119:166  I hope for your salvation, O LORD, and I do your commandments.
Psa 119:167  My soul keeps your testimonies; I love them exceedingly.

There is a principle that is found in every human being and it doesn’t stop when someone is converted.  It is that we have a great interest in what we love.  I guess that is a redundancy because to love something is to have a keen interest in it.  It might be more to the point to say that when someone doesn’t have an interest in something then that proves he doesn’t love the object. 

The things we love, we love to read about and study and get better acquainted with.  If you tell me you love flower gardening and I ask you to tell me about it and you say that you don’t really know much about it or I ask you to show me your flower beds and you say that you don’t have any, then I am going to conclude you don’t really love gardening. 

Now a Christian by definition loves his Savior.  I won’t try to expand on that and I shouldn’t have to.  And to love Jesus necessitates loving his Body and his Word.  So it is disheartening when someone who claims to be a saint seems to never spend time with those three entities.  What would we say to a man who had a fiancée but always seemed to forget to spend time with her and just didn’t seem all that interested in her? 

When Jesus said that if we love him we will keep his commandments I don’t think we necessarily need to read that as if he is commanding us to keep his commandments; he is making a similar point.  To love someone is to be consumed with him or her to some extent and since Jesus is the most glorious person, we should be most consumed with him.  If we have a keen interest in the Lord of glory who happens to also be our creator God then keeping his commandments is just a natural thing to do.  You enjoy pleasing the one that you love. 

With all of our remaining sin, we clearly struggle expressing our love for the Lord as he is due.  But a true saint struggles with this expression he doesn’t just ignore Christ, nor his church, nor his Word.  Those three might be the trifecta of Christian pursuits.  Now that is just a thought that came to me and there might be some more to add to the list but they are right up there and in a sense cannot be separated.  You can’t ignore any one or two of the three without doing harm to all.  If fact I am rather sure I have never met anyone who is unfaithful in one who isn’t also unfaithful in the other two. 

Of course, the problem is that we constantly meet people who claim to love Jesus but hate the hypocrites in the church or are too busy to spend time under the preaching of God’s Word.  But it all goes back to the flower gardener.  If we love Jesus we will find the time and energy and money to pursue him as the great love of our life. 

And along with this we can say that we have no problem sacrificing for what we truly love.   I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t spend time and money on things they don’t need but that they love enough to spend hard earned cash for or to give up time with other things they like so they can be with what they love as much or more.  That is one reason why I have never had any problem having three services a week; because I love the Lord, I love his Word and I love his people; 2Sa 24:24  But the king said to Araunah, "No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.  Jesus is too wonderful to be casual with.

I am fully aware that my love for the Lord is weak compared to so many Christians but it never occurs to me not to be at church when the doors are opened.  That is where Jesus speaks and that is where those that love him are found.  It reminds me of Peter’s wonderful words when Jesus asked his disciples if they would abandon him as the crowds had just done, Joh 6:68  Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.


  1. I was already planning to teach one SS lesson this summer giving the amillenial interpretation of Revelation. So I just began listening to your Introduction to Revelation sermon. A minute and a half into it, and I'm already excited to purloin and use your analogy of movie genres! This is a great way to describe it! Thanks buddy.

    My first exposure to the amillenial interpretation of Revelation came from a SS lesson series last year by my greatest SS teacher-hero Mark Lanier in his biblical-literacy class at Champion Forest Baptist here in Houston. I've only visited once, but I've caught maybe 100 of his lessons on-line.

    Kenny B

  2. Listened already to both intro to Revelation lessons. The second one was immensely helpful in me reviewing and getting a better grip around the 7 parallel sections of Revelation.

    I'm sure I will listen to it again in early summer as I do final prep on that one lesson on Revelation from your viewpoint.

    Of course, I gotta do multiple lessons from the pre-millenial viewpoint first.

    Thanks for making your sermons available.

    Kenny B

  3. Thanks Kenny, While some of my following messages might not be as compelling as the first two; those first two at least give structure to what follows so that we don't just interpret using our wild imaginations. They point us in the right direction anyway, at least as far as I see it.