THIS WEEKS MESSAGE...
This weeks message is presented by
Pastor John S. Torell
Your comments and remarks are always welcome!
GOD LOVES YOU-BUT DO YOU LOVE GOD?
We are starting today's message in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 7 verse 6. [Before we start let's have a word of prayer. Father God, I ask that this message become as alive to each one here as it was when you gave it to me this past week. We thank You and we praise You for a mighty move of your Holy Spirit here today. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
I don't believe in my 25 to 30 years of ministry have I ever preached on God loves you-but do you love God? It is interesting to see how God has been working in our lives. We have talked about Integrity, Truth, and now the Love of God. GOD LOVES YOU-BUT DO YOU LOVE GOD? That is a question we want to answer today in our hearts.]
For thou art an holy people unto the Lord your God: the Lord your God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people; for you were the fewest of all people: But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
If we go back to verse No. 8, I believe that is a key verse for us. Because the Lord loved you and because He would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed and you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh King of Egypt.
Everyone of us has asked ourselves this question from time to time. Why does God really love me? What is there in me that is worth loving? It's a question that hounds us sometimes. God is speaking to Israel here very specifically. He is saying this, "I did not select you because you were smart or many in numbers." The Jewish people need to understand this. They were selected because God loved a man by the name of Abraham. His original name was Abram. God told Abraham and his wife Sara, "I am going to make a nation out of you." Why God loved Abraham we do not know. I want to emphasize this to you, Abraham in the early years of his life was a coward. He lied several times. Sara did not have faith. She laughed at God when God said she was going to be pregnant. Then she lied saying, "I did not laugh." If we look upon Abraham we can see that there was absolutely no special thing that made him different from you or I. Abraham was just like you and I. He stumbled around trying to find something, not knowing where to go and then suddenly God appears to him and says I love you. WE WONDER WHY? If you think about it, who this is, is absolutely fantastic.
Look in verse 7. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people; for you were the fewest of all people: But because the Lord loved you.
You and I have to come to the point where we will surrender ourselves to Christ and say, "We do not understand the mind of God, but the word says that He loves us." Because He loves us we can begin to love him back. This love was extended.
Turn to the gospel of John chapter 3 verse 14. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
How many times have you heard verse 16, "For God so loved the world?" Have you thought about it? God loves every human on this earth. He does not want anyone to perish. He wants you and I to have everlasting life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved. God did not send Jesus down here to slam-dunk us. He sent Him down here to save us.
YOU AND I ARE MADE TO BE LOVED AND TO LOVE! In hospitals, as we are becoming smarter about God, it was found out that a premature baby had a better chance of surviving if they were touched or held and talk to rather than being left alone in an incubator. The infant would respond greatly. If the infant was abandoned with the same amount of nutrition, the same amount of warmth and all the care but not a touch by a human hand, the baby struggled to survive. Your problems and my problems over the years have been this: we have not received enough love. As small babies and children, teenagers and adults, the reason we get into alcohol, drugs, fornication, adultery all these things is because we are seeking love. We are seeking someone that will care for us and love us. When we don't find it, we substitute because God has made a void in us. That void can only be filled by His love and His compassion. We in turn can love. If you understand this, you can begin to be healed by the love of God. Verse 18. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Are you walking in that light with the Lord God?
Please turn to Romans chapter 5 [I believe there's not a nation that has as many pets as America. The statistics tell us that the American people are spending more money on pet food that is dog and cat food combined, than all the denominations give for mission work. If you take every denomination in the United States that is evangelical and take their money that they spend on missions, it is a drop in the bucket compared to what we spend on dog and cat food. You might say, "Why do we have pets?" I believe that many people have pets because they need someone that will love them unconditionally. A dog or cat will do this. A fish will stare at you. What we need when we come home tired, weary and wore out is to have someone come up to us, not saying, "Did you go shopping, where is the paycheck, have you done this and that?" Rather having someone coming up and just loving you. Unconditional love does something to you. You are revived. You are pepped up. You give that love back and there's a bonding between you. God wants you not only to love your pet He wants you to love Him like that. This is how God is longing for you and I to love Him.
Please turn to Romans chapter 5 verse 1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not a shamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
HAVE YOU UNDERSTOOD WHAT IS BEING SAID HERE? For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commandeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
God really loves us. We are His children. He is working with us and through us. Trying to bring us into the perfection of holiness, so that when we come into heaven, we can have the fullness that He has for us. We have to ask God for the gift of love.
I want us to be a searching teaching today. LOVE IS THE GIFT FROM GOD! Man does not have this capacity in himself. You and I have to realize that in ourselves we have no capacity to love. We have the gift of repentance. We have the gift of faith. Love is a gift that only God can give. We cannot work it up. We cannot manufacture it. We cannot say with our intelligence we're going to work up some love. It will not be there. The only place we can obtain love is at Calvary, when we raise our hands and say, "Father God, in Jesus name baptize me in your love."
Lets see what God says about us. Please turn to Jeremiah chapter 17 verse 9. [We are built for love. We are craving it. We don't have it. We search for it and when we don't find it we get angry.] The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
Turn to Romans chapter 3 verse 9. [I would like you to think about something. As you enter the mission field, as you leave this service today, you will meet people at the service station, supermarkets or wherever it is you may be. We are told to evangelize, pass out tracks and speak to people. I would like you to do something as a test today. The next time you go to a service station or convenience store, look upon the person that is waiting on you and ask yourself, "Do I really love that person whom I don't know or have never seen before? Am I motivated to witness, just to witness? Do I really care for this person?" Think about this deeply. I must be honest with you, too. We see the tragedy that is happening in Mexico, the devastation. As we watch the news on television and we see people crying it is hard to be moved emotionally. These people are too far away. They are not related to us. I cannot feel their pain. They are foreigners living in another country. I want to put the plow in deep here. Most of us think when it comes to foreigners, that they are less than Americans, because they do not have the same feelings that we have. We are more sophisticated or we are somehow more developed.
I would like to stress this. If you go to the Amazon jungles and find an Indian that is living in the stone age, you'll find that he has the same emotions that you and I have. You can find the same thing in Australia in the outback country or wherever it is you may go. We are all the same. Somehow we think that our family, our people are something special, we have more feelings. WE ARE ALL THE SAME. GOD LOVES ALL PEOPLE THE SAME.
Look at the difference in philosophies. As they showed different camera crews from different networks yesterday, the conclusion from some of the different reporters was this. They showed the Mexican army cleaning up the roadways and the tourist hotels. Then they showed black marketers selling bottle water behind barbed wire. Every day they doubled the price of bottled water. Next, they showed people crying, standing in the mud saying this, "If anyone is going to help us, it will be ourselves." What are the differences between the Mexican and American governments? They have crooks in their government and we have crooks in our government. We have the biggest crook in office right now running this country. Behind all this corruption, there is still a foundation of biblical moral truth in this country that permeates most people. The Roman Catholic church has held the Mexican people in its grip for years. This is why, when we have a disaster here, there is a response to help the people first. Not like they do in Italy. They go for the Vacilica first and people last. Where does that love come from? That love is coming from God. This is a remnant of the biblical teaching that we had in this nation. They are trying to destroy that. We have to bring it back. Without a biblical foundation, there is no love, there is no compassion.
There was an airplane crash in Cambodia about a month ago. Cambodia is a Buddhist country. Here in America if there's airplane crash people go to try and help out. In Cambodia when the airplane crashed, there were thousands of looters. They swarmed all over what remained of the airplane after the fires went out. They stole everything from peoples gold watches to gold fillings in the peoples mouths. They would take these things off the corpses. They even stole the flight data recorder. Money was paid to buy it back. That is Buddhism. Satan has no love. He is greedy, mean, lying, cheating and you can see his fruit.
You and I need to take our temperatures today. We can say, "Father God, I want to love you more. I want to be able to love you more"
Turn to Romans chapter 3 verse 9. What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is a an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall be know flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
This is the placed where we are all at. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Love is directly from God. As a pastor over the years and an evangelist I was naive, gullible and childish. I'm not saying that I have the greatest love in the world, but praise God that He is beginning to put some love in us over the years. I was gullible enough to think that people loved me as a person. When we traveled overseas people would open their homes to us. They would have us for dinner. We would have meetings. Over the years I have found out that people did not necessarily love me as a person; they loved me for what I could do for them or perform. We had healings in our meetings. We were able to help people put their marriages back together. We preach salvation. God showed me that is how people treat Him. I found out that the moment people got upset or had no use for me, they did not take us out for dinner necessarily because they loved us, but because they wanted to be with us. They wanted something to rub off because we were well known. It was a prestigious thing to have us in their homes. There were times when we had personal needs and we would express it. People would become very nervous and say, "We have to go right now. We don't need you to talk about that. We just need you to perform." This is exactly what we do to what we call our superstars. Movie stars, sports stars, we want them to perform. We want them to be successful. God help the athlete that makes a mistake. He will be crucified. We have learned to be a minister and a minister's wife, it is a lonely road. We have been trying to share with people as we come together to build the ministry. We have to begin to love one another. People say, "I don't have time for that. I do not want to help these people over here. I don't agree with their philosophy." It is hard if you don't have the love of God. If you don't have it, you don't have it. I cannot demand it. It's like, if you're broke, you are broke. If you don't have a dollar, you don't have a dollar. It makes no difference how hard we whip you. The only one that can satisfy our need for love as an individual is the Lord Jesus Christ.
I would like you to look at what false love is. There are several. This is how I see how the world is working. There is a false love that is 1) Born of a craving for recognition. People will go out of their way. If they are singers they will portray a lot of love as long as people are saying you are a great musician, you are great person, you are wonderful. That is a mutual admiration of false love. The moment that someone is not given their weekly quota, you say, "I do not want to be around that person anymore. He is no fun." 2) Feeling sorry for people and driven by guilt. A lot of us have had this happen. We feel sorry for people. Guilt is driving us. Instead of moving out of love. We are working out of guilt. When you work out of guilt, you get tired fast. It is a heavy burden to carry. 3) Seeking love for oneself and paying for it with commodities. This is what happens to many of our young women. Little girls, for example, need to beloved. They look at Mama. Mama is trying to find a man that will give her love. All she meets are men that beat her up. How does Mama attract men? With her body. The little girl learns to this. If you want a man to hold you and give you something, you have to furnish your body. That is prostitution. How many of you women have had a man say to you, "If you love me, give me some sex." He is not asking you, "Do you love him." He is saying, "I want to use you as mattress. When I'm done with you I may keep you or take you to the junk yard. I will throw you some crumbs." People use things. They buy gifts for people. They use their money to pay for their commodities. Seeking love. YOU CAN NOT BUY LOVE! If you give your body, you're going to get burned. You will cry a lot.
4) Having a need to have followers. This is when a person is very insecure. They have to have some kind of little kingdom. They have to have followers or disciples. You may see them in churches wherever you go. They are called groupies. This is where you may have a woman or man who is having the edge of prophecy or is just on the inside of this and that. They will have some weak people around them. They are his devotes or groupies. They all walk the same, talk the same and do the same things. They are supporting one another with a false love. 5) To build a personal kingdom and attracting people with a false love. This is where you are simply trying to do something for yourself. You need bodies, so you attract people to you with a false love. I believe a lot of pyramid sales are build upon this. It's where you have a lot of people coming in to an organization to build a personal kingdom. They are really not interested in the people behind them or lower down the chain. They are seen as dollar signs. How many people can I sign up in my organization? My goal is that in 10 to 15 years I want to reach a million dollars, and by the time I am 40 I want to be retired. So that I can live like a KING. In the meantime they portray a false love. (Loving you this and loving you that. Theyre so happy for you. They want to do so much for you.) BALONEY! IT IS MONEY! Very few people really care. There are some but not many. 6) Trying to do good to atone for personal sins, instead of going to Christ to be forgiven, they do good works to atone false love. 7) Fool people that they are loved so that the people can be used for ones own personal desires. I think this week we saw an example of that on the East Coast somewhere in Boston where a man had two families. He told both families that he was working for the Air Force; one he was shacking up with, the other he was married to. He said, "I'm working for the Air Force. I'm gone quite a bit. I'm gone for long periods of time." The one he was shacking up with he made her pregnant twice. He had two boys with her. As things were crashing in on him this last week, she went to the air base to find him and ask, "Why are you not living more with me?" He killed the woman. Then he took the two boys, cut them up and stuffed them in his locker at the Air Force Base. THAT IS SELFISH LOVE! Where does it come from? It comes from the devil, our society, the way we are brought up. That man was lying every time he told this woman, "You're the only one. I only love you." She thought he was true, yet he had another wife and said the same thing to her. Of course the man is going to be innocent, "I haven't done anything." SELFISH LOVE! TRYING TO GET SOME KIND OF SATISFACTION. INSTEAD OF SAYING, "FATHER GOD, YOU LOVE ME!"
This may be a shocker for you. This is what God showed me to write out. I had not thought this out. This just came as I sat and wrote this sermon out. THE AMERICAN CAPITALIST SYSTEM IS BUILT UPON FALSE LOVE! MEN AND WOMEN IN THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM, WHICH IS WORLDWIDE, ARE THERE FOR ONE PURPOSE-TO MAKE MONEY, PERIOD.
If you go to a furniture store that is owned and operated by its owner, he or she will smile at you and give you service. They do not really love you. They want to sell you furniture. Then they want you to get out and don't come back and complain unless you're going to buy more. This is how the whole capitalist system has been set up with greed. The oil companies and many of the large companies are cutting wages. This includes banks. They are going to part-time jobs, so that they do not have to pay any full-time benefits to their employees. It is destructive. You can look at the Rockefeller family, the Kennedy family, many of these types of families have a lot of riches. There is employment. Where is the love and happiness, only if Christ is in the workplace?
Turn to James chapter 5 verse 1. Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered ; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Your have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is you keep back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabbath. You have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; you have nourished your hearts, as in a day slaughter. You have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
Look at the slave factories in China, the Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia; I could give names of countries all over the world. You'll find that because wages have gone up in this country, factories have been moved to these countries. Shoes that sell for 75 to 100 dollars here are manufactured for around 75 cents in these countries. GREED! DESTRUCTION!
How does God want us to live? Isaiah chapter 1 verse 10 will show us. Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of your God, you people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? Saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When you come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: Yes, when you make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean: put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land: but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
There are many Christians in this country and other countries that have said, "We are going to do it God's way." They generally look after their employees. They pay decent wages. They take care of the sick and afflicted and those that are retired. They build their company like it is a family. Some of these companies advanced and prospered to the highest level. The only way the world could get to them is to have them go on the open stock market and buy them up; resell them and then destroyed them. Yes you can build a business and be successful, if you put God first, people second and yourself last. If you put greed first, you will not go anywhere.
Please turn to Jeremiah the chapter 31 verse 32. [The first covenant was a fiscal covenant.] Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
The first covenant was in the flesh. There was not a new birth. They had not been filled with Holy Spirit.
Turn to John chapter 7 verse 37. In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given: because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
The people living under the old system did not have the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They did not have the new birth. They lived by the law, by the word. Could they love? Yes, some of them could love because God put His Spirit upon them, not in them, but upon them. Today we have a covenant that is spiritual, physical.
These turn to Hebrews chapter 8 verse 1. Now the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if the first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will a make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I well be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now the which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
This is the covenant that you and I have today. A new birth, a new beginning, a new capacity.
I would like to share with you how foolish I have been over the years. As a pastor in the city, not here, more than 22 years ago, people were excited over our ministry, over Aina and I. They would say, "This is great. We finally have a Holy Spirit church; things are happening and popping." I remember one day walking down the sidewalk to the church office. We had an old church that we had rented. There was a man walking with me. He was well off, worth at least a couple of million dollars. He walked with me and said, "John, I'm so happy to be with you. I want to tell you a truth John. People want to be with people of success. As long as you are successful people stay with you." I did not know that he was telling me what he thought in his heart. As long as the church was doing fine, his support is there. We began to have some difficulties, suddenly he and his wife, [His wife became one of my bitterest enemies. She ripped us to shreds in a business meeting.], they walked out and took their money with them. I did not know that the man was a secret alcoholic. I found out years later. I did not know they had a lot of marriage problems. I did not know the bitterness. Some 20 years later they came back to us and asked us to pray for them and help them. I'll never forget that day walking in the sunshine in the city. I was so happy. I did not understand he was telling me, "John, the moment you are not successful, we are bagging you." That is how many of us are living in our marriages and in our relationships. We hang out as long as there is success. As long as there's something to keep us there. When difficulties come up sickness or whatever it is, we distance ourselves and say, "Hey, I have my own problems." If you have been born again, there is a love in you that God wants to bring out.
Turn to John chapter 3 verse 3. [I learned this over the years. We called it butter. When I hear someone taking out two pounds of butter and they use a thick knife, then they take the butter and begin to butter us up. This is when my antenna goes up. I know this, that the knife is soon-to-be next. When the butter is gone, the knife is next. It should not be that way. We have to love anyway. That is why I'm not impressed with butter. I am impressed with actions.] Jesus answer and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, you must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
We have to feed our spirit and ask God to give us love.
Please turn to Genesis chapter 3 verse 8. [These are some examples.] And they heard the voice of the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
I want you to understand this, Adam and Eve lived in God's love. Every evening the Lord himself would come down and walk with Adam and Eve in the garden. He talked with them and communed with them, ministered to them. They had God himself walking with them, through Jesus Christ. Did they cherish that Love? No! When Satan came, they switched in an instant. They went for a false love. They fell into sin. This is the weakness of the human race. Husbands and wives, this is their weakness. You have been with your spouse for sometime. Someone comes up, they look fresh, they speak fast, they have magnetism around themselves and you begin to go, Wow we. And the Devil says, "Yea, Wow, We, Wow, We." God says, "STAY WITH YOUR FIRST LOVE!"
My wife said, "Do not beat on the people that are divorced." I'm not trying to beat on anyone. I just want to show you something. Bless your heart you that are here, are forgiven, praise God. If you look upon America today, 50 percent of all married couples have been divorced and remarried. We need to cherish that love that we have. Don't go over the bridge to get water when you have water at home.
Cain did not love God, he feared God and tried to keep God off his back. In Genesis chapter 4 versed 3, we read this. And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why are thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
Cain did not love God. He feared God. He tried to keep God off his back.
IS THAT YOU? Are you fearing God? Are you here because you do not want hell? You fear God and keep his commandments because your heavenly Father is up there with a club that hates me. He tries to club me over the head all the time. God does not want you to live like that. Have you ever seen a mother help her child? The mother will give her life for her children. Children have a hard time giving their life for the mother. Have you ever thought about this? Ask yourself this. If youre a woman, do you want to be loved because you are pretty? If you are a man, do you want to be loved because you're making good money? Do you want to be loved because you have a nice car and these attributes? Are you looking for someone who will just love you? Who will say, "I don't care if there's no money, no car, no job, I just love YOU?" Is not that the type of love we're looking for? Unconditional love. This is what God is looking for. He does not receive pleasure from us just because we fear Him. He receives pleasure when we love Him and obey Him, because we love Him.
The turn to Hebrews Chapter 11 versed 5. [Enoch walked with God. Here's a man long before Abraham.] By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Enoch Love God. I believe that we need to pray, Father God help us to love You more. Father God give us that love for you so that we can love you, because we don't have it. Abraham knew God and loved God.
Please turn to Genesis chapter 18 verse 1. [As we read this scripture we can see the love that Abraham finally developed for God. He did not fear God. He obeyed him because he loved him. As we read this, imagine yourself out someplace in Israel. It is hot and dusty. There are a few tents under some trees next to a well. Here's Abraham sitting in the middle of the day. Suddenly he sees three men coming. He recognizes that it is the Lord. What does Abraham do? He doesn't scramble and say, "Hey! Sarah send out someone to help clean up the tent. Turn off the television set. Throw all the pornography out. Clean everything up. Get things ready. God is coming." NO! Do you know what he did?] And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, [He ran to God, he ran to Jesus.] And said, My Lord, if now I have found favor in the sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort you your hearts; after that you shall pass on: for therefore are you come to your servant. and they said, So do, as thou hast said. [Notice now, Hey! Abraham did not say, "Wow, God is here. Hey! Sarah where is your wish list? What do we want from God? More camels, more this, more that." Instead he said, "God I want to bless you." God himself, Jesus Christ from His glory in heaven and eats some bread and water, [By the way they did not have any ice. It was warm water.] Jesus could have said, "Abraham, if you only knew the palace that I'm coming from. What you have here is something like a slum. You have nothing to offer me." God is love. When you have a little child that comes up to you with a dirty cookie in his hand and says, " I want to share this cookie with you," you don't look down on that child's running nose and say, " Oh boy." Instead you take the little cookie and you say, "Thank you very much. How nice of you to share your cookie with me." That is love.] And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. And Abraham ran unto the heard, fetch a calf tender and good, and give it unto young man; and he hasted to dress it. And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.
ABRAHAM LOVED GOD. He gave of the very best that he had. He did not ask anything for himself. Do you love God? Jacob feared God. He did not love God.
Please turn to Genesis chapter 28 verse 10. [Here is another man. He feared God. There was no love. I believe most of Jacobs life was measurable.]And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of the city was called Luz at the first. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: [I want you to underline verse 21. How many of us have not done this, where Jacob said, "Look, if you really are God and You are going to perform, and You are going to bring me back, then will I serve you. I will not serve You unless You perform. I don't love You God. I fear You. I need You. I don't love You. Jacob never came into that love relationship.] And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
Turn to Genesis Chapter 32 verse 24 [You will find that Jacob wanted to live his own life. He wanted the blessings of God but he also said, "God, don't interfere in my life."] And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the braking of the day. [That was the Lord he was wrestling with.] And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. [That is heartbreaking. Dearly Jacob would have said, "I will not let you go unless you forgive me. I want to love you. God I do not want to wrestle with you. How many of you are wrestling with God, time and time again, out of fear, in your mind and your life and you are miserable? God said, "I'm going to come and love you."] And he said unto him, what is thy name? And he said, Jacob. [Jacob means swindler.] And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: [Israel Means Ruling with God.] for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said,
Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
Dearly beloved, I want you to think about this. People are seeking God's blessing. God's healings. God's power. We want revival. We want to see all these kinds of things happen. Here is God the Father standing and saying, "Don't you want me? Don't you want me? Are you only looking for miracles? Power, place, money, healings, sure you can have them, as you are My children. Don't you want me?" God the Father is asking these questions. As I prepared this sermon I began to refocus my thinking. Instead of looking upon performance, numbers, achievements, we should begin to focus on God the Father and say, "Father God, there is one thing we need to do first before anything else. We need to learn to love You. Sit at your feet and have You love us."
Daniel loved God from his youth were. You can read that one on your own.
Daniel 1:8-15; 19-21; 6:10-13; 19-23. These passages show how Daniel loved God and how God loved Daniel. 9:22-23; 10:10-12.
Jesus showed us through His actions that He loved His disciples. Please turn to John chapter 13 verse 1. Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus new that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscarit, Simon's son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and you are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, You are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know you what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord: and you say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash on another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
Jesus showed his love through his actions. Turn to John chapter 15 verse 9. [Jesus told us to LOVE, OBEY AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER!] As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love. If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you. [Do you have this kind of love? This is not something that we can say, "I'm going to get it." You cannot fabricate it. We cannot will it. We cannot say, "I hate you but I'm going to love you." You cannot do it. It comes from our knees. When we say, "Father God, I want to know you more." The more you know the Father, the more the love of God will be shed in your heart.] Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made know unto you.
Please turn to Luke chapter 7 verse 36. And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him, And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, [In those days, at the time of Christ, they did not set tables like we have. They had a very low raised little platform. The food was placed on this platform and you would lay on carpets next to this platform. You actually lay on your side with your feet out to one direction. This woman walked into the house. She began to wash his feet with her tears, then wipe them with the hair of her head. Feet were dirty. She wet them with her tears. She wiped them with her hair. This is the most beautiful thing a woman has, is her hair. She kissed His feet. She anointed them with ointment.] Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have some what to say unto thee, And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both, Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most: Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him. Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment, Where for I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much: but whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. [Listen closely now. If you are bitter, angry, full of resentment, you do not have joy, you need to come to the Father today. It is not a matter of what can I get from God. God I want this, God I want that, I want this, I can't have it and I am not happy God! God is saying to you and me today, "I want you. I'm not interested in your finances. I'm not interested in all the fancy things you want to do. I am interested in your soul, your spirit. I want to be intimate with you. I want you to learn to love me. I want to be able to love you. I want to be able to pour my love into you, so that you can be a vessel, that out of you my love will flow to others." To understand this, you will be frustrated. You will be angry. You will be tense because you have not understood what God is doing in your life. Are you willing to seek Him today with all your heart?] And they that sat at meat with him and began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
Please turn to John chapter 21 verse 12. [These are words that Jesus asked a long time ago. He is asking them again here today.] Jesus saith unto them, come and dine, And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise, This now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples after that he was risen from the dead. So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Do you love Jesus? In John 14 and 15 He said, "If you love me keep my commandments." Are you broken over your sins?
Turn to Joel chapter 2 verse 1. Blow you the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand: A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spreads upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. [Verse 12] Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn you even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
The key verse is verse 12, turn now to me with all your heart, with all your fasting, with weeping and with mourning. And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the Lord your God?
This is what God is asking us today, including myself. When I saw this, what I shared with you before, I have been motivated by performance. I wanted to do all the these different things for God. God is simply saying this, "DO YOU LOVE ME?" He wants us, number one, to open our hearts and to love Him. The Father. Which one of you that has children would like it the most to hear your son or daughter say, "Dad, Mom, I will obey you because I love you." Would you rather have them say, "I will obey you because I fear you." I am sure each one of you would say, "I want you to obey because you love me." So does God.
Have you ever stopped and asked yourself this question?
DO I LOVE GOD? OR DO I JUST FEAR GOD? DO I PUT UP WITH GOD, SO THAT MY LIFE WILL BE A LITTLE EASIER? DO I LOVE GOD?
Turn to Matthew chapter 22 verse 36. [I do not want anyone to feel condemned today because this is something that we cannot work up, this is something we have to asked for.] Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
2000 years ago Jesus said, "You shell love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and all your mind." What is love? Love is like when you met your wife or your husband or your children. You say, "I love you." It is a deep moving from your heart toward them. You are not expecting any money or anything in return. You just pour in your love. That is how God wants you and I to live on a daily basis. If we have that love, everything else follows. If we don't have that love we will be tired, worn out and simply frustrated, and saying, "God, I'm tired." If you love, you do not get tired; you can't. Are you willing to cry out to God to give you this kind of love? You can read for yourself in Revelation chapter 2 verse 1 through 5. Let us cry out today to God, that he and his mercy will baptize us in his love and give us the capacity to love Him and others.
May God richly bless you is my prayer.