Do You Love Me More Than These?

Posted on 05/02/2010 by Rev. Jennifer L. Faust

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


Public Prayer Requests:


*** there are no public prayer requests this week ***

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Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the doors, and give as the Lord leads.

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SING A NEW SONG

Sing unto the Lord a new song
    sing unto the Lord, all the earth
Sing unto the Lord a new song
    sing unto the Lord, all the earth

For God is great,
    and greatly to be praised
God is great, and greatly to be praised!

I CHOOSE TO WORSHIP

I could stand outside your gates
    and never enter in
I could let this moment pass
    and go my way again
I could just keep silent
    and hold from you my praise
Or I could give my heart away

I choose to worship
    I choose to love you
To reach out and touch your heart
I want to know you
    Here in this moment
O I choose to worship you

I won't stand outside your gates
    and never enter in
I won't let this moment pass
    and go my way again
How can I keep silent
    and hold from you my praise
Lord I give my heart away

I WORSHIP YOU

I worship you, Almighty God
    there is none like you
I worship you, O Prince of Peace
    that is all I want to do

I give you praise
    for you are my righteousness
I worship you, Almighty God
    there is none like you

THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU

There is none like you
    no one else can
    touch my heart like you do
I could search
    for all eternity long and find
    there is none like you


*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***


Let's start with a moment of quiet before God. Ask Him to help you focus on Him and what He may be speaking to you today. Then, ask Him to make your heart ready for what is to come in the sermon. We'll take a few seconds for this. (about 30 seconds)

I want to thank you, Father, for this chance to be together in this place, sharing Your Word with fellow belivers. If there is anyone here, Lord, that doesn't know you, I admonish them to let you speak to their hearts. I ask that no words come from my mouth that are not of You. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Today, I'm going to start this sermon a little differently. I'm going to give a few examples of what my topic is.


We'll start with a young woman. She may be in her early twenties, no older than 25. She says she's a Christian, but she never spends time with God or goes to church. Her college class schedule, work schedule, time with friends and her boyfriend, free time and alone time all make up her day and before she knows it day is night. Time to start everything all over again. A soft voice asks her, "do you love Me more than these?"

Next example, is a businessman. He only has time to kiss and hug his wife, pat his son's head, and hold the baby for a second before hurrying out the door. He works all day and night. Providing for his family, but misses his son's ball games. The baby calls the plumber "da-da" because she sees the plumber more than her daddy. His wife cries herself to sleep. And the voice asks him, "do you love Me more than these?"

The third example is a servant of the Lord. Always serving, cleaning, helping, doing. Spends more time talking to people than to God. A people pleaser. Wants to do, do, do, and no time to be still and know that He is God. The voice asks them, "do you love Me more than these?"


Let's return to the young woman. She might not understand the words, "do you love Me more than these," but maybe she wants to know so she asks God. And a series of memories go through her mind. Memories of when her God was more important than anything else. And she weeps openly, crying out to God to help her and slowly God heals and shows her what to change.

How about the businessman. The words "do you love Me more than these" are foreign to him. They might as well be in the Chinese language. He tries to look back when life wasn't so busy. He just started his job. His son called him Daddy and he talked late into the night with his wife. He took time to play with the little baby girl. He shakes his head in shame. Work, money, promotion, and getting ahead were his aim...and he left his family behind. And God? He laughs. God was the farthest thing from his mind. He knew he was to provide, but he spent more time providing and less time living and loving his family. "Oh God" he breathed. "Help me! I need You!"

And the servant. They knew the words "do you love Me more than these" and still said, "But God, I need to help, serve, do. I can't stop now." The servant...the people pleaser...looked back to when the first Person they talked to in the morning was God. Their servant heart was able to feel at peace and joy in the day instead of the chaos of now. They cried out in a voice of sorrow..."Oh God, I placed...I placed serving and helping before you. Please, God, please...I want you to know I love You more than these!"


I'm sure we all can look at these three people and see ourselves or can come up with our own stories to tell like these ones.

But, we aren't done. Let's look at a few Bible stories when God may have asked "do you love Me more than these" or may have used a group of people or someone else to ask the question. "Do you love Me more than these? More than your life?"

God may have asked Daniel. Remember the story? The governors and leaders of the kingdom of Darius came to him to write up a law and it says in Daniel 6 verses 6-9, So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: "King Darius, live forever! 7 All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter." 9 Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.

Daniel knew about this and he went home and prayed three times that day to Jehovah God. Of course, the leaders saw him and went to the king, asking about the decree. In Daniel 6 verses 14-23 it says,

14 And the king, when he heard these words, was greatly displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him. 15 Then these men approached the king, and said to the king, "Know, O king, that it is the law of the Medes and Persians that no decree or statute which the king establishes may be changed."
16 So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, "Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you." 17 Then a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signets of his lords, that the purpose concerning Daniel might not be changed.

18 Now the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; and no musicians were brought before him. Also his sleep went from him. 19 Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?"
21 Then Daniel said to the king, "O king, live forever! 22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you."
23 Now the king was exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.


I believe Daniel said to God, "I love You more than my life." And for Daniel's obedience, God saved him in the lion's den.

How about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? God saved them in the furnace, I believe, because they were like Daniel. They loved God more than their lives.


Now to the story of the rich young ruler. Jesus could have said "do you love Me more than these? More than your riches, your possessions?" The young man couldn't give up the riches. The story is found in Luke 18, starting at verse 18.

It says, Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
19 So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 20 You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not bear false witness,' 'Honor your father and your mother.'"
21 And he said, "All these things I have kept from my youth."
22 So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
23 But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.

How trully sad, uh? To have wealth, possessions and deem them more important than Jesus, but people do it all the time.


Now to Simon Peter. He denied Jesus three times. On the shore after Jesus arose from the dead, Jesus asks Peter in th Book of John Chapter 21 verse 15, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" Peter's answer is "Yes, Lord, You know that I love You." Jesus then says "Feed my sheep." And Peter does until his death.

All but one disciple dies a martyr's death. They trully said, "Yes, Jesus, I love You more than these, more than my very life."

Can you say that truthfully, like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Peter, and the other disciples? And countless others? Can you say that God is more important than anyone or anything? Do you love Him more than your spouse, your fiancee, your boyfriend or girlfriend, your children, your parents, your siblings, your friends, your coworkers, your material possessions?

The way I believe God measures our love is in how much time we spend with Him. I know we all need to spend more time with Him. I know I do.

If anyone on the ministry team is here, please come to the front. We'll have a time of prayer and quiet time with God. If you need prayer or ministering in any way, please instant message myself or somone on the ministry team.

I beleive that Jesus is asking all of us a question. "Do you love Me more than these?"

Do you love Him, my friends? Then, show Him by spending some time right now with Him and by spending more time with Him every day.


After this time at the altar, we'll meet in the fellowship room to your left for a time of getting to know each other.

Before you leave, I want to close in prayer and once I'm done, you are free to go.

Abba Father, thank you for this word. I ask that it would go with us and that our hearts would be changed because You showed us Your way. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Numbers 6:24 "The LORD bless you and keep you; 25 The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; 26 The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace."