The "Free Love" God

Posted on 05/05/2013 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 ***


THERE IS A RIVER

There is a river whose streams
make glad the city of our God
There is a river whose streams
make glad the city of our God

I will rejoice, I will rejoice
and be glad
I will rejoice, I will rejoice
and be glad

There is a fountain full of grace
and if flows from Emmanuel's veins
It came and it healed me, it came and refreshed me,
It came and it washed my sins away!


ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND

Verse 1:
My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
but wholely lean on Jesus' name

Verse 2:
When darkness fails his lovely face
I rest on his unchanging grace
in every high and stormy gale
my anchor holds withing the veil

Verse 3
When he shall come with trumpet sound
O may I then in him be found
Dressed in his righteousness alone
faultless to stand before his throne

Chorus:
On Christ the solid rock I stand
all other ground is sinking sand
all other ground is sinking sand


THE OLD RUGGED CROSS

Verse 1:
On a hill far away
stood an old rugged cross
The emblem of suffering and shame

And I love that old cross
where the dearest and the best
For a world of lost sinners was slain

Verse 2:
O that old rugged cross
so despised by the world
Has a wonderous attraction for me

For the dear Lamb of God
left his glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary

Verse 3:
In that old rugged cross
stained with blood so divine
A wonderous beauty I see

For it was on that old cross
Jesus suffered and died
To pardon and sanctify me

Verse 4:
To the old rugged cross
I will ever be true
Its shame and reproach gladly bear

Then he'll call me some day
to my home far away
Where his glory forever I'll share

Chorus:
So I'll cherish the old rugged cross
'til my trophies at last I lay down
I will cling to the old rugged cross
and exchange it some day for a crown


I STAND IN AWE OF YOU

You are beautiful beyond description
too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
like nothing ever seen or heard

Who can grasp your infinite wisdom
who can fathom the depth of your love
You are beautiful beyond description
majesty enthroned above

I stand, I stand in awe of you
I stand, I stand in awe of you
Holy God to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of you!



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


Father God, thank You for this time here in Your presence in worship and as we continue this service I ask that Your presence rest even more in this place. Thank You for Your Son Jesus' blood. I ask as we look at Your Word that Holy Spirit will open our eyes and hearts to the truths found there. Holy Spirit, convict us and show us the way! I pray all this in the mighty name of the Messiah Jesus Christ, Amen!

Amen! You may be seated.

Here I am in front of you with a message that I hope I can convey to you in the right way. I'm not sure if you are all aware, but I have these awesome God moments in the shower. Well, I had one of those this past Tuesday which was April 30th. I am going to share it with you because it will in a way explain a little about what today's fireside chat is all about.

I had already finished rinsing my hair of the conditioner and I listen to music while I shower, but as God talked to me it was like I was so in tune to what He was saying I blocked out every other sound.

He was showing me Jesus on the cross. Saying that though His love is "free" for us, it cost Him everything. He could have used His power to free Jesus from those nails. He could have sent angels to remove Him from the cross. But He restrained Himself.

Truly His love isn't free. It cost Him everything. I was crying by this point...realizing how much God had given. He even had to look away from Jesus His Only Begotten Son.

And I knew...there was no "free love" for God. We must accept it, but the cost is dear and we usually don't even realize how dear. We go about our lives, but do we really even think about it? About the reality of the cross and the love God has for us?

I'll allow you to answer those questions to yourself, but please not in public chat. :) It may be distracting a bit.

Today's fireside chat is called The "Free Love" God. There is so much about "God is love" everywhere. But what does that really mean? Do we even understand the true meaning of love or what actually happened when God watched Jesus die, and then as He turned His eyes away from His Son?
I can't imagine that. I can't imagine having to watch something that you know you can prevent, but know even more that it has to happen in order to save all of mankind. I can't touch that kind of thing. I can't understand the love that God has.

But I want us to walk together through the Word of God today and see if we can but touch a small piece of the love God has for each of us. If there is anything you get out of today, I hope it is this, to know that God loves you very very much and He paid EVERYTHING! It was such a high price. Love is never truly free.

I called this fireside chat The "Free Love" God because in a way the idea of "free love" is a myth. In the 1970s, there was this whole "movement," if you will, about "free love."
Love. Love. Love. It's something easy to say. Easy to give. Easy to lose. Easy to steal. Love. Love. Love. It's flowery. It gives you this warm fuzzy feeling. Let's go skip in the meadow and pick flowers! Love. Love. Love. Life is so wonderful with all this "free love" going around.

Sorry, but "free love" makes me sick. My stomach churns and I feel like I need to take some seasick or stomach ache pills.

It is so easy to flutter around from person to person or from object to object. We paste a pretty flower on it and say "It's so pretty and cute!" But...love isn't like that. Do you want to know what love is? Not the worldly kind where fornication, promiscuity, etc etc are rampant and they are seen as okay, and I'd label those as "free love." Love where anything goes.
The kind of love I want to know about and experience goes deeper than the surface "free love." The love I want to know and experience is the kind that can change a person's life so much that the idea of "free love" turns their stomach. They don't want "free love" anymore. They want what I want us to call for today "expensive love."

This "expensive love" is very costly. Like my experience in the shower where God talked to me, He said that it cost Him everything! Everything dear to Him was given! And for what? For us! For people who did not deserve it! Do you know what that is like? You give your precious, most precious person or object to another and they destroy it.

Imagine this. A father happily gives his daughter away to her groom on the wedding day only to see her beaten and left for dead years later.

Or how about this. Parents give their children into the care of a babysitter only to come home to find their children neglected.

Another example. Someone lets a friend borrow their new car only to have it totaled in the blink of an eye.

Yet another example. A woman allows someone to borrow an ancient heirloom, a glass bowl, for a party, only to have the bowl smashed and broken.

These are examples and yet they aren't even close to what the Father went through. So we have this "expensive love," but what is love?

1 Corinthians 13 tells us this:

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whetherthere is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

I am sure you all know what is said of God. "God is love" people say and so I wonder, for the sake of our fireside chat, if I could do something. I'm doing to read these verses again and put "God" in the place of "love." This should be interesting.

4 God suffers long and is kind; God does not envy; God does not parade Himself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek His own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 God never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whetherthere is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, God, these three; but the greatest of these is God.
Some of it sounded a bit weird, but there was some truth in what was being said. I want us to look at it again.

4 God suffers long and is kind; God is so patient with us. He could have whipped out all of mankind by now, but He has stayed His hand! He promised to never flood the earth again as He did in the day of Noah. He keeps His word! His mercy and grace rains on us even as this world is moving closer and closer to the time when Jesus will return.

God does not envy; There is no way for God to envy anyone or anything. There is nothing in Him to do such a thing.

God does not parade Himself, is not puffed up; To me this sounds more like what satan does! Like a rooster...strutting around wanting attention. God doesn't need to do this.

 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek His own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; Again things that are just not God!

 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; God is the Truth! Afterall the Bible says and these are Jesus' words "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life no one comes to the Father except through me." So of course God would rejoice in the truth! :)

7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. These things are so like God!! He bears our burdens. Believes in us even when we do wrong over and over. Gives us hope to trust in Him! He endured the cross for us!! Praise God!! :)

8 God never fails. No, He doesn't!! It isn't in His character to fail!

13 And now abide faith, hope, God, these three; but the greatest of these is God. Yes, God IS the greatest!!!

Wow! That was awesome uh? God is truly "expensive love." He knows that love costs, and He shows us how to "spend" and "give" it.

This "free love" God thing isn't a true statement, not really. You see, like I said earlier, we have to accept the gift. We have to spend our lives living for God. It is actually an "expensive love" contract between us and God. He holds out the greatest gift, eternal life with Him, and we have to accept it and then sign the contract. God signed His part with His/Jesus' blood and then we have to sign our part with ours.

It might sound gross, but it isn't necessarily a literal meaning. It is more figurative. God gave His Son's life for me. So I must give my for Him! If that means being a martyr, so be it!

Once we accept the "expensive love," if we truly are changed, our lives will never be the same.


And then...you will see and realize what Jesus hanging on the cross, taking your sin upon Himself, truly means and what it meant for God. When I think about it now, I still cry. God is amazing. He isn't a weak god. He isn't made of wood or clay.

He came in flesh and blood. That day...so many years ago...when the "expensive love" contract was written, can you see the love there, the everlasting love?

Here, I'll take you there. Jesus beaten and bloody. God holding back His hand. He could stop everything at any time, but allows it to go on. I'm sure the angels were thunderstruck by the will of God. His control to not step in.

The soldiers led Jesus up the hill to Golgotha. God watched. No "Save My Son!" escaped His lips. Jesus was nailed to the cross. He bled. God watched on until He couldn't see anymore. Did God cry?

Such love....such "expensive love!" No my fellow brothers and sisters, there is no such thing as a "free love" God! For His love is costly!

Can you see it now? Can you see the love God has for you?

For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life! John 3:16

For God so loved. For God so loved. For God so loved.
God loves you so much. Please don't wait. Don't wait for tomorrow or it may never come. Come to this altar now and accept the "expensive love" that God is holding out to you.

He gave everything. There is nothing else to give. He did it all for you! You aren't coming up here for me, but for you! This is all about you and God. Make you "expensive love" contract today.

If you already have an "expensive love" contract, maybe you need to renew it. Maybe you need to ask a friend if they have one.

Maybe you need prayer or ministry. For whatever reason, you are all invited to come to the altar right now. If you need someone to talk to for any reason, please message one of us on the staff and we will be happy to help you.

After this time at the altar, we'll meet in the next room which is up the stairs to your left for fellowship. You are all invited to come and chat with us there.

Feel free to leave when you need to do so.

May God bless you richly today and every day. May He remind you always of His "expensive love" which He pours on you every day.