Posted on 11/29/2010 by Rev. Jennifer L. Faust
TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)
*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***
Before we go any farther, let's go to the Lord in prayer. Father God, thank you for this day that You have made, we will rejoice and be glad in it, no matter what may come our way. We will rejoice and be glad. I ask that you would guide and direct this time as I share what I believe you wish for me to share. I give this service to you Lord. I cast all my cares at your feet and I surrender all of me. I give you the glory for what I am about to share. I love you, Jesus, more than life itself. I pray all this is the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.
I want you all to close you eyes and listen as I sing this song called “My Beloved” by Kari Jobe. The words are in God's viewpoint, in other words, these are what He says to us.
Today, sermon is titled “Beloved.” Dictionary.com says that the word beloved means greatly loved; dear to the heart. We are God's Beloved. He greatly loves us. Indeed, He sent His Only Begotten Son to die for us.
In that song I sang, it talks about “I sing over you.” That phrase is saying that God sings over us. Why would the God of the universe sing over us? Because we are is Beloved.
What about the lines that say “Come away with me my love?” It speaks of relationship.
In Psalm 5, the first three verses say “Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. 2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. 3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” These verses are talking about prayer, spending time with God.
We know that Jesus Himself spent hours alone with God. We are no different. We need to spend time with God. He wants to spend time with us.
When you love someone do you not what to spend every hour, every minute, every second of every day together? Does that only happen when you are 'first in love?' When it is all new? Do we lose that 'First Love' feeling as the days and weeks and months and years go by? Is that how it is with God?
Is God your Beloved? Do you love Him so much that you want to spend tons of time with Him? Do you love like the Shulamite Woman?
A verse in Song of Solomon says “Many waters are unable to quench real love; nor rivers overflow it. If a man were to give all the wealth of his estate for love, he would be utterly despised” (Song of Sol. 8:7). That, I believe, is true love, real love. God has that kind of love for us.
There are many songs about us loving Jesus. But do we just sing them? Or do the words truly mean something to us? Do we truly love Jesus? Is He our beloved?
Do we love Jesus more than anything? If love = time, how much time do you spend with Him? How much do you truly love Him?
These are questions I want you to think about. I want you to understand something. God loves you. He wants you to love Him, but He isn't going to force you to love Him. He's a gentleman.
I want to ask you this. When did Jesus go from being your Savior, your Redeemer to being your Beloved, your First Love?
When we become followers of Jesus, the first thing He is to us is Savior and Redeemer. He saved us! Praise God! As we grow in Him and we spend time with Him, He becomes more than that to us. We start to love Him. And He is our First Love, in that He is first before anyone else even our spouses, children, and ourselves.
God loves us. He loved us before we were even born. It is different for us. When we are born, we don't know Him. I mean when we are physically born. When we are born spiritually, we know Him as Savior, redeemer. As we grow and mature in Him, we learn things. We start to love Him.
For me, I noticed that it happened slowly...suddenly. I didn't see it coming. As the Janette Oke series is called...Love Comes Softly. And in a way, my love for God came softly, unaware. It seemed all of a sudden because at one time it wasn't really there and then...like a breeze blowing through the window and through my hair, it came. The knowing and the warmth that I loved God, that He was my beloved.
Are you in love with Jesus? Have you let your barriers down and accepted the fact that being in love with Jesus is the awesomest thing? Is Jesus your beloved?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. That's Mattew 22 verse 37.
Do you love Him like that? How do we show we love God? By keeping His commandments, obeying His Word.
Love isn't just a feeling we have. If it was, people would only love people when they felt like it, but that isn't what TRUE love is. True love is when we love someone even when we don't feel like it.
Love is a verb. It is an action word. To love someone, we have to DO something. We have to show our love for them. We should not condemn ourselves or someone else for “feeling” a certain way towards God. Instead, we need to choose to ACT a certain way towards God. We need to choose to love Him even when we don't feel like it, kind of like loving our family and friends even when they make us so angry we want to scream.
For example, to show you love God we would show love to someone else. Maybe that person who you dislike or never see eye to eye with. Maybe ask them if they need help cleaning their house or doing lawn work or need a ride somewhere.
How about inviting those who you know need a friend, like new people from church or new neighbors, to your house and eat and fellowship. Maybe ask someone to church who you always think “they would never come.”
Pray for someone who hurt you very much and instead of reliving the hurt, giving it over to God.
Visiting the sick, homeless, those in prison. Giving gifts and food to those who are in need.
Being a good listener to someone who is grieving or who is just having a bad day and needs a listening ear. Praying with someone who needs a touch from God.
This list could go on. There are so many ways we could show the love of God.
Again I ask you, is God your beloved? Show Him. Show Him that you love Him. Love Him with all you have and love your neighbor as yourself.
It is a wonderful thing to know that God, the maker of all things and the ruler of this world, loves us. All of us and He is with us all. He is so awesome that He can hear us all pray all at the same time, He can be with us all at once, He can rule this world, and He sees each sparrow fall.
I can't do anything else, but love a God that shares so much of Himself with us.
I know this was a little short, but I just wanted to share this with you. To let you know that the God who controls the universe, loves you! He loves you. He loves me. Don't ever forget that. No matter what you are going through, God is still on the throne, He's in control, and He loves you!
I want all of you, if you would, come up here to the front. I'm going to sing that song I sang at the beginning again. Listen to the words. Let it minister to you. These words are what God says over us.
You can kneel if you wish. Spend some time with God. And just listen to the words.
Father God, I thank you for this wonderful time here in your presence. I ask that you would shower your love upon us and show us how to love you. We are your beloved and you are ours. I proclaim that in our loves Lord. Bless us as we go from here Lord. We want to bless you, too. Speak to us as we spend time with you now and every day. In Jesus' name I play, Amen.
I want to recite the 23rd Psalm.
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
You are all invite to fellowship with us in the room to your left, my right. If you need to go, that is fine always. Please stay in the altar as long as you wish. Let God sing over you.
God Bless you. Go with His peace.