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RELISHING GOD’S LOVE

SERMON STARTER

I’m offering apologies to Joel Osteen, the “King of Exhortation.” This sermon is exhortive, instructional and inspirational. When heartache and trials come it’s easy for us to forget how much God loves us and delights in our presence. The prophet reminds us of how much He loves us. We tend to be hardest on ourselves.

If you had a father or mother who was overly harsh or critical, you may struggle to believe that God loves you personally. I’m urging my listeners to experience for themselves God’s incredible love. It great to have people to love us in spite of our failures and imperfections. Zephaniah 3:17 is a magical verse that assures us of God’s deep passionate love for us. Take this verse and grasp it with both hands. Breathe it in and savour it like the smell of your mother’s homemade apple pie. Let it roll round the taste buds of your mind.
Illustration:

Relishing the Love of God

Greg Louganis one of the world's top divers from the 80's and 90's was asked how he coped with the stress of international diving competition. He replied that as he climbs to the board, takes a deep breath, and thinks, "Even if I blow this dive, my mother will still love me." Then he goes for excellence.


CLOSING ILLUSTRATION

A little Mexican girl from Puerto Vi’Augra stood to speak to one of our Unity Pastor’s outreach services about loving God with passion. She fervently exclaimed the word in Spanish,

“Pass-shieonnnn!”

She explained she had this passionate Love for God because He loved her so much! His love is irresistible, she couldn’t help loving Him back. . .

  

 

To all my Sheepfold friends,

 

I am reading a wonderful book by John Piper - What Jesus Demands from the World.  I just wanted to share this excerpt: 

 

p. 260          “Love God with all your heart” means: Find in God a satisfaction so profound that it fills up all your heart.  “Love God with all your soul” means: Find in God a meaning so rich and so deep that it fills up all the aching corners of your soul.  “Love God with all your mind” means: Find in God the riches of knowledge and insight and wisdom that guide and satisfy all that the human mind was meant to be.

 

Isn’t that beautiful? 

Kathy W.

 

November 25, 2007

Sheepfold Ministries, Pastor Phil Roland

RELISHING GOD’S LOVE

Zephaniah 3:9-20

"When heartache and trials come its easy for us to forget how much God loves us and delights in our presence. The prophet reminds us of how much He loves us.”  Pastor Phil

 

 “The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."         Zephaniah 3:17

 

GOD PASSIONATELY LOVES YOU:

I.  GOD LOVES YOU DESPITE YOUR IMPERFECTIONS

            A. Ever change a baby’s diaper? (Toxic Waste)

            B. God changes yours all the time

            C. Mother’s love is like that

II.  THREE CHARACTERISTICS OF THOSE HE LOVES

          A. Are you calling on Him and seeking to serve Him?   Zeph. 3:9

            "For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on

the name of the LORD, To serve Him with one accord.”

          B. If your pride is broken and are humbly seeking forgivenessvs11,12

“In that day you shall not be shamed for any of your deeds In which you

 transgress against Me; For then I will take away from your midst Those who

rejoice in your pride, And you shall no longer be haughty In My holy mountain.

I will leave in your midst A meek and humble people, And they shall trust in the

name of the LORD.”  

            C. If you are growing in holiness by obeying His commands v13

“The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness And speak no lies, Nor shall

a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth; For they shall feed their flocks and lie

down, And no one shall make them afraid."

III.  THE TREASURE ROOM OF HIS LOVE – Zephaniah 3:17

“The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

          A. A Great Presence –  “The Lord Your God in your midst. . .”

                        1. Our Lord in in our midst

                        2. NLT - "For the LORD your God has arrived to live among you."

                        3. Feel lonely, unprotected? He’s near. He’s arrived.

          B. A Victorious Warrior - ”The Mighty One will Save”

                        1. Hebrew, “GIB-BOR” – David’s mighty men

                        2. Mighty Hero – Defender of the Weak  and Fatherless

                        3. Triumphant Savior of His People

                        4. Jesus on His Cross

5. The Mighty Warrior over Sin, Death and the Grave

6. His Arms are around His people like a Shield

C. An Overjoyed Father – “He will rejoice over you with gladness”

                        1. He is delighted with you

2. How much joy? Ask a new father or grandfather

            D. A Silent Father – He will be silent in His love

                        1. He is contented in His Love for you

                        2. He will be Quiet with His Love

          E. A Singing Father – “ He will rejoice over you with singing."

                        1. See God estatically singing because you are His

                        2. He rejoices over your soul with elated singing

III.  THE IMPLICATIONS OF HIS LOVE

            A. His is  an “In Spite of” kind of Love

        B. We can Live Confident of His Unfailing Love

                        1. Men make doctrines: “Eternal Security,” “Once in Grace”

                        2. Glancing over their shoulders, waiting for disapproval

                        3. Is He happy with us yet?

                        4. Are we good enough for Him?

            C. We can Live in Faithful Obedience

                        1. We do not diminish or minimize sin

                        2. God has no big stick with which to batter us

                        3. When we fail, we can come and find His delight and Love

            D. We can Display this Great Love to Others

                        1. Can a new Bridegroom fail to extoll his Bride?

                        2. We can share out of His Treasure Room of Love

 

The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will be silent in his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.

 

 

 

 

RELISHING GOD’S LOVE, Text:

Zephaniah 3:9-20

9  "For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him with one accord.

10  From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My worshipers, The daughter of My dispersed ones, Shall bring My offering.

11  In that day you shall not be shamed for any of your deeds In which you transgress against Me; For then I will take away from your midst Those who rejoice in your pride, And you shall no longer be haughty In My holy mountain.

12  I will leave in your midst A meek and humble people, And they shall trust in the name of the LORD.

13  The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness And speak no lies, Nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth; For they shall feed their flocks and lie down, And no one shall make them afraid."

14  Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!

15  The LORD has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; You shall see disaster no more.

16  In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: "Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak.

17  The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

18  "I will gather those who sorrow over the appointed assembly, Who are among you, To whom its reproach is a burden.

19  Behold, at that time I will deal with all who afflict you; I will save the lame, And gather those who were driven out; I will appoint them for praise and fame In every land where they were put to shame.

20  At that time I will bring you back, Even at the time I gather you; For I will give you fame and praise Among all the peoples of the earth, When I return your captives before your eyes," Says the LORD.

 

 

 

 

THE LORD THY GOD IN THE MIDST

 

The Lord Thy God

in the Midst of thee

is Migh-ty is Migh-ty!

He will Save

    He will re-joice o-ver thee

        With Joy   with Joy!

 

He will rest in His Love

    He will joy o-ver thee

with sing-ing!

 

The Lord Thy God

in the Midst of thee

is Migh-ty is Migh----ty!

 

This is a chorus that goes back to the early 70’s. Lois and I heard it first from WYAMers (Youth With A Mission) that were staying at our church on their way to Hawaii to the Youth outreach’s training camp. Our church let them stay with us for a few nights since we were so close to LAX. (Los Angeles International Airport)