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Sermon – Loving God with all of Our Soul – April 25th

Week 3 – Love God with all of your Soul

Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity – Based on book by Mark Batterson

Does anyone remember what the goal or theme is for this Series based on Mark Batterson’s book ‘Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity’? The goal is for each of us to Love God more fully, to become GREAT at the Great Commandment.

Last week we looked at how to Love God with all of our Hearts! One of the main points from last week was that we are to show compassion. One kind act in the name of Jesus can and will touch lives, it will have a ripple effect. Compassion is what leads our hearts to break for the things that break God’s heart.

Compassion for others, leads us to find out what God created us to do and pushes us to do it. If we love God with all of our heart, we are going to be passionate about something, He is passionate about. Which means we will be giving of our time and money to support that passion, to achieve that God ordained goal.

The basis of this series should be familiar to all of us by now, it is:

Mark 12:29-30

29The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” NIV

Jesus tells us that Loving God is the most important commandment. Based on His statement here we need to spend as much time as necessary to learn all we can about the Great Commandment and then do it. This week we are going to look at the next part of the Great Commandment, we are going to look at what it means to Love God with all of our Soul.

If we turn to the very beginning of our Bibles we read about the creation story. Days 1 through 6 we see how God created everything, the world, the animals, the fish, the birds, and ending with mankind. Genesis 1:31 states:

“31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.” NIV

At the end of the 6th day, God looked over all of His creation. He saw how everything was exactly as He had imagined it, maybe even better. He saw how each part was complete, and how they all worked together. He saw the beauty that can take your breath away. Even mankind, His ultimate creation, fit into the puzzle perfectly. He stopped, He reviewed everything He made, and saw it was very good. Not just good, but very good. The Creator was impressed by His creation.

As Christians we need to see things as God saw them. We need to see the complexity and the beauty. We need to share in the wonder and amazement of all that God created. When we stand back and are impressed by God’s creation, we are loving God with all of our Soul.

Leonardo da Vinci once said that the average person

“looks without seeing, listens without hearing, touches without feeling, eats without tasting, inhales without awareness of odor or fragrance, and talks without thinking.”

Non-Christians look at the Creator and His creation this way. They look but do not see the beauty and intricacies of what God created. They do not hear the message that God has given us through His creation.  They honestly have no idea of how to enjoy being part of the amazing creation that was created by an Awesome God. Without fully loving God, they can enjoy a sunset or a sea of wild flowers, but they cannot begin to experience the joy associated with all of creation that true Lovers of God enjoy. It is just not possible.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10

“9However, as it is written:  “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived
   what God has prepared for those who love him” 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.” NIV

Those who do not know the Lord, do not have the Holy Spirit revealing things to them. The hard question we need to ask is, have we as Christians, lost some of that connection? Have we lost some of that wonder? Are we looking, but not seeing? Are we still amazed and impressed but what God created? Do we still love God with all of our Soul?

To quote Mark Batterson

“If loving God with all of our heart means a heart that breaks for the things that break the heart of God, then loving God with all our soul means a soul full of wonder, a soul flooded with the glory of God, a soul awed by beauty and mystery, a soul that hallows God above all else.”

Too often we approach God as someone to learn about. We figure the more knowledge we have about God and His words the better. We tend to study hard and believe that makes us a better Christian.  While we are told to learn God’s Words, there is more to learning about God. We need more than just the written facts. In addition to studying Him, we need to approach God as the cause of Wonder!

If we ever look into how the human body works, or how pollen is spread between flowers, we see the facts behind it. But we need to take a step back from the facts of God’s creation and look at how amazing it is! To love God with all of our Soul, we need to be able to see the beauty and mystery of creation. We need to see a sunset and be amazed by what God created. We need to be humbled by how every aspect of creation works together in ways that we will never understand. This is worship in its truest form!

Thomas Carlyle said “Worship is transcendent wonder.”

So as we look around at everything that God created and we marvel at it, are amazed by it, we are worshipping God. Standing in awe of God and His creation is loving God with all of our Soul.

Do we really see things they way God wants us to? Do we look but not see, or only see a portion of what He is trying to show us? Jacob had this problem, he had faith but did not live accordingly. He essentially did not see clearly. In Genesis chapter 28 we find Jacob on his way to Paddan Aran to find a wife, as his father Isaac had told him to do. We will begin reading at verse 12.

Genesis 28:12-17

“12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”

As verse 16 tells us, Jacob was not aware of the presence of the Lord. So what changed from when Jacob went to bed verses when he woke up in the morning? Did God change? No, Jacob’s perspective changed. See he went to bed not paying attention to God, not having the Holy Spirit open his eyes, Jacob was looking but not seeing.

When Jacob woke up, he was seeing God. Had anything really changed? No, God had always been there, the only thing that changed was that Jacob’s eyes were opened. Jacob was now aware of the presence go God, he saw God everywhere he looked. He saw God in that place and said it was awesome. In other words Jacob was filled with Wonder over what God was doing in that place. Jacob was aware of God.

To Love God with all of our Souls we need to be aware of God. We need to look and actually see Him. That He is at work in our lives and the world around us, and that He is always there. We need to be conscious of God. As we grow as Christians we become more aware of God and begin to see things as He sees them. We become more and more amazed by His creation. As we become more conscious of God, we Love Him with all of our Soul.

Another way we grow in loving God with all of our Soul is by spending time reading His words. Not in the sense of trying to study the meaning of every word, but in reading the Bible and letting it speak to you. As you open yourself up to God’s word and read your Bible, it will speak to you. Even if you have read that same chapter last year, God will teach you something new. He will show you what you need for today.

Matthew 11:15 tells us:

“He who has ears, let him hear.” NIV

Basically if we are open to hearing from God or being led by the Holy Spirit we need to be willing to listen. Since we don’t hear God calling down to us from heaven on a regular basis, how do we hear him? I can think of a couple of ways, God speaks through his creation, through friends, divine appointments, and more. The most common form for God to speak to us is through Scripture. The only way He can speak to us through the Bible is for us to read it. We need to spend time reading our Bibles if we are going to be open to God speaking to us, to Him leading us.

Now I am glad all of you are hear this morning, and each week so we can worship, fellowship, and study God’s word together. With that being said, listening to a sermon is acquiring secondhand knowledge. To be honest, I get more out of creating sermons than you could by hearing them. For you to get that same level of knowledge is to get it first hand by spending time reading God’s words.

In addition to reading God’s word we need to take it one step further.

Psalm 119:99

“I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes”

We need to meditate on the words we read as go through the Bible. We need to think about what we are reading and how we can apply it to our lives. Reading God’s word gives us a breadth of understanding, but the depth of understanding comes from meditating on it. The more we read and the more we meditate on God’s word the more God speaks to us through it. The more He speaks to us, the closer we draw to Him, the more we Love Him with all of our Soul.

So to be Great at loving God with all of our Soul, we need to:

            Wonder over the things God has created.

            Allow God to change our perspective, so that we can see Him.

            Spend time reading His words.

            Spend time meditating on His words, and letting it touch us.

Doing these things will increase our consciousness of God, and help to Love God with all of our Soul.

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April 25, 2010 - Posted by | Sermon

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