I would like to mention before you begin reading the post that this is a sermon I am currently working on to share at my youth group. Therefore there will be instances where I say, “my sermon” or “I’m going to talk about…” Just know that I wrote it with speaking in mind. Anyways, I am beginning my post with a verse from the song “How He Loves.” While you read the lyrics, think about the words and meaning. Picture in your mind the wonderful love our Creator has for us.
“We are his portion and He is our prize. Drawn to Redemption by the grace in his eyes. If Grace is an Ocean we’re all sinking. And Heaven meets Earth like an unforeseen kiss. And my heart turns violently inside of my chest, I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way That he loves us.”
Now I am going to repeat the verse. But instead of using grace, I’m replacing it with love.
“We are his portion and He is our prize. Drawn to Redemption by the love in his eyes. If Love is an Ocean we’re all sinking. And Heaven meets Earth like an unforeseen kiss. And my heart turns violently inside of my chest, I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way That he loves us.”
And with that being said, the title of my sermon is “Let’s Go Diving.”
If Love is an Ocean we’re all sinking. This line states a simple fact. Which is that God’s love for us is vast, deep and unconditional.
You know I’ve always been fascinated with diving. There’s a sense of adventure and also danger to it. You are in uncharted territory where anything could happen. When you go diving you go into a whole nother world, one nothing like our own.
And in these ways, it’s the same with God’s love. Well actually, with God. The reason I say this is because God is love. 1 John 4:8 says, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” When you read 1 Corinthians 13:4 -where it says Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast and later love never ends- Paul is describing God. God is everything that Paul says love is.
When you dive deeper and deeper into God and his love, like diving,you enter a new world,
You begin seeing things differently. You see the world through God’s perspective and not your own. It also becomes an adventure and dangerous. Not dangerous in a bad way, but in a good way. A good way because God’s love will change your life, you will begin to love and be joyful and you will become a threat to the world and to the enemy.
Did you really think God was safe? Let me read you one of my favorite quotes. It comes from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Lucy and Mr. Beaver are talking about Aslan (who symbolizes God) and Lucy asks if Aslan is safe. To which Mr. Beaver says, “Safe? don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
God’s dangerous. He’s fierce, he’s a warrior, the King of Kings, the beginning and the End, an all consuming fire, anything but safe. But he’s good, he’s just and merciful to the ones he loves. And his love is dangerous, fierce and an all consuming fire.
A consuming fire that will set everything on fire, it will set your life on fire and it will burn so bright and hot that it spreads to the next person and the next and the next, and pretty soon your whole school, the county, the state, the country, and the world will be ablaze for the love of God. That’s the kind of danger you’re in when you dive in to his love.
If you don’t believe me, look at Christianity. It exists because of God’s love. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus came to the Earth as an act of LOVE. He Died because HE LOVES US. And that love consumed the apostles, and they began to love and it spread. Now, 2,000 years later, Christianity has 2,100,000,000 adherents. But the Pew Research Center stated that Islam will Surpass Christianity in numbers in this century.
If Christianity grew because of love, God’s Love, why are we not growing as much? Why is a religion that only spreads hate and violence going to surpass Christianity? Why are people appalled with the church? And it’s simple, the church is only in knee high water. It’s because the church has become lukewarm.
There was a point in time where Christians were deep within God’s love. There was a time where people were witnessing God’s love. There was a time where Westboro Baptists and other groups were nearly nonexistent.
But now, now most churches only care about numbers. How many people can they entertain on Sunday, how can we become wealthy. The church as a whole has put God’s love on the back burner.
It’s time to swim out to open ocean and dive into God’s love. It’s time that we show the world what a true Christian is like, It’s time to show them Jesus. We have to go diving. We have to take a chance and be consumed with the fire of God’s love. That’s the only way the world will change. The world and America will not change and become better with Trump or with Clinton. If anything it will become worse with either of them. It can only become a better place and a safer place when we show the world God’s love.
It doesn’t matter if they are white, black, Hispanics, middle eastern, Asians, cops, thugs, gay, straight, Americans, North Koreans, or even ISIS. God’s love and grace is for everyone. And once we as the church realize that, things will become different.
Before I tell what showing God’s love is like, we must first understand why God’s love is so important. Love is the backbone of everything. God created the earth, the moon, and the stars out of love for his Son. He loved the world so much that he sent Jesus to die a painful death so that we don’t have too. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” He writes earlier in the chapter “If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s word with power, revealing all his mysteries an making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, ‘Jump’ and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” You could be the so called “perfect christian” but if you don’t love, you’re NOTHING. I could preach the rest of my life, but if I do not love, I just wasted my breath. You HAVE to love.
If you are a follower of Christ there is no choice but to love. They say you can see a lot about a person’s character by their fruits. If you profess to be a Christian but you aren’t truly loving, people will see you as a hypocrite. See love is super important. Jesus says that the two greatest commandments are 1. Love God and 2. Love your neighbor as yourself. These two commandments encompasses the rest of the ten commandments. All the ten commandments say is to either love God, or Love your neighbor.
When you are IN LOVE (God) you will do everything the bible says to do. Everything Jesus says to do. Why? Well because it’s showing love. The golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” is not about being fair and kind as others as much as it’s about loving your neighbor as yourself and therefore showing God’s love. The whole Bible is pretty much about 4 things. God’s Grace, God’s Love, God’s Power, and God’s Holiness.
So now what does showing God’s love look like? Here are a few examples.
- Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” It’s loving and respecting your spouse or if you’re dating, your boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s caring about their spiritual needs as much as the physical desires and needs.
- It’s setting an example for your peers at school to follow. It’s rising above conflict and not stooping down to other’s levels. It’s not using the same language they use and not laughing at jokes that you shouldn’t laugh at.
- It’s standing up for what’s holy, just, and right. It’s saying no to abortion and homosexuality. It’s saying “I will NOT divorce my spouse.” And to the dudes here, it’s Respecting women and standing up for them, it’s realizing that they are PRICELESS and deserve to be treated as such.
- It’s helping people in their times of need.
Showing God’s love is not that complex but yet, we are afraid to do it. Maybe it’s because we are afraid we will lose friends or become less popular. I struggle with that fear too. But wouldn’t it be worth it? Wouldn’t it be worth being hated for doing what’s right rather than sitting on the sidelines watching the world go to hell in a hand-basket? I mean there’s people who already want us dead because we call ourselves Christians. We might as well suck it up and love the very ones that hate us.
I’m diving in, are you?