“Why the Lord Made You, Part 1” (Luke 10:25-28

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I. Introduction. A. Orientation. As we begin a new year It’s good to remind ourselves What we’re really all about: Why the Lord made us, Why He redeemed us, What it is He wants us to do with our lives, Why we’re here. From our text we see The answer is not a mystery: It’s love. We are here to love God. And we are here to love others. This is what the Lord aimed at in our salvation. This is what He aims at in His commandments and the entirety of His Word. This is what He wants us to aim at in our lives.

Since this is the case, It would be wise for us To evaluate what we’re doing, And why we’re doing it

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To see if we’re lining up With God’s purpose for us – Not just in what we do on this day, But in everything – In our work, our recreations, our relationships – Paul writes, “Whether, then, you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). The only way we can glorify Him in everything Is if we do all we do out of love, As Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 13, if love isn’t what’s behind what we do for the Lord, it means nothing to Him (vv. 1-3). B. Preview. What I would like to look at this morning Is that the Lord calls us to love Him With our whole being. And this evening, That He calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Since we don’t do either of these things perfectly, Let’s be prepared to receive Some measure of reproof from the Lord. But let’s also be encouraged That by the blood of Jesus Christ, And the power of His Spirit,

3 We can grow in these areas – We can become more like Jesus – If we try by His grace each day to do so.

So first, let’s consider that we are to love the Lord With all our heart, mind, soul and strength. II. Sermon. A. Is this something we must do to enter into heaven?

There is a slightly different context here Than what we usually see When Jesus speaks these words.

In Matthew and Mark’s Gospels Jesus tells us we are to love God and our neighbor In answer to the question, “What is the greatest commandment in the law?” Here the question is, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” – A very similar question to that of the rich young ruler (Matt. 19:16).

Though they’re different questions, They’re really asking the same thing: We would expect that what we must do to inherit eternal life Would be the same as the greatest commandment, Especially when we understand That what makes it the greatest

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Is the fact that it summarizes everything The Lord wants us to do.

However, putting it this way raises another question: Is Jesus telling us that unless we do these things We won’t be saved? I hope you’re not surprised to find out That the answer is yes.

For you to enter into heaven You must love God with all your heart, You must love your neighbor as yourself, And you must do this perfectly your whole life, From the time you come into this world Until the time you leave it. You cannot fail even once at any one point. That is God’s standard.

On these grounds, are you going to heaven? No. Neither am I, because we have all failed. All of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). All of us are condemned by this standard.

But that is the beauty of the Gospel: While we were still sinners,

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God had mercy on us. He sent His Son into the world To love Him with all His heart, And to love His neighbor as Himself. And if you will only trust Jesus and what He did, If you will only look to Him in faith, He will give you what He did Freely, without cost.

This is the Gospel. It doesn’t change the standard, It only provides someone To do what we failed to do So that we might go to heaven at last, If we will only turn from our sins and believe in Him.

But again, the fact that we can’t keep the standard Doesn’t mean we don’t need to try to keep it. The standard hasn’t changed. The Gospel doesn’t free us from obedience – It frees us from sin so that we might obey. It gives us the power to obey. Jesus has given us His Spirit That we might love Him,

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That we might grow in that love, So that we can grow in our ability To love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind.

B. How does the Spirit help us to do this? First, by showing us what God is really like.

The first thing the Spirit does When He makes us alive Is to show us just how beautiful The Father and the Son really are.

He removes the veil That blinds us to His beauty – our sinfulness – And shows us His glory.

Once He does, we immediately realize That there is nothing in this world That is even remotely close to His beauty. If you don’t know this, You haven’t seen Him as He really is.

This is the reason you came to Jesus in the first place. When the Spirit opened your eyes And you saw His beauty for the first time –

7 How desirable He is, How perfect a Savior He is – You couldn’t resist. That’s why you came to Him and trusted Him. You may not have fully understood That this is what made you come to Him, But it is!

The Spirit also opened our eyes To the things that were ahead of us in heaven – “As it is written, ‘THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND WHICH HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.’ For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God” (1 Cor. 2:9-10).

And He showed us To whom we were indebted For all the good we have in this world: “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” (James 1:17).

And again, to what end? Why did He and why does He continue to do this? So that we might love Him more and more strongly.

Where does it end? Just how much does the Lord want us to love Him?

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As much as Jesus did.

He wants to be at the very center of your life. He wants you to love Him with an undivided heart. He wants to be the reason you do everything you do. He wants you to be devoted to Him.

Are you devoted to Him? How can you know? Think about the things you do. What do you spend most of your time thinking about? What do you spend most of your time doing? What is it that you want more than anything else in life? What is it that you’re pursuing most in life? Whatever it is, that’s what you’re devoted to.

Do your thoughts, desires and actions Show that you are devoted to God? You need to be. If you don’t love Him most of all, There’s no way you’ll be able to serve Him In the way He calls you to – With all your heart, soul, strength and mind.

What does Jesus mean?

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There is a bit of overlap in the meaning of these words. For instance, your heart refers not only to your affections, But also your inner self, your mind, your will.

Your soul refers to your inner self as well.

Your mind refers to your understanding, thought, intent or will.

And your strength has to do with your power or might, Which refers not only to your physical strength, But your strength of mind, will, heart, Or even any authority you might possess.

Together, they add up To every faculty you possess, To every ability, to every resource. You are to use all these things To love and honor God And to love and honor Him only.

This is why God made you, This is why He redeemed you – That you might love Him With every thought you think, With every desire of your heart,

10 With every decision you make, With every action you take, In every word you speak.

He made you that you might submit all your powers To do His will: He wants your hands to be His hands, Your feet, His feet, Your eyes, His eyes, Your mouth, His mouth, To do what He would do, To desire what He would desire, To say what He would say.

And you are to love Him With what He has given you And not yourself. He is to be your end, your goal.

There is a self-love that God allows – The kind that seeks pleasure in Him, That seeks to store up riches above Where you can enjoy them with Him forever.

But there is a self-love that is sinful –

11 When we want our own pleasure, Our own honor and glory, Purely for ourselves and not for Him. The Lord wants to be first in your heart He wants to be first in your life. He wants you to do what you do For His glory and honor and not yours. That’s how much you are to love Him.

C. The final question is, How can we strengthen The love we have So that we can love Him in this way?

It’s really quite simple: The Spirit created that love, And He alone can strengthen it. You must seek more of the Spirit’s work in your heart.

You must stoke the fire of His love with the Word – You need to read it, memorize it, believe it, apply it!

You must pour on the oil of prayer – Ask the Lord for more of His grace, To show you more of His beauty and glory,

12 To strengthen your love for Him.

You must worship Him, praise Him, Fellowship with other believers. All these things will fuel that fire.

And you need to do the things that honor Him – Live according to the commandments – And stop doing the things that quench His Spirit – The things contrary to His commandments. Get the world out of your heart. Stop feeding your mind with it. Stop serving it with your faculties.

You know what these things are. You know you need to let go of them. You may not want to because they’re too much fun. But you have to if you want To grow in your love for God. They are like throwing water on the fire. If you don’t get rid of them They will continually rob you of your love, Rob you of your joy, And slow your progress Of growing into the image of Christ.

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Instead of quenching it, Use what love you have to strengthen it further By using the means He’s given you To get more of this holy oil For the furnace of your soul.

Don’t forget, you have only one life, And so only one opportunity To give yourself to the One Who loved you and gave Himself for you.

Don’t lose your opportunity. Don’t waste your life. Don’t give it to the world. Give it all to Him. He is worthy of your love – He is so beautiful and glorious; He has done so much for you. And He even promises to reward you For doing what you should be doing anyway.

This evening, We’ll look at the second greatest command: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Amen.

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