I love to ask my kids, “How much does Daddy love you?” Because they always answer in Greek, “Toso!” (“this much”) as they spread their arms as wide as they can go. They do it this way because we taught them to say it. Why? Because as parents we wanted to them to know our love is bigger than what they can even imagine. We loved them before they even were born. We loved them in the womb, we loved the image of God in them before we ever met them.
The love of God is like this but so much greater. Think about it, God loved us before we even knew ourselves. God loved us before our parents did. David said in Psalm 139:16-18 that God had precious thoughts about us that outnumbered the sand even before we were born! It is with this God-kind-of-love in mind that this series and sermon is being preached because I want to share, “God’s Heart For You!”
Ephesians 3:16-20, “16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
- GOD: We believe as Christians that God is the, “Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19. We also believe the unity of God’s message through both the Old Testament and New Testament. Therefore, we reject false notions that God was a “meanie” in the OT, but is now “nice” because of Jesus in the NT. God has always been and will always be LOVE.
- LOVE: The New Testament, written in Greek, has two main words for “love.” (1) Philostorgos: Brotherly affection, Romans 12:10. (2) Agape: Strong affection that results in preferring others above one’s self (i.e., “self-sacrifice”), John 3:16. The primary word for love God uses for us is, “agape,” like that of a Father.
- OMNIBENEVOLENT: One of God’s most important attributes that refers to His eternal and unmatched love and infinite goodness; first revealed within His Triune nature and second, towards all His creation.
THE PROBLEM WITH EVIL
Below is a video that explains why God is all loving and all powerful and yet evil can still exist. Here is the summary:
- An all loving and powerful God created human beings with free will to allow them to make their own moral choices because true love wouldn’t want “robot-like-creatures” with forced affections and decisions.
- When humans use their free will to choose evil, the consequences are suffering and pain (ex., “Adam & Eve”).
- However, God so loved sinners that He sent Jesus to die for their sins and take their punishment, John 3:16.
- Now all those who freely choose Jesus will be saved from their sins, but those who do not choose Jesus remain in their sins and will be punished, John 3:18.
- Therefore, since God is not a divine kidnapper, every person gets to freely choose between good/evil, heaven/hell, and God/sin.
GOD’S HEART FOR YOU REVEALED THROUGH PAUL’S PRAYER
- GOD’S GLORIOUS RICHES (v. 16a): God is not cheap in His glory, it is from his glory (reputation and great presence) that He has given you everything you need- emotionally, spiritual, and physically. You lack no good thing in Him, Psalm 23:1.
- STRENGTHENED WITH POWER THROUGH THE SPIRIT (v. 16b): God personally lives in you through the person of the Holy Spirit. He is not just a “it” or a “force,” the Holy Spirit is a divine person (equal with the Father and Son) with unlimited power. His power is used to comfort, guide, and energize you to live out the will of the Father, Colossians 1:29.
- CHRIST DWELLING IN YOUR HEART (v. 17a): Since the Holy Spirit is with you, Jesus is also with you (along with the Father) because the Trinity is inseparable. Through the voice of the Holy Spirit you can hear the words of Jesus, just as if you were walking with Him by the sea of Galilee, John 14:23,26.
- ROOTED & ESTABLISHED IN LOVE (v. 17b): Everything about your new life is established in the love of God. The very reason the Father sent the Son to die for you was because of love, John 3:16. Every root in your spiritual life that will ever bear fruit will be rooted in the love of God- without love everything you do would be meaningless, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. Nothing in the Kingdom of God will ever work unless it is established in love. Because of love you have been chosen to be in a divine marriage as the Bride of Christ, Ephesians 5:21-33. Because of love you have been adopted to be a child of the King, Galatians 4:3-7. You are loved because God is love, 1 John 4:8.
- POWER TO GRASP THE GREATNESS OF CHRIST’S LOVE (v. 18): Now God wants you to have His great power to grasp (comprehend) His love more and more each day. Just as parents find joy in discovering more ways to love to their kids, the same is true with God. He loves loving you and wants you to love loving Him. God has made the universe for this very purpose, it is the “cosmic love affair of the ages.”
- FILLED WITH THE FULLNESS OF GOD (v. 19): Only in the love of God will you ever be full and content because the only way to be filled with the fullness of God is to be filled with the fullness of His love. God’s love for you is, “forgiving, self-sacrificing, generous, divinely jealous, slow to anger, freeing, protecting, providing, preserving, never failing, never ending, joyful, and full of pleasures forevermore!”
Let go of every fear and doubt you may have and pray that God will reveal His love to you!