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SCRIPTURE TEXT: Romans 5:6-8

    For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  

INTRO: How much love is enough? 

   Can we love too much? 

   “When I stand before my Lord, I hope He’ll say of me that I’ve loved too many, rather than too few.”1 

   We often choose to love or not to love by our personal likes or dislikes. 

   The boundaries of our love are often influenced by outward manifestations.    

   God’s love for us knows no boundaries. 

Ephesians 3:17-19 (NLT) And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.  


NOTE: God demonstrated His love for us in several ways. 


Hebrews 2:17-18 (NLT) Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. He then could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and temptation, he is able to help us when we are being tempted.

 NOTE: How can we begin to understand what it meant for God to take on the form and nature of man? 

   He did all this in order to know what man goes through. 

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NLT) That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin.  So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.


Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.  

NOTE: The whole purpose of God taking on human form and nature was in order to die for us. 


Galatians 3:13 (NLT) But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."  


2 Corinthians 5:21 (NLT) For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 


1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  

1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.  


Romans 5:6, 8 (NLT) When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners…But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.  

NOTE: We look on the outside and decide who should be save but God wants all to be saved. 

2 Peter 3:9 (NLT) The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent.  

Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.  


NOTE: There are no more boundaries that divide us. 

Galatians 3:28 (NLT) There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all Christians—you are one in Christ Jesus.  

Colossians 3:11 (NLT) In this new life, it doesn't matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.  


Jeremiah 31:3 The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.  

Ephesians 3:17-19 (NLT) And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

 CONCLUSION: God’s love is so great it has made a way that we as sinners might become part of God’s family. 

1 John 3:1-3 (NLT) See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children, and we really are! But the people who belong to this world don't know God, so they don't understand that we are his children.  Yes, dear friends, we are already God's children, and we can't even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when he comes we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.  And all who believe this will keep themselves pure, just as Christ is pure.  




SCRIPTURE TEXT: Joshua 24:15  

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  

NOTE: We may no longer bow down to idols made with wood or stone, yet there are many gods whom we worship and serve.  

    There are many questions in life but the most important one is, “Who is our God?” 

   Just what do we mean by God? 

   Webster’s Dictionary gives the following definition for the word god.  The supreme or ultimate reality as 1: The being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness, who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe. 2: A being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship: one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality. 3: a person or thing of supreme value. 4: a powerful ruler. 

   There are four things we wish to consider that will help us to determine who our God is. 

1.  Who or what do we love the most.

2.  Who or what do we worship.

3.  Who or what do we trust.

4.  Who or what do we serve.



NOTE: We may love many things but the question we must ask ourselves is, “Who or what do we love above everything else?”   


1 John 2:15-16 (NLT) Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you.  For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world.  

   B. FAMILY. 

Matthew 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  


Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  

Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.  

   We must make a choice on what or who we love the most. 

Luke 11:17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.  


NOTE: We will worship what we love the most. 

   What does it mean to worship someone or something? 

Reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.  Adoring reverence or regard.  The object of adoring reverence or regard (any person or thing) to feel an adoring reverence or regard honor, to pay homage, adoration, idolatry. To honor, venerate, revere, adore, glorify, idolize, and put on a pedestal.

Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009. 

NOTE: There are many people and things that our society worships today. 

·     Sports figures

·     Celebrities

·     Political figures

·     Things (cars, clothes, houses, etc.)

·     Education, pleasure, power, fame, etc.


   We reveal what we worship by what we spend our time, energy and resources on. 

   God is the only one worthy of worship. 

Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:  

Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.  


NOTE: To whom or do we put our trust in when we make plans or face times of difficulties. 

Isaiah 31:1 (NLT) Destruction is certain for those who look to Egypt for help, trusting their cavalry and chariots instead of looking to the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.  

1.  For advice.


NOTE: There is nothing wrong with seeking advice from others, but when their advice and the Word of God disagree, whose advice do we follow. 

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  

Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.  

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  

2.  When facing difficulties.


Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.  

Psalm 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 (NLT) This is what the Lord says: "Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans and turn their hearts away from the Lord.  They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, on the salty flats where no one lives.  "But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit.  


Luke 16:13 (NLT) "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." 

   We will seek to please whomever or whatever we serve. 

John 12:42-43 (NLT) Many people, including some of the Jewish leaders, believed in him. But they wouldn't admit it to anyone because of their fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.  

   We will not serve someone or something we are ashamed of. 

Mark 8:38 (NLT) If a person is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, I, the Son of Man, will be ashamed of that person when I return in the glory of my Father with the holy angels."


Mark 15:43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.  

Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.  

   Those who make God their God are not afraid to serve Him. 

CONCLUSION: Whom we love we worship, whom we worship we trust, whom we trust we serve. LET US MAKE GOD OUR GOD!!! 




SCRIPTURE TEXT: John 15:14  

    Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  

INTRO: We all have many acquaintances but do we have many friends, or better still, are we friends to many. 

   Today we want to discuss our friendship with Jesus. 

  The question we must address is not whether or not Jesus is our friend but are we His friend. 

   Jesus has proven His friendship by His coming to earth to live, die and be resurrected on our behalf. 

Romans 5:6-8 (NLT) When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.  Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though someone might be willing to die for a person who is especially good.  But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.  

   “He died who needed not to die, and died in agony when he might have lived in glory: never did man give such proof of friendship as this.”  (Charles Spurgeon)  

   The Bible tells us that Jesus is a friend of sinners. 

Matthew 11:19 (NLT) And I, the Son of Man, feast and drink, and you say, 'He's a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of the worst sort of sinners!' But wisdom is shown to be right by what results from it."

   Jesus is a friend of sinners so that sinners might become the friend of Jesus. 

   Friendship in its full sense is mutual, it is not one sided.  

   What is required for us to become the friend of Jesus? 


   Jesus values his friends, not by what they have, or what they wear, but by what they do. 

John 15:14 (NLT) You are my friends if you obey me.  

NOTE: Our obedience is the key to our friendship with Jesus.   

   Sinners are not Jesus friends till their hearts are changed. 

   It is the highest honor in the world to be called the friend of Christ. 

James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

  NOTE: Why was Abraham called a friend of God’s? 

·     Abraham believed God

·     Abraham obeyed God


2 Chronicles 20:7 Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?  

Isaiah 41:8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.  

   Faith and obedience are interwoven with each other; you cannot have one without the other. 

    “If ye are obedient ye are my friends.” This is the point by which our friendship with Jesus shall be tested. 

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.  

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.   

1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.  


NOTE: The bond of “friendship” is based on relationship. 

   We can not be friends if we do not have a close relationship. 

   David and Jonathan. 

    True friendship stands in spite of times of trouble in fact; times of trouble will strength true friendship. 

NOTE: Times of trouble does not test Jesus’ friendship with us but rather our friendship with Jesus. 

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times… 

   Do we still love God when things do not go the way we want them to go? 

   Do we still love God when He does not answer our prayers the way we think He should?  

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.  

NOTE: It is during the times of adversity that our friendship with Jesus grows stronger. 


     THE WORLD. 

John 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.  

James 4:4 (KJV) Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.  

NOTE: We cannot be a friend of Jesus and be a friend of the world. 

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.  

NOTE: We can be a friend of sinners, as Jesus was, but not a friend of this sinful world. 

   Friendship of this world means we; 

·     Obey the lust there of

·     Fellowship in its sinful activities


   The more friendship we have with this sinful world the less friendship we have with God. 

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.  

CONCLUSION: God invites us to come from the sinfulness of this fallen world and walk in friendship with Him. 

Isaiah 1:18-19 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:  

Revelation 3:20 (KJV) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.  

   Remember this verse is speaking to the Church. 




SCRIPTURE TEXT: Revelation 2:4  

    Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.  

INTRO: The best of relationships if not keep fresh can fall into stagnation. 

   You are just going through the motions. 

   This can happen in a marriage, a friendship even our relationship with God. 

   Many Christians are just going through the motions in their relationship with God. 

   When our marriage relationship become stagnate we say put a little romance back into your relationship. 

   Jesus is telling the Church of Ephesus the same thing. 

Revelation 2:4-5 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.  


Rev. 2:1-3,6 (GW) To the messenger of the church in Ephesus, write: The one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lamp stands, says: I know what you have done—how hard you have worked and how you have endured. I also know that you cannot tolerate wicked people. You have tested those who call themselves apostles but are not apostles. You have discovered that they are liars.  You have endured, suffered trouble because of my name, and have not grown weary...But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.  

NOTE: On the surface this Church seemed to be a Godly church. 

·     They were not involved in sinful activities.

·     They worked hard and labored for Christ.


   The word labor (kopon) means to labor to the point of weariness. 

·     They patiently endured.

·     They could not bear those who were evil.

·     They rejected false teachers.

·     They had endured suffering.

·     They had not grown weary in their serves to Christ.


   They did all this but they did it without love for God. 

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (ASV) If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing.  

   We often consider this Scripture as referring to our love for others but it also refers to our love for God. 

   We can go through all the motions of being a good Christians and do it without the proper love for God. 



Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 

NOTE: Often people live in a marriage like this.  They do not cheat on their spouse, they do everything that is expected, but they do it without love. 

   This church had replaced their love for God as being first and had place a love for something else in His place. 

·     A love for the Church.

·     A love for the work.

·     A love for the recognition.

·     Out of a sense of duty.


   Their love for God had grown cold.  

Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  

   There are many who are in the church today whose love for God has grown cold. 


Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works;  

·     They were to remember when they had fallen.


Isaiah 51:1-2 Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.  

NOTE: They were to remember two things. 

   1. They were to remember what God had delivered them from. 

NOTE: Sometimes we forget what God has saved us from. 

   2.  They were to remember the love that filled their hearts when

         they accept Christ as their Savior. 

NOTE: We need to remember the excitement and joy we experienced when we accepted Christ as our Savior. 

·     They were to repent for allowing their love for God to be replaced with love for something else.


NOTE: We need to re-evaluate the reason for what we are doing. 

   This might even mean stop doing something in the church if your motivation for doing what you doing is not because of your love for God. 

·     They were to do their first works again.


   1.  Spend time in prayer. 

      Praising God for Who He is.

      Thanking Him for what He has done.

      Telling Him how much you love Him. 

   2.  Spend time reading and reflecting on God’s Word. 

   3.  Share your faith with others. 

   4.  Seek to walk as close to Jesus as you can. 

Song of Solomon 1:4 Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.  

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.  

CONCLUSION: God has promise us a great reward if we will return to our first love. 

Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.



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