14 Aug 2014 by Adeline Lum CM-
We love different things in life, from coffee, books, soccer, traveling, food…and then, there is God. Somehow, talking about loving God amidst these trivialities makes loving God sound much weightier and more profound—a love that pierces into our hearts.
On 10th of August, Pr Alex Tan shared about loving God in DUMC. He said, “The big idea is that you cannot completely love God without a more thorough understanding of his complete and covenantal love of his people. We love God who first loved us greatly. In other words, to love Him, we must know His Love.”
As a God of covenants, Pr Alex shared how God made a covenantal love with the fellow Israelites. From the beginning, the Lord has been trying to reach out to us in love.
7 The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
When were these words spoken? Pr Alex shared that the words above were spoken to the Israelites who broke out from their Egyptian slavery of 400 years. (Acts 7:6) Wandering in the hot desert, they were traveling to the Promised Land, depending on God to preserve them from the harsh desert conditions and also attacks of the King of Hesbon and Bashan. Yet, despite witnessing God’s miraculous powers, they still chose to distrust, disobey, and rebel against God in their journey.
“These are the people that God had been reminding them that his covenant with them is renewed in their generation, and that his promises are true,” said Pr Alex.
While instructing the Israelites for God’s decrees, Moses called out, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.”(Deut 6:4-6)
Pr Alex shared that the word ‘HEAR’ or ‘shema’ in Hebrew above means reciting the Word of God every morning and evening to hear. To stay in covenant, we need to keep His Words in our hearts and minds, meditating on them every day.
He also shared that the word ‘OUR’ (in Deut 6:4 above) denotes ownership because we tend to neglect things we do not take ownership of. He shared for example how a church-owned guitar began to deteriorate because nobody took ownership of the guitar. Likewise, if we do not take ownership of the love covenant God has made with us by actively pursuing Him, our relationship with Him deteriorates as well. Ownership of the covenant meant acknowledging who God is in our life and following His Way in all areas of our life.
“It’s not anybody’s God out there but He is my God who pursues me, beckons me, woos me, because I belong to Him and I am His, and He is mine,” said Pr Alex.
Finally, the word ‘ONE’ (in Deut 6:4 above) denotes that the Lord God is supreme and there is no one else like Him. This is because the God we have is a God who consciously and deliberately ‘set his affection’ on us though we are not qualified. We love Him because He first loved us! (1 John 4:19) Commonly repeated throughout the Bible, prophet Jeremiah also testified on God’s love, which says, “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jer 31:3)
Only when we understand that the extent of God’s love for us, we can be filled to the measure of ‘all the fullness of God’! (Eph 3:17-19) And when we experience the fullness of His Love in us (1 John 4:8), we are able to love Him with all our heart, all our soul, and all our strength! (Deut 6:5)
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. (Eph 3:17-19)
But Pr Alex shared how many of us can truly love God with all our hearts all the time, in reality. Jer 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
“Some say that God has to have so many covenants. Is it because they fail? God’s covenant did not fail but it shows the extent of the human hearts that are so hard to respond and change,” said Pr Alex.
He shared the only way to we can get a hold of our hearts is to obey His commands because this is the love for God.
3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
(1 John 5:3-4)
“We are here to respond to God’s love. Does my love for God make me live it? Loving God is not about perfection, but a whole-hearted affection. Even when we fall, we can always come back,” said Pr Alex.
Do not worry, you are qualified for His Love.
For more information, please visit http://dumc.my/
Address | Dream Centre, 2 Jalan 13/1, Seksyen 13, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
English Celebrations @ Auditorium | SAT 5.00 PM | SUN 10.00 AM
Chinese Celebration | SAT 8 PM @ HALL 3 | SUN 9:30 AM @ HALL 1
Bahasa Malaysia Celebration | SUN 10 AM HALL 2
Tamil Celebration | SUN 2 PM HALL 1
Myanmar Celebration | TUE 11:45 PM @ HALL 3 | SUN 3:30 PM @ ROOM 103
Nepalese Celebration | SAT 8:30 PM @ ROOM 102
Note: This article is written from the perspective and interpretation of the writer, to condense and accentuate the ideas of the pastor in a more understandable and readable way.
Pictures are accredited to DUMC.
| Share the Good News |