Green Valley Sermons

Love God

Sunday, May 21, 2017         

1 John 2:15-17


15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world.17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. NIV


Do not answer this out loud. Why do you come to church? Before we go on I want you to answer this question: Why do you come to church? I want you to be brutally honest with yourself. Ask God to help you be honest in answering this queston. Why do you come to church? It is okay to have more than one reason. I want you to consider all the reasons you come to church.


Here are some ways to think about it as you answer this question for yourself:

I come to church because if I don’t …

I come to church because it …

I come to church because I …

I come to church because ________________ makes me.

I come to church because ________________ nags me if I don’t.

I come to church because ________________ wants me to.

I come to church because it makes me feel …

I come to church because I get to ________________ when I come here.


I was asked not too long ago why the person asking should go to church. I have been thinking a lot about this question. There are a lot of reasons people go to church. Some of those reasons are good reasons. Some, are perhaps not so good.


As Pastor, I am glad you come for whatever reason that gets you here. I want you to come because I believe I have a message from God for you. If I did not believe that I would quit the ministry and go back to Oklahoma, get a job at Walmart and spend time with my family.


Have you answered the question for yourself? You probably have more than one reason and that is okay. Have you been brutally honest with yourself? Have you asked God to help you be honest?


I believe there is a best reason to come to church. I believe that as we mature in Christ we will come to understand this reason. I believe that as we mature in Christ it will become the main reason we come to church. If this is not your main reason for coming to church, perhaps you still have some growing to do. If this reason was not even on your list, I would say you definitely need to ask God to help you move in this direction.


You may be asking yourself why is he talking about why we come to church? What does this have to do with 1 John 2:15-17?


John was talking about our motives. He spoke of love for the world and love for God.


Why do we do the things we do? The world has a set of standards. We, as God’s people have a different set of standards. What motivates us to do the things we do?


John spoke of lust and pride. These are the motivations of the flesh, and the world. These are the things the enemy of our souls uses to entice us to move away from God. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. Or as the NIV put it “the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does”.


When I asked you to answer the question about coming to church you probably had more than one answer. We seldom have only one motive for doing anything. Motives come from four (4) basic sources: The world, the flesh, the devil, or God.


We need to understand our motives. We need to look at why we do what we do. When we make choices, whatever those choices are, no matter how important or unimportant, we need to ask ourselves why we are making that choice.


The flesh is the self, the natural man. This is a human being without the influence of God. We always have the flesh. Our natural cravings and desires have their primary source here. They are neither good nor bad. That is to say, the cravings are neither good nor bad.


The problem comes when we follow our natural cravings instead of following God. When we become a Christian, when we are born again, God comes to live within us. He begins to teach us what He wants and we begin to learn to follow Him instead of our natural desires.


The world influences us when we listen to what people say. The world is basically what people think. It is our society. It influences us when we listen to music, when people talk with each other. When we read books. When we watch TV. Again, this is people without the influence of God. This is what society has decided is right and wrong.


God has given us His Word and His Spirit to lead us. He comes to us through the book we call the Bible. God will use the Bible to help us learn what He wants, how He wants us to think. The more we spend time in the Bible, the closer we will move toward the God who loves us.


God speaks to us through others who follow Him. We need to come to church to be influenced by others who are following God. We need to come to church in order to help us know how to interpret the Bible. We need to know what God thinks and we find out what He thinks by listening to Him as His Spirit helps us understand His Word.


Having cravings is not evil. We all have them and they come to us through our flesh and through the influence of society and through the influence of the Serpent, the devil.


It is okay to have many reasons to come to church. But the most important reason is that God wants us to do so and He is our Lord. Our decisions need to be based on what we know to be true as we study The Bible, as we share with others who follow God and as we seek His direction.


We exist to glorify God. He is our Creator. He is our Lord. We glorify Him when we seek Him and learn to follow Him.


We are to judge what our flesh tells us, what our society tells us, and what the enemy tells us by what we know God says to be true. We are to seek Him and learn to trust His leading.


The number one reason to go to church should be that we know God wants us to come here. We are to come because we know we glorify Him when we put Him first, when we love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. We come to worship Him and to honor Him.


When our neighbors see that we consistently get up and come to church they begin to be influenced by us, the members of the church.


Of course, if we come to church on Sunday and live according to what the flesh, the world and the devil says the rest of the week, we may be sending the wrong message to our neighbors. If we are following God we will put God first and the needs of others second


Whose influence are you following? As we mature in our relationship with God, we should be learning more and more about what God wants. We should be learning to listen to the Spirit of God as He leads us and teaches us.


Do you base your life on what you think and feel, what the world says is right or wrong, or on what God says?


There are a lot of reasons to do just about anything. As Christians, we are learning to understand the source of these reasons for doing what we do. We are learning to listen to God and follow Him wherever He leads. We are growing in our belief that God loves me and He is my Lord.


Lanny Wolfe wrote a song called Jesus Be The Lord of All. It says:


Jesus Be The Lord Of All

By: Lanny Wolfe


In my heart are kingdoms

of a world that's all my own,

Kingdoms that are only seen

By myself and God alone.


In the past when I tried to rule my world

It just seemed to fall apart.

So please, Jesus, be the Lord of all

The kingdoms of my heart!


Jesus be the Lord of all,

Jesus be the Lord of all,

Jesus be the Lord of all,

The kingdoms of my heart!


I guess I only fool myself

For I said I have yielded all

But in a secret corner of my heart

Was a kingdom that did not fall.


I surrender now, make my heart Your throne,

Rule its kingdoms, great and small.

For if You’re not Lord of everything

Then You’re not Lord at all.


Jesus be the Lord of all,

Jesus be the Lord of all,

Jesus be the Lord of all

The kingdoms of my heart!


If He’s not Lord of everything, then He’s not Lord at all.


How do you love God? One of the ways you love Him is by going to church and offering praise, and offering yourself as a living sacrifice. You choose to follow Him, to trust Him.


So why do you go to church? The best reason is because you have chosen to love God.


This should be the number one motivation of our lives: Love for God.


How do you love God? You die to self and live in fellowship with Him. You trust Him to love you and to be the Lord of your life.