Sunday, January 26, 2014

How Do I Love Thee

Temple Baptist Church - 1-26-2014
Song Of Solomon 1:1-4
A. When I read these verses, I am once again reminded of the poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning titled “How Do I Love Thee?”
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
B. These verses penned so long ago should express the love of the saints for their blessed and most wonderful Saviour! How can we not love Him who is altogether lovely and loving?
1. Never so dear a dowry was paid as was paid by Christ for His Bride! John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (Graven upon the palms of His hands!)
a) He gave up glory for a manger.
b) He was despised and rejected of His own.
c) He suffered as a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief.
d) He bore the shame and reproach that belonged to us.
e) He gave Himself to the will of the Father in the cross as He sweat as it were great drops of blood.
f) He was nailed to the cross after His visage was marred more than that of any man through the beatings and scourging.
g) He bore our sins in His own body on the tree and willingly died for you and I!
h) What a price He paid for His Bride!
2. He loved us before we ever knew Him! John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; (We are ever dear to His heart.)
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Ephesians 1:6-7 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
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.
3. We, as His children, are precious in His sight! Psalms 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Written upon His hands and loved with an everlasting love! Death severs the earthly marriage of a couple but only serves to unite forever Jesus Christ and His Bride!)
Isaiah 49:15-16 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. 16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
Psalms 78:36-39 Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. 37 For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant. 38 But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. 39 For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.
C. How can we not love Him? Completely, honestly, boldly, and faithfully! In Mark 12:30, our Lord said,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.” (Verse 3 says, “Therefore do the virgins love thee.”)
1. We Love Him For His Great Salvation - Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2. We Love Him For His Marvelous Grace - Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
3. We Love Him For His Glorious Peace - Genesis 15:15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
4. We Love Him For His Blessed Assurance - Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
1 John 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
5. We Love Him For His Infinite Wisdom - Ephesians 1:7-8 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; (God knew our “frame” and provided our wonderful salvation and eternal security for us.)
Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable [are] his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
6. We I Love Him For His Unspeakable Joy - 1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
Habakkuk 3:17-18 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: 18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
7. We Love Him For His Promised Eternity - Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Conclusion: His wonderful love demands a wonderful love returned!

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