Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church Lexington, KY. Pastor Earl Thomas
Pleasant Ridge Baptist ChurchLexington, KY. Pastor Earl Thomas

LOVE EVERLASTING 

Jeremiah 31:3 “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.”

Intro: today is Valentines Day. The only kind of love that God has is an everlasting kind. It is constant. It is not fickle. It is not partial. It is omnipotent. It is transforming. It is corrective. It is all consuming and constraining. It is not like man’s love. It is uniquely divine. It is firm, it is judgmental, but it is grace giving, it is rewarding, it is kind, and it is compassionate. It is like God, for God is Love. 1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”

1. GOD’S LOVE IS THE KIND THAT KEEPS ON GIVING.

He has given us all homes wherein we are comfortable, cars to drive, clothes to wear, food to eat, friends to enjoy, children and grandchildren to love, jobs to do, a means of livelihood, money to live on, family to support us in tough times, and little tiny babies to remind us of how far we’ve come since we were brought into this world.

Is there anything that we really need that God hasn’t supplied? 1 Timothy 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;”

Do you know the reason some people have so little in this world? It is likely because they are irresponsible with what God gives them! Wasteful, slothful in business, careless with what they do have. It is that kind of person the lotteries play upon. A way to get something for nothing, something for not having to work for it! Something which comes their way by sheer luck. Slogan, “somebody’s got to win. It might as well be you.” I am told that a person has a higher chance of being stuck by lightning. But, suckers are born every minute. Gambling is not God’s way to make a poor man rich, it is that industry’s way of making a poor man poorer. Trying to make money by gambling is a suckers game.

The books of Deuteronomy, Joshua, & Judges speak of the many things that God had given to the Jews. Things they didn’t deserve, didn’t earn, didn’t expect, didn’t acquire by their own strength, but were given as a gift from their all supplying God. Moses had to constantly remind the Jews to count their blessings. God had been so good to them and they needed reminding of it. Deuteronomy 3:18 And I commanded you at that time, saying, The LORD your God hath given you this land to possess it: ….” However, the Jews had to fight for the land, but it was God who promised them success & wealth.

Here’s something for sure as we think about the subject of LOVE. Because God loves, he gives. It is possible to give without loving the doing of it, but it is impossible to LOVE without giving of ourselves to something bigger than ourselves. This is where our members giving financially to our church enters. 2 Cor 9:7-8 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. (Greek: a merry, hilarious giver) 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:” Now that’s how to get our needs met! Give to God and he gives back!

Obedience receives God’s rewards for faithfulness. Matt 19:27-29 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? … And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” Luke’s gospel, says, Luke 18:30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.” Hey, the everlasting life catches my eye, good deal. But his doesn’t mean we can buy everlasting life. That is a gift from God. Luke is speaking of the end results of a FAITH driven life of faithful stewardship of our means.

But how much is an hundredfold? It’s one hundred times as much as we’ve given. Pretty good interest earned.

We pay our personal manifold kinds of taxes in this county, but none of us loves the doing of it. We do it because we must. God doesn’t love us because He must, he loves us because he chooses to.

His love is indefinable. We can understand why God might hate ole Esau, but why would he love that sneaky and conniving Jacob. God’s love is immeasurable. It is permanent. It is transcending. It is far reaching. It is evident, because here we stand as testimonies to it! Its depth cannot be fathomed, its height known, nor its breath comprehended. It’s strength is omnipotent. It is A love that will not let us go. It hangs on to us and squeezes us tightly. If we try to draw away he draws us back. We are a little like a yoyo, He only allows us to go as far as the string can stretch, but then back we come. Yes, he loves us with an everlasting love.

God is the giver and sustainer of LIFE. Acts 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.”

God gives us victory over death, 1 Cor 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Tim 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;” Folks, enjoy what you have.

God gives us wisdom. James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth (criticizes) not; and it shall be given him.”

God gives us grace, his unmerited favor. James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”

God gives us abilities for service. 1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

God gives us our needs. Phil 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

God gives us His love. “...the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:5

Child of God… you can’t keep God from loving you or from giving good things to you! Matt 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

God gives us security. And nothing will ever separate us from that LOVE WHICH WILL NOT LET US GO. Want proof? Romans 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

God gives us insight. Eph 3:14-19 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”

God’s love is proven true, listen to the holy scriptures:

1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: … “

1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Where do each of us stand today? Within the LOVE OF GOD? Or outside in the world of darkness and evil? Does the love of God grip you in his mighty arms? Or are you clinging to a straw of hope that somehow you will make it to heaven on your own. Can’t happen! There is but one way, and that way is Jesus Christ whom God sent as a profound expression of how much he CARES FOR US.

May I suggest something for you to do that will bring peace and security to your soul? 1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

II…GOD’S LOVE IS THE KIND THAT WILL NOT LET US GO INTO SIN WITHOUT CHASTISEMENT.

Chastisement is an expression of His LOVE for HIS CHILDREN.

Hebrews 12:6-13 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.”

This passage teaches us many things about chastisement. If we get chastised for doing wrong it proves our kinship. Assurance of our salvation is a win, win thing. Of the many things that are unsettling in people who profess to be saved, is that so many of them “doubt” their salvation. 2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:..”

People may doubt whether they are saved because they do not understand why they still have evil desires in their hearts, or they discover themselves doing things that they thought sure they would no longer be tempted to do after having being born again. This was also a conflict for the great Apostle Paul, Romans 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” Paul explained that it was sinful nature that we all still have even after we get saved. “Evil is present with me.” Paul called himself a wretched man because of this. He bemoaned this weakness of his flesh but couldn’t change it. So he tried his best to not let the flesh get in his way of doing God’s work, God’s way. He sought death to the will of his flesh every day, “I die daily…” (1 Cor 15.31). Therefore he called upon us all to, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” (1 Tim 6:12)

If we are not chastised when we steadily follow a worldly kind of life and have much unconfessed sins, it means something far worse. It disproves our kinship. Those who profess to know Christ as Savior, but have no proof of kinship by this unbending rule of chastisement, there is only one conclusion. That one is a LOST soul who has no true relationship with the Savior Jesus Christ. He may be an active church member, sing in the choir, be a teacher, deacon or preacher, but at the same time be a great pretender; one who has never experienced the new birth.

The new birth changes things from the inside out. A born again child of God has new spiritual life indwelling him. He may not feel it, but he will know if it is there. His conscience becomes more a tune to sensitivity regarding wrong behavior in his daily life. Wrong behavior becomes a conviction of conscience that brings him to his knees in confession of sins. If he stubbornly refuses to confess his sins to God and ask for forgiveness, what’s next?? A scourging from his Father in heaven. A scourge is a whip used to inflict pain. God’s paddle isn’t padded like Grandma’s

Our earthly fathers chastened us for their own pleasure, I’ll show you who’s boss. They are the authority figures, and they took pleasure in using it. And we more or less in our future years respected them for it because we in honest confession admit that we often needed correction. Now we understand, that’s how we know they loved us.

The lesson for us here is that we should be in subjection unto our heavenly Father for He chastens us for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. God’s whole design is to make us more into his image. Like father, like son. Romans 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, ...to make one vessel unto honour?”

Although it is not pleasant at the moment, chastisement accomplishes good in us. It produces the peaceable fruit of righteousness in those who experience it. We learn our lesson in the school of hard knots. God applies the board of education to our seat of knowledge. Then we do better. Then we try harder. Then we do right!

Are there any examples of fathers who never discipline their children for bad behavior? Yes. Some have been brainwashed by Dr. Spock into thinking that spanking a child will warp their children’s psyche and cause them to be a misfit in society as adults. The parent who chooses to follow the psychologist rather than the bible will reap the consequences of error.

Whom do we think has more wisdom in how to discipline a child, the creator of human life or the created forms of life? Our MAKER instructs us adequately how to get the job done in bringing up good children.

The writer of the book of Proverbs was Solomon. They were a collection of proverbial sayings of his day. Some critics claim that is all they are, the words of a man. But wait, wasn’t it God who gave wisdom as a gift to Solomon? And that wisdom being God given would state things after the mind of the Giver. 1 Kings 4:29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore.”

Here are some of his wise proverbs, 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod (Heb. Stick) of correction shall drive it far from him.” Proverbs 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod (stick, branch), he shall not die.” Proverbs 23:14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”

When using the stick, measured control is necessary. It is obvious in these verses that cruelty or abuse of a child was not the intent. Progressive liberal minded people today would make this biblical injunction to parents a crime; however, notice the results of a child undisciplined. Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”

The conclusion of these verses then is clearly stated, “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.”

The hanging hands and feeble knees speak of a discouraged and despondent person. Don’t look down beloved… look up! Your God is not in the ground he is in the heavens. Everything looks better with a heavenward gaze, amen? The straight paths means to walk in the narrow road to which Jesus appointed us and don’t turn aside to any of the circuses going on around us. They’re only full of freak shows unworthy of our attention. Do you understand what I mean by this?

The result of lameness in a Christian can lead to doubting his salvation, questioning his purpose in life, and squandering his time in evil pursuit instead of finding healing for himself and the grand purpose in having been saved, and called out of this world unto Himself as a special chosen vessel.

Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. …”.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

Songs: The Love of God

O Love that will not let me go

 

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Revelation 11:17 "Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned." 

 

SERVICES:

SUNDAY MORNING:

Sunday School 9:30
Worship 10:30

 

SUNDAY EVENING:



Choir Practice 5:00



Men’s Prayer 5:15



Evening Worship 6:00

 

WEDNESDAY EVENING:

Men’s Prayer 6:15

Sermon 7:00