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Growing Our Love for Jesus

Notes & Transcripts

Growing Our Love for Jesus

Luke 7:11-23

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - April 7, 2013

*How much do you love God? -- When I ask myself that question, the answer is: "Thank God, I love Him a whole lot more than I used to! But I don't love Him enough."

*I want to love the Lord more. And most of us would say, "I do too." How can we get there? -- God's Word can help us today, because it shows us 3 great reasons to love the Lord.

1. First: We can love Jesus more, because He comes to us with compassion.

*We see a great example of the Lord's compassion in vs. 11-15:

11. Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd.

12. And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her.

13. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, "Do not weep.''

14. Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, "Young man, I say to you, arise.''

15. And he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.

*In vs. 13, Jesus had compassion on this poor mother. The idea in this New Testament word is being so moved with love, sympathy and pity that you can literally feel it in your gut. The Old Testament words for "compassion" have the ideas of deep love and mercy. Jesus had this kind of loving, merciful compassion for the broken-hearted mother in our Scripture.

*And she needed compassion. This woman was a widow. And now her only son was dead. So on top of her excruciating grief and loneliness was the reality that she may have had no one to take care of her in her old age.

*But Jesus came to the rescue! The Lord stepped in to help her. And it is very important to see why. Notice that this grieving mother did not do anything to earn the Lord's help. She didn’t expect His help. She didn't even ask for His help. The mother did nothing to get the Lord's help. She just needed it. And Jesus helped her because of His compassion.

*Our God is a compassionate God!

-Psalm 145:8-12 says:

8. The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.

9. The Lord is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.

10. All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, And Your saints shall bless You.

11. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, And talk of Your power,

12. To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, And the glorious majesty of His kingdom.

*In Isaiah 49:15, the Lord asks: "Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you."

*Micah 7:18-19 asks:

18. Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.

19. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.

*Our God is a compassionate God! -- We see this many places in both the Old Testament and the New.

*In Matthew 9:35-36:

35. . . Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

36. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.

*In Matthew 14:14, Jesus "saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick."

*In Matthew 20:34, blind Bartimaeus and another man cried out to the Lord for help. "So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him."

*In the Lord's great parable of the Prodigal Son, that young man repented of his foolish ways and returned to his father. The father in the story is a picture of our Heavenly Father. And Luke 15:20 tells us that the young man "arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him."

*Our God is a compassionate God! -- The Lord Jesus Christ has amazing compassion for you and me. At any time He could squash us like bugs, and lots of times He should. But He has compassion on us.

*Anthony de Mello told about a pastor who was speaking to a class of little children. And the preacher asked them this question: "If all the good people in the world were red, and all the bad people were green, what color would you be?" One little girl thought about it hard for a moment. Then her face lit-up and she said, "I’d be streaky!" (1)

*So would you, and so would I. We all need the Lord's merciful compassion. And our God is a compassionate God. If you ever doubt it, look to the cross! That was the greatest display of His compassion. And Jesus Christ died on that cross for our sins, because of His loving compassion for us.

-We can love Jesus more, because He comes to us with compassion.

2. And because He has a tremendous touch.

*We see the power of the Lord Jesus' touch in vs. 14-17:

14. Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, "Young man, I say to you, arise.''

15. And he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.

16. Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet has risen up among us''; and, "God has visited His people.''

17. And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.

*Jesus touched the burial stretcher that young man was on, and called him back from the dead. It was a mighty miracle, and just a taste of the power of His resurrection

*D.L. Moody was one of the greatest preachers of the 1800's. You could think of him as the Billy Graham of his day. Mr. Moody told of being asked to preach a funeral in the early days of his ministry. He had just started out, and he needed some ideas. So D.L. Moody began looking through the New Testament to find out how Jesus preached a funeral. But Jesus never preached a funeral. Every time we see Jesus at a funeral, He brought the dead back to life! (2)

*Jesus Christ is no ordinary man. When Jesus touches you, you are touched by the Finger of God! And our gracious, compassionate Lord loves to touch people

*In Matthew 8:1-3:

1. When He (i.e. Jesus) had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him.

2. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.''

3. Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed.'' And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

*In Matthew 8:14-15:

14. Now when Jesus had come into Peter's house, He saw his wife's mother lying sick with a fever.

15. And He touched her hand, and the fever left her. Then she arose and served them.

*In Matthew 9:27-30:

27. When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, "Son of David, have mercy on us!''

28. And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?'' They said to Him, "Yes, Lord.''

29. Then He touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith let it be to you.''

30. And their eyes were opened. . ."

*In Mark 7:32-35:

32. Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him.

33. And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue.

34. Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, "Ephphatha,'' that is, "Be opened.''

35. Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly.

*Another great example is in Mark 10:13-16:

13. Then they brought young children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.

14. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.

15. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.''

16. And He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.

*And when the Lord Jesus revealed His glory to Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration, Matthew 17:5-7 tells us:

5. While he (i.e. Jesus) was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!''

6. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.

7. But Jesus came and touched them and said, "Arise, and do not be afraid.''

*Have you ever been afraid? -- The Lord's touch can calm our fears.

*Our gracious, compassionate Lord loves to touch people, and this is so important to us. Paul Brand was the medical doctor who devoted 19 years of his life to treat leprosy patients in India. He then served 20 years at the leprosy center here in Louisiana.

*During one examination in India, Dr. Brand laid his hand on the patient’s shoulder, and through a translator told the sick man about the treatment he would receive. To the doctor’s surprise, the man began to literally shake with quiet sobs.

*Dr. Brand asked: "Have I said something wrong?" The translator asked the patient and then replied, "No, doctor, -- He says he is crying because you put your hand around his shoulder. Until he came here no one had touched him for many years." (3)

*We usually take it for granted, but to be touched is incredibly important to us. And to be touched by God shows His love and affection in a personal way.

*We cannot be touched today by Christ’s physical hand, but Jesus will surely touch your life, if you will trust in Him. And when Jesus touches you, you are touched by the Finger of God!

*Jesus touched the burial stretcher here in Luke 7 and called that young man back from the dead. But that was only a short-term victory over death. About a year later, Jesus stretched out His hands to die on the cross for our sins. Three days after His great sacrifice, Jesus rose again! And now the Risen Savior offers everlasting life to everyone who will put their trust in Him.

*Let the Lord touch your heart. Let Jesus touch your life. He will give you eternal life. And He will give you more love for the Lord.

3. In these verses there are three great reasons to love the Lord:

-He comes to us with compassion.

-He has a tremendous touch.

-And He builds up believers.

*The Lord wants to encourage His followers. He wants to encourage you. And this is what Jesus did for John the Baptist in vs. 18-23:

18. Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning all these things.

19. And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?''

20. When the men had come to Him, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, 'Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?'"

21. And that very hour He cured many people of their infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many who were blind He gave sight.

22. Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.

23. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me."

*John the Baptist had surely believed in Jesus Christ. In fact, John the Baptist was one of the first to believe. In John 1:29-34, we read this report about John the Baptist:

29. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

30. This is He of whom I said, 'After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.'

31. I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.''

32. And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.

33. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'

34. And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.''

*John the Baptist gave a bold witness for Jesus: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." But that was then. And this is now.

*Yes, there was a great celebration going on in Nain, but 50 or 60 miles away, things were not going well for John the Baptist. John had been shut up in prison for rebuking Herod the Tetrarch. Now John had no prospect for release, and he was about to lose his head. So John had great reason to be discouraged. And he sent messengers to ask Jesus: "Are you the One?" In other words: "I’m in big trouble now, so I really need to know. Are you the One?"

*Jesus responded by giving John the instruction and encouragement he desperately needed. Again in vs. 22&23:

22. Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.

23. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me."

*Jesus gave John the strength he needed to go through his time of trouble. He builds up believers. He wants to encourage His followers. He wants to encourage you.

*About 10 years ago, "The Baptist Message" had a great story of encouragement. It was about a church named "Almighty God Tabernacle." Kind of a different name: "Almighty God Tabernacle."

*Late one Saturday night, the pastor sat at his church desk, going over the next day’s sermon. He decided to call home to check on his wife, and hit a wrong number. The phone rang and rang, until the preacher realized he had dialed the wrong number. So he hung-up and dialed again. This time his wife answered. The preacher laughed at himself when he thought about the person he accidently disturbed.

*A few days later, the church got a call from a man who asked if a phone call had been placed to him from the church's number. "Oh, you must be the one," the preacher said. Then he apologized for the wrong number.

*But the man surprised the preacher by saying: "There’s no need to apologize. You see, that night I sat in my living room, seriously thinking about suicide. I told God, 'If you’re really there, please show yourself to me, and I won’t kill myself.' Just then the phone rang, and when I looked at the caller I.D. it said, 'Almighty God!' I was afraid to answer the phone." (4)

*God stepped in an unusual way to help that man just when he needed it the most. And somehow, someway, God will step in to help you. If you are discouraged today in any way, lean on the Lord and He will lift you up.

Conclusion:

*There are countless reasons to love the Lord Jesus Christ. Today we have seen three:

-He comes to us with compassion.

-He has a tremendous touch.

-And He will build up His believers.

*No one is more lovable than Jesus Christ, and we should love Him most of all, because of the cross. Think about that, as we go to God in prayer.

(1) Original source unknown

(2) SermonCentral sermon "How to Live Really Free" by Russell Brownworth - John 11:1-46 - 07212002

(3) Story by Philip Yancey - Source: SermonCentral sermon "The Deal of the Century" by Steve Shepherd - Matthew 7:11

(4) "Baptist Message" 01172002

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