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You Are The Prize!

God wants a ‘love relationship’ with you. He wants a romance with you. His desire for you is beyond what so many Christians are even aware of, let alone experiencing. In our current series, God's Surpassing Love, Pastor Richard Harris is taking us through three points:

  1. God wants you to know His love

  2. God wants a 'love relationship' with you

  3. God loves you perfectly and completely

Last week, we talked about 'knowing' God's love, the way a man 'knows' his wife. This week, we are taking that analogy further and expanding on it with two other types of relationship in which God demonstrates His desire for us.

In the Bible, Jesus uses three examples or comparisons to describe this desire that the Father has for you. The first is as a father loves his children.

1 John 3:1 says; 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.

Ephesians 3:14-15 says; 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.

Our relationships on earth are inspired by, reflections of and modelled on God’s original love for us. Think of your closest family relationships, those with your spouse, your children, your brothers and sisters. God is saying that He wants that level of connection, loyalty and trust with us. A bond which is everlasting, never giving up, always and forever.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son is a classic example of this. It really ought to be called the Parable of the Two Sons as both are integral to the message of this parable. But, let's focus on the prodigal for this particular teaching. When the son returns, he apologises profusely to the father. He begs his father, he's ready to be his father servant because the son feels so ashamed. And the father says; "Well, glad you're back boy, but your chores have piled up since you been gallivanting and wasting all the money, so you'd better get to it!" No! That is not the father's response! He ignores his sons begging and pleading and goes straight to ordering the best robe, slippers, a ring for his finger (a sign of his son's position and authority in his house) and prepares a mighty banquet to celebrate. You see, the father isn't just celebrating the safe return of his son, he's celebrating the restoration of the relationship.

The second type of relationship is that of a husband and wife.

Ephesians 5:25-29 says; Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.

Jesus loves us like a man loves his wife and his own body. Jesus proved this. He allowed his own body to be mutilated for us. He loved us more than his own flesh. Husbands, it’s like that moment when you’re standing at the altar and the doors of the church open at the back and there stands your bride. It’s like everything else fades to the background and all you can see is your bride, and she’s glowing! That experience when you’re in love and you enter a party where your love is and it’s like they stand out from the crowd. That’s how God thinks about you! What man ever pursued a woman so he could love her from a distance, objectively?! God is not loving you from a distance. His desire is for up close and personal!

The third way is as BFF’s! Best Friends Forever. The closest friends can love each other more dearly than even family. Proverbs 18:24 says; A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

That friend is Jesus. God looks at you as His best friend! Do you have someone in your life who is so close to you that, even if you don’t see them for months or even years sometimes, when you see them again, it’s like you’ve never been apart? Jesus calls you His friend and He wants that kind of relationship with you.

Jesus wants and desires that intimacy and sharing of experiences, of deepest thoughts and desires that happens among the best of friends. He wants it with you! He wants to give it and receive it.

David and Jonathan in 2 Sam. 1:26. Passing the love of women! He was saying that the brotherly love and friendship they had was greater and more meaningful than a woman’s love.

The point is, God wants that relationship with you and me today. Isn’t that amazing?! God’s love for you is a relational love. Hebrews 2:2 tells us that that love relationship is actually God’s joy and desire. That relationship is the prize that Jesus was after! YOU are the prize!

For the joy that was set before Him. What joy? The joy of going to heaven and sitting down on the throne? He already had that. No, Jesus came to get something he did not have and that something is you!

When the desire for that love relationship is satisfied, God rejoices! Zephaniah 3:17 - he rejoices over us with singing. Think of Zacheus. Jesus tells him that salvation had come to his house. Luke 19:9-10 says; And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Why did Jesus seek us? Because we are valuable to Him and that’s what we will talk about in our next blog.

Watch a snippet from our Home Church teaching series...

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