Feeling the Love

(audio sermon by Gary Sampson)

It’s not enough to understand God’s love, we need to feel it.

Speakers notes follow –

Feeling the Love

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3.16)

‘I need someone with skin on‘ – she understood but needed to feel

Not enough to understand God’s love – need to feel it

Spouse says ‘I love you’ – do they want you to just understand – no to feel – father says it, same

Baloche friend’s son ‘Hugga Dadda’ – wanted to feel – we gather not just to understand, but to hugga Dadda!

Spirit at gatherings – enables feeling – but understanding can lead to feeling – When your date says ‘I love you’ feelings take over – meditate on God’s love, ‘For God so loved me that …’ – feel loved

Is feeling God’s love important? – all sin – it separates – If you wrong your spouse – gap till you apologise – sometimes years because 5 missing words ‘I’m sorry, I was wrong’ – asking God to forgive is necessary – but having it, opportunity for hug – we feel the love

Sometimes our understanding that God so loved the world that he gave – can be very dry – mechanical

Ulrike’s Mass – deep sadness – ritual passionless – yet called his passion for us – gutted – ‘what have we done to your church!’ – the cross – a demonstration of God’s love!

Can be pastor, priest – with understanding but no feeling

This tells us something – we are responsible for lack of passion/feeling – supposed to maintain it – God has his part – we have ours

Its like a marriage – worked at – easy for newly weds – maintain the fire – knowing love language – or passion replaced by logic: ‘Of course I love you, I married you!’

How do we maintain fire? ‘We love him because he first loved us’ (1 John 4.19) – need to be reminded of his love – think on his acts – not just biblical ones – What he has done for you personally

Sinful woman (Lk 7.36-50) – forgiven little loved little – forgiven much loves much – outrageous, embarrassing passion – a revelation of God’s love, forgiveness overwhelmed her

We need to meditate on God’s love – have our eyes opened

Told to give thanks & praise in every situation, why? When we thank we reminded of God’s love – enables us to feel and love back

Not talking of stereotype ‘praise the Lord’ – usually heartless – respond to God from heart in fresh passionate displaysWiping Jesus’ fees with her hair was not stereotypical! – explosion of raw feeling out of sync with tradition – real, not mechanical

Good Good Father (song)

A thousand stories what they think youre like – world thinks God’s a moral monster

But I’re heard the tender whispers of love – personal experience changes things

And you tell me you’re pleased – He’s encouraging in my experience

You’re a Good Good father – maybe you experienced a bad one

I’m loved by you, its who I am – while we were yet sinners Christ died for us

Many searching for answers-only you provide – ones that come by personal relationship – scientific research good – but only tells how & when – not who & why

Love so undeniable-can hardly speak – peace so unexplainable-can hardly think – as you call me deeper-into love – this is experience not logic – gives needed anchor in a lost world – this is feeling the love – God’s love

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