God is loving, God is strong.

Ps 62:11-12 NKJV

Psa 62:11 God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.

Psa 62:12 Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy**; For You render to each one according to his work.

The NIV version states it as God is strong and God is loving. How do you put these two attributes together in perfect tension?

Before we get deeper into this, I just want to lay a foundation. It is not something that a whole theology must be built upon, but it must be seen as one of the tools we need to understand God better.

The Holy Spirit put this line in my heart the other day: “The one who loves the most holds the most authority in the kingdom of God.” You will also note that 1 John 4:8 states that: “God is love”. It comes to no surprise that He holds all authority.

It is also important that we don’t take this out of context. This is what makes the scripture in Ps 62 so important, in that it states that God is loving and God is strong, not to take God is love out of context. To take the statement God is love, and keep it on its own and build a whole theology around that would be completely wrong, the same goes for God is strong. Both are valid statements but cannot be used on their own.

For example: I asked Pierre to come up to the front. Pierre is guy of great stature. He is strong. He has larger build than most people standing probably two meters tall. By just looking at him you can deduct that he is a very strong man, stronger than most people around. If you just see Pierre as only a strong man you would be missing out on so much more of him. He might be strong, but he is also passionate. He is a loving father. He has his own business. He is passionate about seeing the lost saved, and of course, the better you get to know Pierre,the more you find out about him.

To take this even a step further, Pierre is human.We are finite beings. This means we have a beginning and an end. To some extend it would be possible to write a description about us that we ourselves would feel is adequate. But God is infinite, uncontainable.

This means: in the beginning, God created the beginning. He was before the beginning. In the beginning was God. For us as finite beings to try and understand an infinite Being, is impossible. We cannot put Him in a box. God is made up of many attributes.

This is important for us that when discussing that God is loving and God is strong that it is just a part of His character. Not to make this the basis of some theology, we need to get to know God in all His facets, search Him out. The more we seek Him the more He reveals to us.

The one who loves the most holds most authority.

Tozer says that the most important thing that a man can think is what he thinks when he thinks about God. I am still busy laying down a foundation for this message. I want to talk about our perception. Our hearts are like the breeding ground of our perception. If we’ve got something wrong in our hearts, it clouds our perception. When there is something wrong in our hearts, it clouds the way we see and look at God, and that in turn distorts the way we interact with others.

I want to use myself as an example of this. When I grew up I was ok with the idea of Jesus, because He died for me, He set me free and I’ve got eternal life because of His sacrifice and me accepting Him as my personal Saviour. But God the Father, the one behind this blood veil of Jesus (if I can use it that way) was the One I was afraid of. Not afraid of in the sense “the fear of God leading to wisdom” but afraid as in scared. See the way I perceived God the Father to be at that stage of my life because of my heart condition was when reading the old testament you see that when you do something wrong : you die, you meet Him on the wrong day: you die. I was really OK with Jesus, but God the Father I was really afraid of. See, because of my heart condition it effected my perception of God the Father and it clouded my understanding which effected my whole life. The problem was as soon as I got to a point to worship God, I struggled as He is a triune God. How do I relate to God if I am afraid of Him? Really afraid of Him…

But through time and persisting in seeking Him out, the Holy Spirit could break down the barriers in my heart. Through the help and guidance of many people, through liberty, through my wife and consistently seeking God out, I started changing slowly. I started to see God the Father’s goodness and as the perfect loving Father.

All I could see in my younger days was the fact that God the Father was strong and the judge, now I’ve got a fuller picture. God is loving. God is kind. Again, God the Father is the perfect Father. We must learn not to just hang onto one thing, but search God out. We must be careful not to make God something that He is not.

It is true that Jesus died and atoned for my sin, but through this progressive revelation I started seeing so much more about God the Father, who loves me so much that He sent Jesus to die for me.

What do most of us remember about Adam and Eve?

The woman that made the mistake, the snake, and being kicked out of Eden or if you a woman, the man that didn’t cover his wife. In this story that we are so familiar with, there is a key feature that we so easily overlook. In Gen 3 it speaks after they sinned, and remember that God has all knowledge He knew they sinned, He searched them out. They hid and God searched them out after they sinned. This is before Jesus died for us on the cross. This is God’s heart.

This is so important to realise, because this is God’s heart. He knew they sinned but He searched them out.

When you start reading the Bible with a heart that knows God is a good Father, He is a loving Father it changes everything. The whole Bible starts to change. The Bible is not just a book where we find tips and tricks in or just gain knowledge, but it is an actual love story. The more you read it from a heart condition that God is a good Father, the more this love story unfolds.

Just to illustrate God’s heart towards us Jeremiah 29:11

Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

This is God’s heart towards us, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give us, you and me a future, and a hope. Just remember this verse as we get towards the end of the message.

Rom 5:8 says while we were still sinners Christ died for us. While we were at our worst spot, in the deepest mess, Christ died for us. God knew our condition, He knew exactly where we are at and what we’ve done, what we’ve been through, but Jesus made it possible that through His sacrifice we can have a relationship with God.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

This is God’s heart He sent His Son not to condemn but **save **through Him. To call us to Him in order that we can become sons and daughters in His house, children of God. God is loving.

Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

We live by faith in the Son of God, who LOVED us and gave Himself for us. While we were still sinners. This is God’s heart.

This was now laying a foundation to work from to explain what the Kingdom of God is like. This Kingdom where we worship and long for the King of kings. This is what we partake in. For God so loved the world… God is loving God is strong. God did not sit back and let us perish, but did everything so that we can worship Him freely and have a relationship with Him, so that we can come into His presence and have the Holy Spirit live in us. Jesus said it is finished, in other words everything was done.

How do we bring it back to a practical level, our daily living? We are busy covering walking in authority, so how do we bring love into this picture?

1 Cor. 12 speaks about the gifts we can function in various levels. As church universal we are longing to move more and more in the power and anointing of God. How does love fit into this authority picture? In the kingdom of God the one who love the most holds most authority.

Chapter 12 here gets us really excited about all the gifts we can function in and how we can see the supernatural move through us. Chapter 13 of 1 Cor. is the chapter that covers chapter 12.

1Cor 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

1Cor 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

1Cor 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

This this points out that when we do something and is not out of love, if love is not the basis of that action, it will profit you nothing. If an action doesn’t come from a heart condition of love it will profit you nothing.

Through this we can see that love should be the basis of our actions in what we function on a daily basis, so how does love look, what do I do practically.

1 Cor 13:4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

1 Cor13:5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

1 Cor13:6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

1 Cor13:7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1Cor 13:8 Love never fails.

1Cor 13:4 Love suffers long and is kind .Am I like this, when I work and my boss tells me something to do, is this my heart condition? Do I follow with this as a basis in my heart? What is my response in daily life?

1Cor 13:4 ………..love does not parade itself, is not puffed up. Do I feel that I am better than others? Am I maybe better in sport than others and now I feel that I am better?

1Cor 13:5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil. What do I do in traffic when someone cuts in front of me in traffic? What do I do in the parking lot when someone takes my parking space that I’ve been waiting for 5 minutes?

We need to ask the Father to reveal our heart condition to us.

The verse in Jer 29:11 sounds all too familiar now.

Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

This is God’s heart towards us. He’s got a good heart towards us. This is part of God’s character. The challenge is this. To be Christian is to be followers of Christ.

Eph 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.

Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

We must be imitators of God, followers of Christ. What should we be like? What should we imitate? 1 Cor 13:4-8 is a good starting point.

In the NIV verse 15 of 1 Cor 13 is says that love keep no record of wrong. What is there in our heart that we are keeping hidden of someone doing something to us? Even if you were completely done in, and that person was wrong, do you still keep it against him? God calls us to be imitators of Him, to be like Him. Love holds no record of wrong.

Or did your leadership do something that you felt was wrong, someone in your home group, someone in your family did something against you that you can remember and hold against them? Something that hurt you so badly that only comes now and again and reminds you of the pain.

How do we walk in love? How does our authority look when we lead our house? How we speak to our children when they’ve done something wrong, and we’ve had a bad day. Do we hunger to see our wives reach their destiny or do we only think about our own lives?

Man is not the perfect example but God is, we need to look at God to find out what we should be like. God is strong, but He leads and rules in love. He holds all authority is all powerful but He is love.

Ask the Holy Spirit to come and check your heart condition, ask Him to reveal your heart to you, what has been hidden deep inside there. Thank you Holy Spirit for coming and exposing our hearts to us, and that we can get a clearer picture of what God is like and what our heart conditions should be like. Help us to walk in love.