Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim
God Loves Us
Mal. 1:2-5
NKJV   2 "I have loved you," says the LORD."Yet you say, 'In what way have You loved us?' Was not Esau Jacob's brother?"Says the LORD."Yet Jacob I have loved; 
3 But Esau I have hated,And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness." 
4 Even though Edom has said,"We have been impoverished, But we will return and build the desolate places," Thus says the LORD of hosts: "They may build, but I will throw down; They shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, And the people against whom the LORD will have indignation forever. 
5 Your eyes shall see, And you shall say,'The LORD is magnified beyond the border of Israel.' 
NASU 2 "I have loved you," says the LORD. But you say, "How have You loved us?" "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the LORD. "Yet I have loved Jacob; 
3 but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness." 
4 Though Edom says, "We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins"; thus says the LORD of hosts, "They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom the LORD is indignant forever." 
5 Your eyes will see this and you will say, "The LORD be magnified beyond the border of Israel!" 
 

Introduction
If God loves you why doesn't He do everything in the way and time you want Him to do it? How come if He loves you an me His love is shown sometimes in very strange ways? We can asked more questions than we can answer.

Some people judge a persons love by the response to their needs in the way and time they think they need it. In the text God's love is:
 

1. God's Love . . Announced. v 2 a

2. God's Love . . Argued. v 2 b

3. God's Love . . Authenticated. v 2 c-4

4. God's Love . . Amplified. v 5
 
 
 

1. God's Love . . Announced. v 2 a
        2 "I have loved you," says the LORD.
 

A.    God's Personal Love. . Announced.
        "I have loved you," says the LORD.

        1. Note the personal emphasis of God's Love.
        2. This is unique to Christianity and Judaism.

Illustration
My first Bible Professor in College had been around the world 5 different times. He told of the one of first times he spoke to a tribal group and he told them God loved them. The natives had never heard that concept before, as to them God is more of an impersonal force.

The Bible tells us God loves us, and it is a personal quality of love.

B.    God's Persistent Love . . Announced.
        "I have loved you," says the LORD.
 
        1.    The Lord continues to tell us and show us He loves us
        2.    Jer. 31:3 "Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love."

Illustration
One of the great hymns of our faith is the song, "The Love of God."

The second stanza

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call.
God's love so sure shall still endure,

All measureless and strong:
Redeeming grace to Adam's race,
The saints and angels song.

The last stanza of the song was found written on a cell wall in a prison by an unknown prisoner:

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade.
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
 

Most of you know the chorus:

O love of God,
How rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure,
The saints and angels song.

Application

I feel sadness for those who do not believe God Loves them. I know he loves me, I am a convinced customer and a satisfied customer.
 
 
 

2.    God's Love . . Argued. V 2 b
        ". . . Yet you say, 'In what way have You loved us?'

A.    God's Love Argued by . . A Brash People
        ". . . Yet you say,. . . "

        1. Can you imagine speaking brashly to God.
        2. The words "you say" contradict God in an arrogant manner.

B.    God's Love Argued by . . A Blinded people.
        ". . . In what way have You loved us?"
        1.    Isn't it sad when people can not see the Love of God.
        2.    They are so wrapped up in themselves they are blinded to the blessings of God.

Illustration Question: what kind of God do you want?

"A give-me God."     Like a vending machine, you put in and He is obligate to feed out?
 

"A grandfather God."     Someone with candy in his pocket, cheery smile on His face and never a word of correction on His lips?
 

"A hot-tub God."     His only concern, His only reason for being, is your happiness and contentment?
 

A "jello God."         You pour him into any mold you want and He fits.
 

Give me a "Junior Executive God"    one who answers to me and does exactly what I say.
 

Application

I want the God of the Bible ­ ­ The God who Loves

These people argued about, and denied God's love

Only a cold, self centered person regularly questions the love of God.
 
 
 

3.    God's Love . . Authenticated. v 2 c-4
        ". . . Was not Esau Jacob's brother?"Says the LORD."Yet Jacob I have loved; 3 But Esau I have hated, And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness." 4 Even though Edom has said,"We have been impoverished, But we will return and build the desolate places," Thus says the LORD of hosts: "They may build, but I will throw down; They shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, And the people against whom the LORD will have indignation forever.

A.    Authenticated in God's . . Acceptance. Vs 2 c - 3 a
        ". . . Was not Esau Jacob's brother?"Says the LORD."Yet Jacob I have loved;
        3 But Esau I have hated, . . . "

        1.    God chose a people to work with, and He chose Israel. He chose to love Israel.
                a. Election f Israel and Rejection of Esau.
 
        2.    The word hate must be understood in contrast to His love for Israel.
                Luke 14:26-27 26 If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother,
                wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
                27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. NKJV

                Matt 10:37-38 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.
                And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does
                not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. NKJV

                a.    If you see how I treat my grand children compared to yours there will be a contrast.

                    1)    Note this difference:    Moses    Ex 20:13 Thou shalt not kill. KJV
                                                                            Ex 20:13 "You shall not murder. NKJV
                                                                Jesus     Mark 10:19 You know the commandments: 'Do not
                                                                            Commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,'
                                                                            Do not bear false witness,' 'Do not defraud,' 'Honor
                                                                            your father and your mother.'" NKJV

B.    Authenticated in God's . . Assignment.
        ". . . And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness."
        1.    The land given to Esau was a wilderness. It is still a baren land.
                a. Today Oil makes it different, an illustration of God's Love for Esau

C.    Authenticated in God's . . Anger.
        4 Even though Edom has said,"We have been impoverished, But we will return and build the desolate places," Thus says the LORD of hosts: "They may build, but I will throw down; They shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, And the people against whom the LORD will have indignation forever.
        1.    God knew and knows the attitude of this people

Illustration God, Vision of:
In Executive Edge newsletter, management-consultant Ken Blanchard retells the story of a little girl named Schia (which first appeared in a book titled "Chicken Soup for the Soul"). When Schia was 4 years old, her baby brother was born. "Little Schia began to ask her parents to leave her alone with the new baby. They worried that, like most 4-year-olds, she might want to hit or shake him, so they said no." Over time, though, since Schia wasn't showing signs of jealousy, they changed their minds and decided to let Schia have her private conference with the baby. "Elated, Schia went into the baby's room and shut the door, but it opened a crack -- enough for her curious parents to peek in and listen.

They saw little Schia walk quietly up to her baby brother, put her face close to his, and say, 'Baby, tell me what God feels like. I'm starting to forget.'" Have you grown older and forgotten God? It's not too late to return to the one who created you. Jesus taught that to enter the kingdom of God, we must simply receive it like a little child (\reference {Mark 10:15} {Mark 10:15}).

Application

God's Love is Authenticated in his Acceptance, Assignments, and Anger.
 
 
 

4.    God's Love . . Amplified. v 5
        5 Your eyes shall see, And you shall say,'The LORD is magnified beyond the border of Israel.'

A.    Amplified in God's . . Provision. v 5 a
            "Your eyes shall see,. . . "
        1. God provides the Vision.
        2. They saw the destruction and protection of God.
            a. Some people seeing don't see.

B.     Amplified in God's . . Projection.  v 5 b
        ". . . And you shall say,'The LORD is magnified beyond the border of Israel."
        1. God projects His

Illustration Change of Heart
Mom got up early Sunday morning and got the kids ready for church. Dad sat in the living room, reading his newspaper and looking out at the snow.

They'd had the conversation before, but nothing had changed. "Why don't you go with us this week?" she asked. He didn't look up from his paper. "You know why," he said out loud and then in his own mind finished the answer with "A truly great God wouldn't care about puny humans anyway." The man replayed the argument in his mind: "If God is so perfect and great, why would he care about helping us? If God is so powerful, why would he make his son become a human being? Why would he stoop so low to help us.... if God is really so great."

The house was silent except for the sound of the logs crackling in the fireplace. From the other end of the house came a strange thump. The man put down his paper and walked down the hall.

Outside the window huddled a group of birds. In confusion and fear, they had flown into the window pane and fallen to the ground. They huddled together in the snow trying to figure out what to do next. The man felt sorry for the birds. He thought to himself, "The birds could go in our barn and they'd be warm there." So he went outside and opened the door to the barn. Then he waited in the cold. The birds didn't move. "I know, I'll shoe them over to the barn door," the man thought. But as he tried to herd the birds to the barn they simply scattered. Only after he left them alone did they come back to their spot in the snow.

The man had one last plan. He went back in the house and got a loaf of bread. Carefully, he tore off pieces of bread and made a path to the barn door. But the birds just huddled closer together, ignoring the gift of life which the man was offering. Stumped, the man stood looking at the birds, wondering just what it would take to get them to safety. He thought to himself, "If only I could become a bird and lead them to safety, then they wouldn't have to die." And he stopped and thought about it again. And he finally understood.