A number of year’s ago in my sermon I said quite emphatically, “God loves some of you here this morning way more than some of you others.” I may have even sung my personal song that I sing all of the time, “Jesus loves me more than you!” I then went on and made my main point in the sermon, which was based on 2 Corinthians 9:7 “God loves a cheerful giver.” I was preaching a sermon on giving in preparation for our special offering for our Foreign Missions ministry.
After the service, a visiting lady stormed up to me and began giving me a significant scolding for my lousy theology. I let her vent for a few minutes, and then when she stopped for a second to take a breath, I asked her if she was in the habit of giving some of her money sacrificially and cheerfully to God’s work. She stopped talking and stood and just looked at me for the longest time, I assumed she was trying to think of something to say, then she just turned around and left and I haven’t seen her since. Not a good way to attract people to come back to a church service again.
One of the things that motivates me to pursue holiness diligently is the fact that God indeed is closer relationally to those who are pressing on to righteousness than those who are changing little. I desire God’s face to shine upon me. I want to please Him with my life. I want to sense His pleasure in my lifestyle and attitude.
Psalms 5:12 For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield.
Psalms 11:7 For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face.
Psalms 33:5 He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.
Psalms 37:29-31 The righteous will inherit the land
and dwell in it forever. The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice. The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.
Proverbs 15:9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but He loves one who pursues righteousness.
Psalms 5:4-6 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You. You hate all who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.