First and Greatest

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First and Greatest
Text: Matthew 23:37-38
Occasion: General
Audience: Adults, Youth
Theological Tradition: Wesleyan
Topic: Love, Passion
Author: Darren Bartholomew


We are called to be passionate with God like God is passionate for us.

How to Get There

  • Read passage
  • We need to define what love is, because the love of God is not lust, not what we call love today.
    • Love of God involves following the leadership of God (John 14:5-23)
    • We still stumble, but we deal with those problems and move on.
    • You can know if you love God not if you don’t sin, but if your sins weigh heavy on you, if they bother you.
  • From this passage it is obvious that we are to be in a passionate relationship with God.
    • God loves us like that, and wants us to love in return.
    • This is a voluntary thing. The young man had a choice, so do we. Like all love it takes a choice and it takes response.
  • God values you, and wants you to value God the same way. Like all love, God wants it returned. And God loves us completely, passionately. How we are called to love, God is already loving us like that.
    • Heart – We are to engage our emotions in our relationship with God. It is not just about service.
    • Mind – We are to fill our minds with what inspired our love for God.
    • Strength – We should love God with our resources and abilities. How we use what we have matters.
    • Soul – We need to realign our identity to be based on God’s love for us, not on our own successes.
  • God loves us with His all, and wants us to return that love with everything we are.

Things to Watch For

Love is a confusing topic today. There are so many different ways ot talking about it, and few of them are religious or even accurate. Most are just euphemisms and we need to make it clear we are not talking about sex here, but that this is what love truly is, for everyone.

Passion is another idea that has been taken over and distorted today and might need some reclamation. But the main idea is that everything God asks of us when it comes to love, God is already doing.

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