Part of the Sunday series, preached at a Sunday service
As I have pondered the love of Christ for us, and the different ways that the Bible presents it to us, I have seen four ways that the depth of Christ's love is revealed. First, we know the depth of Christ love for us by what it costs him. Second, we know the depth of Christ love for us by how little we deserve it. Third, we know the depth of Christ love for us by the greatness of the benefits we receive in being loved. Fourth, we know the depth of Christ love for us by the freedom with which Christ love us. If a person does good things for us because someone is making him, when he doesn't really want to, then we don't think the love is very deep. Love is deep in proportion to its liberty.
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1I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. 2O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. 3O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. 4Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. 5For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. 6And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. 7LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. 8I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication. 9What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? 10Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper. 11Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; 12To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. (KJV)
1After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. 2There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. 3Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. 4But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. 5Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. 6And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. 7Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. 8And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. 9As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. 10Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. 11Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, and hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. 12Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. 13Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. 14This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead. 15So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 18Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 19This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. (KJV)