Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Remember Lot’s Wife

Luke 17:32 “Remember Lot’s wife.”

Why would our Lord want us to remember Lot’s wife?

Because looking back is a trap we should not fall into.

The story:

Lot lived in Sodom. Sodom and Gomorrah were situated in a beautiful valley; full of lush pastures, and full rivers. They were rich cities, and Lot and his family had moved there to enjoy all they had to offer. But…

But they were also wicked places. Terrible sexual practices were carried out in the city, and all of them were allowed on any who would venture in. They were also idolatrous people; so bad that “the cry of them is great before the face of the Lord”.

God sent angels to Lot, so that he and his family, could escape the coming destruction.
Genesis 19:12-13 “And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any beside? Son-in-law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of the place:
For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it.”

Well, Lot told his family, but no one would listen to him; “he seemed as one that mocked”. (Genesis 19:14). They thought he was joking.
After all, Lot lived in Sodom; had been there quite a while, surely this was not going to happen.
Beside, when was the last time Lot talked about God? He must be joking.

When the next morning came, the angels said:
Genesis 19:15 “And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.”

It was time to go, but he hesitated.
Hesitation is such an easy thing for us to do. We wait, a moment or so, wishing things were different; and by doing so, lose the joy in doing the Lord’s Will, in what is next.
In mercy the Lord had His angels take hold on their hands and guide them out of the city.

Genesis 19:16-17 “And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand and upon the hand of his wife and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful to him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.”

Standing outside the city the angels warn them not to look back, but to keep moving forward.
God was going to destroy, for their awful sin, Sodom and Gomorrah.

They started to go to a little city, at the far end of the plain. And when they got there, two things happened:
The Lord did destroy the cities with fire, utterly.
And Lot’s wife looked back.

Genesis 19:24, 26 “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven;”
“But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

But why?
She did not want to leave that life. They were pretty well-to-do. They had a standing in the city, for Lot had a position of judge; for he sat in the gate, as judge.
Even though it was a wicked place, she enjoyed the life of “being somebody”.

And she did not want to leave it. She did not want to go on. No!
She wanted what she had.
So she looked back, and was turned into a pillar of salt.

Salt is suppose to preserve. And she was turned into a pillar of salt, to show that “looking back”, when God is calling you forward, is dangerous.
How many have tripped and fallen here?
Wishing for something, instead of taking the next step with Jesus.

Matthew 5:13 “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt hath lost it’s savor: wherewith it shall be salted? It is therefore good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”

Jesus says: Remember Lot’s wife.

Some times it is hard to go forward: very hard. But we need to remember that God always has our best interests on His heart.
God does all things in mercy to His people.
We need to receive it, and go along with Him.
Paul said:
“…Forgetting what is behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

We are called to take each step with Him; that is all; to save us from the destruction that is in this world, all around us..
And He even helps us do that.

Remember Lot’s wife.

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Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Come let us Reason together

Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

This is one of my favorite verses in the Old Testament.
Think of it! The Almighty God wants us to come and give Him our reasons for our behavior.
And He will listen to them, and then, He will give us His reasons for His Way of doing things!

I have always been amazed at that much love to us!

This is reality, sinking deep within your soul. This requires honesty.
We can all blurt out feelings, things which we may or may not REALLY mean.

But Christ Jesus wants us to get honest with ourselves (with the help of His Holy Spirit) about what is going on.
And then to tell Him.

“Come” , shows that we are far away from Him. So Come, now.

“Let us” means that this is not one-sided, but “us” talking.
(What a nice word, “us”, when it is the Lord and I)

“Reason together” means that we come, wanting to tell our side, but willing to be corrected, and go to His side.

“Though your sins be as scarlet”: and who can say that their’s is not? Not me!
“They shall be white as snow”: by His cleansing us in His precious blood. He died to save us; was raised to empower us; and intercedes for us in all we do.

If we are born again, He gave us His Holy Spirit, Who is with us, always.
Even helps us to get honest, for He is the God of all Truth; and helps us interpret our emotions, so we can see where we truly are, and what we truly want.

With God with us, even when we are wrong, He will help us.
He is the Creator, we are His creatures. He created us, for He has a Purpose for us.
And we must come; always we must come to Him, for all we need.

If we learn the lesson of coming before His throne, as creature before the Creator: knowing our weakness, and His Might, then we have learned a lesson which will be the corner stone of our life.

He calls: Come now, let us reason together.
He wants to hear from you.
And you to hear from Him.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Christian, What do you think of Christ?

Song of Solomon 1:2 “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.”

This is not the kiss of the Father to the prodigal son. (Luke 15:20)
This is not the kiss of the woman sinner on Jesus feet. (Luke 7:37-38)
This is the kiss of the mouth. One on one relationship of love.

Our Christian life begins a personal relationship with Christ Jesus. Sinner, saved, to Savior; that gives way to disciple and Master. Which gives way to friend to Friend; and that can lead to Union and Communion.
There is ,as this maiden here in the Song of Solomon finds; a closer relationship with the Lord.

Have you found His love so?
For surely to know His love is more inebriating than wine.

This love is not what He has done for you; but what He is to you.
She loved him, and wanted a closer relationship with Him. She wanted nothing to come between them.

Is this not the reason of our lukewarm attitude toward our Lord? And how much of what He has given us, is spoiled because of our attitude toward it?
What comes between you and your Lord?

What has cooled your affections for Jesus?

What of your heart’s desire? Is it for Christ, and His Will to be done in your life?
Or is it satisfied with just hearing, (at a distance) about Christ?

Song of Solomon 1:7 “Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?”

We are Christians; we are not going to desert Christ. But we often are “turned aside by the flocks of Thy companions”. We follow His ministers, or a certain doctrine, or get so wrapped up in “working for Christ”; that we become distanced from Him.

Of course, we should go to Church. Yes, we should be attentive to Gospel messages. We should always know the doctrine of faith.

But for the individual Christian, we should always keep our relationship to Christ in first place.

Proverbs 23:26 “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.”

 

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Lord is my Shepherd.
Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
(Yes, we can really come to the place in our experience that we can say that.)

I have always loved the picture of Jesus as my Shepherd.
He is holding a small lamb (and I was one of those once—yes it was a long time ago).
Beside Him is a sheep, looking up and following Him. (Now I am one of those.)

As Shepherd, He leads us out; which is to say, He wakes up with us in the morning and leads us to work, school, or whatever chore or duty we have.
John 10:3 “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.”

As Shepherd, He guides us. It is into circumstances where we may grow and get stronger in faith. And it is into rest, whether it is a quiet time, or peace amid our busy day. He is there, giving it to us.
Psalm 23:2-3 “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”

And when there are dangers (and there are many in this life, from others, from temptations); He will guide us away from them, or protect us through them.    He does correct us when we are following a wrong way, but always in love, to bring us back to Him.
John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steel, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Psalm 23:5 “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”

And when illness and the “shadow of death” come, (for it is a shadow for every born again one. In Death we close our eyes here, and open them in heaven with Him, forever). He is with us (yes, I know His presence, by experience in illness, and operation).
Psalm 23:4 “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

He is ALWAYS there.

Yes, as His born again ones, we are blessed, and can say:
Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

With Him before me, and goodness and mercy behind me; I am covered with His care.

 

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Launch out into the Deep
Luke 5:4 “Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.”
Here the Lord is getting surrounded about with people , who want to hear more of the word of God, by the lake of Gennesaret.
Two fishing ships were at hand, although the men were out of them, so Jesus enters into one of them and asked the owner, named Simon, to:
Luke 5:3 “And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.”
There was some effort to this favor for Jesus, and now Jesus is going to do Simon a favor.
“Launch out into the deep, and let down your nests for a draught.”
Simon, here, was trying to be polite; and gently tells Jesus that they had already done everything they could to get a catch of fishes.
Luke 5:5 “And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all night, and have taken nothing: Nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.”
But he also added, “But at thy word ”
Here is obedience. Peter might not have agreed with the plan. Might not have thought it would work; but would do it anyway, to honor Jesus.

Jesus had “borrowed” Peter’s ship, and now He would “pay” him for the use of it.
Luke 5:6-7″ And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.”
A net full of fishes, to the breaking point, was what He gave.
“Pressed down and running over”. (Luke 6:38). He spoke this word…He fulfilled this word to Peter, here.

But now, with the “payment” given; Peter realizes this Jesus was who John the Baptist testified; “The Lamb of God”. (John 1:35-41). That He was indeed the Christ.
Peter then fell down (probably a most unusual position for the energetic fisherman)
Luke 5:8-9 “When Simon Peter saw it he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes that they had taken:”
“Lord” is the right title for Jesus. And it led to following Jesus.

Luke 5:10-11 “And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed Him.”
They forsook all and followed Him.
This is the best gift–to be called to follow Jesus.

Launch out into the deep. A simple command, simply followed; which led to becoming a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord Jesus also calls us to “Launch out” with Him in our everyday lives, to be obedient to Him.
We may not “agree” with the command; or think we have already done all we could;
but if we will obey Him, He will bless.
“They forsook all”; they had known Jesus before (as John 1:35-41 shows), but now their lives were at Jesus’ command.
What about us? Do we know Jesus, yet have not “launched out” with Him into true discipleship?
He calls, will we follow?
We may never “forsake all” in the same way as Peter, James, and John did here….but we are always called to place Him first.
And with Him first, everything else is seen to. (Mark 1:20)
Matthew 6:33. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

 

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Rain

Hosea 6:3 “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”

Christ Jesus, when He comes to us by the influence of the Holy Spirit, is like a shower of rain, to a dry and thirsty ground.

When we are without Jesus in our lives, our hearts are hard, and nothing seems to soften them or make an impression on them.
Often when we fall into sin after becoming Christians, we can again become “hardened”.    So we need to turn to Him again, and pray for showers of His mercy and grace to come to us and soften our hearts.

Where ever Christ comes, the rain of the Holy Spirit and of grace, comes to our souls; and we are turned into a well watered land.    Fruitful and beautiful, for we drink Him in; and by His Spirit’s influence, we are changed into His character.

As rain is a free gift of God to the earth. To poor and rich alike, the rain falls.
So Christ is offered to all who will.

The rain is most necessary to all the parts of the plants: roots, trunk, branches, leaves, and blossom.
So Christ is necessary to every part of us: our understanding, our will, our emotions, and our memories.
He strengthens us in good things, and enlivens us as we grow.    He increases our peace, and love for Him and others. He preserves us within, by His Spirit; and without, by HIs Word.

As rain sometimes comes amid thunderstorms, as well as the gentle warm rain; so Christ comes to us to warn us, as well as to encourage us.

As rain satisfies the dry earth, so Christ comes and satisfies us.
He gives us the fruit of His Spirit within us.
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Psalm 16:11 “Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”

 

If we follow on to know the Lord more, He will come unto us as the rain, the former and latter rain upon the dryness of our souls.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Forgiving
Matthew 6:12 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

When we pray “forgive us our debts”, we are not asking to be removed from our responsibilities.
We are asking that God would “acquit” us from our guilt. That is to have the punishment due our sin, removed.

It is a legal term, for God is either our Savior, or our Judge.
If He is our Savior, then He has taken our guilt, and the punishment of it on Himself, when He was offered on the cross.
His precious blood covers us and we are made “righteous”.
That means we are not just “not guilty” before God, but that Christ righteousness is applied to us.
We stand in Him, and God sees us as such.

So when we have committed sins (and we do each day: sins of omission, or of not doing right. Or sins of commission, or of doing wrong.); we may come to Him as ask forgiveness.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

And He forgives us.

Then He asks us to be like Him, and forgive our debtors; those who have wronged us.
We are not excusing their sins, only forgiving them, as we have been forgiven by God.

To forgive is to invite peace, peace with God and man, into your life.

When we forgive, we do not let things, like anger and bitterness, come between you and God.
We know He could change circumstances in my favor, if He wanted to.
But what He wants is to change us, in the circumstances.
To show us His saving strength, and His bubbling joy, even in dark times.

To have us walk in His light. The Bible says: Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

I had a cousin once who was the daughter of a missionary in a foreign country.
She would go with her father through the jungle paths, to visit the people of their congregation.
They always carried a lamp and a flashlight, in case it grew dark before they came home.
At night, her father would walk in front, holding the lamp, and shining the flashlight behind him on the path, so she would know how to walk safely.

She said that often as they were walking, this verse would come to her mind, and she would thank God for their safety; both spiritually and physically.

Jude 21 “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
Eternal Life begins the moment we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior; and continues forever.
The Holy Spirit helps us forgive. We are not left to ourselves, but helped on all sides.

Forgiving others frees us from the tangled emotions which bind us to the world, and lets us fly over the circumstances and people, in peace.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Lord is not slack concerning His Promise

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

What promise?
The promise of His coming again.
Acts 1:11 “Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

He will come again, though there be doubters (2 Peter 3:3-7); because He has delayed His coming, so that all who will, might be saved.

For He is not willing that any should perish!
But all come to repentance.

For all those that Jesus Christ paid the full price for, He waits for each to come to repentance and salvation, by belief in Him.

Acts 17:29-31 “…we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent:
Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man that he hath ordained; Whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”

Titus 2:11-13 “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;”

All this time He has waited, before He would come again: was for the object of mercy and salvation, to wait for all that would come to Him.

But when He comes:
Revelation 22:10-11 “And he saith unto me, seal not the sayings of the prophesy of this book: for the time is at hand.
He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”

Christ came into the world to set aside a people for His Names sake.
He is calling, justifying, and setting them aside to Himself in this world.
Preparing them for the world to come, by love.

But the day fast approaches when this will be!
There will no longer be time to do what should have been done in our lives, both within ourselves and for others.

These verses tell of being fixed for eternity, without chance for change.

“Unjustified, and filthy.”    Unsaved and wallowing in sins, of whatever kind:
Jeremiah 8:20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”
They could have come to Jesus Christ. He would have saved them from their sins, and made them joint-heirs with Him.
With love He called unto them; but they would not come.

“Righteous and holy.”   Saved, and made righteous by His righteousness being applied to them.
Holy means sanctified, or set aside to scared use.
This He does in and for those who come to Him.
Titus 3:5-7 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
that be justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

Whatever we are then, we are for eternity.

But for today?
Christ is still calling to “Come unto Him”.

Revelation 22:17 “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.
And let him that heareth say, Come.
And let him that is athirst come.
And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

Today is the day of Salvation. Come unto Him, believe and be saved.

Then go on with Him in your life, day by day, in love.

 

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Peter Walking  on the Water

Matthew 14:22 “And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.”

We know Peter. He is impetuous. He leaps at the chance to do anything.
He is older than the other disciples. And he always wants to speak out, or do something first.

He was a fisherman, when Jesus called him and his brother, to follow Him. But they immediately did.

Now, they had just seen the feeding of the five thousand, and Jesus had told his disciples to go ahead of Him, in boats, to cross the Sea of Galilee.
Then Jesus went up into the mountain to pray.

Matthew 14:24 “But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.”
In Mark it says they were “toiling in rowing”. They had the sails down because the wind was so hard, and blowing in the wrong direction. They were rowing to get to the other side.
As Christians, we too, are often called to go out , not knowing what is ahead. It was probably smooth sailing for the first part of the trip, then suddenly a sea storm came up.
Yet they did not turn around; Jesus had told them to cross to the other side, and they were working to do that very thing!

Now if I was with the disciples, I would have been thinking: “Boy! I wish Jesus was here to help us.”

And then He was!

Matthew 14:25-26 “And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.”

The fourth watch is in the early morning. Jesus had been praying all night, and knew they were out in a storm, so He went out to them.
Sometimes the way the Lord delivers us out of trouble is so unexpected, we too are often frightened.

But Jesus puts their fears to rest:

Matthew 14:27 “But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid.”
We should not be surprised to see Jesus, the Son of God, using any part of His creation to help in delivering His own.
He commands and it is done. So walking on the waves of the storms of our lives, He comes to us; to deliver us in times of weariness and danger.

Then here comes Peter. Bold, and believing (for a while).

Matthew 14:28-29 “And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.”

Peter goes out of the ship, steps out on to the water, and walks on it to go to Jesus.
Now he wasn’t out there to walk with Jesus across the Sea of Galilee; no, he was walking to Jesus.
But….

Matthew 14:30-31 “But when he saw the wind boisterous he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried, Lord, save me.
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

Often what is happening around us, gets our eyes off the Lord.
Well, it was the same with Peter.

He was doing fine, till he saw how strong the wind was. How high it was pushing the waves.
Then he began to doubt Jesus strength for both of them. Silly Peter. The One who called him to come out, certainly can sustain him; even against the strongest wind that blows against him.

Peter probably prayed the shortest prayer he ever had prayed.
But it received a very quick answer: “immediately”.

Little faith doubts God, when it sees the frightening circumstances.
Large faith keeps looking to God, even in the frightening circumstances.

Matthew 14:32 “And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.”

Jesus lifted Peter from the waves, and into the ship.
And how many times has Jesus saved us in difficult circumstances?
Many, Many times.

Matthew 14:33 “Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”

Jesus was the Son of God, come to save His people from their sins.
Sometimes it takes a storm in our lives to bring us to see Him correctly.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

A more excellent Way.
1 Corinthians 12:31 “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.”
Love to God is that more excellent way. We should love Him, for He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
Where serving the Lord Jesus Christ is concerned, this is a more excellent way:
1 Corinthians 13:1 “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal”

Though I could speak in every language of this earth; proclaiming the gospel far and wide.
And if I could testify of the gospel story in angels language:
If love for Jesus is not the motivation for all that talk…
It would be just so much noise.
Loud noise; “sounding brass” like trumpets. “How great!” man will say; but to God it would be just noise.
Soft noise; “tinkling cymbal” like the end of a orchestra piece. Empty and just noise.

1 Corinthians 13:2 “And though I have the gift of prophesy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.”

This is the one that used to shake me up. I am a preacher; and I study a lot. I would say I know a lot…but all of that would be useless if I don’t use this knowledge, so I know Jesus, the lover of my soul, more.

And faith to remove mountains; that’s something that everyone wants….but without love to Jesus as our motive; we will be nothing. (Remember Paul was writing this; and he had great knowledge, and understood many mysteries.)
But Paul also understood, that to do for God, without love to God; is to really doing for a reward from God. Which is another way of saying, you are doing it for you.

1 Corinthians 13:3 “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”

If I give all my possessions to God’s work of feeding the poor; and if I die a martyr’s death.
Though it cost me everything, as well as my life; if love for Jesus is not the reason I do it; then it profits me nothing.
I am none the better, for eternity, for it.

1 Corinthians 12:31 “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.”
The “more excellent way” is to love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. The first and greatest commandment.

1 Corinthians 13:13 ” And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
To truly love God is the greatest work, greatest gift, greatest sound we can do.

And if we truly get to know the Lord,  it is also the sweetest thing we can do.  To love Him,  who gave so much for me.

Gives so much to me,  everyday, when I need Him.

And will give me a home with Him, forever.