Leon Fontaine - Experience God's Love
You know every day of your life. You are moving towards the person God designed you to be here. You're getting stronger, happier or you're moving away from the person God has made you to be and you'll feel locked up. You will literally feel hemmed in. You'll feel stuck. And so many people struggle and don't know how to walk this life out with freedom, to walk was like out of the way God designed them to be. A lot of times they will begin to look for their problems and the hunting for all their negative problems because they think that solving your problems is gonna make you more emotionally healthy but usually if you focus on all your negative problems, you end up more messed up than you were before, you know life's not complicated. In fact, Fred Rogers you know him he said the life is deep and simple. What society gives us is the shallow and complicated. We need to understand that when God made you, He designed you to be loved by Him. And that this love would meet a need so deep that nothing else would meet it.
Now when I use the word love I mean valued. Because God loves you, might mean something to one person but it actually means value. God puts incredible value on you and you can look for that value in your giftedness, you can look for that sense of feeling valued, feeling loved from your spouse, you can look for this need in your children and people loving you and caring about you, there's just so many ways of this world yes when it comes to this emptiness of not knowing God's love for them and not experiencing God's love for them. You were designed to feel loved, valued, significant and if you don't you will look in all the wrong places to get it. You begin to go into pleasures. You might going to drugs, try to anesthetise the pain that you feel.
Most people haven't got a clue as to why they feel so. Just out of sorts, they just feel some stock. They just feel so and they can't control the emotional make up because one of the hugest issues is this issue of where do you get your significance from? What do you look to for a sense of value? This world has nothing in it it's going to make you feel that way, only it can only come from God. There's a verse in the Bible that is just powerful and I want to read it to you from Ephesians 3.
When I first wanted to learn how to pray properly because prayer is powerful. Prayer impacts countries. The Bible shows us that prayer impacts homes, families, cities, situations but most people don't have a price they just kind of pray begging, bugging, pleading prayers and they learn from the Old Testament and very few people have learned to release the power that is in prayer after the cross when Jesus died on the cross and so what I did was I went and I just found all of Paul's prayers. Wherever Paul would pray in the New Testament I would find that prayer and I would just literally print it out and see what that prayer was about.
Well there's a prayer that Paul always prayed in Ephesians 3 and it's amazing here's what it says starting in verse 14. For this reason I bow my knees to the father of our lord Jesus Christ from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named that he would grant you according to the riches of his glory to be strengthened with might, another version says, power. Through his spirit. In the inner man. This is a prayer for power, a prayer for strength, a prayer that anchors you, solidifies you, brings your mind, your emotions, your spirit, your physical body everything about you becomes just powerful and here's what it is. It says and when it goes on that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith and that you would be rooted, grounded in love.
I used to read that verse and go love, love, love, love, yeah we really love. But he's not talking about a little love with a couple cupids bows and arrows make a guy fall in love with the girl. This love is this powerful amazing love that it brings strength inside of you. It empowers you, it literally roots you, grounds you. You know outside of my parents' house in Selkirk, Manitoba. There was this humongous oak tree I mean it went way up on how high it would go but the trunk just a massive and when the when would begin to blow and all the leaves are on that tree can you imagine the pressure. If a sail catches some wind and moves a boat this tree, I don't know what in the world to thing up when the wind would blow but it had to have roots soul deep that anchored that thing. If you want to know what anchors the human psyche. If you want to know what anchors you emotionally, relationally, spiritually, financially, physically, the anchor to your life is that you must have your roots deep in God's love.
Now that word love it means a God's, it is a God sense of how much you value issue. You are valuable. This love is not this little, it is a love, it is a powerful force and if God is love then if you are anchored, rooted in here this is saying it must be rooted and anchored in love then it says able to comprehend with all the saints, the width, the length, the depth and the height to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge that you may be filled with the fullness of God. This is all talking about love. This value, this hour just secures you, anchors you. It literally does so much for you and then listen to what the continuum is here. It says now to him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think, it says, according to the power that is at work in us.
What's the power at work in us? Love. Love and Romans 5:5 says the love of God is shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Spirit. So this love, this incredible power if you do not have your roots in that, you will put your roots in something else. If you're so good looking that it got you your job, gets you know your spouse, gets you all the things then you've got the sense of significance in your looks. If it's your talented, if you've got abilities and gifts, if you've got money, if you got a persuasive tongue most people have their roots of their significance anchored in something other than the love of God and the problem with this is it's a counterfeit to what you really need and where you draw your value, your love from if it's not Jesus then it is a counterfeit love and it'll be toxic to your relationship because at some point that thing will not feed you and anchor you into the strength and the peace and the joy that only God's love can break.
Somewhere in their life, you know at first, when a singer gets on a stage and the whole crowd goes crazy. You hear them screaming for blocks from the stadium. It's one of the most intoxicating feelings that singer could ever have. The thing is though that they put their worth, their significance in that. And so every time they go to a concert there's just and oh, man and they feed on that. They become confident, they become you know everywhere they go you just sense this aura of incredible confidence because they got so much love. They've got so many people just screaming you're valuable, you're loved but then they realized at some point every person who's on a stage acting, singing if you are at the top of your heap, they begin to realize at some point in your life it might take a decade or 2 or 3, you begin to realize they don't love me. They love my gift.
And there's a big difference between your gift and you. And so if you're not performing. You're not receiving the accolades, the sense of significance. You know you can get it from your spouse for a while but they have no ability to give you enough of this phenomenal powerful valuing love. There's no there's no way they can give you what you need. Only God. And the most crucial thing for a Christian to do when they give their life to Christ is to believe the love of God through God's word. As you begin to get into God's word, you will see you'll anchor this love in what Jesus did for you when he died on the cross, when he took yours, when he took your punishment and the curse of the law and he rose a gain and gave you a new life when you begin to follow Jesus and realize what he did for you. you begin to believe this love is love that is not believed is not felt. And then you must learn to experience this love every day.
That's what it means in Ephesians 3 when it says to know the love of Christ. If you struggle in this area, take this prayer in Ephesians 3:14 on and pray it over yourself every day it will radically change you because you will begin to remove every sense of significance and love and from the people and the things and the gifts on the job in the career and you begin to just put it on Christ. Now as you receive this incredible power. This calm, this peace, this ability to walk in the gifts and the things that you have now it flows in an even more powerful way. You know a continuum, when you look at the last verse here it says now to him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that you can ask or think.
When you go to Mark 4 I love the way the Amplified puts it there in verse 22 and on where it talks about when you allow God's word, God's love to begin to impact your heart it says your life begins to flow and grow beyond anything you could imagine, anything you could ask, anything you could think because everywhere you go you're not looking. For your significance, you're not all looking to feel good about yourself, you're not looking to rise up so people to see how gifted you are and how valuable and all of those things because it just destroys you, it's toxic. Only the love of God we must be rooted, we must be grounded in this love.
Man was created to be loved. God did not create him to do a function where he doesn't need love, doesn't need God. He was actually created to be loved by God, you're in his family and so self worth where do you get your self worth from? It was bestowed upon mankind. Honor. Worth. Love, value, significance, why are you significant? Why are you valuable? We have to go, I don't know, if it's not my gifting, if it's not my looks, if it's not what I do for people where do I find it? It was bestowed upon you. Love is a gift and when love becomes anything else it's not a gift. If you raise kids and you make them earn your love, you are creating them for incredible failure. If that son is receiving more love when he gets touchdowns or when he scores high, if that child is receiving more love because of the marks on their report card or because they clean their room, you must remove love from what you used to train your children.
Oh, man I still trained our kids, Sal and I, I mean you're going to clean your room. You're gonna be working. You're going to get marks at school but it never affected the love. There are other consequences but never our love. When you use love or you unknowingly begin to use love so that kids begin to feel unloved if they don't perform. You just raised, they're not understand, they are in a counterfeit love that is toxic and that man will grow up always driven to succeed at the cost of his family, his health, his marriages, his grandkids everything because he just needs that so bad. It's his sense of well being and significance and it's so off course you'll destroy everything that he loves.
There are people who do not know what God's love is and so therefore they don't know how to receive love and they don't know how to give love. And so you are a person who is stuck in this world, doing what you know but feeling so out of sorts. There's no strength deep in your inner man. When you are doing well with your giftedness, when you are doing well with people there's a little bit of a sense of achievement but it'll never last because nothing works. Your roots in God's love is the only thing that will take you through the rest of your life, every season of life, everything that you do, every thing that attacks you when your roots are deep in the love of God, there's a confidence that is something no person, no skill, no giftedness could ever give you.
When you look at God's love you begin to recognize that mankind has a heart that is aching to be valued and to be loved but they don't know by what. So they go after all these crazy things, if you try to please people. It'll work for a while there's no way for you to please people enough to get what you need deep on the inside. The Bible says also the fear of man is a snare. When you begin to give your self worth, your significance of people around you then you're always going to be doing what it takes to make them celebrate you which often to do the right thing means you don't do what everybody else wants. By the way the crowd is rarely right. Show me one example in the Bible where the crowd was right. Almost never. When you begin to get rooted in God's love it is the only way you will have the wisdom to handle relationships situations, business situation because once you step out of this love walk and out of your rootedness in Christ you then begin to depend upon other things.
Now and I'll give you a quick example, does not mean that I'm gonna let people walk all over me. Let's say that I've got a family member you know one of my brothers or sisters and I love them okay but their behavior is worrying me. Well I'm going to go into business with them. I'm not gonna let my kids. Well that's not love. No, love doesn't mean you give people what they want. The Bible says speak truth or walk in truth but in love. This ability to walk in love to speak the truth in love, it causes you to act and to feel and to live on this planet away the world has never seen before. You've got to be rooted in this love. In Romans 5:5, this is the love of God is shed abroad in your heart. Where do you feel the love of God? You don't feel it in your head. You feel it in your heart.
Now I'll give you an example and I'm gonna have to stop there. Your 5 senses you know if someone was to say to you I love you. But you can't hear because some people are deaf then you're not receiving or recognizing or experiencing that love. If someone writes you a message. I love you so much and explains how much they love you but you're blind and can't see then you can't experience their love being shown you. You can't experience that love you can see. If God's love is shed abroad in our heart, it is not shed abroad in our bodies, not shed abroad in our mind. God's love the shed abroad in your heart which you've never taken the time to, the Bible says that this heart is the deepest center of your being but you should guard it, you should plant God's word, you should never allow it to get hard, you should never allow it to get slow, you should never allow this, God does not look after your heart it is up to you and the heart is the control center of your life.
It's deciding what your future is doing and so we must be rooted and grounded in love. We must begin now begin to get into God's word, get out to church, get in some great teaching and begin to feed yourself God's word. And as you do you become aware of your heart. Become aware of God's love, you begin to know his love. Others might hate you. You might go through a period of everything that you think was yours gets lost but if this sense of love is God loves me, the creator of the universe made me placed me on this planet has a plan for my life, no one else can remove this love that He gives me. So Leon you don't know what I've done. Well interestingly enough, your behavior doesn't change the love of God. You can't earn more love by being good.
I'll give you an example Jesus is 30 years of age. Know the Bible is silent about him from age 12 to age 30. He appears on the scene when John the Baptist is baptizing people. John sees him and says behold the lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world and Jesus comes down and John baptizes him. When he does I'm really making the store cutting into it. A voice comes out of heaven and God speaks and he says this. Behold my loved son. Beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Listen, Jesus hadn't done anything yet. Hadn't done a miracle, hasn't walked on the water, hadn't raised the dead widow's son, hadn't died on the cross. He hasn't done anything yet. Yet the voice God says, behold my son. I love him. And I'm pleased with him. See if you could get past all the religious messages you've heard and the things that had been said, people understand and recognize that God is in love with you. God is well pleased with you.
So Leon, what about my behavior? Well in your vertical relationship between you and God, Jesus is the one that secured that. Now in your horizontal relationship you will be messed up. What do I mean? Well if you're thief I'm not going to hire you to work for me. No one else will either. If you're gonna punch people out no one 's going even let you in their house or around. Why? Because the things that you do affect all of your horizontal relationships but the relationship between you and God okay was solidified. It was because of Jesus' death on the cross this righteousness, this love, it's just more so wherever you are in the biggest mess going or maybe you're really successful but realizing how empty it can be, if you're there you'll need to anchor your roots in the love of God.