Leon Fontaine - Love Is The Key
I want to focus on love today because love I used to think as a young man I would always, there was something in my heart for God. My mom and dad did an amazing job of introducing me to God. They were very real. If you knew my parents, they are so authentic, so transparent, so in love with God. I saw their relationship. The miracles that took place. That neither of them were perfect and neither was I but I knew that there was a God. And so I would want to get to know Him and I would read these verses about you must love the Lord your God with all of your heart, your soul, your mind, your strength.
And I knew I didn't love Him much. But I have the wrong definition of love because I thought love was a feeling. You lost that lovin' feeling, whoa lovin' feeling. You lost that lovin' feeling. Now it's gone, gone, gone, woh. Remember that song? What a stupid song and the definition of love is not a feeling. My feelings change over supper, lunch, dinner, when I wake up, when I go to bed. My feelings can change in 30 seconds flat. Can you imagine being married to a person who believes love is a feeling. Love is not a feeling. Love according to the Word of God is to value something. When you love God, you value God.
When I made this adjustment to the definition of love, I began to recognize I've always valued God. I've always valued God from a young age. Therefore, I've loved Him. I have valued Him. And it's amazing that as I pursued Him feelings come. So I always feel them, but it doesn't matter because my value for God, my value for Jesus who died on the cross for me is huge. Sometimes I feel it. Sometimes I don't. But it doesn't matter because I value this. In 2 Thessalonians 3:5, it says, "May the Lord lead, guide, direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's patience, His endurance, His perseverance".
Look what it doesn't say? It does not say may the Lord lead and guide you into a good life. Make all the good decisions about who you marry. Make the right decisions about your career. Make the right decisions about this. It doesn't say any of those things. It says, "May the Lord lead, guide, direct your heart". Heart always means the deepest part of you. The very beliefs that are core to you. It says may He guide those into God's love. Now, the Bible says that we love God because He first loved us. So you shouldn't focus anyway on how much I love God. You should focus on how much He loves you.
You know, it's amazing to me. I look at my family and when they'll do things that show me their love, or I'll sit there and just think about, why do they love me so much? You know, what an incredible compliment is to be loved. For someone to love you. And God knows everything about you dude. I mean, everything. God knows you girl. Everything about you and He is overwhelmed with love for you. And we need as believers, if you want to have a life that is not controlled by depression. You're gonna have to begin to believe how much God loves you. And as you go into God's Word and you see how He sent His Son to die on the cross. He took your sin, your death.
You know, when Jesus said, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me"? He said that. Why would Jesus say that? And He didn't say, "Oh, God". He said, "My God". It shows this incredible relationship. If I'm saying a wife, a wife. But if I say my wife, very personal. He's saying My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? That word forsaken is brutal. It means someone that you love so much walks away from you. You want to know pain. It will never be an injury. You want to know pain. It will never be financial. The deepest pains are if you love someone so much you've opened your heart to them, and they walked away from you. Jesus screaming at the cross, My God! He wasn't complaining about the spikes. He wasn't complaining about hanging or He wasn't complaining about the thorns or the beating. He was saying why have You forsaken Me?
Why did God forsake Him? Because Jesus became sin. He took your sin and God turned His head away as He took this curse, for you and I to be in His family. If you do not believe God's love. If do not learn to, I'm not gonna use the word feel, to believe, to trust, to be aware of how much God's in love with you. Oh, I'm gonna be careful but I'm gonna just say it. You'll never be psychologically secure. You will struggle and you'll find that whatever this world puts new titles on things. Mood disorder, emotional disorders, and depression and all these things. To have a life that feels amazing and strong. You must let God lead your heart into His love. You must let and see, and that Holy Spirit reveal to you. God is absolutely in love with you. Don't care what you've done. Don't care where you came from. The love that He has for you is not because you earned it.
In 1 Thessalonians 3:12, it says, "May the Lord make your love grow more and multiply, abound, overflow for each other". Okay, so not only do we love God. We have to have a love for each other. And so, well, Leon, how do you do that? If you have conditional love, you'll never know it. I mean, if you don't choose and begin to believe. You choose Jesus and you see the love that He has for you and then you grow in that. If you don't do that, depression will hound you, harass you. What do you call depression? I'm not getting into a psychological debate on that. I'm just saying this awful feeling of vanity, uselessness, nothing is working, life sucks, going nowhere. Don't like what's happening in life. This sense of regret or what is life all about.
In Luke 10, I'm not gonna read it but if you're taking notes Luke 10:27. A man asks Jesus a question. What shall we do with our lives? And He said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, your strength and all your mind, love your neighbor as yourself". This man say I believe that. Then Jesus say do it. You know, believing or knowledge is different in the Bible than it is today. You can say you know about something doesn't mean you know it experientially. The word know in the Bible means to experience it with everything that every way you have to experience it. It literally means to know something is to experience it.
And if you want to know God's love, and you're looking for purpose and meaning and your life is empty. That when you give your life to Christ, you discover the purpose of Christ. Which is to reach out and to value people around you. And this valuing of them, they will sense it. What it causes you do for them? They will know it. And it's stunning how our lives change. What brings instability? Not being all in to what you believe. Kind of gosh golly gee. I don't know. Hey, I could be right over here, could be right over there. Like, it's amazing to me how truth, no one believes in truth and university is my truth. What's your truth? Really?
No wonder Jesus said I am the truth. He said I'm the way. I'm the truth. I'm the life. If you're looking for a new path, He's the way. If you're looking for a new life, Jesus say I am the life. If you're looking for truth, it's gotta start with an understanding of Jesus and what He's done on the cross, the Bible, and from there He is truth. There's no such thing as, well, my truth, your truth. All religions they lead to heaven. No, they don't. No, they don't. Don't get it wrong. We need to be double-minded. What I mean to say, stop being double-minded. We need to be all in to this what we believe, this faith. What we're gonna do for God. You know what scares the hell out of me? Did he just swear? No, the word hell's in the Bible. What scares the hell out of me is that my kids listen to me preach. They're living their lives because I'm not just their father. I'm their pastor.
Now, my grandkids are listening to me and I want to make sure that I'm speaking truth. That I'm speaking with honor and integrity and being transparent. I don't want to spin something. I don't want to just throw out my ideas. When I'm gonna be dead and gone and my kids are gonna live this stuff out. So I, I am all in. If this stuff isn't true, I am so screwed. But I know it's real. And you know what, I just refuse to live my life half-baked. Well, gosh golly gee. I kind of believe this, kind of believe that, whatever. No. I know whom I have belief and I'm persuaded. That He is able to keep that which I've committed into Him against that day.
The only way to take the presence of God and families to be really truly generational is in to serve God, it's to be all in. It's to be committed because if you're not, you're double-minded. And a double-minded person is unstable in all their ways. The Bible says don't let them even think they're gonna accept, receive anything from God. You know what I admire? I admire when I meet a warrior princess. A woman who knows what she believes in Christ and she's not arrogant or judgmental to the world around us. We need to be loving and caring like Jesus. But you mess what she believes? She knows what she believes, and you can't change a thing there. That all in is what makes someone powerful. It's an attractive force. But this wishy-washy, oh gosh golly gee. I don't know.
Let's just see what happens. No, I've made a decision. I have searched out God's Word. I have tried Him. I've served Him for decades. He is so good. You know, there's a story in the Bible about a woman. We don't know her name. She's just called Lot's wife. Why she makes the Bible is because Lot lived in a city called Sodom. The Bible says that city was so wicked that there were no restraints anywhere in the culture. And in fact, two angels that were sent to protect and take Lot, his wife, and kids out of the city once they found out there was two new people at in his house. The city surrounded the house and said send them out so we can have sex with them. I mean, there were no boundaries in this place.
So when the angels finally led Lot and his wife out of the city and the city was just destroyed with brimstone fire. The angel said to the family, don't look back. Don't look back. They got going, as they're walking out of the city, I guess maybe they heard the sounds. I don't know. But Lot's wife turns around and gazes back at her past and what she was leaving. Showing us that there wasn't a fixed all in. It was kind of way, you know, I don't know. And she died on the spot. The Bible says she turned into a pillar of salt. And the Bible has a verse that says remember Lot's wife. Or let me put it this way. Be all in. If you're gonna believe in something, don't believe in half-baked. Don't just try it. Don't you put your toe in the water. Go off the high board. You're in. Just, I'm in.
People respect that. Even when people disagree with you. They respect all in with what you believe more than I don't know. Gosh, golly, gee. Yeah, I could believe. Oh, I could believe that, too. Oh, yeah! You could be right, too. Like, really? You can love, respect, be friends, do business with people, and believe differently. Lot's wife. Another person in the Bible in Hebrews 11:7. I'm not gonna have any time to read it but write it down. Says Noah, he built an ark and he saved his family. Expert say that how long it took Noah to build the ark was probably around a hundred and twenty years. They lived longer back then, because he was planting the trees that he was later gonna cut down and make boards out of to build the ark. And Noah by building an ark saved his family.
You know why I'm all in? Because I know my kids are too strong. My kids are too like, that if I just kind of, "Well, I don't know. You guys find your way like I did. I mean, that's what really life's all about". Life is not about just finding your way. Life is about hearing truth, knowing truth, following truth. Getting all in to what is truth because this world is gonna push you and shove you. It's gonna try to really harass what you believe. Make you back off from what believe. Make you to kind of get double-minded because once you get double-minded, your life completely changes. But when you're all in, this is where faith and trust begin to rise up on the inside of you and in your life.
Well, Leon, how do I build an ark? All Noah did was obey the Word of God to him. And I want to challenge you dads, your kids aren't gonna follow what you say. They're gonna follow what you do. I want to challenge you moms. You're gonna explain all you want. They will live out what you live like, not what your words say. So let's be all in. Let them see a person of integrity and character saying Jesus Christ is Lord. And I've read a lot of stuff on this planet, but I know that He is the truth. He is the way. He is the life. And it gives this guiding light. It gives this anchor for their soul. The Bible literally says it that the soul of a human being, that the psyche, the memory, the imagination, the moods, the emotions, that the only thing that anchors it is God's Word. When it's not anchored to the truths of God's Word, somewhere it might be a decade from now.
Somewhere you will struggle, and depression will push at you, emptiness, vanity. The bubble world burst as you find out that what you did pursue wasn't Jesus. That it has no real benefit. You can't chase pleasures. Did you know? Well, if you're here, and yeah, I don't believe that. Let me give you a little test. You can't pursue pleasures because if you pursue pleasure, your life's gonna be messed up. For example, pursuing happiness. The Bible does not say to do that. If you will, do this. Okay, if you're struggling with what I'm saying, do this for one week, about ten times a day. Just say, I'm pursuing happiness. I just want to be happy. Or am I happy?
Ask yourself the question ten times a day. I'm telling you. You'll be so depressed in five days because you're not supposed to pursue happiness. I talk to parents. What do you want for your kids? Oh, I just want them to be happy. They never, parents never used to talk like that generations ago. I want my kids to be integrous. I want my kids to, lives to mean something. I want them to know what they believe. I want them to be people of character and honor and integrity. They would go, "I want to be happy". What's that mean? Go lie, cheat, and steal as long as you're happy? You pursue happiness which is a pleasure because happiness comes from happenings. And your life will be so double-minded. But pursue Jesus. Pursue knowing Him. The plan for our lives is to live for Him. And then as we put Him first.
Seek first the kingdom of God, it says in Matthew 6, everything else gets added. You know, that all, this pleasure God created them. He says at His right hand are pleasures forevermore. And we all think it's heaven. No, we get to live in the kingdom while we're on this planet. Jesus came that we might have life and more abundantly in John 10:10. We gotta recognize that this way of serving Him is crucial. So obey the Word of God. And as you do, all these pleasures you're seeking after, they'll come to you in a way that won't hurt you, kill you, destroy you, make a mess of your generations. Build an ark.
Last that I'll give you and our time is up. Pick a fight. Pick a fight. You know what, bullies are a problem. I get that totally. And I'm glad that our school are taking a stand against bullies. But on the playground when I was young, it was kind of like there was the bully who'd always pick a fight. Then there's always kind of the people, always afraid of a fight. You can't be afraid of a fight. Evil prevails when good men do nothing. Evil prevails when good women do nothing. Don't be afraid of a fight.
Can you fight for your marriage when it's going through a mess? Can you fight for a country when it... but what about fighting for the things that are important to you at your core. You know, have you found yourself like a frog in a frying pan where the water keeps getting warmer and hotter that you used to not even notice it. The Bible says wake up the mighty men! It doesn't mean that some of you are mighty and some of you aren't. It means inside of all of us is a mighty man, a mighty woman. Either wake him up or you're gonna find yourself going the way of the world like Lot's wife who was taught in the things of God. Slowly it says the Bible says it just corrupted her righteous soul, just seeing and just desiring and not being strong.
Pick a fight in your own life and get up and decide what you're gonna believe. Get up and decide how you're gonna live. Get up and be determined as to who you're gonna be emotionally. Who are you gonna be as far as your character goes and decide who you are and then get up and be that. That's where you become such an attractive force to the world around you because we're so used to people just, you know, just kind of moving and shifting at whatever the flow. But someone that just stand strong and this is what I believe. And it doesn't mean that you're gonna be judgmental or some arrogant Christian. Please don't. Be Spirit Contemporary. Be spiritually alive and strong.
But when it comes to others. You see, on this planet I'm not concerned about the sin in somebody else's life. I'm not gonna argue about what is sin sexually and gender wise with people who have their opinion. So you get to do what you want with your life. You get to believe what you want, talk what you want, live what you want. And everything we believe, talk, and do there's consequences. So they come with it. But I'm gonna recognize this freedom that God has given each person to live the way they want, believe what they want. But don't you start forcing me to believe what you believe. Don't you start telling me I got to teach my kids that this is truth when I don't believe this is truth.
We're living in a day and age right now where all truth is being tested. You better know what you believe, and you better figure out how we fit into this world. How can we be salt and light? Meaning, we know what we believe. Then at the same time we are in love with the world that hasn't found Jesus yet. We're in love with them. We value them even if they don't agree with anything that we do. We value them. We love them. We reach out with arm. We can do business together, hang out together, not a problem. But now, what I believe is not up for you to change. Am I helping anybody here today? Maybe it's time to pick a fight. What's going on in your heart, your mind, your life, pick a fight and decide who you gonna believe.