Leon Fontaine - Rooted In Love
Everyday of your life you are either moving towards the person God's designed you to be or you're moving away from it. If you're moving away from it, then your inner self is becoming hemmed in and stuck and plateaued. But if you have learned from God's Word this incredible process of growing and being who you is, you literally more and more parts of you seem to become unlocked. You become freer. You become more alive. You start to feel good deep down on the inside of you. That's what God does in our lives. A lot of people think emotional health is hunting for your problems, finding them until you've been able to get rid of them all but it's not. It's a horrible, horrible pathway to depression. If you continue to examine yourself for all of your negative problems and why you're not worth loving and why you don't measure up.
Fred Rogers who was a Christian and one of the most amazing children's teachers with his program. He had a saying. He said, "Life is deep and simple. What society gives us is shallow and complicated". This thing about serving Jesus is so crucial but so many believers they just stop at the introduction to Christ. And they don't understand the incredible teaching that there is in the Bible about everyday life. Without understanding how loved you are and where you get love from. You'll always live needy, insecure, and vulnerable.
And if you get your love from the wrong source, the wrong place. It's a counterfeit love. This entire world is looking for something. They don't know what it is. But because you are made in the likeness and the image of God, only the love that God gives will meet the need to stabilize you and to make you feel good, really good. No one else's love will do that. Nothing else well will help do that for you and because the world does not know this and even many Christians do not know this. They look to other things to make them feel significant. Why do people love you? Why do the people who love you love you? Well, you have an answer for that. And if you say, "Well, I think it's because I'm such a nice person". When you're gonna work on your niceness and your niceness is going to be what you think does this. And if you think it's your looks, then when your looks start to fade after so many years. You're gonna be in crisis.
You know, whatever reason you think that, what is it that makes you loveable? What is it that makes people want to love you? These are areas, these are questions that so many people mess up and they look to things. Here's where we find addictions and we begin to pursue pleasure because there's nothing else that seems to touch us. But there is a place in God as you begin to let Him value you and love you where it anchors you. It makes you so stable. It makes you have this sense of being whole and freer.
Like I said everyday of your life in this relationship with Him does something to you that changes everything in your life. Where do you look to for your significance? You have the word love. It means to value. To value. So many people struggle with this. When you go into the Word of God, the Bible teaches us that God is love. And so if that His nature, then when you have a relationship with God, you should feel love. But most Christians feel judge, condemn. Most Christians feel, you know, all of these emotions because religion has taken over and religion sucks. Religion is awful. Religion is what causes wars and anger and control and judgment. And religion is simply man trying to figure out a way to control one another to be good. And anybody that controls you in anyway you eventually will despise.
And so you and I have to understand that the human race was designed to be loved, to feel valued, to such a degree that there is nothing on the planet that will meet this deepest desire to be loved, to be valued, to feel significant, and to not have to earn that love. There's an incredible verse in the Bible. It's in Ephesians chapter 3. It's a prayer that the apostle Paul prayed for people. And I urge you after this message to write this down. It's Ephesians 3:16 and on. And so many people don't know how to pray. In my younger years, I just found prayers that Paul taught after the cross. After Jesus died everything changed as to how to pray. And I would find prayers that Paul would pray, and then I would pray them over situations, over people. And this prayer in Ephesians 3:16 says, "May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power". What would that power be? "Mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality".
All right. There is a power that can indwell a person that brings incredible, incredible strength. What would this power be? "May Christ through your faith actually dwell, settle down, abide, make His permanent home in your hearts". I want you to notice the word "hearts". "May you be rooted deep in love, founded securely on love. That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints God's devoted people, the experience of that love what is the breadth, the length, the height, and the depth of it. That you may really come to know practically through experience for yourself the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge without an experience. That you may be filled through all your being unto all the fullness of God. That you may have the richest measure of the divine presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself".
This prayer is talking about love and we tend to look at love today like Harlequin romances or Hallmark movies. You know, love is just about a man and a woman that find each other. They have a few little hurts, a few little rundowns. That they worked it out and they live happily ever after and that's love. But that's not true. Love is so incredible. It's so powerful. It's far beyond just a sexual male-female attraction. It's far beyond. It's got to do with the very value that you have. And when you do not feel valued, when you do not feel special, significant, the way God designed you. You will begin to reach out. You will just feel out of sorts. You'll just feel like it's not quite you in life, your whole life.
Even as a Christian begins to become to try to figure this out and your relationships get weird and awkward. You can't control your emotions. You can be up one day, down the next. Or the same on the same hour because this strength that roots you. You know, when you look at the tree that's a huge... There's a huge Oak tree in my mom and dad's house in Selkirk, Manitoba. It's a huge thing and when the wind would blow. Can you imagine like if a sail can move a boat. Can you imagine when that entire Oak tree, huge, I don't know how many 50, 60 feet in the air. When it hits the leaves and the branches, the power that must be trying to push that tree over and it was right beside our house. But those roots were so deep, so far down nothing could push this tree over.
When the Bible talks about being rooted, is what are your roots in. If your root is in your ability to impress people, oh, are you gonna fall over somewhere? If your roots that you feed and the power and the significance for your life are rooted in your looks or your ability or your talent or your skill or you just look to people to love you and like you. And that's where you, all of these things, if you're rooted in that are gonna fail you. And at some point, you're just gonna go down. Bam! Because only the love of God, the presence of God will give you an ability to rise up and be what you know you are. It's a rise up from the strength that secures you spiritually, secures you emotionally, secures you physically, secures you relationally, secures you your entire life.
It's a powerful force that is hard to explain to people. It's God's love. And if you're not rooted and grounded in love. If you're not rooted and grounded and experiencing His love. Then even though you put on a good face, even though you're strong, you really don't have this incredible joy and this peace like the Bible wants you to have, like God wants you to have. Love is a gift. Love is never earned. It's something we gotta understand. You are not loved because, and then we list your good traits. You are loved as a gift, and until you learn to believe this because God's love.
There's a couple of things about God's love that you have to understand. God's love is only experienced when it's believed. Actually, that's true of everybody's love. If your husband is absolutely in love with you but you don't believe it. Ah, you're just after my body. You're just after my money. Who knows what he wants but I don't believe he loves me. Even if he loves you and literally pushes, releases real love as a gift. He's just enraptured you. He just loves you. He has set his love on you. If you don't believe it, you will never experience it. Believing is crucial to experiencing. And so the Bible teaches us that where God loves us and where we feel His love is in our heart.
Now, the heart is a much deeper place than our mind. It doesn't say where we will feel His love is in our mind. Which means then you could reason it in or reason it out. And so if someone was to tell you, "I love you". You'd have to have the ability to hear. Some people can't. They're deaf. And so you must have that one of those five senses operating for you to be able to hear a person who loves you say to you, "I love you". Now, you hear that. If someone's gonna write you a note and say, "I love you". You'd have to have the sense of sight. Some people are actually physically blind, and they can't see. If someone was to write you a note and say, "I love you". You'd have to have be able to see that, to sense that, and to see. If someone was to touch you in a loving way that is saying to you, I love you. You'd have to make sure that person isn't maybe a quadriplegic with no feelings because you'd have to have the ability to feel that touch.
So when God says He loves you and then His love is directed at your heart. If you do not learn to experience and to build into your heart God's Word. You'll not know His love. You'll be a Christian to escape hell. You'll be a Christian to, you know, for whatever reason that you do and that's cool. But you were designed to be loved. You were created to be loved. Self-worth was bestowed upon you. It's not something that you ever have to earn because love originates in God. No other person can give you that quality, that kind of love except God. But when you do receive God's love and you've learned to sense it, to know what you believe in it. You've taken God's Word and then you have done the work.
You see, the Bible says you must guard your heart, plant God's Word in your heart. Don't let your heart become slow. Don't let it become hard. Everything about your heart God doesn't do anything about. Your heart has been handed to you. It is the control center of your entire future. And if you do not learn through God's Word to guard your heart, control your heart. Don't let it slow down. Don't let it become hard. But according to Mark 4 that His Word is incorruptible seed. And as you begin to learn God's Word, it begins to have an impact on this thing called heart. This is where you begin to sense His love. When you begin to do something for others. When you begin to help others, volunteering the church. When you begin to witness, give to the things of God, etcetera.
That the reason you should do any of these activities is because you love Jesus. If you do it for accolades. If you do it to be recognized. If you do it because you need to be noticed. If you do it because for whatever reasons. It's gonna end and it's gonna end bad because that kind of purpose, that kind of reasoning will never last. But when you learn that Jesus loves you, then the works that you do with your life no longer are focused on, I'm gonna love you, but are you gonna love me back? I'm gonna give, but are you gonna recognize me? I'm gonna come and labor, but if no one notices me, I'm out of here. So you're actually doing this work to be recognized, to be noticed, to get a microphone, to be or whatever reason there is. I just need people to recognize me. I understand how intelligent I am. All of these issues are counterfeit. You're looking to be valued, loved, and all these other areas and they'll never work.
Jesus said if you love people. No. He said, if you love Me, Jesus says, feed my sheep. You know, when people begin to do anything nice or good for the things they get back from it, then you'll feel good when you are really, people are responding to you or life is responding to you. But when it stops, you are in crisis because the significance, the love that you need and we all need, you have rooted it in the reactions of people. Now, what if they don't give you the needed reactions. Oh, how empty you feel. Oh, how, you know, unloved you feel.
And you begin to judge people around you because there are people who have judged others around them because they don't see love. But they've never been rooted in God's love. One of the most important things to remember about God's love is this, you will not be able be able to know God's love unless you see His love in the Word. Otherwise, God loves you just because He's blessed you. And if somehow the blessings get attacked on this planet where pain and heartache are, you'll stop loving. You'll think He's not loving you because you feel love because He blesses you financially, because He gives you lots of friends, because you're very healthy and doing well.
And if, and of course God does love you that way. But when you root your love for Him in the fact that He loves you. One of the cool verses in the Bible, it says in 1 John 4:19, "We love him, because He first loved us". So don't focus on how much you love Him. Focus on how much He loves you. And the more you focus on that, the more your heart gets bigger and bigger. And then how do we know that Jesus loved you? Because He came as a human being and He died on the cross for your sins. And when you learn and understand the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus, you begin to realize how valuable you are. How in love God is with you. And this love is not because you got a perfectly clean life. This love is not because you did better than everybody else.
In fact, the people who got their lives better than anybody else, He doesn't even love them more. Don't allow the counterfeit. Don't let, if you were raised in a love that you just have after all you've got to be good enough for people to love you. You don't know why people love you. You have to make a decision. That I'm gonna go to God's Word and I'm gonna believe how much God loves me. You might say, "Well, if He loves me so much, why did He allow this, this, and this"? That's not the question. Mankind made decisions about rejecting God and we are all born unto this mess up planet where Satan is the god of this world, 2 Corinthians 4:4. And we must make a choice to receive the pardon that Jesus won for us.
And when we reach out and say, "Jesus, I receive you as my Savior and Lord". And you receive this pardon because there's nobody in this room including me that lives a perfect life that doesn't need a pardon. When you receive that, then and only then will you be able to sense His love. His love is not attached to your performance. Now, how everybody else treats you is attached to your performance. If you're gonna be a thief, I'm not hiring you. If you're abusive, I'm not put you in volunteer or in staff. If you're a liar, I don't want you teaching our kids in Sunday school.
Now, God still loves you. Thank God. That vertical relationship, He's still in love with you. But all your horizontal relationships, dude, you're in trouble. So no wonder He gives us all these incredible things to say act this way, treat people this way. Here's how you handle money. Here's how you handle people. Here's how you handle anger. All of these things aren't there for you to obey so that if you don't, God doesn't love you or He's not pleased with you. And so you've gotta understand this. God's approval of you. God's love that comes toward you is there before any of your bad actions or good actions.
Did you know, I've got to shut down. But you know when Jesus came on to the scene at 30 years of age, and John the Baptist saw Him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world". And Jesus walks down into the water and he baptizes Him. God says, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased". Jesus hadn't even started His ministry yet. He hadn't done a thing. He hadn't done a miracle, hadn't died, hadn't taught the Word anywhere. He just grew up with His family. He was probably working with Joseph until Joseph died. Providing for His mom, studying.
He had not done anything yet in ministry and God says this is my beloved. I am in love with my Son and I am well pleased with Him. And this is before He did anything. I don't know what religion has done to you. I don't know what you've been taught or how you've been raised. What kind of a home you've been raised in or how much abused you've had to endure or how many lies have been formed around you and how many misbeliefs you have about God's love. One of the most crucial things for you as a believer.
When you give your life to Christ, is to begin to get into His Word to learn how much He loves you. And until you see that, and until you let that begin to sink into your heart and you begin to sense this value, this love that nobody else could give you. This is when you stabilize. This is when power comes into you emotionally, into your will, into every part of you. You begin to sense this strength that nothing else can give you. You have an ability to love people now at a level they've never been able to receive before because God's love, you're receiving it and you're able to give it.