This past Sunday our church had the privilege and honor of welcoming Pastor Roy Ellis as our guest speaker! He brought us a wonderful message titled, Loving Deeper, stating “It’s not about trying harder, it's about loving deeper.”
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
- 1 Corinthians 13:13
Without love, faith can be misappropriated and hope can be misdirected. Jesus himself stated that the qualifying proof that we are truly disciples of His is that we love one another. But He also instructed us that commandment-keeping is not about trying harder, it's about loving deeper! The greatest commandment is to love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself. Every other commandment can be easily met once we place others above ourselves, choosing the higher good of others rather than ourselves, because that’s what love is!
Pastor Roy Ellis took us to the book of Song of Solomon, walking us through an illustration of Christ’s love for the church and the love of the church for Christ. He pointed out that we will never truly love God until we experience the love of God.
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth for your love is better than wine. Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; Therefore the virgins love you. Draw me away! -Song of Solomon 1:2-4
Through this verse, Pastor Roy Ellis showed us that love should be what motivates us to draw near to God. Love is the proper motivation to pursue God, but sometimes people can fall into the trap of only pursuing God when they need something, in times of hardship. Our pursuit of God should stem from loving Him deeper, not us trying harder to get what we need or want.
He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Sustain me with cakes of raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am lovesick. -Song of Solomon 2:4-5
“We need a revival of lovesickness in the American Church. Where it places Him at the center and not us. We don’t need to try harder, we need to love deeper”.
- Pastor Roy Ellis
We shouldn’t come to church just out of ritual, but because we are in love- in proper pursuit of God. Don’t settle for only going through the motions of religion, but become lovesick for Jesus Christ! The dictionary describes lovesick as: in love, or missing the person one loves, so much that one is unable to act normally. (1) Maybe you remember being a lovesick teenager? But is this the way you feel about Jesus?
By night on my bed I sought the one I love; I sought him, but did not find him. “I will rise now,” I said, “And go about the city; in the streets and in the squares. The watchmen who go about the city found me; I said, “Have you seen the one I love?” Scarcely had I passed by them, when I found the one I love. I held him and would not let him go, -Song of Solomon 3:1-4
“Loving deeper will push you out of your comfort zone.”
-Pastor Roy Ellis
When you love God, it’s not about trying harder to pursue a relationship with Him through a checklist of religious activities but it’s about embracing Him in love, loving Him deeper, and not letting go. Doing so may require us to get out of our comfort zones. Pastor Roy Ellis encouraged us not to fall into the trap of believing we have to do more and try harder because we will accomplish more by loving deeper than we will by trying harder!
Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? -Song of Solomon 8:5
We all go through wilderness times, trials, and difficulties, but when we pursue God in the difficult times out of the motive of love, we will discover that He will give us the rest we need. Loving Him deeper results in the ability to face your trials in His strength and not your own. You can lean on Him! You can lean on your beloved!
“All your effort is futile in comparison with love! Love is the fire of our passion and nothing can quench that flame”
- Pastor Roy Ellis
Love is stronger than anything! When was the last time you lifted your hand in the air and said “God, I love you.” If it’s been a while, maybe now is the perfect moment to pursue God, out of pure deep love. There’s no need to try harder or accomplish the next thing, just take a moment to love God deeper.
I invite you to view this message in its entirety at this link: https://youtu.be/k8bOHct8Xfc
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