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Knowing and Loving God

God's love creates value in us.


Have you noticed it's often very difficult to talk rationally and logically about the things that are most real to us? Great beauty, great love, great pain, great fear, great joy: it's hard to talk about them, hard to get them into words. God—have you ever noticed how hard it is to get God into words? That's because he's too big for our words, too big for our thoughts. He wouldn't be God if it weren't like that.

There is a story told about a former preacher in a past generation who used to write in the margin of his sermon notes detailed instructions to himself about how the sermon was meant to be delivered: "quietly and persuasively," "with power and passion," and so on. (Not a procedure I teach to my own students at Fuller Seminary.) But with refreshing honesty, there was one instruction that he used to write in the margin at least as frequently as any other. It read: "Argument weak here. Talk fast."

I often find myself talking very fast when I'm preaching, but I don't find it unduly embarrassing. Sometimes things that are most real to us, the things that are most precious to us, are the things that it's terribly hard to talk about logically and rationally. Like why you love people: husband, wife, parent, child, close friend. It's hard to talk about it logically. I mean, it's hard to explain why they're any different from anybody else's husband, wife, parent, child, close friend. "Argument weak here; talk fast?" I think not. The heart has its reasons, and anyway, there is a kind of loving that is, at the very heart of it, illogical.

That's why when you talk about loving, it's so hard to be logical, because love does not live by the rules of logic. Often, thank God, you and I are loved not because of what ...

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The late Ian Pitt-Watson was professor of preaching at Fuller Theological Seminary, and is author of A Primer for Preachers (Baker).

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Sermon Outline:


I. One type of love creates value in what it loves

II. We are God's rag dolls