Jim Chafee - I Love the Lord

Psalm 116:1-2, “I love the Lord, because He hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because He hath inclined His ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live.”


This psalm begins with the words “I love the Lord.” I wonder if we can say that we love the Lord. I know we should love the Lord. To answer this, we need to search our own heart. If we can say we love the Lord, we can say we have found salvation. In this psalm, the psalmist gives us the reasons why he loves the Lord.


Verse 1, “…because He hath heard my voice and my supplications.” The Lord heard him when he cried, and because of this he loves the Lord.


A few days ago we were singing an old hymn. It is not in our book now, but this hymn contains my experience and it tells why I love the Lord. It says:


I was a wand'ring sheep,

I did not love the fold;

I did not love my Shepherd's voice,

I would not be controlled.


I was a wayward child,

I did not love my home;

I did not love my Father's voice,

I loved afar to roam.


The Shepherd sought His sheep,

The Father sought His child;

They followed me o'er vale and hill,

O'er deserts waste and wild:


They found me nigh to death,

Famished and faint and lone;

They bound me with the bands of love,

They saved the wand'ring one.


I was a wand'ring sheep,

I would not be controlled;

But now I love my Shepherd's voice,

I love, I love the fold.


I was a wayward child,

I once preferred to roam;

But now I love my Father's voice,

I love, I love His home.

This is why I love the Lord. I don’t know why He loves me, but this is why I love Him. He found me and He brought me in. He saw me when I didn’t think of Him; and He loved me when I didn’t love Him.


1 John 4:10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” God first loved us. He sent His Son to the earth as a result of the love in His heart and He wanted to manifest His love and make it known. Love wants to manifest itself; it wants to be known.


We see the perfection in creation and all the Lord has made, and it all is so we can have a place to dwell and love Him. Everything in the creation is to provide in our natural needs, and it also demonstrates God’s love and care for us.


When we were wandering far away from Him, we were lost and cold and without love. The perfection of the creation is not sufficient for us. It serves our natural needs, but our soul needs love. He saw our need, and He sent a Savior to this world.


To many people this matter of loving God is a mystery; they don’t understand it. To understand God, we need to love Him. We need to know the Lord then we can love Him. Many don’t bow to God, and they’re missing so much. Their lives are so empty, so meaningless.


John 17:3, “This is life eternal that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” To know God is eternal life. When we truly know God, we can’t help but love Him. When we understand heart of the Lord, when we understand that He is our Father, what He does and who He is; we will sing “I cannot help but love Him, because He first love me.” If we really know God, if we really love God; there is nothing we will not do for God. We’ll gladly sacrifice. We’ll be willing for anything.


The love of God is really perfect toward us. There is no flaw in His love, there is nothing wrong in His love.


Not one of us will be saved merely because God loves us. We must love Him. We need to have a relationship with Him. God does love us, He loves each one of us, He loves everyone in Cape Town, but do we love Him? As much as God loves us, it is not enough to save us. We must also love Him, and we must love the Lord more than anything else in all the world.


In Luke 7, Jesus went to the house of a Pharisee to have a meal with them. A sinner woman came also, but she was not welcome there. Luke 7:38, “And stood at His feet behind Him weeping, and began to wash His feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” The love of God had touched her heart, and it had moved her to show her love for Jesus. As a result her shameful and sinful past was forgiven. She received hope and rest at last, and that is why she loved the Lord. It says in Luke 7:47 that “she loved much.” She did what she could do; she couldn’t do any more than she did.


To love light is to love God, because God is light. Light shows what is close to us, and we love the light.


One night my father came home from work. He didn’t have a good day; he was feeling down. That evening in the home I saw there was something that he needed, and I got it for him. He said, “Well, my children love me.” It meant so much to him that night that his children still loved him. We don’t know what had happened that day, but it was a great comfort to him that his children still loved him.


We think about God, and all the reproach and rejection of the cold, cruel, and hard world, and His love is over and over again rejected. He looks down and He sees one of His dear own children; their struggle as they try to draw near to Him in prayer; they have a desire to do what is right and they want to be closer to Him. I’m sure it touches the heart of God to see that in this cold, cruel, and hard world and all that is going on that there is one who loves me. I’m sure it means everything to God. If you have a desire, if you would want to touch the heart of God, just love Him and love Him with all your heart.


Hymn 27 says, “In Him I am accepted, forgiven, sanctified.” Then the last line of each verse says, “I cannot help but love Him, because He first loved me.”


The more we think of God’s love and the love of His Son for us, we can’t help but love Him. There’s nothing else we can do. He first loved us.


Many years ago in my homeland, there was a little nine year old boy who lived in the woods with his father and sister. His mother had died. He was hungry, cold. His father wasn’t able to care for them and he married again. A stepmother came to his help. She was able to fix the home, they had food to eat and they had clothes and they were warm. He valued to be loved, and cared for. This stepmother taught him many things. She taught him about kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, honesty, and tenderness.


Years later, he became the president of the US. His name was Abraham Lincoln. Before he went into office, he went to see his dear stepmother. Later in his life, he said all that he is and all that he has he owes to his stepmother. She never saw him again, he died in office. Many years later when she was old and asked about him, she said “He loved me truly.” She didn’t talk about his accomplishments, what he did for her, what he had meant to the nation when he saved it from disaster. All she talked about was his love for her. It meant everything to her.


God loves you, no matter what you have or have not accomplished. God doesn’t care what you possess or what you don’t possess. The only thing He wants is that we love Him. God loved us first. He did everything possible to manifest His love for us. Now He is looking to see if there are those who would respond and love Him.


Hymn 219 says,


“Saviour, hear my heartfelt prayer,

Humbly I implore: In Thy loving, tender care,

Let me love Thee more.”


I hope we allow the Lord to help us to love Him more. The chorus of that hymn says, “O enlarge this heart of mine – I would love Thee more.” If we don’t feel love in our heart for God, there is a problem in our heart. Our heart is too small; it is all wrapped up in things that don’t matter.


Hymn 158 says,


“Just as I am, Thy love unknown

Has broken every barrier down;

Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”

This is why I love the Lord.