- The Washington Times - Monday, September 30, 2002

Excerpts from a sermon given yesterday by the Rev. Donna Pisani at Glory Tabernacle in the District.
God spoke to us this morning and He said very specifically He wanted us to receive His love. He said that He heard many of you crying. He heard many of you in your despair and in that place of hopelessness. He said that He had heard you and He loved you.
Sometimes we forget that He loves you unconditionally. In John 3:16 in the Message Bible, it says, "This is how much God loved the world. He gave His son, His one and only son and this is why: So that no one needs to be destroyed. By believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending His son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. But He came to help, putting the world aright again. Anyone who trusts in Him is acquitted. Anyone who refuses to trust Him has long been under the death sentence without even knowing it."
In Revelation 4:11, it says, " and for Thy pleasure they are created." I was overwhelmed with the thought that God's pleasure is in creating us. God's pleasure was creating you, forming you and making you. It was His joy to do that. That breaks off all the rejection the enemy would like to put on you right now: that you are not beautiful, you're not loved, you're not wanted. God created you because it was His pleasure to create you. People turn to drugs, illicit drugs, hopelessness and depression because they don't feel loved, but I want to tell you there's a God who loves you unconditionally and wants to break through those preconceived ideas that you have.
When Scripture says, "Our God is a consuming fire," it's not speaking about the fire of His judgment but the fire of His passion towards humanity; His holy love that is never quenched. When you don't serve Him or obey Him, it doesn't quench His love for you. He still loves you. You are amazing to Him. He loves you.
He says, "I am the God whose name is jealous." What He is saying to you guys is that He's so in love with you that you have no other loves but Him. He needs to be the most important thing. He so much wants you to Himself that He will release a difficulty in your life to get your attention back on Him.
In our society, we can become passionate about so many things. If you want to see passion, go to a Redskins game. If you want to see passion, go to any sports arena. Where passion needs to come back is into the church. We need the revelation that the God we serve adores us and is passionately in love with us.
I was driving to church this morning and we drove by a cemetery. God spoke this phrase to me: "Cemeteries are full of unrequited love." The Lord said, "I have poured out my love on all mankind; it is their choice to receive it." It is being poured out to you on a daily basis. All you have to say is, "God, I receive your love."
One of the things that keeps us from receiving from God is we feel unworthy and ashamed. Throughout the Scriptures, whenever the love of God was shown, it was to people who, according to society, were not worthy. In Luke 12:6, Jesus said, "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings? And yet not one of them is forgotten before God."
There was a custom in that time, if you bought four sparrows, they threw the fifth one in for free. The fifth one was not counted for anything. What Jesus is saying is, "That fifth sparrow that's not worth anything I'm concerned even about that sparrow." You may feel you are that fifth sparrow. Maybe you feel He doesn't hear you or understand you. It doesn't matter whether you are the first or fifth sparrow, He is concerned about you and loves you.
Next week: the Red Mass sermon by Bishop Wilton Gregory at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in the District.

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