BEST AND MOST Andy Hollifield 11-11-17
Luke 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the BEST robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
1 Corinthians 12:31 But covet earnestly the BEST gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
Luke 7:42-43 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him MOST? (43) Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave MOST. And he said unto him, Thous hast rightly judged.
I heard a statement recently that really opened my eyes to something and I began to search our these 2 words in the bible. The word “best” is used 25 times while the word “most” is used 135 times. The term “most high” is used 48 times. “Most holy” is used 46 times. Although there are 30 different uses of the word “most,”it is used a total of 135 times with many of the different uses appearing more than once. “Most high” and “most holy” account for 94 of the uses combined. That is far more than any other word is used following or preceding the word “most.” The statement I heard was this: “He who knows you the best, loves you the most.” Have you ever thought about the “you” that Jesus knows. I am afraid that if we ever saw ourselves the way that Jesus does, we would be lying around doing nothing because we would be too embarrassed to even approach the Lord. As far as how well he knows each of us, the psalmist David said in Psalms 139 that God knows his down sitting, uprising, thoughts, ways, all of his words, and his heart. That is 6 different things that God knows about us. “Six” in the bible is the number of man. This chapter shows all of our depravity and unworthiness, but Jesus counted us worthy and gave his life for all of us depraved, wicked, and destitute people.
The love of the father in Luke 15 demonstrates that in spite of all of his wrong that he had done, he hadn’t and couldn’t do anything to make his father not love him. Isn’t that amazing? With all of the wrong we have each done, God still loves us. John 3:16 may actually sum it up better than any other. It simply says “For God SO LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” I like to read it like this, “For God SO LOVED the world, that HE GAVE…” He gave everything that was needed to reconcile us back to himself and the ultimate price for our disobedience was the death of his only begotten Son on the cross. He didn’t even look at our sins and evaluate to see if it was worth it but he knew it was necessary. That is also the story told in Luke 15 in the story of the prodigal. The father never once considered his sin but immediately ran to him, fell on his neck and kissed him. With the stench of the pigs still on him and his clothes, the father still just received him with undeserved love, even though he knew that he had sinned and been around an unclean animal. According to custom, when a person came to a householder and offered to become a servant for him, he stretched out in a prone position before him and the householder would put his foot on the back of his neck as a sign of his dominance. That is why the details of this story are so important. The Father knows us better than anybody but yet loves us more than anybody and always receives us as his sons or daughters.
The scripture in Luke 7 is a perfect description of us in need of salvation. We too, had nothing to pay. That verse simply says that a person that has had more sins forgiven will love the person that forgave him more than someone who has never defiled himself with the world. We also will be forgiven and restored to our fellowship with God if we just come and present ourselves to him and humble ourselves to him, in due time he will exalt us.
The last scripture I want to look at is 1 Corinthians 12:31. It is one that I often use especially when I am around a great preacher or singer. There are a lot of people that I have wished that I could share their talent but God won’t add to me by taking away what they have as long as they are using it. I believe that if we covet the best gifts, those are gifts that come from God. If we are sincere in our desire to use whatever ability, talent, or gift God has blessed us with, he will enhance it in our life and show us a more excellent way.
That’s pretty much all I have to say but it should be an encouragement to each of us. Even knowing what we were and how much we have sinned, God still loves us anyway. You haven’t got so far away that God don’t want you to come back and be close to him. He really did give heaven’s best for you and I without price or obligation. He did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves and nobody else probably would do if they could. Truly he that does know you the best, really does love you the most. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!