Constraining, Yet Boundless Love

What Happens When Our Love has been Constrained to Abound As It Should?

Genesis 24:10-67

DATE: 13 Feb, 2000   AM         PLACE: BBC Blarney


I.         Introduction (Philp 1:9; 1Thes 3:12; Rom 5:5; 2Cor 5:14,15)


A.      Love affects a person. It can basically ruin a person for a while - make them "different" and "strange." We usually can tell when someone is "in love" because it shows! Amen!

B.       True love - the love experienced by Christians - affects you in concrete ways. Because we have experienced the love of God - the One who created love, and defines it, and measures it! God's love, for it to have any affect, must be allowed to constrain, and mould, and fashion our hearts before we can know boundless love from our own lives!

C.       There are various kinds of love


1.        Infatuation - puppy love

2.        Limited love - love restrained

3.        Demanding love - lust

4.        Boundless love - Charity


D.      Each one of these kinds of love affect people in different ways.

E.       If you have a love for people and for God that does not affect you in concrete, and substantial ways, you only have infatuation, and it will pass!

F.       If you only restrained love, you have not allowed Jesus Christ to be Lord of your life - period! He may be your Saviour from sins, but not from yourself

G.       If you only have demanding love, or have a problem with it, then you're not saved!

H.      If you want to have boundless love - if you want your love to abound - you need to spend time with Jesus Christ, and surrender your heart to His word!

I.         What we are about to see are the affects of a constraining love unbounded!


II.       Background (Gen 24)


A.      The people in the story are:


1.        Abraham - searching for a bride for his son Isaac

2.        Isaac - 40 years old and still not married

3.        Abraham's servant, named Eliezar - Abraham will send him out to find a suitable bride for Isaac

4.        Rebekah - the person that God has ready for Isaac


B.       These are so similar to God the Father, His Son, the Soul-winner, and the Sinner, that only God could have coordinated to become such a beautiful picture!


III.     Message - Constraining, Yet Boundless Love (Genesis 24:10-67)


A.      Constraining, Yet Boundless Love Affects Your Faith (Gen 24:10-14)


1.        It affected Abraham's faith - he obeyed God, and followed God's word because he and God were friends. He entrusted his servant with the task of finding a bride for his son Isaac

2.        It affected Eliezar's faith - he was glad to do it because he knew God would guide him to the right person. Love gives you courage to do the impossible!

3.        Do you know what the source of strong faith is? NOT God proving Himself in your life - already done that at the cross! It is how your heart responds to God in your life


a.       Example of Jesus - no matter what He did - the Pharisees just hated Him more

b.       Example of king David - his faith was great. Because his relationship with God was both real, and strong - not haphazard, or spotty!


4.        Everybody who has strong faith in God, has strong love for God that they got through spending hours every week in God's word, and in prayer!


B.       Constraining, Yet Boundless Love Affects Your Relationships (Gen 24:15,16)


1.        Rebekah is a beautiful woman, and yet still a virgin

2.        This is no teenager - she is in her 20's or 30's


a.       Not because there were no other men in the area

b.       But because she valued her relationship with her parents - she loved them, and their investment in her more than some throw-away night!

c.       Because she valued her relationship with GOD - she knew she was made by God special, and kept herself pure out of love for God!

d.       Because she valued her relationship with her future husband - kept herself pure out of love for God's man in her life!


3.        LUST makes you throw all that away

4.        True love, God's kind of love makes you hold out, and stand pure, and WAIT for the right person - the one GOD knows is best for you! AMEN!


C.       Constraining, Yet Boundless Love Affects Your Attitudes (Gen 24:17-21)


1.        Rebekah was on a daily errand of drawing water for the family. Not a fun chore, but unpleasant, esp. when someone else shows up wanting a drink

2.        Yet look at her attitude!


a.       She is the first out - lots of woman at this time of the day were headed down to the wells - but Rebekah is ahead of the pack!

b.       Do you see how she meets this servant? With energy! Not dragging her feet - her heart seems to be in what she does for others!!!!!!!!!

c.       Do you see how she treats this stranger? Wow! She calls him LORD (24:18) - this SERVANT!


3.        And she doesn't stop there, she looks around and sees the need for the whole herd of camels to be watered, and offers to draw for ALL!

4.        And she doesn't just offer to get them a bit of water, but to draw until they have done drinking (24:19) - she was truly going the second mile!

5.        This attitude only shows up in those whose lives have been touched by such boundless love as Christ offers!

6.        She is not in love with this man, or his camels - she is in love with GOD


a.       Her daddy was named Bethuel - means, Separated unto God!

b.       Her brother's name was Laban (24:29-31) - means, White, and Pure! AMEN! Thank God for MEN who seek to be pure and Godly!

c.       He, like his cousin Abraham had grown up loving God, and had passed that love on to his family!


D.      Constraining, Yet Boundless Love Affects Your Wallet (Gen 24:22-25)


1.        Abraham has provided a reward to attract the love of the prospective bride - not to buy her love, but to show the seriousness of the love that waited for her back in the Promised Land

2.        True love is not just words - "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth." (1Jn 3:18) it is Actions!

3.        You have heard it said, and it is so true - you can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving!!! So, Abraham gave, through the servant

4.        Watch this woman's response (24:23-25)


a.       She informs him who her family is - she treats this man as important

b.       She makes her family's resources available to this stranger

c.       Remember - he has not told her why he is there, and what all the gifts are for, and yet SHE is so giving!!!


E.       Constraining, Yet Boundless Love Affects Your Lips (Gen 24:32-38,42-46,49,50)


1.        It affects the lips of the servant Eliezar


a.       Watch the servant. Something has happened in his heart that keeps his hunger in second place, behind his desire to tell the wonderful things God had just done that day!

b.       He lets the hearers know that he is only a servant (not an important man) - do you see the soul-winner here?


1)       He has gone at the command of the Master (Abraham - type of the Father)

2)       He is seeking a Bride - for his Master's Son (Jesus)

3)       He has prayed that the Lord would guide him to the right person

4)       He has seen that Bride respond with love and joy to his offer of a new life with his Master's Son

5)       He explains that he is only the messenger - the servant, who knows the joy of serving - AMEN!

6)       He is full of praise to God - no griping or complaining!!!


2.        It affects the lips obviously of the hearer - Rebekah - so kind!

3.        It affects the lips of the onlookers - Laban and Bethuel (24:50)


F.       Constraining, Yet Boundless Love Affects Your Feet (Gen 24:55-58)


1.        This was not a passing gesture of kindness towards the family, but a direct invitation for Rebekah to leave father, and mother, and home, and her old life, and live with and for Isaac

2.        What will she decide? It is finally up to her. But her heart has already decided. Her feet have only to follow!!!

3.        Boundless love, Christ's love, affects your feet where you will go anywhere, and love ANYONE (2Cor 5:14,15). That's what Rom 5:5 means when it says that we have been given love - it is because God intends us to use it - and it shows best in your feet


a.       Soul-winning - Seeking the lost

b.       Preaching - giving your life to preaching this book

c.       Missions - going to some far away country with the Gospel



G.       Constraining, Yet Boundless Love Affects Eternity (Gen 24:61-67)


1.        Isaac sees "the camels a comin'!" and begins to head-out to meet them

2.        Rebekah sees a young man of 40 years old approaching. She questions Eliezar, "Who's that coming this way?" He responds, It's HIM!

3.        Notice the love here


a.       This is where all the story books get the "happily ever after" from

b.       Their love sets the pace of all love stories - Shows the love of Christ for the sinner who has been invited to HIS home for all eternity

c.       Their love, so simple as it was, still affects us, some 4,000 years later, and will always be a clear reflection of the kind of love that God has for us, and that we can have towards Him, and His work in our lives


IV.    Conclusion -


A.      God's work begins with surrender! Surrender your old heart, and its limitations, and get a whole new one in the new birth!

B.       These are signs of life in our normally cold, and hard hearts

C.       Constraining, Yet Boundless Love Affects Your Faith - makes it strong, and full

D.      Constraining, Yet Boundless Love Affects Your Relationships - keeps us pure

E.       Constraining, Yet Boundless Love Affects Your Attitudes - makes us sweet and serving

F.       Constraining, Yet Boundless Love Affects Your Wallet - always a giver

G.       Constraining, Yet Boundless Love Affects Your Lips - can't help but tell of God's wonderful works in your life

H.      Constraining, Yet Boundless Love Affects Your Feet - compels you to reach to the farthest soul

I.         Constraining, Yet Boundless Love Affects Eternity