Sunday, June 05, 2011

God Is Love: So What

God Is Love: So What?

Intro.: Most of us think we know all about love.

  1. We see it on TV, we read about it in books, we see it as couples hold hands walking down the street. We know what love is all about.

  2. On the other hand, we also get lots of examples as to what love is not. The gossip column make sure that we know the mistakes that people make. We read of parents who try to control there kids lives, we see families splitting up. Yep, lots of instructions on how love is not supposed to work.

  3. John also knows something love. It was John who took the time to remind us that “God so loved the world ...”

  4. And, and now, John returns to the subject in his first epistle. 46 times he mentions love in this letter – he had heard about from Jesus, he had seen it lived out – and he wants to talk about it.

  5. Turn with me to I John 4:7-12.

Read: I John 4:7-12



  1. Love – what we know – Three key facts

    1. Fact One – Love is from God

      1. In the very first chapter of the Bible, Genesis One, the author makes it clear that we have been created in the image of God.

      2. In just a few minute we will look at that verse that tells us that God is love. But if God is love and we are created in His image – then our love comes from Him.

(Appl.) I suggested earlier that we have learned most of what we know about love from the media – TV, movies, books, news, - you get the idea. But those are not God's idea of love. If I really like to know about love, and love does come from God, then we need to let God teach us about love. Did you know that word “love” occurs 551 times in 505 verses? But, even more important, scripture is full of examples of God's love – God caring for His people and for individuals who have learned to depend on Him.

    1. Fact Two – God is Love

(Ill.) One author has translated Ephesians 3:17-18 as, “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Fully grasping the dimensions of God's love for us is not an easy thing to do. the Scriptures teach that we are to have a growing awareness of divine love. Love is the very heart and essence of God, not only for the lovely but for the worst of sinners. Christ did not die merely to display God’s love—He died because God is love (1 John 4:8). If the New Testament teaches us anything, it teaches us about God’s love in searching for lost men. Becoming a Christian in a very real sense is simply putting ourselves in the way of being found by God—to stop running from His loving pursuit.i

      1. We have been redeemed but the very God who loves us more than we even love ourselves.

      2. And if we do not know that love, then we do not know God. That is the real test as to whether we know God – do we love like he loves. John says it like this, “Anyone who does not love does not know God.”

    1. Fact Three – God showed his love by sending His son.

      1. John 3:16 says “God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.”

      2. Now, some 60 years later, John writes, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

      3. Somehow Christmas and Easter have become fun holidays – we use them as opportunities to tell those around us that we love them, but we must never forget that they are the very proof the Jesus loved us first.

      4. We sit halfway between the two holidays – as you begin to prepare for this Christmas, remember that it is not just a way for you to tell those around you that you love them, it is also a time to reflect on the fact that God loved us.

  1. Love – what to do

    1. In today's passage there is one command – repeated twice.

    2. Beloved, let us love one another. … Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

    3. I really like the way John said that. Did you notice all the exceptions that he gave –

      1. “... let us love one another, unless we have been insulted.”

      2. “... let us love one another, unless someone has hurt us.”

      3. “... let us love one another, except when we don't feel good.”

      4. “... let us love one another, unless you are not a pastor.”

      5. Wait – you do know that I made those all up.

      6. There are no exceptions … “we ought to love one another.”

    4. Now to be honest, I sometimes wish there were exceptions.

    5. But God did not give me any.

    6. You know what – regardless of what you do, regardless of what you say, regardless of what you think, God asks me to love you.

Conclusion: Let me conclude with a story:

When Scottish teenager George Matheson learned he was losing his eyesight, he determined to finish his studies at the University of Glasgow as quickly as possible. His blindness overtook him while he pursued graduate studies for Christian ministry, but his family rallied to his side. His sisters even learned Greek and Hebrew to help him in his assignments.

The real blow came later, when his fiancĂ©e determined she just couldn’t marry a blind man. Breaking the engagement, she returned his ring. George was devastated. Years later when he was a beloved pastor in Scotland, his sister became engaged, and the news opened old wounds in his heart. More mature now, he turned to God and out of the experience wrote a prayer that later some may know as a hymn. The words say:

O love that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary soul in thee; I give thee back the life I owe, That in thing ocean depths its flow May richer, fuller be.

Even when I don't feel like loving, God calls me to love. Am I willing?


iOsbeck, K. W. (1990). Amazing grace : 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (44). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications.