Discovering the Heart of God Part 27 Love - 3. Introduction.
Love - 3
One of our greatest needs as human beings is to be loved. We all need love. We need to know that we are important to somebody, that somebody truly cares about us, wants us, and accepts us unconditionally. When we doubt that we are loved, we may develop unacceptable behavior patterns to compensate for it.
1 John 4:16And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
The Apostle John categorically stated that God is love. He does not state that God loves, but He is love! Love is His nature. It is not merely a friendly attitude He projects. It is the essence of His being. He is always going to act toward us in love because He cannot do otherwise. Love is the way He is.
Love involves action. It is expressed in the giving of oneself for the good of another, so it demands an object.
God created mankind so we could experience His love.
God’s love motivates Him to give when it cost Him dearly. God’s love cost Him the very best that He had. He gave His only Son.
God did not wait for you to make yourself good enough for His love. That would be impossible. God loves you unconditionally. He loved you while you were His enemy. He does not love you more when you get it right and less when you fail. He loves you with the full force of His love all the time!
Jeremiah 31:3The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
This message was originally given to the nation Israel, but it applies to every true child of God.
That everlasting love reaches into eternity past. He knew us and loved us before He made us, when we were but a thought in His mind and He will love us for eternity to come.
Romans 8:38-39For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Nothing is able to separate us from the love of God. The love of an eternal God must be an eternal love.
John 13:1Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
Think about this verse. The disciples had argued which would be the greatest, but none showed the social courtesy of washing Jesus’ feet.
When Jesus went to pray before His arrest, the disciples could not stay awake. Yet Jesus loved them to the end. Their failure could not separate them from His love!
Like the disciples, Jesus will love us to the end of our waywardness and wanderings.
He will love us to the end of our deepest need. He will love us to the end of our lives, to the end of time, to the farthest extremity of eternity. He will love us forever. His love is eternal.
When some people hear that God’s love is self-giving, sacrificial, unconditional, eternal, and infinite, they get the idea that it is merely soft, sloppy sentimentality, that God is an indulgent Father who gives us everything we want and conveniently turns His head the other way when we sin. But that is not the case. Everything God does is done in the totality of His being, so His love must always be consistent with His other attributes. Since God is holy, then His love must be a holy love that encourages holiness in those loved.
Ephesians 1:3-4Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.
God wants the best for our lives and that best is that we should be holy. Think of sin as a disease that eats away at who we are from the inside out. To be holy is to be disease free.
Notice the context that God chose us and blessed us so we can live holy.
Hebrews 12:5-6And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
God will use every loving means at His disposal to encourage our obedience. He does that because He loves us. God’s discipline is the evidence of His love for us. He knows that obedience to His Word will be for our greatest happiness, so He takes steps to help us want to obey Him. If He did not love us, He would not care about our happiness.
Let’s take a moment and look at our love for others.
The Greeks had 3 words for love.
Agape – This is the covenant, unconditional love that God has for mankind. This is the love we have been studying.
Philo – This is a family type of love. It is the love between a husband, wife, and their children.
Eros – This is sexual attraction. This word is never used in Scripture for love.
God loves us with a holy love and we are to love others the same way. God pours out His love on us and it enables us to love with His love.
Today many confuse this love with lust for another. Sex has become acceptable in social relationships. Lust does not desire the best for another, it centers on the selfishness of the individual and the fulfillment of their own desires.
We need to commit to love others with a sacrificial holy love that desires God’s best for others. This will be an outgrowth of our own relationship with Him!