Summary: This sermon focuses on several characteristics of God’s love.
TITLE: Celebrate God’s Love
Text: 1 John 4:7-12
Location: Sulphur Spring Baptist
Introduction: As I mentioned earlier this is the week of prayer for State Missions and we will be having our special mission study tonight. The Theme of this year’s study is “Celebrate God’s Love.”
God’s Love has inspired many songwriters to write hundreds of beautiful songs, including “Love is the Theme, and Oh How He Loves You and Me” which we sang earlier. Albert Fisher, the author of “Love is the Theme” describes God’s love as “Wonderful.”
William Reynolds, used these words to describe God’s Love in the Hymn “Share His Love…”
“The Love of God is broader than earth’s vast expanse,
Tis deeper and wider than the sea.
Love reaches out to all to bring abundant life,
For God so loved the world His only son He gave.”
This morning I want you to think about God’s Love, about How Great, and How Wonderful it really is.
The First thing I want you to remember about God’s Love is that it is…
Look back at verses 7-8 of our text:
"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8 (NIV)
The Apostle John reminds us in these two verses that God’s love is personal. He says those of us who are Christians know God and love God, while unbelievers neither know him or love him.
The Holy Spririt draws us into what Henry Blackaby, the Author of Experiencing God calls an “Intimate love relationship with Him that is real and personal.”
God’s love causes us to know Him, and Him to know us.
A.W. Tozer said it like this: "The love of God is one of the great realities of the universe, a pillar upon which the hope of the world rests. But it is a personal, intimate thing too. God does not love populations, He loves people. He loves not masses, but men."
People all over the world are searching for someone to love. Millions of people use dating services like “It’s Just Lunch, or E-Harmony.com to try to find that person that they can love and be loved by.
The most important and one of the most powerful messages that we can share with people today is that God loves them. Every person in this auditorium is important to God, and He loves each and every one of us.
Jesus was trying to teach His Disciples this concept when He said, "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (Luke 12:6-7).
Isn’t that amazing, nothing takes God by surprise, He knows when a single bird falls out of the sky!
Which reminds me a little of going dove hunting the other day with Eric and Alvin, because there weren’t many doves falling out of the sky around me or Eric.
But the point that Jesus is making here is that we are so much more import to God than a sparrow or a dove. In fact He says we are so important to God that He knows everything there is to know us, down to the very hairs we have on our heads
God’s love for us is personal.
Jesus illustrated this in John 10:14-15, when He said, "I am the good shepherd, I know my sheep and my sheep know me- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep."
The image of shepherding is lost on many American’s today, but when Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem, shepherding was as common as farming is in this part of the country. One of the outstanding characteristics of a good shepherd was that they knew each one of their sheep by sight and often by name. And so Jesus says, "I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”
Which brings us back to our first point, and that is God’s love is Personal.
The Second thing I want you to remember this morning about God’s Love is that not only is it Personal, but it is also….
A teenager girl grew up on a farm not far from the small city of Traverse City, Michigan. Like many teenagers today, she thought her parents were a little old-fashioned.
Maybe they did overreact a little when it came to the music she listened to, or the style of clothing she chose to wear but they loved her and were doing the best they could to raise her properly.