Summary: We want to talk about experiencing God’s incredible love. There’s no greater subject in the world to talk about.
We continue our series with the next segment entitled “Six Tests that prove one really LOVES God.” Our Scripture passage is from 1 John 3: 1-3.
We have been tested to see if we really KNOW God. But knowing someone and loving someone are two different things. Are you sure that you love God as you should? READ SCRIPTURE / Mention the children’s song / PRAYER
Tonight we want to talk about experiencing God’s incredible love. There’s no greater subject in the world to talk about. Why? Because if God loves us, it means:
• That God is not unreachable, He isn’t distant, He is NOT unconcerned with the world.
• It means that God is not mean and vengeful.
• It means that God doesn’t cause all the bad things that happen to us, like accidents, diseases, and death.
• It means that God is not hovering over us looking for every mistake we make so that He can punish us.
That is not at all what God’s love is. In fact, it is quite the contrary. Since God is love it means that God is bound to show us His love. It means:
• That God cares and looks after us.
• That God will help us through all the trials and temptations of life.
• That God will save us from the sin, evil, corruption, and death of this world.
• That God will provide a way for us to be delivered from the coming judgment of His holy wrath against sin.
But if God loves us that much, He expects us to respond. He expects us to love Him. You see, if someone loves you, and you never receive that love, then that person’s love never touches you. You never experience that love. So to know love, we have to receive it and share it. Love is that one thing that you can give away and still have it.
So our focus needs to be on loving God because if we don’t we will never experience the love He has for us. And we are talking about it because the fact is, far too few people truly love God. And because of that they have to walk through life without knowing God’s love. They have to face all of life’s trials, temptations, suffering, sorrow, and death all alone. They have no hope beyond this life.
I could go on and on listing the things that a person has to face if he doesn’t love God but I think we get the picture. But thanks God, He loves the world. And because God loves the world any of us who want to know God’s love can do so. All we have to do is open up our lives, receive His love, and respond to that love.
And that’s what we are going to be looking at tonight and the next 5 sessions: the love of God and our love for Him. How can you tell if you really love God and how can you be sure that God is pleased with the love you give Him?
Think about how wonderful it is to be called a child of the Supreme Majesty of the universe. There is no greater privilege than to be called a child of God. No one becomes a child of God because of any merit or work on his own. It’s simply the love of God that has given us the privilege of adoption into God’s family.
In fact, man has rebelled against God. Man has chosen to go his own way and do things his own way without God. Man has chosen not to be restrained by God. Man has rebelled against God, ignored God, neglected God, cursed God, disobeyed God, disbelieved God, rejected God, and even denied God.
And that’s what makes the love of God so amazing. It was while we were rebelling and opposing God—while we were sinners and enemies of God—while we were standing against God—while we were hostile with God—while we wanted little if anything to do with God—that God poured out His love upon us.
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. . . 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. . . .11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God—all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God.”
Note that God’s love is the giving of His Son to the world. Would any of you give one of your children to die for someone else? Now you begin to understand how much God loves us.