Summary: "Living a Life of Love" - Part 4. The final message of this series looks at seven qualities of God’s love found in John 3:16.
EXPERIENCING GOD’S LOVE
Living a Life of Love – 4
John 3:16 (ESV)
March 26, 2006
This morning we will be concluding our series called “Living a Life of Love.” Just to recap what we have gone through so far: In week one our theme was love your spouse. In week two our theme was love each other. Last week our theme was love God and today our theme is the love of God. So today we are going to close our series by learning how we can be “Experiencing God’s Love” in our lives.
Since there is probably no greater summary of God’s love than that which is found in John 3:16 we will be making that verse our text for today. John 3:16 was the verse through which D. L. Moody learned to appreciate the greatness of God’s love. Moody had been to Britain in the early days of his ministry and there had met a young English preached named Henry Moorhouse. One day Moorhouse said to Moody, "I am thinking of going to America."
"Well," said Moody, "if you should ever get to Chicago, come down to my church and I will give you a chance to preach."
Moody did not mean to be hypocritical when he said this, of course. He was merely being polite. Nevertheless, he was saying to himself that he hoped Moorhouse would not come, for Moody had not heard him preach and had no idea of what he would say should he come to Chicago. Sometime later, after Moody had returned home, the evangelist received a telegram that said, "Have just arrived in New York. Will be in Chicago on Sunday. Moorhouse." Moody was perplexed about what he should do, and to complicate matters he was just about to leave for a series of meetings elsewhere. "Oh, my," he thought, "here I am about to be gone on Sunday, Moorhouse is coming, and I have promised to let him preach." Finally he said to his wife and to the leaders of the church, "I think that I should let him preach once. So let him preach once; then if the people enjoy him, put him on again."
Moody was gone for a week. When he returned he said to his wife, "How did the young preacher do?"
"Oh, he is a better preacher than you are," his wife said. "He is telling sinners that God loves them."
"That is not right," said Moody. "God does not love sinners."
"Well," she said, "you go and hear him."
"What?" said Moody. "Do you mean to tell me that he is still preaching?"
"Yes, he has been preaching all week, and he has only had one verse for a text. It is John 3:16."
Moody went to the meeting. Moorhouse got up and began by saying, "I have been hunting for a text all week, and I have not been able to find a better text than John 3:16. So I think we will just talk about it once more." He did. Afterward Moody said it was on that night that he first clearly understood the greatness of God’s love.
The topic of God’s love is truly an overwhelming subject to try and tackle in only one message. There is so much that the Bible has to say about the love of God that I doubt anyone has ever come close to fully comprehending it. So I will simply begin by saying something that A.W. Tozer once said, “I can no more do justice to this awesome and wonder-filled topic than a child can grasp a star. Still, by reaching toward the star the child may call attention to it and even indicate the direction one must look to see it. And so, I stretch my heart toward the high, shining love of God so that we may be encouraged to look up and have hope.”
In John 3:16 (ESV) Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” It is only one sentence. And that sentence contains only twenty-four words. Yet that one sentence is packed with so much truth that we literally will not have time to fully unpack it’s contents this morning. But I will try.
From this one verse we can find at least seven truths (probably more) about the love of God. Let’s look at them now.
1. THE LOVE OF GOD IS UNCONDITIONAL.
For God so loved the world,
The Greek word for world (kosmos) is defined as “the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ.” This is the world that God loved. It doesn’t say that God loved all the good guys. Or that God loved all the Jews. Or that God love all the saints. It says, “For God so loved the world.”