Summary: If God loved me enough to give His Son when I was His enemy, surely He loves me enough to care for me now that I am His child.
God is Love
Rev. Brian Bill
August 11-12, 2018
I enjoy hearing what kids say about love.
• Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on cologne and they go out and smell each other.
• Love is like an avalanche where you have to run for your life.
• Love is the most important thing in the world…but baseball is pretty good too.
• Once I’m done with kindergarten, I’m going to find me a wife.
• I’m not rushing into being in love. I’m finding fourth grade hard enough.
• It gives me a headache to think about that stuff. I’m just a kid. I don’t need that kind of trouble.
• Love will find you, even if you are trying to hide from it. I been trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding me.
• You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget, and it’s good for them to get reminded.
God says He loves us a lot because He means it. And it’s good for us to be reminded of this fact because we forget.
I initially thought the attribute of love would be the easiest one to preach on but not so much. Love may be the best known, but least understood of all His attributes. I share Tozer’s trepidation: “It is like trying to take the ocean in your arms, or embrace the atmosphere…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…No one can do it, so I suppose I must do the best I can and trust the Holy Spirit to make up for human lack.”
Because it’s difficult to define and describe the love of God, let’s use the prayer Paul prayed in Ephesians 3:14-19 as our prayer today: “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
We come today to the conclusion of our “Behold Your God” series. While we certainly haven’t exhausted the depths of who God is, I trust you’ve gotten to know Him better this summer. Hopefully this series has primed the pump so that you will continue to know Him and grow in Him. May your beholding lead to believing which will lead you to becoming so you can be all about behaving for His glory and honor.
I purposely put the topic of God’s love at the end of this series because love is the supreme expression of God’s personhood and flows out of His goodness. It affects all His other attributes. One person writes: “Love is not something He chooses to do or give. It is the very essence of who He is. He doesn’t just love – He is love. It motivates His every action, directs His activities, and reflects His desires.”
Chip Ingram defines God’s love this way: “His holy disposition toward all that He has created that compels Him to express unconditional affection and selective correction to provide the highest quality of existence, both now and forever, for the object of His love.”
Theologian Wayne Grudem offers a simple, yet profound definition of love: “God’s love means that God eternally gives of Himself to others.”
Our culture today is primarily focused on romantic or brotherly love – but God’s love is agape, the purest, deepest and most unconditional kind of love. It’s not merely a friendly attitude He projects but the essence of His very nature. I did a search on my Bible study program which came up with 745 results. Here’s just a handful:
Psalm 36:7: “How precious is your steadfast love, O God!”
Psalm 63:3: “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.”
Psalm 119:76: “Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise…”
Isaiah 38:17: “But in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back.”