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Summary: The implications of these three words are so vast that one message on them is like trying to harvest a million acres of corn with a comb. There is no way to get all of the infinite riches they contain, but we will at least get a taste of what this love is

Tolstoy wrote a story called "Where Love Is, God Is." It is about

an old cobbler named Martin who lived alone. One night as he

read the story of Jesus visiting the Pharisee, and the poor

welcome he received, he prayed that the Lord would visit him. In

his sleep he heard a voice saying, "Tomorrow I shall come.

The next day Martin waited all day for his visitor. He saw a

poor old man sweeping snow, and he called him in from the cold

and gave him some hot tea. He kept looking out the window and

the old man asked, "Are you expecting someone?" Martin told

him of the voice. Sometime later he saw a shivering mother with

her crying baby, and he brought them in and gave them some

warm soup and a cloak to shield them from the cold. He told her

about the voice as well.

It was getting late, and still the Savior had not come. He looked

out one last time before closing, and saw an apple woman

scolding a boy who had stolen an apple. He rushed out and made

peace. He paid for the apple and persuaded the woman to forgive

the boy, and they departed with the boy carrying her basket.

That night Martin heard the voice again saying, "Martin, Martin,

don't you know me?" "Who is it," he asked? "It is I," and he saw

the old snow-sweeper. "It is I," and he saw the mother with the

baby. "It is I," and he saw the apple woman with the boy. Then

they all vanished, and Martin realized that Christ had visited him

that day after all, and his heart felt strangely warm.

Tolstoy was saying by this story that where love is, God is. The

presence of God and the Lord Jesus Christ is directly linked to

love. Love is the fruit of the Spirit, and so if the Spirit is present,

the first evidence will be love. If God is love, then love is a sign of

His presence, and lack of love is a sign of His absence in Spirit.

John say in verse 12 that no one has ever seen God. So how can

we know if God is present? John says we know God is present

because of love. If we love one another that is the evidence that

God dwells in us. When you see love, you see God. When you feel

love, you feel God's presence. God is present in love, for God is

love. Where love is God is. The more we love, the more we

experience the presence of God.

No wonder that Paul said everything without love is nothing.

Even faith and great knowledge, and even sacrifice, are not worth

anything without love, for love alone is our link to God, and only

in love do we experience the authentic presence of God.

Everything we do in worship is much ado about nothing if it does

not lead us to love. Therefore, there is not greater good than to

gain an understanding of what the Bible is saying in this simple

but sublime sentence stated twice in this fourth chapter of I John:

"God is love." The implications of these three words are so vast

that one message on them is like trying to harvest a million acres

of corn with a comb. There is no way to get all of the infinite

riches they contain, but we will at least get a taste of what this

love is. First lets taste-

I. THE INEXHAUSTIBLE ILLUMINATIONS OF IT.

R. A. Torrey, the great evangelist, said this is the greatest

sentence ever written, and voices without number in heaven and

on earth echo with an amen! Three little words made up of just 9

letters in English, and yet they are saying something that all the

words of every language can never fully convey. They are giving

us an inexhaustible illumination as to who God is. Read all the

books of men, and search the universe, and you will not find a

more important truth about God than these three little words that

God is love. It is the brightest light we have by which to see who

God is. Torrey said if he had to choose one sentence to sum up the

entire Bible and is message to man, it would be these three words.

D. L. Moody, another great evangelist, felt it was the essence of

the biblical revelation as well, and he had it put above the pulpit

in the famous Moody Church in Chicago. This is the Gospel in a

nutshell. This is why God sent His Son to die for us. This is why

Jesus paid it all, and why he left his church here to carry this

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