6-Week Series: Against All Odds

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Summary: What makes Christianity completely different and unique from all the other religions in the world is ‘love’ because Christianity is the only religion where Jesus Christ, who is love Himself, comes to dwell within each willing heart when He is invited to.

I am firmly convinced that every human being has an unquenchable longing for love, and to love and be loved, because God is love. (1 Jn 4:8) The love a person feels for another is just a minute shadow of God’s love for EVERYONE! Jesus Christ is the very definition of love itself and the empirical evidence that it truly exists. He is the embodiment of love and everything that He says or does is motivated by love.

God has given to human beings freely, and without limits, the desire and capacity for love, because they are created in His image. (Gen 1:27) His love has no beginning or end, no depth or height, width or length that can be measured. It is knowable by human begins through Jesus Christ and it can be experienced because of Him. His love is spontaneous and transcends all limits of human emotions and understanding.

There are layers and layers of it that are forever expanding and can radically transform a person by the active working of Holy Spirit. It is one of those intangibles - something that cannot be completely or fully experienced by the five senses because it originates in the heart of God and never stops flowing.

Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places

Sadly, too many people have problems finding real love. It is only the love of God that can free a person from all the heartache and pain found in this life. Yet most look to created things to satisfy their deep seeded need for love and not directly to the author of love Himself. There is absolutely no way that any human being could ever completely satisfy another's built-in need for love.

IHere are some interesting, insightful, and notable quotes on the subject of love from a human perspective.

Love doesn't make the world go round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile. - Elizabeth Browning

We love because it's the only true adventure. - Nikki Giovanni

Someone once said that "Love is friendship set on fire." We're all a little weird, and life's a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love. - Dr. Seuss

Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness. - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Love stretches your heart and makes you big inside. - Margaret Walker

Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired. - Mark Twain

To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven. - Karen Sunde

When a person falls in love the emotion can energize and invigorate. As shown in the quotes above there are depths to it that are unfathomable – even on a purely human level. However, and most importantly, genuine love that is empowered by God gives the human heart the ability to expand and experience deep intimacy beyond anything ever imagined.

It is only God’s love that can take a person into the deepest and innermost parts of the heart within the one they love. It is more than just a deep human affection. It is the kind of deep intimacy that can only be shared and experienced when the created enters into a love covenant with their Creator.

Love Defined

The more a person learns about God’s love - experientially, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually - the more they will be drawn to Him.

"We love Him, because He first loved us". (1 John 4:19 NIV)

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16 KJV)

The word “Love” in the English language is a verb that is defined as: to feel great affection for (someone): to feel love for (someone): to feel sexual or romantic love for (someone): to like or desire (something) very much: to take great pleasure in (something).

The Bible speaks of two types of love in the Greek language - "Agape" and "Phileo".

"Agape" has been defined as a self-sacrificial love committed to the highest good. It is a love that is not dependent on the emotions. Without this love no one could become reconciled to God. Through "Agape" love God set aside His wrath against mankind because of their sin and poured it out on Jesus Christ, the beloved Son.

"Phileo" love is best defined as tender affection; love from the emotions in a person's soul. It is that kind of love which responds to love from another. It is the love of true friends; love of a child for his parents or for another child; love between a husband and wife. It can be casual or intense. It cannot be relegated to just human emotion. Jesus used this word in describing the Father's love for Him. (See John 5:20) "Phileo" is also used in describing the Father's feelings toward all of the Son's disciples. (See John 16:27)

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