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Summary: A sermon that highlights that God’s number one priority in everyone’s life is to give them His love.

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This week I believe we had no choice but to talk about love.

What does love mean for us?

How does love fit into the picture of God and us.

Love is a strange thing.

It can lead to some strange behaviours.

This week people all over the world over indulged in flowers, chocolates, dinners, gifts and cards to express how much they love the special person in their life. It is expected that around $17 billion was spent by people expressing their love on this day.

I sometimes wonder why we don’t do it on other days as well.

And people will spend time and money to nurture love in their relationships.

They will plan romantic dinners.

Read books on love.

Watch Oprah and Doctor Phil.

Try to discover what love is about.

So I thought I’d share some thoughts, views and stories about love:

An older woman talking to her friends said:

"I think I’m married to an archaeologist, I get the feeling that the older I get, the better he loves me."

From a child:

“Dear God, I bet it is very hard for you to love all the people all the time in the whole world.

There are only four people in our family

and often I have trouble loving any of them!”

A young man emailing his girlfriend.

“Sweetheart, if this world was as hot as the Sahara desert, I would crawl on my knees through the burning sand to come to you.

If the world would be like the Atlantic Ocean, I would swim through shark infested waters to come to you.

If we lived in medieval time I would fight the most fiercest dragon to be by your side.

By the way, I will see you on Thursday if it does not rain.”

An Eight year old:

Love is when Daddy reads me a bedtime story.

True love is when he doesn’t skip any of the pages.

Some one once said

Love your friend to keep them,

Love your enemy to gain them.

From Mother Teresa:

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.

So how do you view love?

What are your thoughts on love?

Have you discovered love?

Infact

have you discovered God’s unconditional love for you?

Today’s Gospel reading is simply about that.

About discovering that God’s number one priority is to love.

Listen again to these very famous words from John chapter 3 verse 16:

For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son,

that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,

but to save the world through him.

And from 1 John 3:16

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for one another.

Do you realise how significant this is?

Think about it for a moment.

Consider what God did to show you He loves you.

Everything God does,

Is because He loves you!!

Everything God does

Is done in love and with love!!

Each of us, have many relationships.

Some of these relationships have very little love in them.

For instance I have a relationship with a bank, but I can tell you I don’t love that bank at times.

It is important for us to understand what is important in each of our relationships.

And for our relationship with God it is God’s desire to show us we are loved.

Unfortunately at times many people view their relationship with God

not centred around love

not focused on love.

But around other things,

Like money.

Or fear.

Or rules.

Or punishment.

Or having the right knowledge or facts.

Or gaining an easier life.

Or being part of a family.

Or being refreshed.

Or something else other than love, the list can go on..

Apart from love!!

What other things are important for you in your relationship with God?

Sometimes we make these more important than they need to be.

For Nicodemus we are not told exactly what these things are.

However Jesus does reveal that Nicodemus has the wrong perspective of God.

The wrong idea of what is important.

Listen again to verse 3

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again.”

And from verses 10 and 11

10“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.

Nicodemus was no dill.

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