Summary: In this second sermon in the series, we explore the truth that God is love, and, therefore, love comes from God.
A. I really like a letter that a little girl once wrote to God, it said: “Dear God, I bet it is very hard for you to love all the people in the world. There are only four people in our family and I can never do it. Nan”
1. It is hard to imagine how God can love every last person in the world, isn’t it?
2. But as hard as it is for us to imagine, God truly loves everyone. God loves you, and God even loves me!
3. This is an amazing and transforming truth for our lives.
B. Last week we began a new sermon series titled: “All You Need Is LOVE!”
1. We spent our time exploring the truth that LOVE is the most important thing and is the key to everything in our lives.
2. When a Pharisee asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, Jesus answered, “Love God and love your neighbor.”
3. We looked at numerous statements from Paul’s letters, including “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Gal. 5:6), and “These three remain, faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13).
C. So, having nailed down the truth that all you need is love and that love is the key to everything, I want us to move on to another important, foundational truth.
1. Today I want us to try to grasp the truth that God is love.
2. And because God is love, love ultimately comes from God.
3. And because God is love, God loves each and every one of us.
D. I have to admit that I feel so inadequate this morning as I try to describe the truth of God’s love.
1. A.W. Tozer was a great American preacher and writer in the first half of the 20th century, he said this about the love of God: “The love of God is one of the greatest realities of the universe, a pillar upon which the hope of the world rests. But it is a personal, intimate thing too. God does not love populations, He loves people. He loves not masses, but men.”
2. Then as Tozer attempted to explain God’s love, he wrote, “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.”
3. Let’s spend the rest of our time this morning stretching our hearts toward the high, shining love of God so that we may be encouraged, have hope, and ultimately be transformed – so that we can live a life of love, and so that we can be like God, who is love.
I. Common Misunderstandings about God’s Love
A. Before we get too far into our discussion, I think it is important to make an observation: Perhaps no attribute of God is so widely known and accepted as the love of God.
1. If you interviewed people on the streets of Syracuse and asked them to tell you what God was like, I would suggest that the word “love” would be mentioned more than any other word.
2. But although it is good that they have come to associate love with God, unfortunately many people misunderstand what the love of God means or what it is like.
3. Let’s quickly review what common misunderstandings people have about God’s love.
B. The first misunderstanding is the idea that God loves every person in exactly the same way.
1. I think we all assume this is true, but it is not.
2. A moment’s thought, however, will show us how unreasonable the notion is.
3. We often use the word love in many different ways—and we in fact love in different ways and to different degrees.
4. Here’s a little rhyme that makes the point very effectively: “I love my wife, I love my baby, I love my biscuits dipped in gravy.”
a. There you have three different uses of the word “love” in the same sentence.
b. Married love is not the same as love for your children, and loving your food is something entirely different.
c. Yet the same word is used of all three.
5. From a biblical point of view, we may say that God loves the world, but He lavishes love on his children.
a. The one kind of love is of a general nature, but the other kind of love is of intimacy and relationship.
C. Second, some people mistakenly believe that God’s love somehow cancels his holiness.