Summary: God’s love enables us to love Him back and to love others.
The Echo of Love
Intro: God’s love echoes through history like the reverberating rumble of thunder across a majestic mountain range. However, unlike the diminishing thunder, the echo of God’s love continues loud and strong for those who will listen. Just as sound waves can either be absorbed or deflected, so the waves of God’s love can also be either absorbed or deflected by the human heart. From those who welcome the love of God there emerges an echo of love that rebounds back to its source in forms of affection, praise, and gratitude. And just as the source of love continues undiminished so the response continues, resulting in a constant cycle of taking in and giving out, much like the way we breathe.
-These echoes of love are not limited, however, to a vertical dimension. The vibrations and intonations of God’s love have the ability to bounce from one human heart to another without losing volume or effect. If the echoes of love are confined to a vertical dimension, the sound will eventually grow dim and fade away. Echoes of true love begin vertically but must find both vertical and horizontal expression in order to fulfill their desired end. In plain language, God’s love enables us to love Him back and to love others. And that is the point of the message on this Valentine’s Day 2010.
-On Valentine’s Day we like to think and talk about love. Everyone loves love! We want to be loved and we want to give love. The problem is our love is often lacking, just like we are. Our love is often based upon our own mood or the actions, appearance or attitude of the one we love. When it comes to love, we all fall a bit short, don’t we? Some of us are as confused about love as the little five-year-old girl who told her teacher, “Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.” [Scott Bayles, sermoncentral.com]
-Well, I don’t really plan to speak about dating or romance today. But I do hope that by the time we are finished that you will be stirred and changed by the amazing love God has for you! Let’s take a look at some of the phases of this amazing love that echoes throughout all time and is available to every person.
I. The Demonstration of Love (Romans 5:6-8)
Romans 5:6-8 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
-A.W. Tozer struggled to explain God’s love: “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.”
-I fall very short today in trying to explain the love of God, but with His help we can look up and find that He is very near and that His love is very real!
-You know, God’s love is the only reason we exist. His infinite power is the how of creation and His love is the why. God so loved that He created! Love requires an object, and humans were created as the objects of God’s affection. Love flows from Him down to us without taking away from His holiness or righteousness. As we receive and experience His love, we find that it is a doorway to knowing God intimately. [Brian Bill, sermoncentral.com]
-Romans 5:6-10 gives us 4 pictures of what we were like when Jesus died for us. We were powerless (6), ungodly (6), sinners (8), and enemies of God (10). Because of our powerlessness, our ungodliness, and our sinful lives, we were considered enemies of God. ¬ Ephesians 2:3 says that we were by “nature objects of God’s wrath.” The truth about us is that we have rebelled willfully against God’s commands, broken His moral law, and acted in total defiance against Him. There is no reason that God should love us, except this: That’s the kind of God He is. He loves us because God is love - even when we are His enemies. His love is greater than our sin ¬ and He loves us in spite of our sin. [Brian Bill, sermoncentral.com]
-Make no mistake about the fact that God loves you. Think about this: If God loved you enough to give His Son to die for you when you were His enemy, surely He loves you enough to care for you when you become His friend.