Summary: This is a message that let’s people know how much God loves them
Subject: The Love Of God
Scripture Reading: I John 4: 8b
I John 4:8 tells us that God is love. But what is love?
Maybe you heard about the guy who fell in love with an opera singer. He hardly knew her, since his only view of the singer was through binoculars - from the third balcony. He was convinced he could live “happily ever after” married to a voice like that. He scarcely noticed that she was considerably older than he. Nor did he care that she walked with a limp. Her mezzo-soprano voice would take them through whatever might come. After a whirlwind romance and a hurry-up ceremony, they were off for their honeymoon.
She began to prepare for their first night together. As he watched, his chin dropped to his chest. She plucked out her glass eye and plopped it into a container on the night-stand. She pulled off her wig, ripped off her false eyelashes, yanked out her dentures, unstrapped her artificial leg, and smiled at him as she slipped off her glasses that hid her hearing aid. Stunned and horrified, he gasped, Sing Baby Sing! sing, sing, SING!”
Love is probably the most misunderstood word in the world. Part of the problem is that we use this one word to describe a lot of things. Therefore we water it down.
We say, I love my wife, I love New York, I love seafood, I love to hunt, I love to shop, I love you, I love to have my back scratched. And we use the word love in so many different ways that it literally has lost it meaning.
It is difficult to give or receive love when you don’t even understand what it is. So before we can talk about the love of God, I need to clear us a couple misconceptions about love.
First of all, most people think that love is a feeling A sentimental knot in the pit of your stomach, or a quiver in your liver, or an ocean of emotion. And it is true that love does produce feelings and some very powerful feelings. But love is more than a feeling.
Second, many people think that love is uncontrollable.
Have you ever heard anyone say, I fell in love as if they tripped and couldn’t stop themselves? You see we just assume that love can’t be controlled. ,How many times do young people and some older ones say; I just can’t help myself, “I’m in love, or I can’t help it I love him/her. Or maybe the opposite, I can’t help it I don’t love him/her anymore.
We talk as if love is uncontrollable. But the Bible tells us that love is controllable, Jesus commanded that we love one another. His words indicate that we have control over who we love and who we don’t love.
But what is love?
You see our word for love includes many different rela-tionships and aspects depending on the use. That is why it is crucial to define exactly what we mean by love before talking about the love God has for us.
In Greek, the lan-guage in which the New Testament was written, there are three words for love.
1st, Phileo means brotherly love, the affection between family or friends.
2nd, Eros refers to romantic or sexual love.
However the word used for God’s love, is agape, a term absolutely distinct from the words used to describe human relations-. It is the perfect, unfathomable, unconditional love of God. It refers to a sacrificial love. It is completely unselfish, forgiving , and dedicated to your complete welfare.
Now on our own we can not generate or experience this kind of love, it can only come from God. This is the word that John uses when He said in I John 4: 8 God is love. You see, God does not just do loving acts, His whole being is love! His whole essence is love! God’s love is eternal and consistent, in fact the truth of the matter is God has always loved you, and He always will love you.
As P.P. Bliss wrote in the song that we just sang a few moments ago, Tho’ I forget him and wander away, still he does love me wherever I stray.
Jeremiah 31:3 tells us that God loves us with an everlasting love. “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:”
Listen God’s love is not dependent upon us loving Him in return. Because Paul tells us in Romans 5:8 that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
God’s love is a totally giving love.