Summary: If there are two of God’s attributes that the Scriptures emphasize more than the other, they are the Holiness of God and the Love of God. God’s Love Runs Deep, Beyond our Full Grasp.
The Love of God
1. In the Spring of 1924, Jack Sundine was a four-year-old kid, standing in a line with his father inside the White House, waiting to meet President Calvin Coolidge. As they neared him, Jack noticed that he said something to each visitor as they shook hands. Soon, the thrilling moment arrived. Jack put his small hand into the President’s. Then the President said words Jack will always remember: Move along.¨
In contrast, aren’t you glad that when we come to God, He doesn’t tell us to move along. No, He is personally involved in our lives and desires to hear from us.
2. The Love of God can fill our empty hearts as nothing else can. But we try to fill that void with other things:
2,652 book titles regarding Heaven,
10,304 for Money,
16,765 for Sex,
18,818 for God, and
30,066 for Love.
Love is one of the deepest human needs of all, yet it is also a very misunderstood and misused concept.
3. But there are few themes grander than that of God’s love. Sadly, God’s love is often reduced down to sentimentality or permissiveness.
If there are two of God’s attributes that the Scriptures emphasize more than the other, they are the Holiness of God (last sermon) and the Love of God (this sermon).
Main Idea: God’s Love Runs Deep, Beyond our Full Grasp.
TS--------------Today I would like to share a few meditations about the love of God.
I. The Love of God Defined
1. "The quality of God providing for the well-being of others" (Barackaman)
2. "God’s love means that God eternally gives of himself to others" (Grudem)
3. R.A. Torrey, "Love is a desire for and delight in the welfare of the one loved"
4. Turn to I John 4:8. The Scriptures tell us, "God is love (I John 4:8); this is not the same as saying, "God is only love." We saw last time that "God is light" and that "Our God is a consuming fire."
5. My definition of God’s love for the believer: "God giving of Himself to us, sovereignly orchestrating and drawing us to Himself to include us in the current of the eternal love relationship between the Persons of the Trinity."
6. God’s love is also individual. As Augustine put it, "He loves each one of us, as if there were only one of us."
7. A.W. Tozer said, "The love of God is one of the great 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."
II. The Love Between the Persons of The Trinity Has Always Been, And Believer Are Included in That Love
1. John 17:24 "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world."
2. John 3:35, "The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands."
3. John 14:31, "but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me."
4. The love of the Father is directed and therefore in Christ Jesus. If we are in Christ, we are in God’s love (Rom. 8:39):
"neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
5. By initiating salvation because of His great love (I John 4:10); our response, to love in return
"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
Note that the love of God works within the boundaries of the holiness of God!
6. We recognize that God loved us so much He GAVE His Son
(1) Rom. 5:8, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
(2) Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
7. Although God loves all creation, He has a special love for people. He loves the entire world of people. Yet He has a special love for His own.
(1) Hebrews tells us that God only chastens His true children, "Whom the Lord loves, He chastens"
Hebrews 12:5-8, "And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons."