Summary: #1 in series leading up to Christmas. Deals with God’s love: the origin, objects, operation, and outcome of God’s love. Simple sermon for seekers.
Intro: 5 am...day after Thanksgiving, shoppers pushing, shoving, trampling over one another to get
bargains on merchandise. Cashiers cursed by customers because they made a mistake, moms yelling at kids, kids crying because they’re tired, dads stressed out seeing bills forthcoming. Conceal your gifts, lock your car, guard your purse, park in well lit areas, watch for strangers and scammers. Family gatherings turning into disaster, fatigue, exhaustion, grouchiness, and anger seem to characterize the day. Welcome to Christmas season! THIS IS NOT WHAT GOD INTENDED! THIS IS NOT THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS! GOD MUST BE GRIEVED AS TO WHAT WE HAVE ALLOWED THIS SEASON TO BECOME.
WHAT, THEN, IS THE REAL MEANING OF CHRISTMAS? WE CAN SUM IT UP IN ONE WORD: LOVE!!!
Three words for love in Scripture:
eros: physical, phileo: brotherly AGAPE: GOD-KIND
(LOVE IN SPITE OF)
JOHN 3:16 (REPEAT TOGETHER) GIVES US OUR FOUNDATION
FOR THIS MESSAGE. FROM IT LET US LOOK AT FOUR GREAT
TRUTHS ABOUT GOD’S LOVE:
I. THE ORIGIN OF GOD’S LOVE: GOD HIMSELF
"..for God so loved..."
A. STEMS FROM HIS NATURE
B. HE IS LOVE
C. HE FIRST LOVED US
D. THAT’S JUST WHO HE IS...HE IS LOVE!
II.THE OBJECTS OF GOD’S LOVE: ALL HUMAN BEINGS
"...God so loved the world..."
Although God hates sin, He loves those who are
caught up in sin...and it grieves Him to see what
sin is doing to those whom He loves.
It is hard to think of God loving persons who
are involved in terrorism, drug cultures,
murders, alcohol abuse, etc. BUT GOD LOVES
THE PERSON...DESPITE THE SIN!
HARDEST OF ALL TO BELIVE: THAT HE LOVES ME!!!
SOMEONE SAID "But you don’t know what I’ve done.."
**God does...and loves you still!!
III. THE OPERATION OF GOD’S LOVE:
"..that He GAVE His Only Son..that WHOEVER
BELIEVES IN HIM ..."
Two words to consider: GAVE AND BELIEVE
A. GOD GAVE JESUS BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US
B. FOR THAT GIFT TO BECOME EFFECTIVE IN OUR LIVES
WE MUST BELIEVE IN JESUS AND RECEIVE HIM.
*speaks of PERSONALLY receiving HIM into your
heart by repentance and faith*
*speaks of ENTRUSTING your future into HIS
Hands (and those are the nail scarred hands..
what better hands???)
EX: WHAT if someone who loved you (spouse, parent
etc) went to the time & trouble to sacrifically
purchase you a GIFT that you needed. They came
and presented that gift to you...and you said:
a. "not now...maybe later"
b. " I can’t...I don’t deserve it."
c. "No thanks...I don’t want it."
**that’s how we treat GOD if we spurn HIS SON!!!
**Jesus is what we need...God went through a lot
of suffering, and it cost a great deal to give us
access to Salvation...HOW DARE WE REFUSE!!!
IV. THE OUTCOME OF THIS LOVE
"...should not perish, but have eternal life"
IF we BELIEVE AND RECEIVE THE GIFT (JESUS) GOD
GAVE US...WE WILL NOT HAVE TO SPEND ETERNITY IN
TORMENT IN HELL..RATHER WE CAN SPEND A BLESSED
ETERNITY IN HEAVEN WITH THE FATHER!
IF WE DO NOT BELIEVE AND RECEIVE...WE WILL PERISH!
IT’s OUR CHOICE...He’s done all He can do....
Because He loves us, He GAVE JESUS TO US...SO THAT
BY BELIEVING IN JESUS, WE MIGHT HAVE ACCESS TO ETERNAL
LIFE THROUGH HIM.
WILL YOU RECEIVE GOD’S GIFT TODAY???