Summary: God’s love is a stronghold in our lives.

We are continuing our look at the

stronghold of God. Often when a series of

messages is preached we have the tendency

to see them merely as individual messages

and lose the intended emphasis. So I want

to refresh your heart and mind as to why

we are looking at the stronghold of God.

Nahum 1:7 "The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who

trust in Him."

Stronghold: 1. A fortified place or a fortress. 2. A place of survival or refuge.

Tonight we look at the stronghold of love. God is our stronghold of love! His love for us is a

place of shelter and rest. His love is our city of refuge and survival. He loves us!

1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is

born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves

torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

1. Stronghold of Love Allows Us to Love

"Let us love one another" . . . we like to talk about love but do we like to love? We’re too much

like the little girl who stayed over for dinner at her friend’s. The vegetable was buttered broccoli,

and the mother asked if she liked it. The little girl replied very politely, "Oh, yes I love it." But

when the bowl of broccoli was passed she declined to take any. The mother asked, "I thought

you said you love broccoli?" The girl replied, "Oh, yes ma’am, I do, but not enough to eat it!"

I think we are too quick to say we love, when in reality we don’t love enough to really love.

William Beckett III suggests we have a "glass bottle model of love." We make a deposit and wait

for the return before we love again. That love is selfish and shares no space in the stronghold of

God’s love. To enter the stronghold of love allows us to love others regardless.

Our love is often guard with self-made boundaries that keep us from really loving.

Luke 6:32 "But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love

those who love them.

"If what we call love doesn’t take us beyond ourselves, it is not really love. If we have the idea

that love is characterized as cautious, wise, sensible, shrewd, and never taken to extremes, we

have missed the true meaning." - Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost" February 21

John 15:12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

We might want to ignore or explain away, "you love one another," but we cannot ignore or

explain away, "as I have loved you." "If there’s anything better than to be loved it is loving."

Entering the stronghold of God’s love allows us to really love.

1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

2. Stronghold of Love Identifies Us to God

"For love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God."I must admit when

preparing this sermon I thought "Why did I choose to preach another message on love?" I’ll tell

you why we need another message on love. Love is the greatest identification to God and the

work He is accomplishing in our lives.

John identifies love originating with God . . . God is love. And he proceeds to give the identifying

mark of God in our lives as the ability to love. John shows the radical nature of the born-again

experience in that it produces a God-like love in us.

This love is that volitional love ... I choose to love you ... as opposed to the purely emotional

love that states . . . I will love you if . . . and the boundaries are set.

Luke 7:41-43 "There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred

denarii, and the other fifty. 42 "And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely

forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?" 43 Simon answered

and said, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more." And He said to him, "You have rightly


Which of these two debtors might you or I be? Do we think our sin was less to forgive than

someone you has murdered or robbed? Becareful! For God’s Word says if we hate our brother

we are a murderer (1 John 3:15) and if we fail to give the tithe we rob (Malachi 3:8) God!

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