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Summary: One of our most basic needs is to be loved. The lyrics of a classic song reflect this worldwide longing—“What the world needs now is love, sweet love, and that’s the only thing there’s too little of.” God has met this need in Christ.

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What the World Needs Now is Love

1 John 3.11-18

Scripture Reading: Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. (1 John 3:1)

For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:11-18)

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. (1 John 4:7-12)

There is a word in this passage that caused me to refer to my Bible Words dictionary; it's propitiation. It says there: Christ is "the propitiation," because by his becoming our substitute and assuming our obligations he expiated (or made amends for) our guilt, covered it, by the vicarious punishment (done or endured by somebody as a substitute for somebody else) which he endured. Now I understand the passage and I hope you do to.

Introduction:

One of our most basic needs is to be loved.

The lyrics of a classic song reflect this worldwide longing—“What the world needs now is love, sweet love, and that’s the only thing there’s too little of.”

God has met this need in Christ.

Because of Jesus a new kind of love is possible and is at work in our world.

The first thing that I want us to do today, is to SEE THE Father’s love.

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us.”

When Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible was being printed; a section of type fell to the floor.

The printer’s daughter later found the section, which said, “For God so loved the world that he gave.”

Excitedly, she showed it to her mother.

Her mother said it didn’t make any sense. “Gave what?”

The girl responded, “Oh, Mama, it doesn’t matter. If God loves me enough to give me anything, I don’t have to be afraid of Him.”

Many think of God as harsh, judgmental, or indifferent toward the world.

The truth is, He loves us.

And He loves us just as we are.

God is love.

That is what it says in 1 John 4:8, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

His nature and essence are love, and His will and works are primarily love.

Since “God is love,” His children who have His nature should also manifest His love, because the children should be like the Father!

Our love for others makes God’s love real and visible to them so we can better witness to them about Christ.

There is a story which I am going to pass on to you, because I think it demonstrates in a wonderful way the truth that only Christianity reveals the God of love.

Years ago a lady who prided herself on belonging to the intellectual set said to a famous pastor by the name of Harry Ironside, “I have no use for the Bible for religious doctrines, prophesies, and instructions about how I should live. It’s enough for me to know that God is love.”

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