Summary: Once we have established that there is a God and that Christianity is the way to God, then a big question that might be asked is: Why would God love me? This sermon answers that question.
A. Every year the youngest children in a Christian preschool would steal the show at their end-of-the-year program.
1. This year they did their usual waving to parents, tugging at their clothes and at each other, and staring at the floor.
2. The highlight came when 11 children—none of whom could yet read—proudly held up brightly colored 3-foot-high letters that were supposed to spell: GOD LOVES YOU!
3. Unfortunately, they accidently got a couple of the letters out of order and their message instead was: DOG LOVES YOU!
4. There’s nothing wrong with that message – I’m sure your dog does love you.
5. But I want to talk today about a much greater love – God’s love.
B. Years ago, a large Atlanta church was televising their worship service when they asked a retired 92 year-old minister to preach that morning’s sermon.
1. There was a warm welcome as he was introduced and, as the applause quieted down, the old man slowly made his way to the podium with great effort.
2. The old, retired preacher placed both hands on the pulpit to steady himself, and then without a note before him began to speak.
3. “When I was asked to come here today and talk to you, your preacher asked me to tell you what was the greatest lesson I ever learned in my over 50 year ministry. I thought about it for a few days and boiled it down to just one thing that made the most difference in my life and sustained me through all my trials. The one thing that I could always rely on when tears and heart break and pain and fear and sorrow paralyzed me. The only thing that would comfort was this verse of a children’s song:
Jesus loves me this I know. For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to him belong, they are weak but he is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.”
4. When the 92 year-old, retired preacher finished that verse, the church was so quiet you could hear his footsteps as he shuffled back to his chair.
C. Similarly, Karl Barth, the famed theologian, was once asked, “What is the greatest thought you ever had?”
1. This brilliant, highly educated man, answered: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
D. As we have been working through this series on “Answering Faith’s Great Questions,” I have been trying to give us reasons to believe that there is a God and that Christianity is the only way to have a relationship with God.
1. One of the things that separates Christianity from any other religion in the world is the way the Bible tells us of God’s love.
2. There are many world religions with their many books of scripture, but only the Bible clearly tells us that God loves us completely.
a. The Buddhists don’t actually believe there is a god…let alone a god who would love us.
b. The Hindus have their many books and their many gods, but their gods aren’t the type that would love.
c. The Muslims have the Koran that talks about their god, named Allah, but Allah is a more impersonal god, than the God of the Bible, and throughout the Koran we read that Allah loves those who do good and does not love those who do evil.
3. In fact, no matter what world religion you investigate, their gods (if they love anybody) only love “good” people.
4. In other words, the love of god, in those religions, is reserved only for those who deserve it.
E. Let’s spend the rest of our time this morning looking into what the Bible says about God’s love.
1. Let’s answer two questions:
a. Does God love me?
b. Why would God love me?
I. Does God love me?
A. The Bible is full of Scriptures where God declares His love for us.
1. That is true of both parts of the Bible – both Old and New Testaments.
B. Before we survey verses that declare God’s love for us, let’s recognize the fact that the Bible tells us that God not only loves, but that God is love.
1. The apostle John wrote: And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him…We love because he first loved us (1 Jn. 4:16, 19).
2. God describes Himself with these words: “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (Ps. 103:8).
a. Isn’t it amazing that the thing that characterizes God more than anything else is His love?
b. He is abounding in love.