WHAT MANNER OF LOVE
Everyone who has a healthy mind wants to be loved. We are greatly moved by it. . How wonderful it is to hear someone say to us "I love you." I recently heard someone say, "No one loves me!" That is not true. The most important person in the world loves you. The greatest, most magnificent person has declared His love for you. It is a love that is unconditional. It is a love that knows your faults and yet still loves you. The world's love is most time conditional. It is given only if it is adequately returned and gives a sufficient dividend. I love you if you love me. Or I will love you as long as you meet my need and satisfy all my expectations.
However, if you fail false
love says I will not love you any more. This false idea of love has
found root in the error of the Armenians, who by their doctrine believe
that God is fickle. He loves us only so long as we love Him.
My Friend the love of God is conditional only in that it be received and
accepted by the each of us. Many in the world miss the importance
of this statement of God's affection towards us. Love that is
shunned it is a great lost, but the love of God shunned it a tragedy.
To the sinner the love of God means that there is the possibility of reconciliation and forgiveness. No matter how deep our sin and rejection of God, if we repent and turn to Him, He will always accept us and forgive. That is the very nature of God.
The person to whom an offense is committed, who still loves the offender, can still be reached.
To the Christian who by faith has trusted in Christ Jesus it is a great comfort and of great value.
I. THE LOVE OF GOD IS A GIFT.
"Behold what manner of love has the Father bestowed upon us." 1 John 3:1.
A. It is without merit on our part. It is a gift. God's
love is not something we deserve or earned, nor can be.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9).
1. There was nothing in us that to attract God's favor..we were separated by sin.
2. God did not chose to bestow His love on the best of men! Not the
most intellect, smart, moral. He chose to freely give His love to all men
equally...but noting that the ones who received the benefit of it,
would be whose were admitted sinners.
B. This is so important to those of us who do know our faults.
C. Read: 1 John 4:9-10.
D. Sins do not hinder God's love.
1. Yes, sin does effect fellowship and receiving the blessings of God, but not the love God has for us.
2. He wants the best for us always, and even when we sin he stands ready to help, to aid to comfort if we will but let him.
3. A a parent He chastens us, to aid us in over coming sin and its destructive influence.
4. True love seeks to help the other person. That is why repentance is so important. God wants us to overcome the sin and its destructive influence in our lives. He even loves us enough to chasten His children that they might overcome sin. To the sinner He say, repent of sin, turn from sin and turn to Me...I will change your life.
E. Like so many is the time as a Pastor I have been accused of preaching
to a particular person! That is not true. Most times I know little
of who needs the Word of God.
II. GOD'S LOVE IS UNIQUE AND MARVELOUS.
"Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us.."
A. It is quite above our understanding! The One offended loves the offender. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).
B. It is incredible in view. God's creation rebels. It sins in mass and magnitude, yet it is God who is willing to pay the price. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:16-17).
C. It is eternal, fixed before the foundations of the earth.
The very nature of God is Love. John 4:8,16, states that "God
III. THE LOVE OF GOD HAS GLORIOUS CONSEQUENCES TO THE ONE WHO WILL RECEIVE IT.
"..we all called the sons of God".
A. Galatians 4:4-5 "But when the fulness of
the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under
the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive
the adoption of sons." This means that when
a person is saved they are adopted into the family of God.
Only those who have believed and received Jesus Christ as their Savior
are the children of God.
B. We are given the Holy Spirit. "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" (Romans 8:9).
C. We are made joint heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ. "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together" (Romans 8:17).
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Peter 1:3-5).
IV. THE LOVE OF GOD IS TO BE ACCEPTED AND LIVED BY.
A. Love is a duty, a responsibility and a great blessing to us.
"Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth
in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God
hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God,
and God in him.
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us" (1 John 4:15-19).
B. The love of God is not to end at our conversion. It is the Good News, the Gospel which is to be spared, broadcast to all who would hear it.
C. To shun the love of God is a terrible tragedy.
1. Christ Jesus has shown His love. He proved it by going to the Cross and there suffering for my sin and yours.
2. Romans. 5:8, "God commended His love for us, in that while we were
yet in our Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his
blood, we shall be saved from wrath to come."
Today where do you stand in relation to receiving the love of God.
As we have seen from the Word of God...God's love is offered...the question is will you accept it.
ILLUS: There once was young boy who came upon a stray dog. It was skin and bones and was wounded and obviously had been beaten and abused by someone.
The dog was unable to help it self. The young man, went and got water, food and antiseptic to help this poor unfortunate creature. However, at the young man approach the dog bared it teeth. The young man was persistent, and kept coming back offering food and water. All was there to save this poor animal including the concern of the young man, but over and over it refused to accept the freely offer favor of the young man. In time, the persistence of the young man won, and finally slowly and cautiously the animal let him approach and in time began to take food and water. Later, as its confidence and trust grew it allow him to treat its wounds. Months later healthily and happy, it was clear how the now with complete trust in the man the dog was the young man's constant companion. Love had won the day.
Would you accept God's love today. You too, maybe scared by life, you too may be cautious and even afraid.