God's Love Made Known
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: 1 John 4:7–4:12, John 13:34–13:35, Matthew 5:43–5:48
A 13-week message series in the book of 1 John.
Opening Prayer for Love
“God, show me something new and fresh about love. And as You do, make me receptive and responsive, so that I may love and be loved like never before."
The Risk of Love
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love… is Hell.”
1 John 4:7-12 NIV
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
God is Love
For God, love isn’t just a characteristic of His personality; love is the essence of His being. We see this in the pure and perfect love that's been shared within the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit) before time began. Even the best love on earth cannot even begin to compare with God's great, eternal love.
God's Love Made Known
John progresses from the love of the Trinity through all eternity, to the love of Jesus at THE moment in history, to now the love of Christians with each other in this present reality. “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” The command to love has a context of love where we are to express to each other what we have experienced from God. When we live out this command to love in the church, the invisible is made visible.
John 13:34-35 NIV
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Matthew 5:43-48 NIV
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
When it comes to loving others...
We want to get by with the bare minimum.
God wants us to go beyond to the absolute maximum.
Loving others well in the church
Those who are different than us.
Those who’ve wronged us.
Those we’ve hurt.
Those who are hurting.
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
Closing & On-Going Prayer for Love
“God, on my own I can’t love like that, but I believe You can through me."
Who can God love through you this week?
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