God is Love


Text: I John 4:7-21

 

I.         What is love? How would you define it? How would you know if you have it?

            A.        It is a common question that teens have. How while I know I’m in love?

            B.        The Bible gives two definitions:

                        1.         Song of Solomon 8:6-8 describes the passion of love

                                    a.         It is personal and precious

                                    b.         It is strong and doesn’t give up

                                    c.         Problems will not quench love

                                    d.         Money cannot buy love.

                        2.         I Corinthians 13:4-8 gives the rational view of love

                                    a.         Again it is described as enduring

                                    b.         But here we are told a number of things that love is not

                                    c.         The definition is important because many people call things love that cannot be love.

                                    d.         Love wants the best for the one being loved, and so

                                                (1)       love doesn’t mind when the one being loved excels

                                                (2)       love doesn’t have to advance it’s own cause

                                                (3)       love is not rude to someone being loved

                                                (4)       love doesn’t want a loved one in trouble or sinning

                                                (5)       love wants reality and not imagination

            C.        God gave us parents so we might understand love

                        1.         We experience the love that our parents have for us

                        2.         And we see the love our parents have for each other

II.        The source of love is God - I John 4:7

            A.        That is because God is love - I John 4:8, 16

                        1.         God is the embodiment of love

                        2.         He demonstrates perfect love

            B.        How do you know your parents love you?

                        1.         Is it because they tell you or is it much more than mere words?

                        2.         Have you thought about how much your parents give on your behalf?

                                    a.         Of their time, money, and effort?

                                    b.         Not that they mind; they do so willingly because they love you.

                        3.         God’s love is demonstrated in sacrifice - I John 4:9

                                    a.         The greatest expression of love is self-sacrifice for another - John 15:13

                                    b.         The ultimate demonstration of love is His willingness to purchase our salvation with the death of His own Son - John 3:16

                                    c.         I John 3:16-19 - It is not merely words by demonstrated by deeds. It wasn’t imagined, but done in truth.

                                    d.         God did it for our benefit - Ephesians 5:25-27

                        4.         God’s love is demonstrated in His care - Psalm 23

                                    a.         We are valuable to God - Matthew 6:25-32

                                    b.         He give us what we need - Luke 11:11-13

                        5.         God’s love is shown by His willingness to take us in as His own - I John 3:1

            C.        Your parents loved you without obligation

                        1.         They loved you before you were even born.

                                    a.         They loved you even when you fussed and cried and kept them up late at night

                                    b.         Think about it: do infants deserve love? What did they ever do for their parents?

                                    c.         But a parent can’t help but love their children, despite all the difficulties

                        2.         God loved us despite all the problems we caused Him

                                    a.         God made us upright - Ecclesiastes 7:29

                                    b.         Our sins separated us from God - Isaiah 59:1-8

                                    c.         Yet, God still reached out for us - Romans 5:8

                                    d.         He doesn’t want any to perish - II Peter 3:9

                                    e.         His love toward us is persistent and strong

                        3.         As with a parent, God doesn’t love us because He is obligated

                                    a.         As God explained to Israel - Deuteronomy 7:7-8

                                    b.         It is true for us as well - Titus 3:3-5

                        4.         Even more amazing than the love of a parent for their child is the love some show for children that are not theirs.

                                    a.         What kind of love does it take to willingly accept a burden?

                                    b.         Most adopted children are not that lovable at the start.

                                                (1)       They are uncertain as to their position

                                                (2)       They don’t trust that it is real

                                    c.         Yet there are some willing to work to break down that barrier

                        5.         God loves us as adopted children

                                    a.         Galatians 4:4-7 - Like a slave child taken in hand and made a child of the family

                                    b.         Romans 8:15-17 - Given full family status

                                    c.         There was no obligation. He didn’t have to do it. But God loved us so much that he wanted to do it! - Ephesians 1:5

            D.        Your parents’ love taught you what love is and how to love

                        1.         It seems strange, but love must be taught.

                        2.         The fact that we are able to love is because God first gave us love - I John 4:19

                        3.         God taught us to love - I Thessalonians 4:9-10

                        4.         It is a product of being His child - Galatians 5:22

                        5.         God has given us a spirit of love - II Timothy 1:7

            E.        Your parents’ love gives you confidence

                        1.         Because I know where I stand with my parents, I can go to them with my problems

                        2.         I John 4:17-18 - Love drives out fear

III.       God wants you saved.

            A.        His patience and goodness leads us to change - Romans 2:4

            B.        There is no need to perish - Ezekiel 18:23, 30-31