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. 1 John 4:10
Valentine’s day is one of the more popular commercial holidays of the year. CNN estimates that this year Americans spent $ 18.6 B . . . For the purpose of showing LOVE.
But what is love?
The Greeks had three words for love:
1. phileo—brotherly love
2. Eros—amourous or erotic love between a husband and wife
3. Agape—unconditional love
Let us now re-define that commonly overused word — LOVE.
Love is an unconditional commitment directed to imperfect people to seek their highest good, which often requires sacrifice.
This is God’s love — agape. He loves us so much that He sent His Son to be payment for our sins. A costly sacrifice for our sake. . . So that we may return to Him in relationship.
ATTRIBUTES OF GOD’S LOVE:
1. God’s love is PROACTIVE.
How do we know how to love? We know love because we first received it. 1 John 4:19 says “ We love, because He first loved us.” God did not wait for us to look at Him, to find Him before He loved us.
God’s love is proactive, human love is reactive. More often than not we love because of . . . and if only . . . But God’s love is an inspite of . . .
God does not wait for ys to change before He lavishes His love on us. He loves us inspite of our being sinners . . . Inspite of our neglect of his constant communication . . . Inspite of the fact that we are underserving.
Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” this is the ultimate proof of His great love for us.
2. God’s love is PROTECTIVE.
Romans 8:28 says “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. “
This is a constant reminder to us that we have God’s protection in all things — both good and bad. And that His protection is there to assure us that everything is planned for our own good. He is committed to protecting us, and with this commitment comes with our transformation into becoming Christ-like.
We cannot be protected by God is we do not allow Him to work in our lives, if we do not become like putty in His hands as He continually molds us taking away the attitudes, beliefs, behaviors and other things that are only pulling us down. Often times we rebel against this molding — thinking and believing that there is another way . . . But there isnt. In order for us to completely experience God’s proactive love and His protection, we have to allow ourselves to be conformed and transformed.
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives. It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. ” Hebrews 12: 6-8
God’s love comes with discipline, in the same way that we grew up being disciplined by our earthly parents. This is done in order to correct and align our paths with His. This should give us a different perspective — the understanding and the knowledge that God only disciplines those He calls His own. A way by which we can experience His presence in our lives.
3. God’s love is PERPETUAL.
There is no end to God’s love. It has been there in eternity past and will continue to be there in eternity future. Even before we knew Him, He already loved us. We did not have to do anything to deserve or gain His love. . . It has always been there — constant. Unfailing. Unchanging.
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. “ Romans 8:38-39
4. God’s love is PERFECT.
Human love is imperfect, we will always fail and disappoint but God’s love will never fail or never run out. And when we know and understand this, then we have nothing to fear.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 1 John 4:18
When we experience the love of God, we have nothing to fear even death. We do not have to fear sin because our sins have been paid for by Jesus Christ. Fear and doubt are from the devil, these only make us unsure of God’s love but we must remember God’s promise to us that He will never leave us or desert us. What is there that man can do to us if we have God’s love?
5. God’s love is PERSONAL. Matthew 16: 13-17
Jesus asked “Who do YOU say I am?” Who is Jesus Christ to you? — that is the more important question.
John 15:13 says “ Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus wants a personal relationship with us — He wants to be our friend. He wants to be our personal Savior. He extends to us a very personal invitation in Revelation 3:20. He is waiting at the other side of the door. . . Waiting for us to open it and let Him in and go into a relationship with Him. Jesus does not want us to just know of Him, but rather He wants us to KNOW Him. As a friend. As our Lord. As our Savior.