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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Learning to Stand Strong on God’s Extravagant Love

In review of 1 John 4:9–10 it says, “God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love . . . he sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (NLT).

Today’s passages come from 1 John 4:7-10 where John is talking about loving one another. He tells me, dear friend, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loves me by sending his one and only Son into the world so that I might have eternal life through him. This is real love, not that I loved God, but that he love me and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away my sin.

Love is usually thought of as a feeling. In reality, love is a choice and an action, as God shows. God is the source of our love. He loved me enough to sacrifice his Son. Jesus is my example of what it means to love; everything he did in life and death was supremely loving. The Holy Spirit gives me the power to love; he lives in my heart and make me more and more like Christ. God's love always involves a choice and an action. and my love should be like his. How well do I display my love for God in the choices I make and the actions I take?

John tells me that "God is love," not "love is God." This world, with its shallow and selfish view of love, has turned these words around and contaminated the understanding of love. The world thinks that love is what makes person feel good and that it is all right to sacrifice moral principles and others' rights in order to obtain such "love." But that isn't real love; it is the exact opposite, selfishness. And God is not that kind of "love." Real love is like God, who is holy, just, and perfect. If I truly know God, I will love as he does.

Love explains: (1) why God creates, because he loves, he created people to love; (2) why God cares, because he loves them, he cares for sinful people; (3) why we are free to choose, God wants a loving response from me; (4) why Christ died, his love for me caused him to offer a solution to the problem of sin, and (5) why I receive eternal life, God's love expresses itself to me forever.

Nothing sinful or evil can exist in God's presence. He is absolute goodness. He cannot overlook, condone, or excuse sin as if it never happened. He loves me, but his love does not make him morally lax. If I trust in Christ, however, I will not have to bear the penalty for my sins. I will be acquitted by his atoning sacrifice.

Everything in life changes; relationships, jobs, fame. One minute I feel like a hero; the next minute I feel like a zero. But there’s one thing in the universe that will never change: God’s love.

Knowing that God still loves me no matter what happens; my failures, brokenness, sin, all provides a rock solid foundation in my life.

Consider the small word “so” that goes before “love” in the Bible’s most famous verse, John 3:16. The verse says, “God so loved the world . . . " (NIV).

God loves me with an extravagant, lavish love that can never be taken away. It’s beyond comprehension. He loves me on my good days and my bad days. He loves me when it’s raining and when the sun is shining.

God says he doesn’t want me to just recognize this lavish love intellectually. He wants me to recognize it emotionally. Love is God’s nature. God created the universe and everything in it for no other reason than so he could love it. And God created me so he could love me.

In fact, in Jesus, God shows me what real love, his love, looks like. “God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love . . . he sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:9–10 NLT).

Many people say they love me. God showed me how much he loves me. He loved me so much it hurt. He sacrificed his Son. When Jesus died for me, he was saying he loved me so much he’d rather die than live without me.

And the Bible says that’s what real love, the kind of love that I can build my life upon, looks like. Real love makes sacrifices. Real love endures to the end. Real love gives all.

That’s the kind of love only God has for me. And he’s waiting with open arms to show me.

Bottom Line:
God loved by sending His Son to save us by paying our penalty, wiping our slates clean.

What this means to me:
God loves me so much that He sent his Son into the world to teach me and so that I might have eternal life through him. This is real love, not that I love Him, but that he sent his Son as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for me and take away my sins.

In summary, I am to love others for real love comes from God. When I love like this, I'm showing I'm a child of God. God showed how much he loves me by sending his one and only Son into to world to that I might have eternal life through him. This is real love, not that I love God, but that he loved and sacrificed me. Love on my part is a choice and an action. My actions in love should be like this. And the Holy Spirit will give me the power to do this, for he lives in me and is making me more like Christ each day. Finally while everything in life changes, there's one thing that won't, and that’s God's incredible love for me.

Father this morning “I first thank you for your incredible love for me. I pray that through the Holy Spirit that you help remind me make love as part of the actions I take today and really show love and even sacrifice when needed to demonstrate my love. I also ask that you help me organize priorities before me and to lead the team to accomplish them. I pray that you help me respond rightly to those I interact with. In Jesus name I pray, Amen!”

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