Read First John 4:7-21 as background for the message.
The tendency is to think of love as a feeling. In reality, it’s a choice and an action. God is the source of love. Jesus is our example. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to love. In our general nature, we don’t love one another. Some people are hard to love, but the Holy Spirit empowers us to love even the unlovable. Jesus loved even those who crucified him saying from the cross “forgive them for they know not what they do.” With Jesus in us, we’ll love as he does. It’s not easy but we’re enabled to do it through the Spirit.
Love is a choice and an action. We choose to do it. We show it by our actions. Verse 8 says He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. God is love, not love is God. Love and lust are confused today. Our motive for love is shown in verse 19: We love him, because he first loved us. The devil wants us to get even. If you do me wrong, I’ll do you wrong. Jesus wasn’t treated well, but he still loved them. We are to love and we can through the Holy Spirit. We can do through HIM what we can’t do within ourselves. There are several characteristics of God’s love–this love that is from God and given to us and then through us to others.
God’s love is perfect love. It’s from God. Verse 7 says for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. It’s from God. He’s the source and if we love it must come from God. It’s the love of fellowship with one another because of our fellowship with God. If it’s from God, it can’t help but be perfect. Verse 18 says it casts out fear: 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 fear; let’s admit it. When we allow God’s love to flow through us, fear is pushed out. The world needs this love that flows from God.
God’s love is a persistent love. It keeps on loving. God loves us in spite of us. The Bible tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of God. We’ll never get anywhere that God doesn’t love us. Jeremiah 31:3 says I have loved thee with an everlasting love. A sinner will go to hell unsaved, but he will not go there unloved. God doesn’t quit loving us!
God’s love is a prohibiting love. Did you parents give your children everything they wanted? Mine didn’t. Love will keep you from giving a child everything he wants. Some things aren’t good for them. Some are harmful. You’ll refrain them to keep them from danger because you love them. Love will discipline. God won’t let you do what you want to do without some discipline. The Bible tells us that God chastens those he loves.
God’s love is infinite. There are no limits to God’s love. It’s not limited to a particular group in society. John 3:16 says 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. The world! It goes everywhere to all people. Red, yellow, black and white. Young or old. Rich or poor. God’s love is infinite to all.
God’s love is a self-sacrificing love. Real love forgets itself and thinks of others. Jesus sacrificed himself on Calvary because he loved us. If he loves us that much, should we not love others too!
It’s our choice to act upon. If you’re lost, God’s love is the remedy for the forgiveness of sin. It’s to and for everyone. Love him. Love others. Choose to love like God.