3Love Defined Love is not… …deep, tender feeling.…intense desire, sexual attraction.…intense emotional attachment.The world’s view of love makes understanding God’s description of love more difficult to understand, including…Loving our enemies. (Matthew 5:44)Loving those who persecute and mistreat us. (Romans 12:14-21, Luke 6:27-36)“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”- Matthew 5:43-45 ESV
4Love DefinedLove is……from the Greek word agape.…selfless interest in the benefit or welfare or another.…active good will which seeks to meet the needs of its object.Paul defined love in 1 Corinthians 13.“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, ESV
5Love DefinedLove, though, is best defined by the person who so perfectly exhibits it – God.
6Love DefinedLove, then, is not defined by what it feels but by what it does.“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” (1 John 3:16, ESV)“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:7-10 ESV)“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John 4:16, ESV)
8Love Defined God’s love is shown in what He did and when He did it. Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.- Romans 5:1-8, ESV
9Love Defined God’s love is shown in what He did and when He did it. And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.- Ephesians 2:1-7 ESV)
10Characteristics of God’s Love God’s love is active.“Agape is demonstrated by the action that it initiates.”God’s love is constant.God’s love does not change with time.It is enduring.God’s love is personal.Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (ESV)“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so…”
11Imitating God’s Love We love, because God loves us. 1 John 4:19 – “We love because he first loved us.”Just as God’s love is seen in action, our love is only seen in action.John 14:15 - “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.John 14:23-24 – “Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.”1 John 3:17-18 – “But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”1 John 5:3 – “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.”2 John 6 – “And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.”
12Imitating God’s Love If we love God, we will also love others. John 13:34-35 – “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”If we love God, we must hate evil.Revelation 2:6, 15We cannot love God and love the world at the same time. (1 John 2:15)Jude 20-21: “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.”
13Conclusion God’s love motivated Him to do for us what we could not do. We can never really describe the depth of God’s love. Yet, despite the magnitude, God’s love alone does not save without a response to that love. (Mark 10:17-22, Hebrews 11:6)
14ConclusionSince God was willing to do everything for us, what are we willing to do for Him? It is the greatest love story ever told – will you be a part of it?
15Works Cited Asher, J. (2002). "God is...". Fritz, L. (1989, April 6). The Great Love With Which He Loves Us. Guardian of Truth, p. 203.Hafley, L. R. (1985, January 17). The Love of God. Guardian of Turth, pp , 53.Harshbarger, R. (1993, September 2). Loving God and Man. Guardian of Truth, p. 14.Himmel, I. (1978, February 16). The Love of God. Truth Magazine, ppJacobs, J. (2001, April 19). True Love. Truth Magazine, p. 22.Srygley, F. (1993, March 4). The Love of God. Guardian of Truth, pp. 6-7.Willis, M. (n.d.). The Love of Christ Constrains Us. Truth Magazine.