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1 John 4:7-11- God is Love: In order to know what this thing called love is, we have to know the author of the word and His definition. To know what love is and the definition of love we need to look at God for God is love. We need to see what He does and what He says so that we know what love looks like. God doesn't choose to love because He's trying to be nice or wants something from us. God loves because it is His essence, it is His core. "lf you cut God, He would bleed love.”
God exhibits love because He is love and His every act defines love. If God were able to stop loving, He would no longer be God. He would cease to exist. He would die and be unable to resurrect Himself. But, He CANNOT stop loving. We say, I love if ..., I love you because ..., then in the next breath say I hate your guts. We have a wrong understanding about love.
V10: If we want to know what love is we need to look at God and how He loves. God's love protects and covers us from the life destroying power of sin. God is loves and He loves completely. God can never cease to love, He is eternal therefore He can never stop loving us. We need consider and live our lives with this truth in mind.
V11: The desire of man is to love and to be loved God's way. But if you don't know God you cannot love that way. To be a recipient of God's love, one must be in relationship with Him.
1 Corinthian 13 - The Love Chapter: This chapter informs us that if the love of God is not in us, we are noise makers without substance having nothing; we are empty.
Love always needs another to test and prove its authenticity. That's why God puts us in relationships. This enables us to see how we are exhibiting His love. Often times we find we are not doing a good job at loving. But our first response is to deny it. Yet denial is the worst response we can exhibit. We need to acknowledge our inability and turn to God. Love always seeks to build us up and enables us to touch other lives in a positive way.
V4: Love is not selfish. It is other focused. For God so loved the world he gave His Son for the sins of mankind.
V5: Love does not seek to control but seeks to set the other person free to be the best that they can be.
V5: Love finds a way to support the other person even when the person is unable to or doesn't want to support themselves. We often think of drug addicts and alcoholics but this could be any ordinary person who is not doing the right thing and cannot see it.
V6: Love will never embrace a lie and call it truth. Jesus walked into the temple where they were doing all manner of wrong and He calls them on it. Love will always find a way to enable us to find what is true.
V7-8: Love seeks life and desires others to live. Love does not give up. It always seeks to heal. It always seeks to restore. Love does not give up.
Love is eternal. One day those of us who believe will meet Jesus face to face. Our faith will be made complete and our hope will be fulfilled. And the only thing that will remain as we rejoice and glory in His presence is His every abiding love.
The greatest love act that was ever performed was done here ... sacrifice. Jesus could have said, “These folks mess up everything they touch. Let them die.” But he didn't. He gave himself as a sacrifice for us.
The greatest love attitude ever exhibited ... selflessness. He gave up his position as royalty to live among us so that He might lift us up.
The greatest love action completed… Jesus' steadfast focus on the mission. The mission was our salvation. He let nothing deter Him from completing the mission set before Him.
This is what the table reminds us of. The selfless act he did of sacrificing himself for us. He completed the mission so that we might have the opportunity to have a relationship with the Father.