“What is Love? God, Please Don’t Hurt Me”
Pastor Kris Freeman
Things We Love: Week 1
February 11, 2018
Scripture: 1 John 4:7-12
7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.
10 This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
Notes about 1 John:
- Written by John, the apostle of Jesus, who wrote five books
- John was the pastor of Ephesus, the church that “lost its first love” in Revelation
- A New Testament book written in Greek
- The Greek word for love is divided into multiple forms
Here, the word for love is agapao (Strong’s G25 – ä-gä-pä’-ō) – meaning to love dearly, perfect or unconditional.
The word Agape is used 144 times in the New Testament. Three primary ways God expresses this love:
1. His love for HIS SON.
The Father loves His Son, and has put everything in his hands. – John 3:35
2. His love for US and HIS CREATION.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16
3. His desire for us to love OTHERS.
Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself. – Matthew 19:19
For I am giving you a new commandment. Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
4. His desire for us to love HIM.
The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27
But let’s ask the hard question – do we truly love God, or are we just FEARFUL of him?
Agape love is not FORCED love. It is love of affection, endearment, reverence, obedience, grateful recognition.
If God forced me to love Him, then would it be true love, or would it be OBLIGATION.
True love does this:
1. True love emphasizes my SUBMISSION.
A life of submission is giving of oneself to something greater than us.
- Serving is an act of submission
- Giving is an act of submission
- Worship is an act of submission
But all of these are acts of FREE WILL just as love must be!
2. True love emphasizes my HUMILITY
Everyone’s heard the song… “Sit down. Be humble.”
Humility that is forced is not humility, it timidity. Humility that is praised is not humility, it is pride. Humility that is told is not humility, it is selfishness.
But humility that is genuine is love. It’s when we assume a lower posture in honor and reverence to something greater than us that works for our good!
3. True love emphasizes my need for REDEMPTION.
I love God because He first loved me, but also because He did something for us that no one else could do! God gave his only son for the forgiveness of our sin and reconciliation to Him!
It’s often true, that we say we love God because in truth we are in awe and intimidated by what we fear of Him. But when truth and the character of God envelops us with authenticity, that changes. We love Him with willingness. With purpose. With salvation. With hope. And then, we love Him not because He can hurt us, but because He has held us!
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. – Col. 3:12
My old self has been crucified with Christ.[fn] It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Gal. 2:20