1. THIS ISN’T ORDINARY LOVE. IT IS GREAT LOVE.
Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us,
GREAT LOVE DISTINGUISHED ITSELF FROM OTHER TYPES OF LOVE BY LOVING MORE AND MORE POWERFULLY.
- LOVING A LEPER. EVERYONE ELSE, INCLUDING FAMILY, STAYED AWAY.
Mark 1:40-42 And there came a leper to Him, beseeching Him, and kneeling down to Him, and saying unto Him, If Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth His hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.
- LOVING THOSE WHO HATED HIM. THE FACT THAT JESUS OFFERED FORGIVENESS EVEN TO HIS MOST HATEFUL OPPOSITION SHOWS THE DEGREE OF HIS LOVE.
John 7:1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for He would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill Him.
- LOVING THOSE WHO ARE VERY FRUSTRATING…LIKE PETER…..OR US. PETER SAYING ONE THING, BUT DOING ANOTHER.
Mark 14:29-30 But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny Me thrice.
- LOVING THOSE WHO WANTED TO KILL HIM.
Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
- LOVING THOSE WHO DELIBERATELY CHOSE TO BE DISOBEDIENT. “…WOULD DIE FOR A RIGHTEOUS MAN…. JESUS DIED FOR US WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS.”
- LOVING PEOPLE WHO HAVEN’T QUITE GOT IT TOGETHER YET.
Mark 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.
- SUMMARY: JESUS LOVED PEOPLE EVEN WHEN THEY DIDN’T LOVE HIM. THIS IS SUCH A HIGH STANDARD, IT WILL TAKE US ALL OUR LIVES WORKING ON IT. WE HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO DO MORE THAN THE REST OF THE WORLD.
Matthew 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
2. IT DELIGHTS GOD TO SHOW HIS LOVE TOWARD US.
A. GOD DESIRES TO DELIGHT OVER US WITH HIS LOVE.
Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing.
B. HOW DO WE PROVE AND STAY IN GOD’S LOVE ? NOT BY DISOBEDIENCE
John 15:10 If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.
3. GOD’S LOVE IS IN OUR POTENTIAL, NOT OUR FAILURES.
A. GOD SEES US AS WE ACTUALLY ARE, BUT LOOKS AHEAD.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
B. OUR OWN LOVE BUILT ON BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE ASPECTS, GIVES US JOY.
(Loving God and His righteousness, but hating sin).
Psalms 45:7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
C. LOVING SOMEONE DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN LETTING THEM HAVE THEIR WAY.
Judges 14:16 And Samson’s wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and hast not told it me. And he said unto her, Behold, I have not told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell it thee?
D. GOD’S LOVE GOES BEYOND MERE WORDS. IT IS PROVEN BY HIS ACTIONS.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down His life for His friends.
THE GREATNESS OF OUR LOVE SHOULD BE IN PEOPLE SEEING THE GREATNESS OF GOD’S LOVE IN US. IF HE GAVE HIMSELF FOR US, WE SHOULD BE WILLING TO DO SO FOR OTHERS.
1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.