“...WHAT MANNER OF LOVE...”
(I John 3:1)
The Apostle John does not try to describe or interpret God's love but calls on us us first of all to behold it, to contemplate it, and to wonder about it.
I John 3:1 God's love is amazing in that He could show us no greater or higher love than to adopt poor lost sinners into the family of God. When we are reminded of our rebellious, ungrateful, and vile character before and even after we were saved, and now He calls us “the sons of God”, WOW!!!
Ephesians 2:4-5; John 3:16 God's love is sacrificial in that while we were living in sin, not caring about God, without looking for God, just being as selfish as we could be, God loved and died for us!
Psalm 139:1-8; II Corinthians 5:17-20 God's love for us is unconditional in that He not only loves those that will accept His offer of salvation, but He loves the whole world and wants them to be saved.
I John 1:3 The verse goes on to say, ..”therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.” If we were to live the life of a true Christian, as in the days of Paul, the world would not understand us giving our time, our service, our money, and our very lives if necessary for the cause of Christ. They would see us as fanatics that foolishly abandon the thrills and excitement of the world for something they see as frivolous, foolish and mistaken. Why would they see us that way; because that is the way they viewed the Savior, even after they saw His many miracles and witnessed His sinless life.
EXPERIENCING GOD'S LOVE
Ephesians 3:14-19 We may think that this is a dumb topic to discuss because all believers experience the love of God. This is true, however not all experience His love to the same degree. I am convinced that in today’s American Christian churches there are very few that experience God's love like we should because if we did why did Paul pray this prayer? Many of us need to experience God's love.
Galatians 2:20 We need to live our lives in the same sense that Paul lived his life. Paul's whole life was a daily moment by moment experience of the love that Christ had for him. Being loved by Christ was the controlling force in Paul's life. Every negative moment in his life was fortified by Christ's love.
Romans 8:35-39 Paul's life was such a tremendous testimony because he believed and lived these verses every day of his life. This belief and experience is what separates God honoring saints from the believers who have given up.
John 13:1 Let's look deep into this verse. Consider first who Jesus loved...”His own”. Now look at this part of the verse, “ having loved His own... He loved to the end.” He loved us in His life when things were great, He loved us in His death when everyone forsook Him and He was left alone. We can experience a love that lasts, a love that sticks with us in good times and bad. A great,Godly love for us.
John 10; 13; 15; 17 Now look closely at who Jesus loves. He loves His sheep, He loves His own, he loves His friends, He loves His believers. Here we find something very special in scripture because in these verses we find a love from Christ that is a unique love that He does not have for the rest of the world, only for Christians that have trusted in Him. God certainly loves the world and wants them saved, but He has a special love for those that love Him back. See John 17:9.
John 11:1-11 Notice three things here; 1. Jesus chose to let Lazarus die. 2. Jesus was motivated by a passion for the glory of God to be displayed in His life. 3. Both decisions, to let Lazarus die and the motivation for the glory of God were true expressions of love. Our definition of love is making us the central theme, God's definition of love is giving us the opportunity to do whatever it takes to help people see and savor the glory of God forever. For that He let Lazarus die, for that He went to the cross.