In November…Gordon Kirk was the guest speaker at Kindred Community Church. He did and excellent series about God. About God’s Omniscience, Omnipresence and Omnipotence…all of which are incommunicable attributes belonging solely to God. The last week he spoke about God’s love…which is the one attribute of God that is communicable. One in which he expects us to have and grow in and act upon in the power of the Holy Spirits. Below are some of the notes I took from this message.
The theme of the series was “It does make a difference who you know”.
God is love…what does that mean? Love is one of the most misunderstood words in the English language…or misused. From I love my spouse to I love rocky road ice cream.
How do we understand a God who says he is love? 1 John 4: “God is love.”
It’s a fact…not a definition. Love is an essential attribute of God. Love is something true of God. But love isn’t God. Love expresses the way God is. As does holiness, righteousness and justice.
Because God was self-existent…God’s love had no beginning…and his love will have no end. Because God is infinite…his love has no boundaries. Because God is holy, because he is immense, his love is incomprehensible, vast, and bottomless and shore less.
Here are some kid’s definition of love:
Harlan age 8 – Why does love happen between two particular people? “I think you are supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest isn’t supposed to be so painful.”
Mike age 10 – What do most people do on a date? “On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go on a second date.”
Jim age 9 – When is it okay to kiss someone? “You should never kiss a girl unless you have enough bucks to buy her a big ring and VCR because you will want to have videos of the wedding.”
Judy age 8 – What’s the proper age to get married? “Eighty-four, because at that age you don’t have to work anymore. And you can spend all your time loving each other.”
Ted age 7 – What is falling in love really like? “If falling in love is anything like learning to spell I don’t want to do it, it takes too long.”
1) Love is a choice. Love is not uncontrollable or something that happens to you. Love is a decision.
Roger age 9 – What is falling in love like? “It’s like an avalanche where you’ve got to run for your life.”
Jan age 9 – Why then does love happen between two particular people? “No one is sure why it happens. But I’ve heard that it has something to do with how you smell. That’s why perfume and deodorant are so popular.”
The most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. God wants us to dress for success…clothing ourselves with love. You need to do it…put on love. The most important piece of clothing you can wear.
Love is a choice…everyday…24/7, 365…we have choice, after choice, after choice if we are going to act in love. Every moment you have a choice if you are going to put on the clothing of love…that represents God’s people.
2) Love is an attitude and an action. Love impacts our emotions and attitudes.
Tom – How do you make love endure? “Spend most of your time loving, instead of going to work.”
Love results in an action, how we respond and how we live our lives.
1 John 4:7-8 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him]. 8He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love.
Four standards to evaluate if our love is empowered by God and whether our love for others represents God’s love
1 John 4:9 – In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or [f]unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him.
1) God’s love, true love, seeks the best interest of others.
How are you able to share that love? Ask yourself what are you doing in the best interest of others? So often our love isn’t God’s love, but instead a narcissistic love.
Bart age 9 – What’s a sure fire way to make someone falls in love with you? “One way is to take the girl out to eat. Make sure it’s something she likes. French fries usually work for me.”
God’s love seeks the best interest of others. That may mean tough love. People know when it’s about them and about their best interest or you…and because you are embarrassed.
In Gary Chapman’s “Love Languages”…he teaches each of us has an internal love language. When someone else speaks that language, we do feel loved, appreciated and valued. 1) Quality time spent together; 2) Gift Giving; 3) Physical Touch; 4) Acts of Service; and 5) Words of Affirmation.
One of our problems is that we try to give others what we like. We don’t sense what they need…but instead give what we need.
2) True love takes the initiative.
1 John 4:10, 19 – 10 In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins. 19 We love Him, because He first loved us.
Some three word statements that seem simple, but they are really tough.
First one to say, “Can we talk?”
When asked what’s wrong…do you try to express what’s wrong…as opposed to making them work to draw it out of you?
“I am sorry.” After an argument or difficult moment, the person who says “I am sorry” first, is the winner.
“I was wrong.” If God’s love is empowering our lives…we will be willing to step out and admit when we were wrong or made a mistake. Real and authentic.
“You were right.”
“Please forgive me”.
Some of you grew up on homes where you never heard these kind of words. Everyone was fighting for their turf and trying to prove a point. Being able to say, “I was wrong, please forgive me” really helps to build trust and opens us opportunities.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean you diminish the wrong. It may not mean you forget the wrong. Instead it means we do not continue to try and get even. We give up our right to get even.
God forgives us…he doesn’t try to bring back what he has forgiven us for. He doesn’t try to throw it in your face or hold it against you or bring it back. Some of you have gone through some very difficult moments.
“I forgive you.”
“I love you.”
Take the initiative to say, “I love you.” Some of you have grown up in a home where that wasn’t said often. I hope that God can provide a relationship for you where that can be a very constant, continuous thing for you.
Are there some areas in your life you’ve been waiting for someone else to take the initiative? Don’t wait. God’s love will empower you. From Genesis to Revelation…God repeatedly says, “I love you, I love you, I love you.”. Nothing you can do to make him love you less. Conversely…nothing you do can make him love you more. God loves you with a deep and passionate love. He wants to fill your love.
3) God’s love is self-sacrificial.
1John 4:10 – In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins.
Eva age 8 – What does it take to be a really good lover? “Well one should know how to write a check because even if you have tons of love, there is still going to be a lot of bills.”
Do people in your life sense that you are self sacrificing?
4) God’s love is transferable.
This is one of God’s attributes that is transferable. God is Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent. God does not ask us to be all knowing, everywhere present or all powerful.
Love is communicable, catching, and infectious. He wants us to be known by love.
Mark 12:30-31 – And you shall love the lord your god with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ “the second is this, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ there is no other commandment greater than these.”
“Let’s practice loving each other for love comes from God. Those who are loving and kind show that they are children of God.”
“What if I show that love and they don’t return love?” How often does that happen to God?
“Love is sort of a risk, I sacrifice and put myself out there and they don’t respond.” True…but God’s our model.
“Love is dangerous.” Yes…but it’s worth the risk because God says clothe yourself with love and watch your relationships grow strong.