John Lloyd - Love
Strengthen Your Core Series
Love: God’s Heart Expressed
August 11, 2019
Pastor John Lloyd
Our physical bodies are made up of several core muscles. If kept in shape through exercise, they will function properly. God’s goal for followers is to make us more like Jesus. This happens when we think like Jesus, CORE beliefs, act like Jesus, CORE practices and be like Jesus, CORE virtues. We need to exercise our CORE in order to glorify God. The journey of becoming like Jesus begins by thinking like Jesus. When we start thinking like Jesus, we are well on our way to becoming like Jesus. Today, we will answer this question: What does it mean to sacrificially and unconditionally love others?
I Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends.
I John 4:10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
Key Idea: I am committed to loving God and loving others.
Definition: God’s love is unconditional, sacrificial, forgives and perseveres.
John 15: 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Abides- to stay put; to continue in a specified condition, endure.
Believing/thinking like Jesus revolves into Acting like Jesus and then turns to being like Jesus. The process is driven by the very presence of God. Frazee
What does it mean to sacrificially and unconditionally love others?
I. God’s love is ________________________.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 8:38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Takeaway: We receive God’s unconditional love and pass it on to others.
II. God’s love allows us to __________ like we never could before.
A. God’s love is _______________________.
I John 4:10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
I John 3:16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
“Love gives, even at great cost to itself.” Jerry Bridges
I John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.
Takeaway: We receive Christ’s love for us and then pass it on to others.
B. God’s love __________________.
I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Psalm 32:5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Proverbs 28:13
Micah 7:18 Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. 19 He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.
Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Reflective question: How can withholding forgiveness be an adversary of genuine love?
Takeaway: We receive Christ’s forgiveness and then pass it to others.
C. God’s love ______________________.
I Corinthians 13:7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Romans 5:5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
What the Spirit, given, …to faith, does, is to flood the heart with God’s love and with assurance of it.
John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
I Peter 1:22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,
Colossians 3:14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
There are three overall prayer requests I make for myself and for others whom I pray: that I and they would grow in holiness, humility, and love. Of these three, love has priority, for if I love God I will seek to be holy and I love other people I will seek to be humble, putting their interests ahead of mine. Jerry Bridges.
Which statements are easy to declare with certainty? Which are more challenging and why?
_____ God’s grace enables me to forgive people who have hurt me.
_____ I rejoice when good things happen to other people.
_____ I demonstrate love equally toward people of all races.
_____ I frequently give up what I want for the sake of others.
Takeaway: We receive God’s forbearance with us and then pass it on
Spiritual Growth Questions for August 11, 2019
(Take one question each day for your daily devotions.) How can I honor God in the way He deserves?
1. Read I Corinthians 13 and make two lists. What are the characteristics of love in the positive sense (all that love is). What characteristics does love not have?
2. Read I Samuel 19. Write down the ways that Jonathan offered David unconditional love. What stands out to you?
3. Read John 13:31-35. What quality of love stands out in these verses?
4. Read I John 4:19-21. What is the best strategy for developing authentic and genuine love for God and others?
5. Matthew 18:21-22. Discuss how withholding forgiveness can be an adversary of genuine love.
Put in your own words what happened in the shift from the Great Commandment of the Old Testament to the new commandment of Jesus.
How could this virtue express itself in your life?
What visible attributes can be found in someone who embodies the virtue of love?
What is impeding your ability to embrace this virtue? How can you overcome this obstacle?
Who are the toughest people for you to love? Family members? Coworkers? Strangers? Explain why.
It’s easy to love someone who meets our needs. Is it possible to genuinely loves someone who does nothing for you or even hurts you? If so, how?
What action step(s) can you take this week to love more like Jesus?
(Questions drawn from Randy Frazee’s Think, Act and Be like Jesus and Believe Study Guide)
I Corinthians 13:7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends.