Hymn: Yes, Jesus Loves Me
Theme: The Mystery of Christ
Topic: The Love of Christ
Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.3If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast,* but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;6it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.7It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.9For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part;10but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end.11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.12For now we see in a mirror, dimly,* but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.13And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
One of the most popular verses in the Bible is John 3:16- for God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. It is because of the love God has for us that He sent Christ, and it is because of the love Christ has for us that He became flesh, and humbled Himself to a death on the Cross. God made everything perfect at the beginning but the enemy brought sin into the world through Adam and Eve. This made God to sacrifice His Son as atonement for our sins and the sins of the whole world. God did this, demonstrating His immense love for us and reconciling humanity to Himself. The depth of God’s love for us is unmerited and without comparison. He freely gives His love to us daily; all we have to do is to receive it, and then go love others as God loves us. In today’s study, we shall be discussing how God wants us to love Him and the people in our lives.
1. What are the characteristics of God’s love for us?
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
2. How will you describe the strength of God’s love for us in Christ?
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we* have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,2through whom we have obtained access* to this grace in which we stand; and we* boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.3And not only that, but we* also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,5and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.7Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die.8But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.9Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God.*10For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life.11But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
We know that all things work together for good* for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family.*30And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?32He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?33Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.34Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.*35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written,
‘For your sake we are being killed all day long;
we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,39nor 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.
3. What are the characteristics of Christian love?
‘Beware of practising your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 ‘So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.3But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,4so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.*
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;10love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour.11Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.*12Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.13Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.16Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly;* do not claim to be wiser than you are.17Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.18If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God;* for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’20No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
1 John 2:7-11
Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word that you have heard.8Yet I am writing you a new commandment that is true in him and in you, because* the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.9Whoever says, ‘I am in the light’, while hating a brother or sister,* is still in the darkness.10Whoever loves a brother or sister* lives in the light, and in such a person* there is no cause for stumbling.11But whoever hates another believer* is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness.
1 John 4:7-21
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.8Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.9God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.10In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.11Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.12No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.14And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Saviour of the world.15God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God.16So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.17Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgement, because as he is, so are we in this world.18There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.19We love* because he first loved us.20Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters,* are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister* whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.21The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters* also.
The love God has for us is beyond our understanding. May we live our lives loving God through loving the people in our lives.
We are grateful to You Lord for Your immense love to all mankind. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit that we may be ambassadors of Your love in our homes, Church, and community. We ask this through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.