Joe Hubert Blue, a preacher born in 1875, recorded a history of his preaching this way: “I have been stoned, beaten with green walnuts, and with eggs. I have had dynamite put under the pulpit while I was preaching…yet have not begun to suffer what our Lord suffered.” God’s love for us and our love for God bind us to the perpetual motion of ministry. We love, we serve, He loves more, He serves more. It is in this short verse that Christianity is defined: we love because He first loved us.
I. He first loved us:
Oscar Hammerstein wrote from his deathbed, “A bell’s not a bell till your ring it. A
song’s not a song till you sing it….Love isn’t love till you give it away” See how God loves us!
A. Genesis 1:27–Creation of Love
1. God created us to share relationship
2. God also created us to be like He is.
B. Deuteronomy 7:6-13–Choice of Love
1. God’s people are His treasured possession.
2. He will love you, he will bless you, he will multiply you,
C. Isaiah 5:1-7–Care of Love
1. God’s people pictured as His prize vineyard.
2. “What more was there to do…that I have not done?”
D. John 3:16-17–Coming of Love
1. The depth of God’s love
2. The nature of God’s love
3. The hope of God’s love
E. Romans 5:1-11–Sacrifice of Love
1. He loved us to the point of death while we were weak, ungodly, and sinners.
2. “Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our
Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1 ASV).
F. Ephesians–Church of His Love
1. The church is the home of the blessed children–Ephesians 1:1-8.
2. The church is the manifestation of God’s will–Ephesians 1:9-11
3. The church is the heir of Heaven for the sealed–Ephesians 1:13-14
4. The church is the eternal purpose of God–Ephesians 3:10.
II. We Love:
A. Matthew 22:39-40–Fulness of Love
1. The Greatest commandment–Love God
2. The second–Love your neighbor
B. John 13:34-35–Command of Love
1. Commanded to love in the same way Christ loves
2. Recognized as Christians by the common love.
a. Love is just as essential as faith and baptism
b. Why not emphasize and preach love as much as other essentials?
e. Why do we not practice what Jesus preached?
C. 1 Corinthians 13–Philosophy of Love
1. Love is essential–13:1-3
2. Love is effective–13:4-7
3. Love is eternal–13:8-13
D. John 14:21–Obedience of Love
1. Do we have His commandments?
2. Do we keep them?
3. Do we really love Him?
E. Matthew 25:31-46–Test of Love
1. When did we demonstrate our love for God?
2. When we served others.
3. What does love look like? It has hands to help others, feet to hasten to
the needy, eyes to see misery and want, ears to hear the sighs and
sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.–Augustine.
4. Do we really love him? We will know if we are willing to serve Him.
I adapted a poem simply titled “Love” for this lesson: “I love you, not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you, not only for what you are, but for what you are making of me….I love you because you are helping me to make of the lumber of my life not a tavern but a temple; out of the works of my every day not a reproach but a song”. We are aware of the manifestation of God’s love. Now let us examine ourselves. Jesus yet says, “Do you love me?”–John 21:15-17.