7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Sona]”>[a] into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice forb]”>[b] our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
*If we are growing in Christ, we should be growing in love. Are we loving better than we were 5 years ago? Loving more freely?
*Are you loving more than you can and more than you are capable of in your own strength?
*We have to be willing to allow God to minister to us and love on us before we can minister to and love others.
4 Types of People in our lives
1. Joy ~ these people are a joy to love!
2. Testy ~ These people are difficult to love, difficult personalities, critical, high maitenance, co-dependent
3. Foe ~ enemies, impossible to love in our own power
4. Far ~ strangers around the world who are in need of love and being served, those who we don’t even know but need the love of Jesus
4 Confessions in Love
1. God is perfect love! (God’s love is not a feeling, it is a part of His God-ness, you can’t take the love out of God.)
2. Nothing can separate me from God’s perfect love. Not my anger, my unforgiveness, my self-righteousness, nothing.
3. God pours His perfect love into my imperfect heart.
4. Accessed, I can love anyone through anything.
*Anything is easier than loving – even serving our tails off at church! But, we are called to LOVE.
*Let’s start loving because we are Loved, not so we will be loved.
*I love ________ because God first loved me.
*We need to have our cup filled before we can go out into the world to have it filled!
*God puts the Testy and Foe in our lives to bring out the worst in us!
*Learn to love others with insight. Testy and Foe are that way because they are broken and we need to be compassionate, after all, aren’t we broken too?
*God is going to call us to see hard love as an offering on His altar ~ a sacrifice!
*Respond with Christ-likeness regardless of how you are treated. Not loving because someone loves you first, but because Jesus loved you first. He made a sacrifice of love for us, we need to love sacrificially too.
*Sacrifice that grudge you’d like to hold.
*When we hang on to our unforgiveness, we just keep letting ourselves get hurt over and over again.
*What if I’m testy or married to testy? PRAY like a maniac! Pray that you can be loving. God’s specialty is raising the dead…He can raise your dead marriage too.
*If you can love your enemies that sets you apart to be Christ-like in this world that is so desperately in need of a Savior.
*Pray for an awareness of needs around you.
*Loving afar (needy around the world, not just financially needy, but love-needy) Loving those people around the world relieves us of the burden of self-absorption