God’s Love (John #44)

Text: John 13:31-38

The word love is used for almost anything these days.  I love my dog.  I love ice cream.  I love baseball.  Love is also associated with certain feelings.  The poets and philosophers disagree on what love is.  They range in their descriptions from the highest heights to the lowest depths. Hollywood has taught us that love is an uncontrollable emotion that one can fall into, hence they “fell in love.”

People need to be loved.

Excellence of God’s Love (vss 31-32)

  • God’s glory on display, but not in the sense that you might think
    • John 12:23 The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified.
    • For God so loved the world
  • Love is supernatural.  It’s not that people are incapable of love, it’s that love is not what we are inclined to do.  It’s not the natural response.
    • Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  Makes me think of our military and the sacrifice many have made.
    • But Jesus Christ didn’t die for friends, he died for enemies in order to make them friends.  But God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.  The scripture says, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son
    • Centurion standing by the cross said surely this is the Son of God.  Why?  Jesus Christ’s death was supernatural.
  • Excellence of love is much more than an emotion.  Love is not a feeling.  The danger of that thought seen in these stories.
    • A man said he didn’t think he loved his wife anymore because he didn’t feel anything for her.
    • At the same time a woman said she was willing to throw away her entire family because she had feelings for someone else.
    • On the one hand, the man is throwing it all away because of a lack of feelings and the woman was willing to throw everything away because of the presence of feelings.  The truth is, neither of those things are love.
    • Love is a choice and an act of the will.
  • Excellence of God’s love is that it is superior to the love of the world.
    • Love is not lust – Amnon 2 Samuel 13:10-15.
    • The word has been hijacked by the world to mean bedroom scenes and adulterous relationships.
    • No where else was the wisdom of God pitted against the devil’s wisdom more than in the cross.
    • No where else did two opposing sides – God and the devil – believe they’d won, but the devil could not have been more wrong.
    • Colossians 2:14-15 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
  • You’ve never met anyone that loved you like Jesus Christ loved you.
    • Charles Weigle was an itinerant evangelist and songwriter.  One day after preaching at a gospel crusade, he came home to find a note from his wife of many years.  The note said that she did not care for the life she led being an evangelist’s wife and she was leaving him.  The next few years were a time of despair for Weigle. He later said that he became so despondent that there were even times when he contemplated suicide. He even wondered if anyone really cared for him.  After a time, his faith was again restored and he became active for the Lord again.  During this time he wanted to put to paper a song that would share the feelings he had experienced during his despondent days.  From a heart that was broken came the words and the tune for this hymn.

(1)   I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus
Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true;
I would tell you how He changed my life completely –
He did something that no other friend could do.
No one ever cared for me like Jesus;
There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me –
O how much He cared for me!

(2)   All my life was full of sin when Jesus found me;
All my heart was full of misery and woe;
Jesus placed His strong and loving arms around me,
And He led me in the way I ought to go.
No one ever cared for me like Jesus;
There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me –
O how much He cared for me!

(3)   Every day He comes to me with new assurance,
More and more I understand His words of love;
But I’ll never know just why He came to save me,
Till some day I see His blessed face above.
No one ever cared for me like Jesus;
There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me –
O how much He cared for me!

Example of God’s Love (vss 33-35)

  • Jesus Christ explains that he is going back to his Father and they won’t be able to come with him right now.  And in the absence of the shepherd the sheep need to stick together.  The thing that will hold you together in my absence is love for each other.
  • Example seen in the new commandment
    • New in its scope.  Love as I’ve loved he said.
    • New in its cause.  We love him because he first loved us.  We love the brethren because Jesus Christ loved them.  Do we not follow the footsteps of shepherd?  Did he not set the pace?
    • New in its purpose.  Jesus said, I send you forth as sheep among wolves.
    • Colossians 3:12-14
  • Exemplary characteristics of his love
    • Unselfish
    • Sympathetic
    • Patient
    • Practical – Galatians 5:6 faith works by love.  Like an engine is capable of working, but without fuel, without energy it doesn’t move.  Faith in Jesus Christ is great, but if there is no fuel, no motive to motivate, the faith is as dead as a car without gas.
  • Example to outsiders of who belongs to Christ.
    • I’ve heard this preached that outsiders would see your love for each other and get saved.  That’s not what the Lord is talking about.  He’s talking about an identifying fellowship.
    • Going to a Bible believing church and fellowshipping with saints in love is a witness to others that you belong to the Lord.
    • Like a flock that sticks together.  Onlookers would say, “We know who that little flock belongs to.”
    • Haven’t you met some Christians in your life who got out of church years ago and when you saw them and talked to them it wasn’t real clear what flock they were a part of?
    • Rig Bible study would find a lot of guys who had been saved, but the crowd they ran with now had no idea that saved soul belonged to Jesus Christ.  Why?  They loved the world and forgot to love the brethren.

Exercise of Love (vss 36-38)

  • When the Lord tells Peter he will deny Christ I think Peter is shocked, offended, and crushed.
  • Love does not exist in a vacuum.  That means there are things that affect your love for Jesus Christ.
  • Days past where you loved Jesus Christ more than you love him right now.
  • No matter your past victories, you are never above straying from the Lord.  I’ve been around long enough and many of you have too to see Christians win incredible victories and participate in high calling that today we would not recognize today.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:12 think he stand take heed lest he fall