God’s Love

updated 8/3/07, 1/5/08, 1/7/08


I. Introduction

Love is the most important reality of our existence because it is the reason why we were created.  God created us because He wants us to share in his life and divinity. We are all God’s planned and wanted children.  God wants our love for Him to match His love for us.  God wants our love, not because He needs it, but because we were created to love (4).  Although God needs nothing, He wants all our love, because He is the infinite source of love. 

However, many people today have a different understanding of what love is.   Many people view love outside the context of God.  The world tries to define love mainly on feelings.  God defines love as Himself, and as an action that involves unselfishness, sacrifice, no conditions,  no paritiality. 

Let’s examine how the world defines love outside the context of God.


How does the world define love?

Webster's Dictionary says that “love is a strong affection for another person or object”.

You may have heard, "I love you because you are beautiful;" or "I love you because you are so good to me;" or "I love my car." Many times we say we love things based only on feelings and emotions which can change from one moment to the next (1).

Many people divorce or leave relationships because they no longer "feel" the love anymore.


How does God define love?

The Word of God says that God Himself is Love.

"God is love."   -  1 John 4: 8

"Love is patient. Love is kind. . . . Love bears all things. "  - 1 Corinthians 13

"There is no greater love than to give one’s life for a friend."  -   John 15: 12- 14

Why is the love of God so important?  If God is all powerful, and He is love, then God’s love is something that can overcome all things.    



God's love is unconditional

The love of God is unconditional.   It does not matter if you have one leg, or no arms.  It does not matter if you are rich or poor, smart or not-so-smart, young or old, weak or strong, ugly or beautiful,  thin or fat, fast or slow, atheletic or in a coma, in the womb or on your death bed.  It doesn’t matter what race you are.  God loves every single human being, no matter what.    

God's love is different from a “worldly” love because it is not based on feelings or emotions that come and go away.

God loves us regardless of any condition.
 
Our value or self-worth is not dependent on what the world deems is important like what you commonly see is portrayed on television. 

The love of God is greater than any arbitrary human standard.

We have meaning, value, and purpose in our lives simply because God loves us . . .  "period".

We are all called to give this same kind of love to other people. 

 

God shows us how to love through His son, Jesus Christ. 



Jesus Christ: The Ultimate Expression of God’s Love

God the Father sent the world His Son, Jesus Christ.  In this way, God became one of us by assuming our nature.  Jesus, the Son of God, the God-Man, shared in all our pains and sufferings so we might understand the true meaning of love. 

 Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.

In this way, God’s love was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through Him.”  - 1 John 4:9

“For God so loved the world, that He gave the world His only begotten Son.” - John 3:16

These words from Scripture tell us that the life of Jesus Christ is the greatest sign of God's love for the whole world (1).

The power of God's love, in the life of Jesus Christ, is more apparent in light of the reality of sin.

We have to be aware of the reality of sin.


The Reality of Sin

When God created us, He gave us free-will. God gave us free-will because we are made in His image.  We have the ability to choose whatever we desire in the hope that we will desire to love God our creator in return.  In order for love to be true it cannot be forced upon.  

God gives us the choice to love him or not.  This leads us to the meaning of sin.

Sin is the abuse of our free-will in choosing to disobey the will of God, and to live a life apart from Him and His love. 

Choosing to sin is choosing our selfish desires over the will of God. 

Many people are seduced by sin when their perception of "what is true" is distorted.

We sometimes mistake what "feels" good as being good, when in truth it is not.

 

 

Just because we have the ability to live without God's love, does that mean we have the right?

Just because we have the ability to do bad things does not mean we have the inherent right to do them. 

For example, we don’t have the right to hurt others, and visa versa, because it is contrary to the love of God and neighbor. 

We don't have the right to offend God and live contrary to His will. This is not the purpose why we were created.

We were created out of love in hopes that we would love in return.

God had sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to guide us back to His truth, love, and divine life, and to save us from sin.

God the Father redeems our sins through His Son, Jesus Christ because He loves us (3).



Conclusion

We talked about the common perceptions of love outside the context of God, and we talked about how God the Father reveals His love through His Son, Jesus Christ. 

 God is calling us to know and love Him so we can share in His divinity and glory in Heaven. 

Sometimes we may not feel that we are worthy of God’s love, but this is not so.

We are worthy because God is worthy of all our love. 

"If it is true that God has created us, that He has redeemed us, that He loves us so much that He has given up his only begotten Son for us, that He waits for us everyday like the father of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), then how can we doubt that He is 'calling' us to respond to Him in return with all our love?" (1) – St. Jose-Marie Escriva
 

 

Personal Testimony

How does God’s love make a difference in your life? 

”God’s love has changed my life because I no longer waste my time on superficial things, or at least I try, and I am more aware of how I spend my time.   I try not to waste my time on playing computer games or watching superficial things on television, because that is time away from my family, and that is time away from improving my relationship with God.  I read more books that help me to understand God because I know this will help improve the way I talk about God to others.  When I work on following what God wants in my life, I begin to have a clearer picture on what matters most in life.”  - Carlo Juanola – Jan. 7, 2008

 

Discussion Questions

1) What did you hear in this talk that seemed to stand out? Why?

2) Can you recall anything in history as an example of an absence of God's love?

3) After listening to this talk, do you think you can live without God's love?

 

Something to think about

Because we have the ability to live without God's love, do we have the right? We don't have the right to offend God and live contrary to His will. This is not the purpose why we were created. We were created out of love in hopes that we would love in return. We can only love God if we deny ourselves and put Him first.

 

References

(1) The Navarre Bible: The Gospels & Acts. Four Courts Press, Dublin. & Scepter Publishers, Inc. Princeton, NJ. 2000. pp 547.

(2) http://www.allaboutgod.com/god-is-love.htm

(3 ) http://www.catholic.com/library/gods_love_for_you.asp / Catholic Answers Pamphlet: God's Love For You.

(4) Kreeft, Peter. A Pocket Guide to The Meaning of Life. Our Sunday Visitor, Huntington: 2007 pp11-12.

 

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