This Is Love!

June 13, 2017

God’s love shining through you will be an inspiration to others.

FROM A SERMON BY Loyce Carver

T

he love of God. . . . We should remember it, talk about it, live in it, and appreciate it! John 3:16 reveals the very essence of the message of God's love: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Jesus Christ's dying—not only for His friends, but also for those who are rebels against God's goodness—is the supreme example of love. And we can prove that love by our own experience! We were all born in sin with a depraved nature. But Jesus can change that nature with His love. He can make us want to think and talk about things which please Him.

We should talk about the love of God to our families, our friends, and to anyone else we can. Our salvation is all of grace, all of God's love and provision in response to our repentance. The more often we talk about this, the more likely we are to be saturated with it. God wants us to remember that He gave His Son. He wants us to remember His love.

In a spiritual sense, you are what you take in. If you let God fill you with His love, His Word, His goodness, and the memory of what He has done, you will see what more He can do.

In a spiritual sense, you are what you take in. If you let God fill you with His love, His Word, His goodness, and the memory of what He has done, you will see what more He can do. The more you think about it, the more you have to think about, because there is no limit to what God has done or can do.

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10). What does that mean? It means that when compared with how much God loved us, our love is insignificant. There is no way to compare it. The proof of love is that God loved us enough to die for us while we were yet sinners.

But God has commanded us to love one another. That is what we can do. We cannot love as God does, pardoning others’ sins. We cannot hear their prayers and know their hearts as God can. But God expects us to extend love even when we are unable see another's heart and desires. This is the proof of our discipleship. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).

We prove to the world that we love God when we show love toward others and conduct ourselves in a manner that proves it.

If we show that love to our brother, the world will see it. Can they see God through our actions? If we say something cutting, critical, or hard against our brother, the unsaved person will know God is not in that. We prove to the world that we love God when we show love toward others and conduct ourselves in a manner that proves it.

If we let God have His way, He will perfect His love in us. He will do that by teaching us, and by correcting and chastising us. God shows us love even when He corrects us.

When your son plays in your front yard, you tell him, "You must not go into the street. You must not even sit on the curb or dangle your feet there. The street is for cars and buses, and you must not go out there." If the youngster forgets your admonition and runs into the street, you retrieve him quickly. How frightened you are when you see what is happening! You fear for his life.

When you bring him back, you don't just cuddle him in your arms and say, "Son, don't you know better than that? I have told you half a dozen times that you shouldn't do that." No! No! You chastise him. You say, "I told you not to do that. You'll be hurt. The car will run over you and break your leg or kill you." And you apply some pressure and discipline to help the child remember.

You want him to remember that the correction hurts. Then he won't have to learn by experience that it hurts to be run over by a car. You are not doing the child an injustice; your love causes you to apply the correction so he will not do something dangerous.

What if the children down the street come to your yard and defy all those teachings? What if they begin taking your boy into the street? What do you do? You say, "Will you children please go home. You stay in your own yard. I cannot have you leading my child into the street." Perhaps your neighbors will not jump up and down with glee because you sent their children home. But you had to do it at the peril of danger to your own child.

God loves us as His children, and He wants to teach us lessons. He appoints teachers and leaders to help us. Sometimes they have to take a stand and say, "It must be this way." Some people think any discipline, especially church discipline, is far removed from love, but it isn't. If we submit ourselves to God's discipline, we are happy. We are happy even in difficult and trying circumstances, because we know God loves us and is caring for us.

You have a responsibility toward God to live peaceably with all men, as far as lies within you. But remember, you must not compromise with their sin just to have their approval or appreciation. God does not allow that any more than we allow our children to go into the street just because the neighbor's children go there.

We have to love in reality and not just in words. "Let love be without dissimulation" (Romans 12:9). That means love is to be without pretense or hypocrisy.

So we have a responsibility to love. And we have to love in reality and not just in words. "Let love be without dissimulation" (Romans 12:9). That means love is to be without pretense or hypocrisy. Don't say, "I love you,'' and then act as though you do not.

A husband and wife get along much more easily if they are loving toward each other. It is not enough for a wife to show love only occasionally, suddenly turning on the charm after having been stubborn. That doesn't persuade anyone. Neither is it fitting for a husband to be demanding and overbearing, and then brush it all aside as if no harsh words had been said.

God wants us to live in love. There is more power in living in the right relationship with each other, showing proper respect for one another, than in occasionally saying, "I love you." Oh, words are important. Kind and loving words are probably not said often enough. However, the words mean little if they are not backed up with actions. So don't let your love be only on the surface. Live in God's love every day.

God is love, and the best proof of it is that He sent Jesus to earth to die for us. And the best proof that we have Christ in us is that we love one another. Let us set ourselves to do that. As we praise God more and more for His love and mercy, His love will shine through us and be an inspiration to others. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

About the author

Reverend Loyce Carver was General Overseer of the Apostolic Faith organization from 1965 until 1993, and continued on the ministerial staff at the headquarters church in Portland, Oregon, until his death in 1996.