“Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O LORD, You preserve man and beast. How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. Oh, continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You, And Your righteousness to the upright in heart.”Psalm 36:5-10
Love is … many things to many people. There’s superficial love. And there’s love that is high, deep, wide, and long. There’s love that prevails in the storms of life. God’s Love … is much more than we can imagine. Do you long to know this kind of love?
In America, the word “love” can mean, “I love chocolate.” I DO love chocolate. How about you?
Or we say, “I love my neighbor (when she’s nice and says “hi” every morning.)” “I love my work—when I’m not too busy.”
Do all those statements give the word “love” its full credit? Does the word “like” better describe those emotions? Is love purely an emotion?
Have you seen the “Love Is” comics that appear in some newspapers? It’s in the LA Times. “Love is … turning his head.” “Love is … all you need.” “Love is … living in hope.” Decades ago, Kim Grove hid little love notes that included a saying and drawing in places where her future husband, Roberto, would find them. They were married in 1971.
Six days a week, we enjoy drawings and captions that describe what love is. Love is a lot of things, isn’t it?
How would you define God’s love? God’s love is …
God’s love is … defined in His Love Letter to you and me … the Bible … the Word of God.
In Romans 5, Paul pivots from the need for justification because of our sins to the blessings and results of our justification by faith?
In the first four chapters of Romans, Paul shows us that we are sinners, but that God reckons us righteous through our faith.
Now, Romans 5 tells those who have been justified by faith about the benefits of our justification.
Benefits of Justification as listed in Romans 5
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”Romans 5:1-5
These verses show us the result of our faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We can stand before God just as if we had never sinned.
We see faith, hope, and love in these five verses working together through the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Unity in the Godhead bringing us so much more than we could ever imagine.
Love is …
- Verse 1: Peace with God through Jesus.
- Verse 2: Standing in grace and rejoicing in the hope of God’s glory.
- Verses 3 and 4: Perseverance, character, and hope through tribulations.
- Verse 5: God’s love poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit Who was given to us.
Love is … Great Sacrifice
Hours before the cross, Jesus prays. He’s thinking of the beatings, the scourging … His flesh being ripped open. He’s feeling the nails pounding into His hands and feet. He’s wincing as He’s hoisted up for all to see His agony. He’s anticipating the shame. He sees His mother Mary standing near the cross by John.
He’s saying “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they do.”
He bears the weight of your sins and my sins placed on Him … the sins of the world.
His tongue sticks to the roof of His mouth. His bones are out of joint. He gasps for air.
He trembles. The weight of the wrath of God will be poured out on Him.
He whispers, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Jesus sweats blood. Blood and water … the sword piercing His side.
Soon, it will be finished! He will give up His Spirit. The veil to the Holy of Holies will split from top to bottom.
The sins of the world will be paid for … forgiveness will be available … death will be conquered … resurrection is coming … eternity with His brothers and sisters, His friends, … the joy set before Him.
Faith, Hope, and Love
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. … So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13
Love acts. Love endures. Love never fails. Love is unity with God Almighty, Jesus our Savior, and the Holy Spirit our Helper. Love is unity with each other. Love is Jesus united with His Bride, the church.
Faith, hope, and love. The greatest of these is love.
Love is … Yours for the Asking.
Love is … Jesus.
Love is … The Greatest!
How are faith, hope, and love working in your life?
Won’t you watch the teaching below to learn more?