Miraculous Movements: There is nothing better than the miraculous love of God
1 John 4:8 describes one of God’s primary attributes as love. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” This verse does not define God as love; it describes God’s love as permeating His essence in all He is and all He does. Theologian A.W. Tozer once stated, “Nothing God ever does, or ever did, or ever will do, is separate from the love of God.” Everything He has ever done has been out of love. Here are several key implications that this attribute – God is love – that is for all people today.
Something To Talk About:
God owns His love. You can’t add to it. There is no good thing that you can do to get God to love you anymore and there is nothing that you can do to get God to love you any less because His love is not dependent on you. It depends on Him.
- God loves me even when I am a mess: Life is messy, sometimes overwhelmingly so. Over and over in the Bible, we see Jesus moving toward people’s mess and miraculously coming through for them. Whether it was a blind man beside the road, a woman caught in adultery, or a lame man lying beside a pool, Jesus stepped into their situation and showed them that His love was more powerful than their mess. God didn’t love us from a distance. God stepped into our messy world to save us and set us free. Jesus is not afraid of our mess. He wants to be in it with us and help us in the midst of whatever we are facing. As believers, Jesus wants us to follow His example and run toward others’ mess. People are dealing with pain, hurt, and difficulty all around us. Life gets overwhelming and struggles can weigh us down. We are not called to love from a distance. We are called, like Jesus, to be willing to step into the mess with others who are hurting and help those who are tired and wounded. We are called to be in it with them and point them to God.
- I should reflect the love of God to others: Do others know that I am a Christian by the way I live? Do my actions and words reflect God’s love? Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” God is teaching us that if we are to experience true revival, it must start within each of us. Loving God is abstract unless it leads us to serving others. Are we good neighbors? How do we share our time, talents and treasures to our community? How are we involved in building our community? Are we an active member in our community or just a spectator to what is going on? When people see our lives and how we handle situations and circumstances, they should see hope for themselves. The best evangelism is the way we live and how we treat others.
- Community is a great place to experience giving and receiving God’s love: One of the best ways to seek God is though community. You may be a people person, or a total introvert, but either way, God wants to use His church to encourage you and draw you closer to Him. The Lord loves unity in His body, and He longs for His church to worship and seek Him as one. We were not created to go about this life apart from relationships with fellow children of God. Without our brothers and sisters, we will never experience the fullness of life God intends for us. In community, we discover our place in the body of Christ. In community, we learn what it is to serve out of love, honor, and respect. It takes receiving the love of God to give love. It requires a work of the Spirit to fill us with courage to be vulnerable with our community in order to receive and give the love we’ve been given in Christ. We simply cannot experience fully the power and delight of life with God without also being drawn into life together with our sisters and brothers in Christ. Without experiencing such life together, we will not discover how wonderful the news about Jesus really is. Community is not to be feared, but welcomed.
- How do you usually respond when people you know are in messy situations?
- Awareness of our messes awakens us to something outside of us to which we are accountable. Have you experienced this before? What, or who, helped you address the mess you were in?
- Do you believe the messes in your life could actually bring you closer to those around you? How could this idea make your relationships better?
- What does it mean to you to reflect God’s love to others? What are some practical ways for you to give others a taste of what the love of God is like?
- Are we a “display window” for the supernatural love of Christ? In what ways are we accomplishing this mission, and in what ways are we hindering it?
- What is the single biggest benefit of community in your mind?
- We believe that spiritual growth happens best in the context of community. We love our small groups because they are a place where everyone has the opportunity to learn and study the Bible, grow in faith, make new friends, pray for each other, and do life together. Agree or disagree and why?
- What’s one change you can make in your life to put more love into action?
- What did you think or find interesting about today’s message? Did anything that was said in the message particularly speak to you or surprise you? What is your biggest take away from the message?
- What will you do? How will you or your group put into practice what you’ve learned this week?
Take one thing home with you:
How much do we desire to know God’s, great love? Knowing the love of God for us is essential to healthy Christian living. God’s love is fundamental to our identity as His children and the sacrifice of Jesus. It may seem elementary that God loves you, but it is far far more than we can ever understand. God loves you simply because He loves you. You don’t have to work for His affection. You don’t have to set yourself straight before God can pour out His love over you. The father in the prodigal son’s story ran out to meet his son before anything had ever been set right. He didn’t know his son was there to apologize. He didn’t care. He simply wanted to love his child. Your heavenly Father feels the same way about you. He longs to love you right where you are, as you are. He longs to fill you with love to overflowing.