Intro: How much do I love you?
There was a time in the early years of 2000 when I went through a very trying time in my life. I had gone through a divorce and was really angry at God and really didn’t want much to do with him. I was also angry at myself. My life was a total disaster and I blamed myself.
It was during this time that I discovered a very valuable lesson about the love of God. I was driving a semi-truck for my income and was traveling between Elko NV and Salt Lake City UT.
I was suffering from depression and had suicidal thoughts. During this time, God gently tapped me on the shoulder and asked me one of those questions that only He can ask.
He asked… Duke, how much do I love you?
I answered well your word says that I am loved unconditionally.
He then spoke these words to me… Then why do you hate that which I love?
As always I was pierced through the heart. And from that point on, I began a slow process of healing that led me to where I am today.
The apostle Paul prayed for something similar for all of us.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.Eph. 3:14-19
What Is Love?
In the Greek language, the word for love is Agape. It means this…
Greek = Agape
brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence
In context, it means that God loves us with unconditional love. With all types of love. In fact the love of God is revealed in the book of 1st Corinthians.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails1 Corinthians 12:4-8
A Modern Day Expression Of Love
My first pastor Jerry Cook used to express that type of love this way.
“I want you to know that I’m committed to you. You’ll never knowingly suffer at my hands. I’ll never say or do anything, knowingly, to hurt you. I’ll always in every circumstance seek to help you and support you. If you’re down and I can lift you up, I’ll do that. Anything I have that you need, I’ll share with you; and if need be, I’ll give it to you. No matter what I find out about you and no matter what happens in the future, either good or bad, my commitment to you will never change. And there’s nothing you can do about it. You don’t have to respond. I love you, and that’s what it means.”
How Do We Walk In This Type Of Love
God is the source of Love
The first thing we need to understand is that this type of love does not come from within ourselves or our own means. It comes from God.
8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.1 John 4:8
This type of love is beyond our natural ability. It must come from God and He is the source because He is that type of love.
You must have a personal relationship with Jesus to have this source placed in your heart.
In order to access this type of love, you need to be able to access it. In order to access it then you need to have a relationship with Jesus. This is called being born-again. (John 3:3)
When you are born-again you start a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You are taken out of the kingdom of darkness where this type of love cannot exist and you are placed into the kingdom of God’s son of love.
13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and [a]conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,Colossians 1:13
You need a revelation of His love for you
You cannot give away something you have not received. You need a personal revelation of the love of God for you. Not just for your neighbor, family member, the world at large, but for you.
You need to ask God to show you how large His love really is for you.
17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.Ephesians 3:17-19
God actually wants you to know the love of Christ for you. He wants you to be filled with all the fullness of Him. That includes all of His love.