Can Believers Demonstrate the Love of God Like Jesus Christ?
Jesus the Love of God
The Need for the Love of God
Can Believers demonstrate the love of God like Jesus Christ? Jesus exemplifies the love of God in three general ways: in word, in nature and in demonstration. Jesus teaches us how to love, like God, by demonstrating the nature of God’s love. The nature of the love of God speaks to the quality of that love. Can Christians love, as Jesus loves?
If I say, that bus is of New Life Tabernacle Church (NLT) I’m establishing a CONNECTION between the bus and NLT. Therefore, today, when I speak of the love of God, I’m discussing the love that is connected, relating and belongs to God; it is the love of God because it comes from Him, 1 John 4:8, 16.
Many Bible Teachers and Scholars will tell you that the love of God is Agape Love. If you receive Agape Love, which is the Holy Spirit, you can love others as God loves you. The Spirit of God possesses all the qualities of the love of God.
Why does humanity need the love of God? Since the fall of Adam, all humanity lost the love of God. Additionally, to keep the first and the second commandments of the LORD we need His love, Mark 12:29-31 & Deuteronomy 6:4-5.
The New Standard for Love
The Lord in His Word commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves, Leviticus 19:18. However, Jesus changed that commandment.
Jesus says, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another,” John 13:34; 15:12.
Now, this new commandment is our standard FOR love; this is now, our standard OF love.
However, to love like Jesus did you first need to possess the love of God. How do you acquire the love of God?
Before Jesus, there was no defined standard FOR love because each person loves himself differently from the other person. Explain.
Many people, including many fathers, show their love in weird ways. Some fathers smoke knowing smoking is a certain death sentence. Others feel by hurting their love ones they express love.
Other fathers abuse alcohol; they use illegal drugs and other harmful substances. They involve themselves in careless, random, unprotected, unlawful and immoral activities even with strangers. These are a few ways many fathers love themselves, by abusing their bodies and abusing others.
Let me ask you a question. Do you want a person who self-destructs to love you? If your answer is yes, God help you for the same manner he loves and treats himself he will love and treat you.
Some persons will question Jesus’ authority to change God’s Word. However, Jesus Christ is the Almighty God, 1 Timothy 3:16.
God is a Spirit, John 4:24. This Holy Spirit, from heaven, entered into the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, and took the form of a man, the holy child Jesus. The Holy God became a man, Jesus Christ, to redeem humanity from sin, 1 John 2:1-2.
Therefore, Fathers, when Jesus Christ gives a new commandment it’s God giving us a new directive.
Therefore, fathers and mothers accept the words of Jesus because they are the Words of God and the love of God. Accept his words and keep them, 1 John 2:5.
How to Recognize the Love of God
The Lord God does everything via His Word for He sent His Word to accomplish all His tasks. That is why He sent Jesus Christ, because Jesus is the Word of God, John 1:1 & 14; 3:17. Through the written Word of God (the Bible), and through the Living Word of God, (Jesus Christ) we know God loves us, John 3:16.
By His Word God created the universe and everything in it. Jesus displays the love of God through miracles, great works, signs and wonders all through the spoken Word of God.
Let’s look at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Imagine this, Jesus knew the Romans were preparing to kill him but he never resisted. He did not struggle; he did not fight them; and he did not speak against them. He was unafraid of death. Why?
If I were Jesus Christ, I would be fighting, kicking and screaming because I don’t want to die. Moreover, I think you would react in a similar way too, because you don’t want to die.
Jesus could have called ten thousand angels to destroy the world but because he must show the world the quality of the love of God, he was humble.
Jesus had to die for us “to know”, “to perceive” or “to have an insight” in the nature of the love of God. Listen to how John explains how we know the love of God.
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren,” 1 John 3:16.
Therefore, because Jesus Christ died in our place we know the love of God.
On Mothers’ Day, I heard Brother McLean say this, and now on Fathers’ Day I’m saying a similar thing. Death is the ultimate proof of love.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” John 15:13.
I know many mothers who would willing die for their children. Fathers, are you willing to die for your family?
The Nature of the Love of God
1) God Loves Unconditionally
Let us examine the nature of God’s love. Since Jesus Christ personifies the Love of God when we examine how he loves, we learn about the love of God. How did Jesus love his disciples? How did Jesus love the people of the world, even those who crucified him? Jesus loves unconditionally.
Judas sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, and Peter denied knowing him three times but Jesus loved them and died for them, Matthew 26:15.
The Jews caught a married woman in the act of adultery and brought her to Jesus to be stoned. However, Jesus loved her and forgave her, John 8:1-11.
According to the Law of Moses, people with leprosy are social outcasts, society avoids contact with them. However, Jesus touched them and healed them. He did not have to touch them to heal them he could only speak a word and they are healed but he touched them to show his love for them, Luke 5:13 & Matthew 8:3, 16.
Jesus’ only condition for love is that you accept his words and believe them. Besides that, he loves you in spite of your sins and despite your condition.
“But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him,” 1 John 2:5.
Benefit of having the Word of God, John 15:7.
Regardless of our sins, Jesus loves all of us without conditions; His love for us is unconditional. Are we capable of unconditional love? Fathers, can you love your children and your spouse unconditionally?
Fathers, what are the conditions for your love?
2) The Love of God is Constant
Not only is the love of God unconditional but it is constant. Our Father’s love is not seasonal, it never fails, it never ceases, it’s never removed, and it will not vanish away for it is always there. Jesus love is constant, 1 Corinthians 13:8.
Apostle Paul tells us plainly that nothing can separate us from the love of God, Romans 8:38-9.
While we were in sin, Christ died for us not while we are saved and righteous, Romans 5:8.
Sin creates a gulf between God and man but sin does not stop or prevent God from loving us.
1. God called David who was a murderer and an adulterer to lead Israel. However, three hundred fifty years after his death the Lord was still singing David praise. The Lord says, He says …“I will defend this city …for my servant David’s sake,” 2 Kings 20:6.
2. When did Christ call Moses to deliver Israel? Christ called while he was still a murderer, Exodus 3:4.
3. When did Jesus call Saul of Tarsus to the Ministry of his Word? God called him while he was in sin, for Saul was en-route to Damascus to arrest Christians when Jesus called Him, Acts 9:1-5.
Christ calls us from sin to eternal life.
If sin prevents the love of God, none of us would be saved today, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23.
Sin blocks our relationship with God. Sin blocks spiritual contact and communication with an holy God. However, nothing prevents the love of God for us.
God still loves us even when we sin for the Scriptures declare that God sends His rain on the just and the unjust, Matthew 5:45. However, God hates our sin; He does not hate us. We cannot approach God with sin in our lives because the Holy God cannot co-exist with sin.
I know people who withhold their love from their families because they are displeased with their behavior. Some wives with hold their favors from their husbands; and some husbands hold out on both wives and children because they are dissatisfied with their actions.
Some families even disinherit their children and disown them because they disobey their wishes and their traditions.
The Love of the Lord Jesus does not fluctuate; it is constant as the love of the Prodigal Son’s father, Luke 15:11-32.
God does not allow ANYTHING to come between His LOVE for us and Him; His love is CONSTANT.
Fathers, how is your love for your family? Does your love for them fluctuate with your emotion?
3) The Love of God is NOT an Emotion
God’s love by virtue of being the grace of God, unconditional and constant it is not an emotion for emotions change, 2 Peter 3:18.
Do you remember when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane? Before his crucifixion Jesus prayed: “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done,” Matthew 26:36-42; Mark 14:32-42; and Luke 22:39-46.
No man wants to die. Jesus as a man is saying in this prayer, it is not my will or desire to die; I don’t want to die, this is emotional. But the God that was in Christ would not allow the emotions of His only “begotten Son” to come between Him and His love for mankind, Romans 8:32.
Let us look at another example from the Word of God, which demonstrates that the love of God is NOT an emotion. Both Jesus Christ and Stephen did not display any emotions as the people murdered them.
Can you imagine loving the people who are murdering you?
There are few similarities between the murder of Jesus Christ and that of Stephen.
• Jesus says, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”, Luke 23:34.
• Stephen says, “Lord lay not this sin to their charge,” Acts 7:60.
• Jesus cried, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit,” Luke 23:46.
• Stephens says, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,” Acts 7:59.
Both the death of Jesus and Stephen demonstrate the love of God is unemotional. Stephen was unconcern with what the Jews could do to him because he saw heaven and Jesus in heaven, Acts 7:55-56.
Why didn’t Stephen resist, fighting and screaming for his life? He was full of the love of God. Stephen was “full of the Holy Ghost”; and, Jesus was “full of the Holy Ghost,” Luke 4:1.
Both Jesus and Stephen were forgiving and praying to God for the forgiveness of their killers. This demonstration of forgiveness requires the love of God.
God’s love for us is NOT an emotion; His love for us is His will for us. His will for us is that we love Him with all our beings and that, we are willing to die for one another.
If we are incapable to love as Jesus loves he would not commands us to die for one another. The love of God through Jesus Christ is not seasonal; it is not an emotion; it is unconditional; but it is spiritual.
Fathers, how have your emotions affected your family?
4) The Love of God is Spiritual
The love of God is spiritual and comes to us first as the person of Jesus Christ, because Jesus is the personification of God’s love, John 3:16.
Secondly, the love of God comes to us by the Holy Ghost.
“And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us,” Romans 5:5.
The final way we receive the love of God is by His Word. If there is no Word of God in your heart, there is no love of God in your heart, John 5:38, 42.
By virtue of how we receive the love of God, that is, by Christ, the Holy Ghost and by word that makes it spiritual.
Nevertheless, not everyone with the Holy Ghost displays the love of God. The Holy Ghost supplies the love of God, whether you demonstrate it or not in your life is another matter.
There is a battle for the Word of God that you hear. If you lose the word, forget it, or allow doubts and unbelief to rob it from your heart, you lose.
Recall, SEED in GOOD GROUND, Matt 13:23; Mark 4:20 & Luke 8:5. “HURBK” the Word of God. This is a personal acronym that I utilize for the Word of God. H is for Hear; U is for Understand; R is for Receive; B is for Believe and K is for Keep. Therefore hear,understand,receive,believe and keep the Word of God; that is, ”HURBK” the Word of God.
“But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him,” 1 John 2:5.
I encourage you to “keep” this word and be “rooted and built up” in Christ, Colossians 2:7. To keep the Word of God is to plant it in your heart, Psalm 119:11.
If a Believer keeps the Word of God, it nurtures the love of God. The more the Word of God “abides” in you and grows the more the love of God grows too. Why? To him who has the Lord gives more, Mark 4:25.
Eventually when there is no more place in your heart for the love of God to grow, the Scripture described it as being “perfected” or matured, 1 John 4:12.
Other biblical meanings for “perfected” include “completed”, “finished” 2 Chronicles 8:16; 24:13; Ezekiel 27:4; Luke 13:32 , Hebrews 10:14, “accomplished”, Matthew 21:16 and “full of” Acts 7:55.
How do we know when the love of God is perfected?
“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world,” 1 John 4:17.
This verse really means, in this situation, which the Scripture calls “the Day of Judgment” if you display “boldness” in it, your love is perfect.
The “day of judgment” is not the judgment of God but of the world or of man because it is of this world because boldness would not help on judgment day.
The “day of judgment” reveals whether your love has reached maturity by revealing whether you are fearful or fearless of death, because the ultimate proof of your love is death. Fathers, your day of judgment can be any situation to display whether you fear death. Therefore, if you are fearful of death the love of God is not perfected in you yet.
None of the founding fathers of the Scriptures displayed any fear of dying. Jacob knew he would die soon but was unafraid, Genesis 49:1-33.
In the New Testament, Stephen, on his day of judgment, demonstrated the love of God was perfected in him by being brave, bold, outspoken and fearless even of death. Why?
The one thing the Scriptures emphasized about Stephen, he was “full of the Holy Ghost”, Acts 6:3, 5; 7:55. He was “full of the Holy Ghost” or the Word of God was perfected in him because he had the Holy Ghost and the Word of God was resident in his heart.
Jesus, Stephen, Paul and the Twelve Apostles were “bold” and “fearless” during their day of judgment because the love of God was made perfect in them. Their day of judgment is proof of a perfeted love for: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love,” 1 John 4:18.
Satan had the world in bondage by the fear of death, but Jesus Christ freed us from the “fear of death” by his resurrection, Hebrews 2:14-15.
As Jesus is (bold and fearless) so are we in this world. Because the love of God was perfected in Jesus Christ, he was fearless and bold, Matthew 27:11-14.
Fathers your Day of Judgment is coming, to test the perfectness of your love. When your day of judgment comes, fathers, will you run away from your families or will you stay?
Fathers, when your day of judgment comes, will you hurt your love ones or will you demonstrate the perfected love of God?
Recently, a journalist at CNN asked a question on ”Talk Back Point”. The question was, why are dads downgraded? Fathers I want you to know, you are not downgraded because you are still made in the image of God.
Fathers stop being Dads and be fathers. Become a father who models the love of God by modeling the love of Jesus Christ. You need the love of God to love God. To love the LORD with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; to love your neighbor as Jesus loved us; to Love your enemies, to bless them that curse you, to do good to them that hate you, and to pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you, requires the love of God.
Fathers the love of God requires that you place others before you; it means that you are willing to die for your family. We cannot do that without God’s love because we are accustom to thinking of ourselves first.
This you cannot do on your own, therefore, you need the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. As a result, I invite you to accept Jesus Christ today, as your Lord and Savior. To receive the love, which is of God receive these words of God, repent of your sins, receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which provides the love of God.
Fathers, what you do with the Word of God that you received today, determines the degree of the love of God in your heart. I must encourage not to lose or forget this word but mediate on it, ponder it, mutter it, speak it and allow the word to stimulate the love of God to grow to perfection in your hearts.
Fathers, by receiving the salvation that is in Christ, you can love your family unconditionally, constantly, unemotionally and spiritually. In short, you can love as Jesus loves, as he is, so are we in the world.
When you love as Jesus loves your love is predictable, dependable and a source of life. As fathers, with the love of God, you will be a life-giver to your family and to others.
Fathers your love guides your family and it is transferable to them. Let your family know that you are willing to die for them without saying it, allow your love to edify your family of the love of God.
Finally, as a father, one of your single most important tasks is to lead your family to know God. Lead your spouse and children to know God.
Look at Job, as a father, he constantly prayed for his family including his ten children, Job 1:5. I spend more time praying for my family than I pray for myself. Fathers, you must pray and lead your family to know God, for God expects you to, Hosea 6:6.
You do not have to be a parent to be a father. Read Job 29:16.
“I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out”, Job 29:16. Joseph was a father to Pharaoh, to Egypt and to Israel because he gave them life, Genesis 45:8.
Physically, you are a father if you produced an offspring. However, spiritually, you are a father if you give life to others through your words and your actions.
In closing, death is the ultimate proof of love. However, we do not have to die to demonstrate our love because Jesus died for all. By being, willing and unafraid to die is proof of the perfected love God in your heart.
We demonstrate the love of God, when we receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost; when we receive the Words of Jesus Christ and keep them; meditate on it, speak about it, think on it and allow it to grow; and, when the love of God is perfected in you it’s revealed by your boldness and fearlessness of death. We love God with the love, which, is from God.
Fathers, I encourage you to know God and develop a relationship with Him by knowing Jesus Christ.
Throughout this little talk, I addressed the fathers, but mothers and wives, all that I said to the fathers I say to you too therefore, do likewise.