This is a study/talk a gave a couple of weeks ago. I havn’t included the Bible texts but you can open a tab in bible gateway and your flying!

Starting questions.
If you were to go into tesco now and asks ‘what’s love’. What would some of the answers be?
Can love ever be shallow?
What isn’t love but is called love?
What type or word is love… Why? Noun, verb, adjective.

Tonight’s theme is. ‘Living loved till love’s lived

I want to start by looking at God’s character. Who is He? So lets look at something or an overview from scripture, as to who God is and how he is revealed.  I’m not taking too much time here, I kind of just want to remind you of what you already know.

Genesis: we find out that, Creator and image giver, and promise giver: so this book begins by saying there’s someone coming who will be the fullness of God’s character and revelation. 

Exodus: God announces his name, and he reveals himself as the one who carries out salvation.  Ex3:14-15 (read) IAMWHOIAM ‘Yahweh’ Ex34 God proclaims ‘His name and so his character’ Ex34:5-7, v8 is interesting there ‘at once’ when we discover who God or even a little, worship just flows from us! Worship and obedience is the response to the revelation of who God is.

Leviticus: we’re introduced to things like high priest, atonement, sacrifice, the Passover is firmly established which Jesus changed into the lords super. We discover that God is accessible, through the man of God’s choice, and that purity is necessary in God’s kingdom.

Then through the prophets, psalms, we begin to see what this promised one will be the ultimate high priest, the ultimate sacrifice, he will be the King of kings, he will be the true shepherd, he will not only be able to speak what God has revealed to him but as one who has authority. 

Then the greatest revelation, God shows us, who he is, by sending Jesus, everything that we need to know about God and how to live as a Christian can be found in the recorded life of Jesus.  

So by this stage we’re beginning to get a pretty good picture as to who God is, what he’s like.  You can almost sense the excitement, you can almost see the angels gathering round looking over the shoulders of John, calling to their God, Yahweh, ‘our God our Lord they’ve got it they’ve finally got it‘ as St.. John pens these words for the first time. 

“God is love.” 

There it is in the nuttiest of nut shells. God is love.

Read 1 john 4

Anything (and I say this knowing the suffering life can throw at you) which you have experienced from God has been love.  Love. There is a picture of who God loves, you see it everyday… Your Mirror (Not the paper!). 

I cannot talk about God’s love without mentioning the cross, God’s love and justice on show.  God is holy and must punish sin. And yet out of his love for us, out of His love, though we messed up, He’s made a way back into a loving relationship. 
Let us wonder grace and justice
Who join and point to mercy’s store
When through faith in Christ our trust is
Justice smiles and asks no more.

You are loved! And we must live as people who are loved. All our callings which the Bible gives us to rejoice, worship, to love God and our neighbour, to live a life of devotion, prayer.  All of this stems from a root, from an ability to live loved.  We love because He first loved us. Any ministry that we do, is an overflow from the love we receive from God.  For everybody – Christian and non-christian – anything good we do is an overflow from the love we receive from God.  Our ministry is an over flow, we’re passing on the love.  Like the vine and the branches in Jn15 we cannot bear fruit unless we remain in his love. 15:9 or look at v5, we need to remain in His love, we need to live loved.

Good questions I think we need to consider.

How do we cultivate a lifestyle of living loved?
How do we become consistently and increasingly mindful that we are loved by God?
How do we fill our lives with God’s love, or how does God fill our lives with His love?
How has God loved us?

Why are we answering those questions? Because the more we realise we’re loved the more we’ll love others, the more we will get love lived. Can I encourage you to dive deep into God’s love, completely depend on, get your life to the stage where you realise you’d be lost without God’s love.  Get God’s love into your heart. Let it permeate through your life.

Before we look at getting this next bit just want to set the context
The great commandments.
Jesus was asked to summarise the law, He said love God and your neighbour. Then when he was leaving earth, He could of said anything to His followers but He said, ‘make disciples in my name’.  So our lives as Christians should look like this from the outside.  I mean if a alien who knows nothing about you came and lived in your house for a month, at the end of that, if they were asked what was that person like they should say they loved God, loved their neighbour and made disciples.  Ok. So it’s in that context that we’ll look at this next bit. 
read Luke 6:43-45,
What is in your heart will become the way you live, so if you have any resentment, any jealously, any revenge, any lust, any unworthy desire, get rid of it. Repent. Fill it with God’s love. Because what is in your heart will become the person you are… I can’t say it any clearer live loved and you will see love lived in your life. Do you open a banana to find corn in the cob, do you slice an apple to find an orange. No. Or like it says in James 3 does fresh water flow from a salt water spring, does a grapevine bear figs. No. Or like what we just read do you find figs on a thorn bush. No. So if we are to live as people who are to love God and our neighbour and make disciples, we need to fill our hearts with the love of God.  Welcome to the concept of ‘my cup runs over’ ps23.  

So we love because He loved us.
What is love? A choice? An emotion? An ability?
Yet again we find the truth in the Bible. 1 Cor 13 tells us.

After reading 1 Cor 13 I think these are some questions that are good for us to think through.
Concentrate on 1Cor13 v4-8a
Then for each trait, think through these 2 questions 

When is it hard not to be angered, impatient etc?
What practical step could I take to help me love in these situations?

hope this helps
standing on Grace 


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