Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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The Love of God
Dear friend,

May the grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you today and always! Amen.

Today's readings are from Matthew 17:1-8, 1 Corinthians 13 and our sermon text is 1 John 4. The first one is Matthew's record of the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain top in which His divine essence shined through His human body and was witnessed by James, John and Peter.

John spoke of that experience later when he wrote his Gospel, John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." and Peter referred to that experience in his second letter. "KJV 2 Peter 1:17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
KJV 2 Peter 1:18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount."

Our second reading is from Paul's first letter to the Corinthian church and it it he writes of the characteristics of love, speaking of them in a very practical manner.

And our sermon text today is from John's first letter, from the fourth chapter which we will now read.


A dear brother of mine often tells those whom he meets: "God loves you and so do I!" He is demonstrating his knowledge of two very important truths that exist concerning the nature of God. Whether he has thought it through this way or not, I am not sure, but as I hear him say that statement, I thank God for the revelation of Himself to my brother and also for the testimony that he reveals when he tells other that he loves them. My brother has received the love of God into his heart, he knows this love and believes that this Love has purchased him back to our Father through the cross, and through the indwelling Holy Spirit in him, God's love flows out of him not only in word, but in deed and in truth also.

In two verses from our text of meditation today is contained three key components of understanding the love of God. In them we see Love's origin, loves definition and God's desired response to His love for us. God dwells in the hearts of those who love one another. Or we could say it another way, because God dwells in our hearts as believers in Him, we are enabled to love one another.

1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

In the first six verses of chapter 4, John explains of the necessity of believing that Christ came in the flesh to be the sacrifice for sin, which is referred to in 1 John 4: 10. The love of God cannot be understood or experienced independent of the cross of Jesus Christ. From verse 7 to the end of the chapter, he then expands of what it means in the life of one who has received the love of God by believing in that which Christ has done for them: Granted pardon and forgiveness of sins.

A number of years ago, another brother shared with me of his experience in growing in his knoweldge of love, which helped him to understand in a greater way what it means to love unconditionally vs conditionally (fleshly love). He shared with me of the difficulty of visiting his mother who was in a nursing home and whose health had deteriorated to the point that when my friend visited his mother, she did not know who he was. He struggled with his continuining to visit her, for he was getting no response back from her. As he prayed about this, the Lord began to expand to him of the love that He has for him (my friend) and for all people.

In this experience that he felt was from God, my friend went on to tell me that he remembers when his father and mother would wave to him after he had visited them in their home; then the day came when only his mother waved goodbye to him as he left her home after his father's death, he remembered how his mother would say goodbye to him after he left her room in a nursing home......Then he felt the Lord was speaking to him in this way: " I many times a day visit you in various ways and you do not always acknowledge my visiting to you, but I keep on visiting you for my love does not need a response to keep on loving you, for that is who I am. Through this experience I am offering you the opportunity to grow in your knowledge of my love, for it is a love that loves to pour itself out into the lives of those who are not able to love me back yet. Love your mother as I have loved and do love you."

My friend shared with me that after that experience, he went with joy to see his mother for the rest of her days of her life.

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin

As our text teaches us, the beginning of understanding God is to know and experience that He is love and He has extended grace toward us by gifting us with the forgiveness of sins which we receive through repentance and faith. We have been delivered from the guilt of sin and from the power of sin so that we are now free to love as we have been loved. May the Lord bless our meditations in His Word so that we will be able to discern what is truth and what is error in the all important meaning of love. We conclude with the main teaching of today's text: God is love, He demonstrated this love on the cross, and He desires that we love Him in return.

In His love,
Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 15 Feb 2015 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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The Cross of Christ 2.25.2018
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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*Wendy and Dan Salo: Strength & courage to trust Him w/her health concerns