Subject: The Greatest Power Ever Known: Part 1
Week # 1
Father God, I come into your presence so aware of my human frailty and yet overwhelmed by your love for me. I thank you that there is no human experience that I might walk through where your love cannot reach me. If I climb the highest mountain you are there and yet if I find myself in the darkest valley of my life, you are there. Teach me today to love you more. Help me to rest in that love that asks nothing more than the simple trusting heart of a child. Father, as we study on You love bless us to remember that You first loved us. Give us this day our daily bread as we study this lesson on love. We praise and thank You for all You have done for us. Let the words of our mouth and the meditation of our heart be accepted in You sight O Lord, our help and our strength. In Jesus name, Amen
The addition of faith revolutionizes the power of love. (Online Study)
The beautiful ballroom of the Marriott Hotel in Chicago was crowded to capacity with more than 1,300 college students and Campus Crusade staff members. I explained one of the most exciting spiritual discoveries that I had ever made -- how to love by faith.
For years I had spoken on the subject of love. I had a simple 4-point outline:
God loves you unconditionally.
You are commanded to love others -- God, your neighbors, your enemies.
You are incapable of loving others in your own strength.
You can love others with God's love.
But, as in the case of most sermons on love, something was missing. Then some years ago, in an early hour of the morning, I was awakened from a deep sleep. I knew that God had something to say to me. I felt impressed to get up, open my Bible and kneel to read and pray. What I discovered during the next 2 hours has since enriched my life and the lives of tens of thousands of others. I had learned how to love. With this discovery, God gave me the command to share this wonderful truth with Christians around the world. In that life-changing time of fellowship with the Lord, I was given a fifth point for my sermon on love -- we love by faith. Love is the greatest thing in the world -- the greatest privilege and power known to man. Its emphasis in life and word changed the course of history as the first-century Christians demonstrated a quality of life never before witnessed on this earth. The Greeks, Romans, Gentiles, and Jews hated one another. The very idea of love and self-sacrifice was foreign to their thinking. When they observed Christians from many nations, with different languages and cultures, actually loving one another and sacrificing to help each other, they responded in amazement, "Behold, how these people love one another!"
I challenged the students at the conference to become part of a revolution of love. I suggested that they make a list of all the individuals they did not like and begin to love them by faith.
Early the next morning, a young woman with sparkling eyes and face aglow said to me, "My life was changed last night. For many years I have hated my parents. I haven't seen them since I was 17, and now I am 22. I left home as a result of a quarrel 5 years ago and haven't written or talked to them since, though they have tried repeatedly to encourage me to return home. I determined that I would never see them again. I hated them.
"Before becoming a Christian a few months ago," she continued, "I had become a drug addict, a dope pusher and a prostitute. Last night you told me how to love my parents, and I could hardly wait to get out of that meeting and call them. Can you believe it? I now really love them with God's kind of love and can hardly wait to see them."
Everybody wants to be loved. Most psychologists agree that man's greatest need is to love and be loved. No barrier can withstand the mighty force of love.
There are 3 Greek words translated into the one English word "love"; eros, which suggests sensual desire -- it does not appear in the New Testament; phileo, which is used for friendship or love of one's friends or relatives -- it conveys a sense of loving someone because he is worthy of love; and agape, which is God's love: the purest, deepest kind of love -- it is expressed not through mere emotions but as an act of one's will.
Agape is God's supernatural, unconditional love for you revealed supremely through our Lord's death on the cross for our sins. It is the supernatural love He wants to produce in you and through you to others, by His Holy Spirit. Agape love is given because of the character of the person loving rather than because of the worthiness of the object of that love. Sometimes it is love "in spite of" rather than "because of."
God underscores the importance of this kind of love through the inspired pen of the apostle Paul, as recorded in 1 Corinthians 13. In this beautiful and remarkable passage of Scripture, Paul writes that, apart from love, anything that you might do for God or others is of no value. Consider these words:
If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them, and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn't love others, I would only be making noise.
If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but didn't love others, what good would it do? Even If I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love.
If I gave everything I have to poor people, and if I were burned alive for preaching the Gospel but didn't love others, it would be of no value whatever.
In other words, no matter what you do for God and for others, it is of no value unless you are motivated by God's love.
Heavenly Father, we live in a world where the security we once seemed to enjoy has been eroded right away and so many dark clouds of unknowing seen to be looming on the future's unpredictable horizon - and all that seemed to be so secure and reliable has turned to sawdust in our hands and evaporated like the morning mist. But Lord we praise Your name that we can entrust our future in Your safe-keeping, knowing that Your love surrounds us and that Your grace is sufficient.. no matter how black the circumstances of life may appear. Thank You Lord that You hold the world in the palm of Your hand, and nothing can snatch us from that secure position in Him. Thank You that we are accepted in the beloved and loved by the Father and thank You Lord that no danger may overtake any of Your children, that is not permitted by You – and which will not be used to fulfill a just and glorious purpose. Keep our hearts from unnecessary fretting or worry and in the power of the Holy Spirit may we build ourselves up in your most holy faith.. by praying in spirit and truth and walking the way of righteousness. May we learn day by day to prevent our eyes from focusing on the trials and tribulations that are coming on the earth - and rather help us to look to Jesus, knowing that in all things He is the victor - and we are securely positioned in Him - through time and into eternity...Thank You in Jesus name, Amen
Scripture Reading: (please explain what love this scripture is referring too)
(1John 4:8, 16)
(1John 4:8, 16)
Weekly Word: Agape Love
Week # 1 Study Questions:
1). List and discuss the characteristics of God's love found in 1 Corinthians 13.
2). Name a synonym for or give a short description of each characteristic. Share what each quality means to you.
3). Discuss ways in which the church as a body of Christian believers can express its love for God and one another.
1) Which did Jesus say was the most important of all God's commandments?
Love God with all your heart and soul.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Do not murder.
Honor your father and mother.
Read verses that provide guidance on topics relating to love such as; relationships, marriage, family, children, strength, and love of others. The Bible says that God is love, which makes it the perfect source to learn how to love others, even those who are difficult for us to. Our world has skewed the meaning of true love but God's Word remains a steadfast, true source of knowledge on how to love. Read the below scripture from the Holy Bible about love in relation to God, Jesus Christ, and the Christian faith and begin seeing the change in your heart and mind!
Weekly Reading Assignments: I Corinthians 13:4-8