[Anabaptists: The Web's first conservative site introducing Mennonites, their history and their beliefs.] NewGuideHistoryDoctrineWritingsBookstore
EspañolChurch LocatorRSS
to the glory of God and the edification of people everywhere

The Pure and Practical Love

(1 John 3:1-5, 9-18)

Lesson 2 -- first quarter 1998
December 14, 1997

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1997, Christian Light Publications

How does God's love touch me?
What about my own love?

Human love has touched you frequently and repeatedly. Though feelings do not constitute love, the touch of love will at times produce certain emotional responses in us: affection, excitement, security, happiness and so on. We know when human love (of parent, sibling, friend or friend!) touches us. If we were to take the time right now, we could develop a long list of ways in which this human love touches us.

How does God's love touch us? Let me list some of the ways; you locate the Scripture where they are found.

Salvation. We most tangibly perceive God's love for us by the gift of His Son Jesus. God's love brought us salvation, redemption and justification in the only way possible: the sacrifice of His Son. How God must love me! He saved me from sin, Satan and self.

Provision. Food, clothing, housing, transportation--demonstrations of God's unconditional love for me. Sun and moon, oxygen and hydrogen, photosynthesis and oxidation, gravity and entropy--all provisions from the hand of a loving God. Job, health, people, liberty--even more proof that God loves me. So many gifts encompassed in these things already...and the surface shows no scratches yet. What do I have that I have not received from God?

Grace. The Spirit at work in my life, gradually making me what I ought to be. The Spirit faithfully performing His good work in me, never quitting. The Spirit guiding me, telling me what to say, helping me defeat the onslaughts of evil, cleansing me on a daily basis. The Spirit of power empowering me to maturity and victory. Grace! The Spirit-given power to desire and accomplish His will. Can I doubt God loves me?!

Forgiveness. I coveted. I lusted. I got angry. I disobeyed. I was unthankful. I violated integrity. I envied. I was bitter. I swore in my heart. But as I acknowledged these sins and repented, seeking His forgiveness...and I did not seek in vain. He forgives...till seventy times seven...every day if necessary. I don't know how, but His mercy to me is new every morning. I guess we can say that I get a fresh new "batch of mercy" every day. You get it? God loves me!

Chastening. I don't like punishment or painful correction. But the fact God brings this into my life confirms His love for me. He does not want me to pursue my own headstrong, erring way to my own detriment and doom. So He "cracks down" on me. And I rest, knowing I am His son.

Well, did you keep up with me?! I surely wonder what verses you found to support the concepts I gave you above. Now let me present you with another Treasure Hunt Challenge. What Bible verses show that agape is part of our spiritual genetics? Hunt meticulously and discover the basis for this incredible truth: agape is hereditary for all Christians.

Now combine all this truth and all this research, and ask yourself sincerely: how should my love touch others? Oh, you say you just haven't much love to spare these days...barely enough even for yourself? Then you need to see the question for what it really is: how does God want His love to touch others through me?

Return to Sunday School Comments index

[Anabaptists: The Web Page]