John Hagee - God Is Love
There is no topic known to man that warms the heart like the topic of love. Our lives are shaped by those that love us. And our lives are shaped by those that refuse to love us. The sweetest music that reaches to the highest heaven is the beating of two hearts that truly love each other. To love abundantly is to live abundantly. And to love forever is to live forever. Love is the doorway through which the human soul passes from selfishness to service. Love does that.
The three most profound words in human speech is "God is love". Say that with me, God is love. The Bible says it's beyond human comprehension. Love is more than the characteristic of God: God is love. He does not try to love you. He cannot help but love you because that's what he is. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. God is love. It is a concert that surpasses the knowledge of men. No man can adequately describe it. No man can adequately understand it, because the Bible says it surpasses knowledge.
"God is love" is one of the most profound statements and one of the most misunderstood. Before we finish today, I'm going to tell you things that God has written in the Bible most of you have never heard. And I want you to know that it has to do with the pure absolute love of God.
Read with me 1 John 4:7 through 11. Ready? Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God. And everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God: for God is love. In this, the love of God was manifest toward us that God has sent his only begotten son into the world: that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Father, let the love of God explode in this building today that comes from heaven shed abroad in our hearts to reach the world for a loving Christ, who gave his life for us. In Jesus' name, we pray. And all of God's children said, amen.
You may be seated. The first and obvious fact of this text is that the love of God can be known, not by the ungodly, but by the righteous. The ungodly do not know the love of God. Today I'm going to give you a portrait of God's love, seeing others through the eyes of God's love, the three kinds of love. Many of you practice all three. Then there is God's love in a divine flood where Paul said is shed abroad in our heart that brings spiritual and personal prosperity.
Listen to this. How far in life will you go? It depends upon your willingness to love other people. Who do you love? How much do you love them? What are you doing to show them that you love them? Can you love people who don't love you? That's the question Jesus asked his audience. He looked at his audience, and said: the pharisees love one another. They love those that love them. But I'm asking you: can you love those that don't love you? And then in another setting, he said, concerning the pharisees, that prostitutes would get into heaven before they did.
So I'm saying there's really nothing outstanding about the pharisees if they just love one another, and that's all you can do. But the mark of Christianity is being to love the unlovable: that's the love of God. And you can't do that unless the love of God is in you. Love is not what you say: love is what you do. Chisel that on the front door of your refrigerator. That way you'll memorize it often it as you go perpetually to that fount of blessing. Love is not what you say: it's what you do. A song is not a song until you sing it. A bell is not a bell until you ring it. Love is not put in your heart to stay. Love is not love until you give it away.
Think about that. Listen to this concerning love. Be tender with the young. Be compassionate with the aged. Be sympathetic with the poor. Be tolerant of the weak. Be helpful to those in trouble. Why? Because at some point in your life, you're going to be all seven of those things. You're going to need that. Some day in your life, you're going to need those things.
The first principle of God's love is seeing others through the eyes of love. The true story is told of a six-year-old boy standing in front of a pet store. His nose was pressed against the window. His eyes were riveted to a black and white spotted puppy jumping around in the display window. The boy went into the store, told the owner he had 75 cents, and he wanted to buy that white and black puppy jumping around. And the owner said, that puppy cost $75, son. And the little boy's face fell. His shoulders slumped in absolute disappointment.
Then the mother dog came trotting in the room with four or five little black puppies behind her. And then there was another puppy that was about four or five feet behind the very last puppy. That puppy was limping and dragging its back legs to keep up. The little boy pointed to that lame puppy, and said, I want that one. And the store owner said, son, you don't want that puppy because that puppy has been born without a hip socket. He will never be able to run with you. He will never be able to jump and to do all the things that little puppies do with little boys who like to play.
The little boy reached down and pulled up his pants leg to his knees. And he pointed to the heavy steel braces that were on both sides of his legs as a result of polio. The little boy pointed to his legs, and said with tears in his eyes, I need that puppy because that puppy can understand me, and I can understand that puppy. The little boy said, I'll give you 75 cents now and 75 cents every week until I can pay for him. He put his money on the counter, picked up the injured puppy, and walked out the door with great joy, because he saw that puppy as a treasure. He saw that puppy through the eyes of love. And until you learn to see other people through the eyes of love, life will never have real joy.
Who do you see through the eyes of love? The Bible says: God is love. And they that have not love have not God. I repeat, our lives are shaped by those who love us and by those who refuse to love us. The golden key to understand the love of God in the Bible is found in the one verse: for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. He what? He so loved the world. There was no reason for him to love us, because we were outside the covenants with Israel, without God, and without hope. We were in sin. But in our sin, he loved us.
The golden key to understanding the love of God is in that verse. When God looked over the balconies of heaven, and saw you and I crippled by the surgeons of sin, broken because of the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, hopeless, without God, outside the covenants of Israel, God looked at you and me through the eyes of love, and said, I want that one. I'll take that one that has been crippled by the prince of darkness. I'll take that one whose dreams have been crushed. I'll take that one who's going through and has just finished a bitter divorce. I'll take that one who's in the midst of a business failure and his partners have betrayed him. I'll take that one that's getting over the death of a dear spouse. I'll take that one that's suffering with sickness and disease. I'll be their great physician. I'll take the one with a broken heart. I'll take the one covered by sin and shame. I'll take the one who's been rejected. I'll take her. I'll make her life over. I'll make his life over. I'll give the price, the full price, the price of the blood of the Son of God at the cross! And when God saw you, he paid the price! Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!
When God saw you through the eyes of love, he was looking at your potential. He was not looking at your past. Whatever your crisis, in this building or those of you that are watching, in television all over the world, those of you who are going through indescribable circumstances, when you see God, and God sees you, lift up your heads and rejoice. The best is yet to be. The best is yet to be. Give him praise and glory in the house.
God's love drove the virgin Mary to a cave to give birth to his only begotten son, saying: my soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit doth rejoice in God my Savior. Brother, she was in a miserable circumstance. She was giving birth to a baby in a cave. She was a Jewish girl that had not been married. Had the rabbis found out about it, they would have stoned her. What was her attitude? She was rejoicing in the relationship she had with God the Father. Is your life empty? Is it meaningless? Are you bored with life and living?
Let me tell you something. If you hook up with Jesus and let him flood your soul, your life will come so exciting: you'll have to hold on to believe it's you. You don't need to win the lottery. You need to discover the rich, life-changing, never-changing love of God. You need to be flooded with the love of God, and let your potential explode! That's what it will do. That's what it will do. Give the Lord praise in the house.
God's love is misunderstood and it's misrepresented by the media in this nation. And it's misrepresented in universities, in some pulpits. Some say, "God is love". And what they mean by that is you must accept what I do in the name of love or you are a narrow-minded, bigoted, right-wing religious fanatic. And here's how that works. People live together without the benefit of marriage. This book calls that adultery. Uh-oh. And some of you are doing that. God is love: therefore, you're explaining it this way. What we're doing without the benefit of a marriage license is an act of love.
God is love: therefore, this adulterous relationship is right. Wrong! God's love has discipline. It says: a man shall forsake his father and mother and cleave to his wife. You get married or you move out. Because if Jesus comes this afternoon, you're not going to heaven tonight. Ooh. "God is love" means to many that God is good natured and easy going, kindly benevolent, doting grandfather, bouncing from cloud to cloud in heaven, totally unaware and out of control of what's going on, on planet earth. I assure you that's not right.
The God of whom John speaks in this text is the God who sent the flood to Noah's generation and drowned every living soul on the face of the earth, because they rejected his law. It is the loving God, who sent Israel into captivity for 70 years for refusing to allow the land to lay rest 490 years. God's absolute intolerance of sin can be seen at the cross where his precious Son hung on the cross. Jesus became the scapegoat. He took your sins and mine, and placed them on the head of the Son of God.
Isaiah 53:10: it pleased the Father to bruise his Son. Think of that verse. If you think "God is love" means you can live like the devil and go to heaven, look at the cross. The loving God put his Son on that cross for your sin. If God judged his Son, he will judge you and he will judge you, period. That's going to happen. You have two appointments to keep. It is appointed unto man once to die, and then judgment. That's the Bible. Everybody dies. Get ready. And when you die, you're going to face God and give an account of every word, every thought, and every deed. That's the Bible, word for word. You will face God. God's love guarantees it.
What you do with God guarantees what you're going to do after you die, whether you wake up in the splendor of heaven or wake up in the fires of hell. It depends on how you lived according to the Word of God. I know that everybody in the express news goes to heaven. This is the good news and that's not how it works out. People will stop loving you. Husbands will abandon their wives, and wives will abandon their husbands without cause. Parents will abandon their children. That's why we're building sanctuary of hope. Mothers will walk away from a suckling child. Man's love will fail you, but the love of God will never fail you. Never fail you!
Many of you in this audience and those watching across the nations of the world have been rejected, and betrayed, and abandoned by your parents, by your husbands, your wives, your dearest friends. But God the Father loves you with an everlasting love. He will never give up on you. He will always be there when you call. He'll put his arms around you. He'll heal you. In the darkest night, he will whisper, I am with you. Be bold, be strong, I will never leave you, nor forsake you to the ends of the earth. Though people betray you, he will give his angels charge over you to protect you in all of your way. In the desert of your days, he will baptize you in rivers of infinite love. In the darkest Gethsemane with Judas lurking in the shadows, you will hear his voice say, be bold! Be strong! I'm with you! Nothing can defeat you! Press on! Everything that happens to us expresses God's love to us and comes to drive us to God's purposes for our lives.
Hebrews 12:6, 11 says: the Lord disciplines those he loves... And punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Now that's a hard verse. And some of you've never heard that. But that's in the Bible. Are you a child of God? If you misbehave, your Father's going to take you to the wood shed, that's what they says. If you're in rebellion against God, what God has called you to do, heads up. He's going to come after you. You don't break God's law: God's law breaks you. Remember Jonah. He rebelled against God's will for his life. He bought a ticket on the Queen Mary going in the opposite direction, stretched out a deck chair, ordered a Double Mac, IBC Root Beer, Blue Bell ice cream, rubbed himself down with sun tan lotion, and said, this is the life. And God is in heaven laughing, and said, you moron.
God sent a storm. Sailors threw him overboard. Jaws came and sucked him up. That's before Steven Spielberg, by the way. Swallowed him alive. And as he's in this disgusting swimming sewer, God speaks to him. He said, yes, Lord, I'm willing. I hear you. I'll do it. Put me out of here. And the fish became seasick with a preacher dropped him out on the seashore. He came out with seaweed in his hair, saying: repent. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Have that guy preach your revival. Don't ever think God can't take you down. All we are is a lump of clay with borrowed breath in our lungs. And God can snatch that in a second.
God proves his love by sacrifice. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. People tell you they love you. I've heard young people talk about, oh, I love that person so much. It may not last. A boyfriend says to his girlfriend, I love you so much: I'd fight wild tigers with my bare hands to be with you tonight. I'd walk through blazing fire to be with you. I'd fight a legion of swordsmen with a switchblade knife to be with you just for 30 minutes. And the girl says, well, when am I going to see you? Well, I'll see you tonight if it don't rain. And there you have it. There you have it.
Let me close by giving you an illustration of love. I was sitting in a hospital. It was a cancer ward. And a very handsome father, about 6 foot 2, black, curly hair, beautiful hair, was walking in with his little seven-year-old boy, who didn't have a hair in his head from chemo therapy. I saw them and they walked by. And I was in there a second time, and here they came. I was shocked. The father's black hair was gone. He had shaved his head. And the little boy came over, and he said, my daddy cut his hair off so he can look like me. That's love. That's love. Do you have that? There's nothing on earth like that. You're not living until you discover the love of God. And when you find it, let it baptize you, explode in your life, and it will bring to you a personal growth and development and spiritual prosperity you didn't know a human could have. Can we stand and let's pray?
Our most gracious Heavenly Father, thank you for the possibilities that we can find, that we can discover, that we can have for a lifetime, the love of God.
While our heads are bowed, how many of you in this room and those of you watching by television, want to discover afresh and anew, the love of God? Let me see your hand right where you are. God bless you. Ninety percent of this audience. How many of you want it in your home, in your marriage, in your church to explode? Let me see your hand. God bless you. How many of you in this room can say, I've made some foolish choices, pastor. I have scarred my life and wounded my family. I ask God today to forgive me. And I want to discover God's love that will change my life forever. If that describes you, slip your hand up please. God bless you. Pray this prayer with me. Those watching by television, pray with us.
Heavenly Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I ask you to help me discover the love of God. Let the love of God totally envelop me. Let it splash over until it touches everyone with whom I come in contact. Let the love of God be born afresh in my family, in my marriage, in my church: that we may know joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. Forgive me of my sin in the past, as I begin to walk in the rich, eternal, never-changing love of God. Amen.