Peter Tan-Chi - God's Love Is Unchanging; Receive It, Give It
You know, I was looking up the word "love" on Google, and the results surprised me. Do you know that the most asked question this year, the most asked question on Google this year is: What is love? Do you know this? what is love? This question comes second to another: What is science? after. People care about what love is. So I looked in the dictionary, I looked in Webster's dictionary, I looked in the Oxford dictionary, and I found that almost all of the definitions were about deep emotion, which is the understanding of love, and the only problem with this definition is: it's not the right definition. How many of you have heard this song? Do you want me to sing for you? When I fall in love, it's forever. Do you remember this song? How many of you know this song? Please raise your hand.
So I know how old you are. Because some of the lyrics in this song are a little sad. For example, it says: In this restless world, I will never fall in love. Just like this: love is over before it even begins. This is sad. Then it said: Too many moonlight kisses like water seem to gradually become cold in the warm sunshine. When I give my sincerity, I will give it with all my heart. You know, the truth is that we all want love, you all want to be loved, but the question is: what is true love? Do you believe it? The Bible tells us what true love is. Are you ready to learn what true love is? Well, folks, this is the prayer of the apostle Paul, and this is my prayer for all of us. What is true love?
Folks, let's read it together. Read together, the Apostle Paul prayed for his people, read together: Ephesians 3:18-19, That you may understand with all the saints how long and wide and high and deep is the love of Christ, and that this love surpasses knowledge. that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Please note his prayer request. He didn't pray that they would prosper, which is not wrong. He didn't pray that you would be healthy, which is not wrong. He didn't pray that your situation would be changed. He didn't pray for that. Paul was in prison. What was he praying for when he wrote this letter? To be able to understand with all the saints means to be able to fully understand its meaning: How long, wide, high and deep is the love of Christ.
Friends, the love of Christ is so deep, so noble, and I pray that you will grow, that you will understand the love of Christ, the love of God, and why is this so important? Let me tell you why this is important, because if you analyze the fundamental problem of human nature, the fundamental problem has to do with love. Years ago, someone asked Jesus, what is the greatest commandment? Do you remember? They asked Jesus, what is the greatest commandment? What did Jesus say? Jesus said that the greatest commandment is: Love God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and love one another. This is the summary of all the Law and the Prophets. Do you remember this commandment? Can I tell you why this is so important?
What they discovered today is that the biggest problem in America today is called depression. One in eight people in the United States is depressed, so they take medication. They go to a psychiatrist, and the psychiatrist will say: You have a chemical imbalance in your body, so they give you medication that they hope will help you overcome your depression, but there's just one problem. Depression rates are rising, suicide rates are rising, and it's clear that this approach isn't going to work. And then they found out, from a study, not a study done by Christians, they found that the real problem in America today is a loss of connection, a loss of human connection.
You see, years ago, if you lived in the United States, if you had a problem, you could call at least five friends and they could come and help you. Among young people today, there are many, zero Americans who, when you have depression, you don't even know who to call. You don't know who will be there for you. Despite all this technology, we are further apart from each other. Because we don't know the true meaning of love. I discovered that just as you and I have physical needs, what do people need physically? Tell me, what are your physical needs? Let me tell you, what your body needs: Food, right? Water, sleep. Would you be OK without these? Won't. Just as there are physical needs, you will also have spiritual needs. That's exactly the problem.
What are our spiritual needs? Let me tell you, you and I were created by God for love, you were created for love, you were created for relationship. Without discovering this true love, you cannot live according to God's design. I praise God that He invented the church, the church is built on the foundation of Christ, and in the church you have small groups, that's what we've been talking about. Do you belong to a group? Are you part of a group? Where can you learn to love and experience love? God is love, do you understand this? If you want to learn to love, let me share another verse with you. Let's read this verse together: 1 John 4:7-8 Dear brothers, we should love one another. Because love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God. Because God is love.
Here is a question, the Bible says: Love one another, for love comes from God. My argument is this: Before you know God, before you experience His love, you really can't love one another the way God wants us to love each other. What is my evidence? It's very simple, when guys and girls try to define love as feelings, and you try to love each other, and if you look it up in the dictionary, it talks about sex, it talks about feelings, is that really love? You know, I remember this boy telling his father, Dad, I've discovered what love is. His father said: What is love? I think love is something like this: when you kiss a girl and a dog bites you, but you don't feel the pain, that's love. Is that love? No, because love is deeper than emotion.
Now let me explain this verse to you. The Bible says: 1 John 4:7-8 Love comes from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God. In other words, how do you know you belong to Jesus? very simple. Are you loving the way God wants us to love? Do you remember this greatest commandment? I just asked you. What is the greatest commandment? Love God with all your heart, mind, and strength. And secondly, and similarly, love one another. Let me tell you the context of this scripture. The context of that question is that the Jews had a religion, and they were so religious. They have 613 commandments, 365 Thou shalt not... Thou shalt not... and 264 Thou shalt... Thou shalt... Add the two together and you have 614 commandments. No wonder my Jewish friends tell me I can't please God when I have so many commandments. But Jesus simplified this, there were only two commandments, what was the first? Love God with all your heart, mind, and strength. What is Article 2? Love one another.
Now let me prove to you why this is so important? The root of all sin, if you ask me, the root of all sin is a failure to love God and a failure to love one another. Let's do an experiment. Give me the name of a sin, tell me what it is, and I'll tell you it's your failure to love one another, your failure to love God. With that in mind, let's talk about premarital sex. If you loved someone as much as your sister, would you have premarital sex? Imagine, here is your girlfriend, if you really love her, you will respect her, right? So having sex before marriage is not true love. This is selfish. Let's talk about lying, if you love someone, would you lie? Will it? Let's talk about slander and gossip. If you love someone, will you slander them? Will not. Let's talk about stealing, if you love someone, will you steal? So I tell you, the root problem is the failure to love. What is the first great commandment? Love God.
What does it mean to love God? You cannot learn to love God until you understand His love. Why is this so important? Let me tell you why love is so important. A lot of people, especially in this country, we have religion, but we don't have relationships. That's what this verse is saying. This verse is saying: Everyone who loves is born of God. The evidence that someone is born again of the Holy Spirit, born of God, is true love, and knowing God, the word knowing comes from the word intimacy, you meet God. He who does not love does not know God. Because God is love. What does it mean to say that God is love? Love is not God, God is love. There is a big difference. The essence of God is love. Love is not God. Love is the essence.
The Bible talks about the three natures of God. First, God is Spirit. God is not "a" spirit. God is Spirit. That's why He can be everywhere. You cannot see Him. That's why when we worship God here, you don't see any statues, you don't see any symbols, because God is spirit. Second, the Bible says that God is light. Meaning, there is no darkness in Him, He will never lie to you, He will never deceive you. Third, God is love. Now, if you focus on God being love, you can't ignore the other attributes of God, God is holy, His love is holy, God is faithful, His love is faithful. God is righteous, God is righteous. Don't just focus on love to the exclusion of all other attributes of God. God is unchanging. So, in reality, God doesn't change, His will doesn't change, His word doesn't change, God's love doesn't change. Understand?
I wanted to share this important topic with you, especially with Valentine's Day coming up. Everyone, how do you love others? The Bible is very clear. Please read: 1 John 4:19 We love because God first loved us. So, you don't learn to love until you experience His love. God's love and human love are completely different. What do I mean? For example, the Bible says: Romans 13:9 Like the other commandments, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not murder, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not covet, or any other commandment, are all wrapped up in this word, Love your neighbor as yourself. So I ask you, members of CCF, those who belong to Jesus, not to complicate Christianity, to love God and to love one another. How do you love each other? I'll give you a hint, look at the next section, here's the hint: Romans 13:10 Love does no harm to anyone, so love fulfills the law.
I want you to ask yourself, from now on, before you do anything, you have to ask yourself, am I doing this out of love? Your wife, your family, your children, your colleagues, ask yourself, is this love? And then you will tell me, Peter, what does love mean? Okay, are you ready to understand the meaning of love? I will share with you, what is the love of God? Hopefully we can learn how to love others. Everyone, what is today's topic? When I see you in the mall next week, I will ask you: What is our sermon message today? What's your answer? God's unchanging love, love received, love given. But first let's talk about His love. what is love? are you ready? Okay, what is love? As I looked through the Bible, I noticed a chapter that describes the definition of love.
John Chapter 13, let's discuss this topic together. Please read John Chapter 13 Verses 34-35. Read together. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. As I have loved you, so you also must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. Now please note the following points. God's love, first of all, is based on an unconditional promise. Why do I say an unconditional promise? I give you a new command. Why is this a new command? Because this command is new and based on how we are to love, the standard is Christ Himself. He said, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. How I love you... So, the new place is the definition of love, and how to love. As I have loved you, so you also must love one another. So what is love? First, love is, tell me, an unconditional commitment.
Let's talk about it together, what is love? An unconditional commitment. Why do I say, it is unconditional? Why do I say it is a commitment? Very simple, please note the first important point: it is a command. You cannot legitimize feelings, you cannot command emotions. Love transcends emotions, I'm not saying feelings are wrong, but love is more than just feelings. It is a choice. It is a commitment. To make you understand this, let me give you an example. How many of you are parents? Raise your hands, parents, hold them high. Parents, you understand what love is, let me give you an example. I have five wonderful children, I have 18 grandchildren, and love transcends feelings. Because there are days when you wake up and you don't want to love your own family. Yes or no?
There are days like this, when you wake up, those of you who are married, please raise your hands, hold them high, and don't put them down. No, lift it higher. Hold your head high, I'm talking to all of you. There are those days when you wake up and you don't want to love the husband or wife, are you? Therefore, love cannot be based on feelings. That is Satan's greatest deception. If you don't feel love anymore, you get divorced. I don't love you anymore. Love never depends on feelings. It is a choice. It is a commitment. what is love? An unconditional commitment. You know, when I go see my daughter in the United States, she has three, she now has four wonderful children.
In the United States, she had no nanny or domestic servant. When the baby cries in the middle of the night, at 12 o'clock, at 2 o'clock, or at 4 o'clock in the morning, I tell my wife: Honey, this is not our child, let's try not to get up, haha. Because my love is selfish, understand? I watch, I watch what my daughter does. Sure, even if she didn't want to get up, even if she was sick, my son-in-law or my daughter, one of them would get up and go into the room and take care of the baby. Because true love is not a feeling, it transcends feelings. True love is, first, unconditional commitment. Second, its subjects are imperfect people. Talk to me, imperfect people. Loving a perfect person is not a problem, loving an imperfect person is a challenge. What do I mean? Have you ever noticed that it's easier to love strangers? The hardest people to love are the people who live with you in your home.
Think about this. You see them, you live with them. They are the hardest people for you to love. But God is saying, what is true love? Unconditional commitment to imperfect people. Tell your neighbor, tell the person next to you, you are imperfect, but I love you, tell your neighbor. Look your neighbor in the eye and tell your neighbor: I am not perfect, do you love me? And then your neighbor will be silent, 21:10 Oh my God, this is going to go wrong! Look at this verse, everyone, John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Who does "each other" here refer to? You must love one another. Who does "each other" here refer to? By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. Who does "each other" here refer to?
Let me tell you the background of this story. There's Judas here, this is the Last Supper, Jesus is with his disciples, and Judas is among them. Jesus knew Judas would betray Him, but He still loved Judas. He washed Judas' feet, and who else was there? Each other...with Peter. Did Jesus know Peter would deny Him? Yes. He loves Peter. There were James and John, two "sons of thunder," meaning they had bad tempers. One day, Jesus went to a certain city to preach the gospel. The people there did not welcome Jesus. You know the two thugs James and John. Do you know what they said? Oh God! I'm going to pray, let's bring down fire from heaven, in Tagalog: 22:33 Let's kill them all. What did Jesus say? No, no, no, no... You see, these are imperfect people, but Jesus loves them. I love you and you must love each other.
So what have you learned about true love? This is what you have to learn about true love. First, true love is unconditional commitment. 2. To imperfect people. In order for you to understand the power of God's love, look at me now, you need to adjust your mindset. God's love is not the same as your love, I'm talking about how God loves you. God is saying, I love you not because you deserve this love. I commit myself to you. God's love is unconditional, commitment, to whom? Imperfect people. Not because you deserve this love, not because you earn this love. The best examples of this are in the Old Testament. Let me share with you the Book of Hosea. How many of you have read the Book of Hosea? Please raise your hand. Lift it higher!
The Book of Hosea is the only prophetic book written by a prophet from the northern kingdom of Israel. This book records the events of the prophet Hosea. God Knows a message from Hosea that uses pictures to illustrate how God loves His people. God is telling us that you need to understand My love. It's not like the way you love, the way I love is selfish, God's love is selfless. Well, let's seek the meaning of God's love. Hosea 1:2 The Lord spoke to Hosea for the first time. Hosea comes from the Greek word, from the Hebrew word Joshua, which means savior. It has the same etymology as Jesus, savior, so What does Hosea mean? Savior, deliverer. Look at this parallel statement: And the LORD said to Hosea, Go and marry the prostitutes, and take in the children of... because fornication has become great in the land, and it has forsaken the LORD.
Now I want you to imagine that you are Hosea, you are this man. God is telling you, I want you to marry a woman who is a prostitute. Her background was in prostitution. She will continue to work as a prostitute. I don't know if you people would actually love someone who is totally unworthy of love. God is saying, My people Israel are totally like a... God is saying, I rescued you from Egypt, I rescued you from slavery. I married you on Mount Sinai. God told them on Mount Sinai: If you follow me and obey my Ten Commandments, I will be your God. They all agreed. It's like a wedding. So God delivered His people out of Egypt, where they had been slaves. He brought them to Mount Sinai. They understood, "I will be your God, and you shall be my people". And God provided their food, clothing, and everything.
The Bible tells us that even though they knew God, they turned away from God and grieved God, so God now told this prophet, now go and marry an adulterous woman. How do you pronounce the word—whore? prostitute. This woman is a... God told Hosea that you must love this woman and marry her. Now guess what happened? The Bible tells us, Gentlemen, I want you to put yourself in Hosea's shoes so that you can understand the love of God. Many times we don't fully understand love. Hosea 1:3 So Hosea went and married Gomer the daughter of Draim. The woman became pregnant and bore him a son. Please note that this wife's name is Gomer, the daughter of Draim. Which word does the word "Dilayin" come from? This word completely symbolizes sensuality. This father is not the most righteous person. Like father, like daughter. Completely immoral and completely addicted to sensuality.
The Bible tells us that Hosea married Gomer. After marriage, they had three children. For example, the name of the first child was Jezreel, Hosea 1:4. And the LORD said to Hosea, Give him the name Jezreel, for in a little while I will bring blood to the house of Jehu against those who committed murder in Jezreel. Sin will also bring about the destruction of the nation of Israel. Hosea's three children were prophetic symbols of what God was going to do to Israel. God is saying, I love you. But you don't love me. This is what will happen to you. So the names of his children are as follows, if you read Hosea, the first is called Jezreel, and I will scatter you. The second is the daughter, Lo-luhamah, receive no mercy, which means: If you don't follow me, if you don't do what I say, how can you experience my mercy? God told the prophet that your third son: Roami, are not my people. Do you know why? Scholars tell us that the latter two children may not even be Hosea's children because she was a prostitute. In other words, this is a very, very bad situation.
Think about this: It's one thing to be a prostitute, it's quite another to engage in prostitution after marriage. This is exactly how the story goes. Then God told Hosea, "Hosea, go back to your wife". Hosea 3:1 And the Lord said to me, Go again... Notice this: Go again... My friend, that is the love of God. Over and over, over and over again... You love an adulteress, whom her lover loves, just like the Israelites, who turned to other gods and loved grape cakes, but the LORD still loved them. They love grape bread, but the Lord still loves them. Grape cake means completely useless and nutritious. God is saying, I love you. Not only are you imperfect, you are flawed. Not only are you imperfect, but you are unworthy. You are not after my own heart. But God is saying, I love you so much, my friends, you and I don't know the breadth of God's love, and you don't know the depth of our sinful nature.
Once you begin to understand that God loves you, not because you deserve it, but simply because God is love. You won't find security until then. That's why so many of us have this problem, you don't understand and you don't experience God's love. Let me tell you about the love of this world. The love of this world is something like this: You love me, and I love you. You are good and I love you. This is how we treat our children. We tell our children: I love you if you listen to me. If you do a good job, I love you. It's all based on performance, but the Bible, the gospel of Jesus, is completely different. You don't deserve it, I love you. You don't love me, I love you. This is God's love. God is saying, Hosea, go to these people so they know how much I love you.
So you know what Hosea did? Hosea 3:2 I, Hosea, bought her for me for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley. He paid the price to have his wife back. At what cost? Fifteen shekels of silver plus a homer and a half of barley. One homer is 10 shekels, half a homer is 5 shekels, so 10+5=15, 15 shekels, plus 15 shekels, how much did he pay for his wife? 30 pieces of silver. What does this remind you? How much money was Jesus sold for? 30 pieces of silver. You know, that's what we do with Jesus. You won't know and understand God's love until you realize that He loves you unconditionally. He is committed to you. Not that you deserve it, just because love is a choice. He doesn't love you because He needs you.
Let me repeat, God does not need us. God did not create you because He is alone. The Bible tells us that in the beginning, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit lived together in perfect unity. There is a perfect love relationship between them: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Let me repeat, God does not need you, but He loves you. How do you respond to this love? The Bible tells us what happened to Hosea. You know, to show you the love of God, the Bible tells us that God spoke through Hosea, and if you read the whole book of Hosea, that's the theme, and it's a simple theme. God loves Israel, and Israel is utterly unfaithful. Spiritual fornication is worshiping other gods, so God is saying, you know what? Israel, I love you so much. You are committing spiritual adultery and spiritual idolatry, and I still love you. So do we.
The truth is... let me ask you a question, do you love God? God is saying, I love you, anything you put first in your life, anything you make first in your life, that becomes your God. Do you know what God has done? God told Hosea to go and tell the Israelites: Hosea 11:8 How can I forsake you, Ephraim? Do you want to see the heart of God? How can I forsake you, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah (which is in the region of Sodom and Gomorrah)? How can I make you like Zeboiim (which is the area of Sodom and Gomorrah)? How could I give up on you like I gave up on Sodom and Gomorrah? I came around and said in Tagalog, 35:08 which is like saying, I love you so much that I'm in pain. I really love you. My compassion is greatly activated. He's saying, Hey Israel, I love you. Why are you running away from me? Do you know the last chapter of Hosea? What is the heart of God?
This is the heart of God: Hosea 14:1-2, "Return to the LORD your God, O Israel. You have fallen because of your sins. Return to the LORD and pray to Him with your words: Put away your sins and accept your good deeds... You know the will of God: Return to Me." That, my friends, is what the love of God is. First, unconditional commitment. Second, to whom? Imperfect people, like Gomer, like Israel. God loves you. Third, true love seeks their highest good. What does it mean to seek its highest good? Folks, what is the love of God? He told the disciples, Love one another as we have loved you. To love someone is to seek their highest good.
Let me tell you a true story. Many years ago, when CCF first started, a father invited me to visit his family. They lived in Makati. The father said: I have a son. My son is addicted to drugs. You Can you help him? I said, OK, so I went to see the son with the father. I talked to this son privately, and I said: Where do you live? He said: I live in Makati. What do you do? I do not have a job. You live in an apartment and you don't have a job, where do you get the money to buy drugs? He looked at me: My father gave me money. I understood: this father loves his son, but this father does not know how to love his son. He is doting on his son. So he gave in. It's called sentimentalism. But God doesn't love us this way. Because God's love is holy and seeks our highest good. Say it to me: seek its highest good. Our highest good, many times, involves pain and discipline.
Let me give you an example. Let 's look at this scripture, folks, Heb. 12:6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and scourges everyone he receives as a son. So love and discipline are not contradictory. God loves you and He wants your highest good for you, and what might your highest good involve? pain. What do I mean? Let's read this, Hebrews 12:7-8 … God disciplines you and treats you as sons. How can a son not be disciplined by his father? … If you are not disciplined, you are illegitimate and no longer sons. God is saying, if you are my child, I promise one thing, I will love you and if you don't behave, I will discipline you. I heard this story recently, a sixth grade student, when he graduated, the school told his mother, your son will not receive a medal, even though he did well academically, why is that? For his actions, he will not receive a medal. This mother loves her son, but she doesn't know how to love her son.
So the mother filed a complaint with the Ministry of Education and sued the school to force the school to give her son a medal when he graduated. But the school was adamant: We can't do this. Do you know what this mother did? I don't know where she went, I think she went to Divisoria because she bought a medal, she bought a medal. On graduation day, she took the medal, walked up to her son, and placed the medal on him. What do you think she is doing? What do you think this son will learn? In life, academic rank is one thing, but character is another. By the way, this mother is not from CCF. Don't think she is from CCF, okay? If they were from CCF, we would have taught them how to love. Am I right? Many times when you love someone you don't know how to love, the way to love... You see how God loves us. How does God love us? First, unconditional commitment. Together, unconditional commitment. To imperfect people.
Say it with me: Give it to imperfect people. If you want to remind the person next to you, tell your neighbor: You are not perfect, but I love you. Yeah, again, you're not perfect, but I love you. This often requires sacrifice in order to seek their highest good. I have a friend who is a preaching missionary who travels around the world speaking about families. He shared with us that six years ago, he discovered that he didn't know how to love his wife. I was shocked that this man was traveling all over the world teaching people about family, and he said, you know what? I realized I didn't know how to love my wife, and I said, what do you mean? He said, I found that the way I loved my wife was very selfish. I said, what do you mean? I said that when I corrected my wife, I found that it was actually for me. I wanted my wife to change to benefit me. Until one day I discovered: Love is about thinking about the interests of others and seeking their best interests.
What is the highest good for my wife? Be like Jesus. So he said, this changed the interaction between me and my wife. When my wife does something that angers me, before I react, I have to ask myself, will what I'm about to say, what I'm about to do, help her be more like Jesus? Or was it just for me, because I was pissed off. Let me give you an example. Sometimes, you know that my wife is almost perfect. Now my wife allows me to talk about some of her little flaws. Do you want to know about some of her little flaws? Do you want to know? We need to keep it a secret, okay? Although the world will soon find out. Like, her weaknesses are like my weaknesses. My wife and I, myself included, have a tendency to forget where we put our phones. Do you have this problem? Sometimes, she'll ask me, Hey, we're leaving here, we're leaving here, and she'll say, Honey, where's my phone? At this time I would say to myself: How do I know where your phone is? Do you understand what I'm saying?
Now my wife taught me certain things. Because I said, dear honey, I was about to give her a sermon, and now she preached a sermon to me faster than me. She said: This is a small thing. Don't be fooled by a small thing like a mobile phone. angry. You know I've thought about this. This is a small thing, just a mobile phone. So what if she can't find her mobile phone! So now if she asks me, where is my phone? I would say: Aha! Like I told her this morning, I know where the phone is. Honey, am I right? Did I show you where the phone is? Are you impressed? Do you know why? Gentlemen, we are commanded to love our wives for her highest good, and right now , her highest good is not for me to preach to her, her highest good is to find her cell phone. Do you understand? Do you know why God disciplines us? What is our highest good? Our highest good is holiness.
Hebrews 12:10 Our biological father disciplines us temporarily as he pleases. Only the Father of spirits disciplines us for our benefit. Please note, it is always for our benefit, because God's love is always selfless. That we may become partakers of his holiness. So, what is true love? Let's read it again, what is true love? What is God's love? An unconditional commitment to imperfect people in order to seek their highest good, which may require sacrifice. How does God love us? Look at His sacrifice. Let's read this together. Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Everyone, please look at this grammar, God shows... Action, love is also action, it is not just talk, it requires action. God shows His love, not human love, but His love for us. Who are we? Sinner. Not just the flawed ones, but the unworthy ones, and that's what He does to us. He shows us one thing, what did Christ do for us while we were still, louder, while we were still sinners?
You won't understand the Old Testament until you read the New Testament. Hosea typifies Jesus, how He loves us and He is for our highest good. What is our highest good? It is to be like His Son Jesus. What has Christ done for us? Two thousand years ago, He gave His life for you and for me. My friend, you can never earn God's love. God died for you, not because you deserved it. He gave His life to pay the price for your sin. You did not earn it. You could never have earned this salvation, because God's love is an unconditional commitment to imperfect people seeking the highest in them. Benefits, often needed? sacrifice. You know, this became very clear in my life.
When my sister, a few years ago, was pregnant with a baby, the doctor told my sister, my sister lives in Singapore, the doctor said: Your baby will have Down syndrome. We need to abort her. But my sister is a follower of Jesus. She told the doctor that we would never abort our child. And the doctor said, you know what's going to happen? You need to spend the rest of your life taking care of this child with Down syndrome, because children with Down syndrome require special care. My sister had a great job at the time. She was married to a neurosurgeon. She was the general manager of one of the largest department stores in Singapore. Her title was general manager. She travels all over the world. The salary is high. But she knew that as soon as this child was born, I would quit my job. She quit her job. I asked her, sister, what have you learned? She said with tears in her eyes, "I learned that God loves me and God loves us. I will never understand God's love until I become the mother of a child with Down syndrome".
Folks, God gives us families to show us how much He loves us. Let me prove to you, when a baby is one or two years old, what can they contribute to the family? Think about this. I'm an expert. I have 18 grandchildren. Can I tell you what they contributed? In the first few years of their lives, first, they contribute poop. Second, pee. In short, it's all hard work. They are dirty. They contribute to the mess. They throw up, you know what I mean, everything. What do mothers do? You clean this up. But you still love your child. Why do you love your children? Because God gave us families, you will always understand that His love for us is not something we deserve. Do you know what happened to my nephew? Do you believe it?
My nephew listens to CCF's sermons every week? So I wouldn't be surprised if he was listening to us preaching right now. He loves the Lord, he sings, he has Down syndrome, but can I tell you what he went through last year? He won a Paralympic medal in Los Angeles. There are Paralympic Games around the world for Down syndrome, for kids with disabilities, and that's my nephew. My nephew was on a poster about swimming in Singapore. Because my sister's sacrifice paid off. champion. Isn't God amazing? My friends, God tells us what true love is. Do you know what true love is? Let's review. Again. Amazing Scripture, John 13:34-35 I give you a new commandment, unconditional commitment. This is a commandment, that you love one another. Who do these two refer to? Imperfect people. I love you as much as I want to seek their highest good. This is how Jesus loves us, just as I love you. Read this everyone—you also must love one another. How to fall in love? Just as He loves us.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. Do you know what this scripture is saying? The greatest God-honoring witness you can do is to love one another. The Bible says that by this everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you have love for one another. If you love one another, you bring glory to God. That, my friend, to me, is the problem with many Christians today, is that we don't really love one another. We fight, we gossip, we complain... In the CCF church, I pray that we can be different. Our core value is that we love each other, amen? Love God and love one another. So, the complete definition of true love, what is true love. Let's get a complete definition, everyone pay attention: True love, God's love, is like this, how should we love each other? Read this together: Unconditional commitment to imperfect people, seeking their highest good, which may require sacrifice, results in the glory of God.
So, how do you love others? Can I make a suggestion? You start with your family. If you read my book, On How to Love Your Family, How to Influence Your Family, one of the principles I came up with is how you build loving relationships, which I boil down to A C T. A: Affirm them, Fathers, I want you to affirm your children. Don't always correct them. Appreciate them and be available to help them at any time. C: Communicate, the best way to communicate is to listen to your child. What is T? A-C-T, T is time, it takes time. I ask our parents, all fathers, to love your own family. How do you do that? Affirm them, appreciate them, look at me, you need to intentionally affirm and appreciate your own family. The last time you tell your dad, you tell your children: I love you! I really appreciate you, when? When was the last time? Words have power.
I'm reminded of a story about a man who learned what true love was, and he applied it to his company. When he walked into his company, he walked over to his employees. He walked over to one of his employees, he said: Do you know? I love that you know that you have been working here for many years, and I want you to know that I appreciate you and that you are a great employee. Simple affirmations. The next day, the employee gave him a gift, an Xbox game console. Men, do you know what Xbox is? Maybe it's not famous now. But a few years ago, Xbox, you know, when you were playing computer games, Xbox... the boss said, why did you give me this Xbox? Sir, I sold my gun and traded in an Xbox just to let you know: I appreciate you. He said, "You sold your gun? You mean you sold your gun for an Xbox"? Yes. What's the story about this gun? He said, you don't know, but a few months ago I bought a gun and I wanted to kill myself, so I went to a restaurant.
When I get home, I eat noodles. Then I meditate, and then I pick up my gun. After a month, I was able to put the gun in my mouth. But every night, I go to a restaurant, I eat ramen, I sit down and meditate. Then I picked up the gun and finally I was able to put a bullet in the gun. But yesterday, you talked to me and you made me feel important. So when I sat down and picked up my gun and did that, I said, what am I doing? I sold my gun, sir, and I bought you a Nintendo Xbox. Love is powerful. The world is looking for love, but not the love of this world. The love of this world is self-centered, what can I get? God's love is giving and seeks your highest good. How do you apply this? The Bible tells us to love your enemies, right?
Now let me tell you, is there anyone in your life that you cannot love? Well, let me tell you, the story of this couple, love your enemies. The couple, Richard and Sabina Rembrandt. He is a pastor from Romania. He is Jewish and his wife is also Jewish. They love the Lord. But during World War II, if you know what happened in Romania, what happened in Berlin, what happened in Eastern Europe, do you remember what happened? massacre. There was this soldier bragging about how he was going to kill the Jews, how he was going to put them in concentration camps, and when this man met this soldier, he invited the soldier to come to his house. The soldier agreed because the soldier thought he was a German priest because his name was Richard Rembrandt and did not know he was Jewish.
So when this soldier came into his house, and he was very nice to the soldier, he said, I want you to listen for ten minutes, don't react, don't say anything, and I want to do an experiment with you. Then he started telling his story. I am a Jew, my father, my mother, the people I love, they all died in concentration camps. My wife is sick right now, she's Jewish, she lost her parents, she lost her sister, and you could very well be the murderer, but I want to promise you something, when I bring you into the room, Introduce you to her and she will treat you as a distinguished guest because she is a Christian. She'll serve you, and the person starts to tremble, and the person starts to realize, There are two Jews here, and they were nice to me. Do you believe it?
According to this experiment, when the man entered the room, as the husband said, his wife stood up, put the coffee on the table, and served him respectfully. He later gave his life to Jesus. Do you know why? He said, if you people can love me like this, how great must be the love and forgiveness God gives me? The wife hugged the German soldier and they hugged each other. They were both crying. My friend, the power of love is something the world needs to know and see. You need to receive this love and give this love.. But you cannot give this love until you receive it.
How do you give this love? I want to share a real story with you as we get to the end of this, the NFL, have you ever heard that the NFL championship team, the Philadelphia Eagles, are the most Christian team in America. Can I share with you how much they love God? Because God tells us that if you love Him, you will show that love, right? Now listen to me, you have to give this love, so you have to do it in your home, in your workplace, in your family. How do you show love? I want to give you an example. Let's end with this video.
You can't earn salvation, you don't deserve it. God's love cannot be earned. This is how we should love one another. More than forty years ago, when my eldest son was just two years old, for the first time in my life, my son, just two years old, went to the garden and picked a flower. For the first time in his life, my son told my wife: Mommy, I love you. Mommy, I love you. Because my son never said I love you until he was two years old. Many times you never even get a chance to tell God that you love Him. God loves you, but does He know that you love Him? You see, money cannot buy love. Your love for God must come from you. God cannot extract love from you. Because love is a response. You may ask me how I love God. Let me tell you, it's very simple. Jesus told us, John 14:15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments. It's that simple.
Now let me ask you, do you love Jesus? You see most of us don't live our lives centered around the reality of God's love. Today I pray that you will begin to understand the magnitude of His unconditional love. I hope you will understand the depth of your sinful nature. Because of who He is and what we are, humbly accept His love for you. And say, "Lord Jesus, today, you tell Him, today I want to receive your unconditional love, which comes through Jesus". You see, Jesus died for you. He is knocking on the door. He is asking you, will you surrender your life to me? You say, "Lord, I do, I love you".
Let's bow our heads, if you're willing to accept this love today, you've never experienced the love of God, you've never received this kind of love before, because you've always felt like you didn't deserve it. The truth is: God's love is indeed unworthy of you, but He loves you. If you want to accept His love, can you please raise your hands? I want to pray for you, praise God, and raise your hands high! Today you finally understand that God loves you unconditionally, then you can receive His love through Jesus and lift high! In other words, you finally understand, "I want you to raise your hands high, and then you pray this prayer with me". This is between you and Jesus. Pray this prayer with me:
Lord Jesus, I accept your unconditional Love, thank you for dying on the cross, I know I don't deserve this love, I know I never deserve it, but thank you for loving me, I accept your gift of forgiveness of sins now, I accept your gift of eternal life, please come into me life, change my heart, Lord Jesus, please help me to love others as you love me, Please help me to love these Gomers in my life. Lord, maybe I am a Gomer too, I thank you, Jesus, thank you for loving us, thank you for loving me. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen! Amen!