Be Intentional in loving God and others in all we do.
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]" Matthew 22:37-39
The cross is a symbol of God's intentional love for us. A celebration
God's love is intentional. It isn't based on feeling. It isn't based on our performance.
What is intentional love?
"16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:16-17
It was premeditated.
It's easy to love someone who loves us.
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6-8
Salvation is an offer. Christ died for everyone. Even those who will always reject Him.
Love like God, not the World.
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him." 1 John 3:1
This kind of love is completely contrary to the "love" the world offers.
"16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:" 2 Corinthians 5:16-18
Love people because God loves them. Do it for Jesus. If you love Jesus you will love everyone (even when it is hard).
This is only done with intention. Look at people as Jesus does. Only throw a stone if you are sinless. Love anyway. I love you no matter what.
Jesus, the example of Intentional Love
"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." Ephesians 2:4-5
Jesus loves the people who crucified Him.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love." John 15:9
Loving is easier when we abide/live in Jesus. You can't be an accidental Christian. You can't accidentally love. A hateful Christian is a worldly person.
This is how we know what love is:
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters." 1 John 3:16
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39
God's love is consistent and persistent.
We do not see love in the world system. Separation of people is not love. Don't categorize people. Our love must be intentional.
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]" Matthew 22:36-39
Be a conduit of God's love through your heart, soul and mind. God's love is never to be stopped or turned off in us.
Love is a command.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." 1 John 4:7-8
A hateful christian is a worldly person.
8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8
It's not about fixing people. It's about loving them and bringing them to Jesus.
"If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing." 1 corinthians 13:1-3
There is no substitute for loving people. Without love all is worthless.
Live with Intentional Love
8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law." Romans 13:8
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35