Love. Love. Love.

Posted on 02/10/2013 by Rev. Jennifer L. Faust

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


Public Prayer Requests:

*** there are no public prayer requests this week ***


HE HAS MADE ME GLAD

I will enter his gates
with thanksgiving in my heart
I will enter his courts
with praise
I will say this is the day
that the Lord has made
I will rejoice for
he has made me glad

He has made me glad
he has made me glad
I will rejoice for
he has me me glad!


JEHOVAH JIREH

Jehovah Jireh, my provider
His grace is sufficient for me
(repeat)

My God shall supply all my needs
according to His riches in glory
He gives his angels charge over me
Jehovah Jireh cares for me,
Jehovah Jireh cares for me


SING A NEW SONG

Sing unto Lord a new song
sing unto the Lord all the earth
(repeat)

For God is great,
and greatly to be praised!
(repeat)


I WORSHIP YOU

I worship you, Almighty God
there is none like you
I worship you, O Prince of Peace
that is all I want to do

I give you praise
for you are my righteousness
I worship you, Almighty God
there is none like you


THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU

There is none like you
no one else can
touch my heart like you do
I could search
for all eternity long and find
There is none like you



*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***


Father God, thank You for Your presence here. Thank You for Your love. As we continue this service, I ask for Your guidance and wisdom as I speak what I believe is what You would have me say. I ask Holy Spirit to speak to those here so that all will understand my words. All for the glory of God. Worthy is the Lamb. I pray all these things in Jesus' name, Amen.

Please be seated.

Today the fireside chat I will be sharing is called Love. Love. Love. I don't know about the rest of you, but I use the word love a lot. I use it to say “I love you” to my husband. I use it to say “I love ice cream. I love chocolate. I love to read. I love chatting online. I love. I love. I love.”

There are many forms of love, too. Valentine's Day is Thursday and that celebrates romantic love. But we aren't talking about that today. Today, I want us to talk about God's love for us. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

God loved us so very, very much that He sent Jesus to die. Jesus said in John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Jesus went a step farther. He didn't lay down His life only for His friends. He laid His life down for His enemies, too. And as He hung on the cross, Jesus said “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Even in death, while most of us would have been thinking about ourselves, Jesus thought of others. What love.

We all remember Peter, right? I call him Peter the Denier. Peter the one with his foot in his mouth. He was very outspoken. He spoke his mind and it got him into trouble a lot.

Peter, on the night Jesus was taken away, denied that he ever knew Jesus three times. Three times! He must have felt horrible. No, more like ashamed, in pain. Death would have been a better punishment than to know in his heart he betrayed his Lord.

Do you remember what happened in John chapter 21? There's a breakfast feast on the beach and an intimate conversation between Jesus and Peter. Let's go there now. John chapter 21 verses 15-17 and it says

15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[d] do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”

And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”

In English, they are using the same word. Love. Love. Love. But if you look in the Greek, which I did, the words are different. There are two words used. Agapao, and phileo (fih-lay'-oh). Both mean love, but are defined differently.

Agapao means beloved. It's a more intimate kind of love. Phileo is more of a being kind to, a befriending love.

Jesus, when He asked Peter if he loved Him, used agapao the first two times. Peter answered with phileo both times. The last time Jesus used phileo and Peter answered with phileo again. Isn't it interesting that Jesus changed His word of love rather than Peter.

Maybe because Peter wasn't ready to say “Yes Lord I agapao You” after what he had done, and Jesus understood that. We can only guess the reasons, but I will suggest this...Jesus is saying to all of us every day, in all situations “Do you agapao Me?” And we have to decide if we will answer with “Yes, Lord I agapao You” or “Yes, Lord I phileo You.”

Love. Love. Love. So when you use the word love what are you really saying? Does the word apagao reflect the way you mean love when you say “I love You” to God? How about when you say it to your spouse or family?

I think we can change John 3:16 to read “For God so agapaod the world....” and when you go to blueletterbible.org and look up that verse and go to where you can see Strong's concordance you will find G25 which is agapao.

I truly believe God wants us to have that kind of love for others, but even more so for Him. We are His Beloved. Is He ours?

If Jesus had a conversation with you like He did Peter, would you answer differently? “fill your name in the blank, do You love Me?” He asks. So for me it would be, “Jennifer, do You love Me? Do You agapao Me?” I won't answer out loud and you don't need to either. What will you say?

Agapao, or Agape, love is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love.

“Do you love Me selflessly, concerned not with yourself, but only with me?”

“Do you love Me sacrificially, giving up whatever grieves my heart, and laying down even your life rather than denying Me?”

“Do you love Me unconditionally, or just when I'm doing things the way you think I should?”

Love. Love. Love. It is one thing to say you agapao God and it is another to show that. To show you love Him. Love for people and for God equals time. Spending time with God. We all could spend more time with God.

So let's do that now. Let's spend some one on one time with God. At the altar or at your seat. It doesn't matter. God can meet you where you are. I know for me kneeling before God is just so...humbling.

I want you to talk to God. To tell Him you agapao Him if you can. To tell Him that you phileo Him. However you wish to say it. Tell Him anything and everything.

And pray that, just as in Peter's weakness, Jesus met Him where he was, and then caused Peter's love to grow into a deep, unshakeable, selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional Agape love, pray that God will do the same in you as He causes you love for Him to mature and grow.

If you need ministry, instant message me or someone on the staff and we'll be happy to talk with you.

God loves you with an everlasting love. He understands if you need to take smaller steps to get to saying “I agapao You, Daddy” to Him. He knows. He'll be waiting until you can say that. I just thought you should know. He's very willing to go your pace until He believes you need to speed it up.

So, come. Come to the altar and rest in Him.

When you are finished here in the place, you are free to go. And if you can stay for awhile, we're going to meet in the fellowship room to your left after this time at the altar, and we'd love to fellowship with you there.

May God bless you with an understanding of His love that endures forever and gives us joy unspeakable. Go in His peace.