EASTER - Love Starts Here

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist   Gainesville, FL   04-16-17
“Love Starts Here”
Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:16

INTRODUCTION: We have spent the last several weeks in our series 40 Days of Love based on the love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13. The Apostle Paul wrote: “Let love be your highest goal!”
(1 Corinthians 14:1 NLT). Love should be our greatest priority in life. Love is more than slogans and warm feelings. It’s more than inspiration or romantic intimacy. Love is basic to who we are and how we live in this world.  We need loving relationships. We were made for loving relationships. Love starts here. There is a reason for that. Love begins with God. 

*God designed us for loving relationships.
               --Creation was perfectly designed for our enjoyment. – “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

               --God wanted a personal and eternal relationship with us. “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness’”
WE DENY GOD’S LOVE.                            
*We were made for loving relationships but instead we have brokenness in our connections
to God, others and nature.
               --The original break with God – Adam and Eve (Genesis 3).

               --We continue to choose our way over God’s way.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way” (Isaiah 53:6).
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

               --We seek answers, purpose, meaning, and life but we only find brokenness and temporary satisfaction and eventually death.

“There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough; look again—it leads straight to hell. Sure, those people appear to be having a good time, but all that laughter will end in heartbreak” (Proverbs 14:12 Message).

“The wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23).

The Good News is that God still loves us and has a wonderful plan for our lives. How do we know that?
JESUS CONFIRMS GOD’S LOVE.                  
*The Good News is that Jesus restores us to our loving God.
                          --Jesus took care of our sin problem, conquered death, and has the power to give us eternal life.

It is this Good News that saves you…Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said” (1Corinthians 15:2-4 NLT).
“The Good News is about his Son... and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 1:3-4 NLT).

                       --God proves his love for us by sending Jesus. “But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NRSV).

God repaired our broken relationship with him through Jesus. “He loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God” (1 John 4:10 Message).

Jesus gives us peace with God and the abundant and eternal life God intended for us from the beginning. “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” (John 3:16).

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us” (Romans 5:1 NLT).