North Anderson Baptist Church
The Love Of God
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
This week we are looking at the fourth candle of the Advent Wreath which is the Candle of Love. We have talked about and seen those who serve you light their respective candles of Hope, Peace, Joy and today Love. We have one more candle to light and that is the Christ Candle, the Candle of Light. We will be lighting this special candle on Tuesday night, Christmas Eve during the service which begins at 11 pm. We hope you can be here with us to celebrate the birth of Christ in our Christmas Eve, Communion, Candle Light and Carols Service.
True Agape’ Love

Love comes from God, John says. God’s love is not like the world’s love, the ever changing, words filled with empty promises, caught up in feelings more than substance, filled with fleshly desires or actions type of love. God’s love is pure and true to the heart of God Himself, where love is unchanging and unconditional, straight from the heart of the Father who created us. His love is sacrificial, selfless and goes to the nth degree. There is no comparison to the love of God, it is called, Agape’ love.
John says that if you truly love like with Agape” love, it comes from God. “All true love has its origins in God.” If we love God’s way, we are born of God and know God. The reverse is true too. If you don’t love God, you don’t know God, and can’t love like Him and the reason is because God is love!
Barnes says, “This cannot mean that every one that loves his wife and children, his classmate, his partner in business, or his friend-his house, or his farms, or his horses, or his hounds, is a child of God; it must be understood as referring to the point under discussion. A man may have a great deal of natural affection towards his kindred; a great deal of benevolence in his character towards the poor and needy, and still he may have none of the love to which John refers. He may have no real love to God, to the Saviour, or to the children of God as such; and it would be absurd for such a one to argue because he loves his wife and children that therefore he loves God, or is born again.”
Barnes' Notes on the New Testament
In the Applied Bible Commentary it says, “John says here that God is Himself love. His nature is love. He doesn't love us because we are worthy to be loved. Rather, He loves us because it is His nature to love.God is love. This is the great news of the Gospel of Christ! In no other religion is this great truth taught clearly. The followers of other religions know about God. They know that God is the Creator, that He is a Spirit, that He is powerful. But they do not know that God is love. Why don't they know it? Because in order to know love, one has to first experience love. In order to know God, one has to first experience God—that is, one has to meet Him personally. One has to draw near to Him. One must be able to call Him Father.”
Applied Bible Commentary - Applied Bible Commentary – Applied New Testament Commentary: Applying God's Word To Your Life.
Is there a way you can find out about this love we are talking about? Just reading about it won’t work. The key to this love is to actually experience it through a personal relationship with God Himself! God must come into your life and heart through your surrender to Him. That is the way this Agape’ love comes to you, by your surrender to Him.

There is no pretending to love like God, as there is no pretending to know God.

We are like pipes. God’s love flows through us “the pipe” and wherever the pipe is pointed the love of God flows through us to whomever God desires to show His love. If it is open and not clogged up then that love flows through us, then God’s love can be shared.

True love is spiritual; it comes not from man, but from God.
The Cradle of Love

God is love and this is how He showed that love, He sent His one and only Son to be born on this earth so we might know His love through His Son and live. This happened in Bethlehem of which the angels told the shepherds. They came to see this Child in the manger, cradle of God, which held the One and Only Son of God in the flesh of a Baby.
When Lynda and I were in the Holy Land we went to Bethlehem to see where Jesus was supposed to have been born. Let me remind you that most of the “historic” sights have a church built over them many centuries ago for the protection of the sight. Bethlehem is no different. But to get to the place where the “traditional” birthplace of Jesus is thought to be, you have to go through the church to a series of steps that go underneath the church. From there you have to go through an almost darkened tunnel and then you finally come to the place. It was a cave that must have been carved out of the side of a hill. The experts have recorded that this may have been, at the time of Jesus a sheep pen, where the shepherds would bring the sheep in for the evening and where they could be protected. Where we were, it wasn’t very big but it could have been much bigger in its day. What was interesting about this someone has said in an article I read this week, was that Mary and Joseph had been instructed to go out of town just a ways and go to the sheep cave where it was dark and dingy and very sheep smelling. In most of these caves it is reported that there would be a cut out portion of that cave that would have hay in it. There would also be cut out of the stone, a trough for the sheep to drink from or where the shepherd may have put hay for them to eat. Regardless, whether hay or water, it looks like the stone carved trough became the manger. There Joseph placed clean hay, if there were any around, and then after Jesus was born he placed the newborn King in the manger, wrapped in clothes.What was so interesting to me was that the Lamb of God came to be born in a sheep pen where lambs were probably born at some point. Our Savior, the Lamb that was sacrificed for the sins of the world, would be born just like any other “lamb.” But this Lamb would not die just like any other man but would be sacrificed just like the “Passover lamb of the Exodus,” so that God Almighty would place the punishment of man’s sin upon His Lamb and then apply His sin cleansing blood to the lives of any man or woman, boy or girl who would believe in Him.
The Cross of Love

God loved us first by sending His Son here not only to be a Baby in a cradle and grow up to be the perfect, sinless Man but have this Man be the “atoning sacrifice for our sins.” This was done In Jerusalem where we see the Cross! We were unworthy of loving God first because we are sinners and needed His atoning sacrifice.
We needed someone to pay the price for our sin and Jesus was willing to do this and that is the clear demonstration of the Love of God, Agape’ love.
This is real, Agape’ love!
Now God says to apply these two precious experiences to our lives, the Cradle and the Cross. Because God loves us so, then we should love others as well.
The application is to love others as Christ loved you and me.

No one has seen God! But they have seen the effects of His love through the Cradle and the Cross! To have us show the effects of His love in us, we ought to show His love that lives in our life, then our love is made complete. God’s command to love one another must followed and our experience of sharing His love will show that the Holy Spirit will be seen in us.

Are you ready to surrender to His love? Are you ready to share His love?

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com