Sorry! Didn't notice I had aleady done an "L" (Leadership). So, here's another "L."
The greatness of God’s love goes infinitely beyond anyone’s ability to describe it. In the end it is better experienced than defined. Love expresses itself in relationships. The prime example of love is the widely known John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world . . . “ The question is what does the “so” mean as you hear it? The customary responses for most is that it speaks of the intensity of God’s love. “So” falls into the “just” category – it’s “just” so wonderful that it’s hard to express it. Of course it is, but that is not what the Greek text is saying. The Homan Christian Standard Bible is the only English translation that I know of that has it correctly: “For God loved the world:He gave His One and Only Son.” God loves by giving. The gift of his Son for the plight of man is the ultimate expression of his love. God’s love may also involve an emotion but there is no way for us to experience that.
What all this says is that love is primarily an act. To love is to do something about a relational situation that calls on us for a response. We were lost and something had to be done. Seeing the tragic results of man’s disobedience, the loving Creator God took action. He sent his Son to become one of us and die as a ransom for our sin. God did it, not because he felt he should but because he is the epitome of love. In a sense, he had no other choice.
Unfortunately, we human beings are by nature takers not givers. Self-concern is an expression of our lost condition. Give me, not, Let me give, describes the history of man. Yet there are two other parts of the story. One is that in spite of a nature that is self-centered, we also bear the image of God. From time to time that incredible aspect of our humanity breaks through. The other thing is that in conversion we are given a new nature. The quality of life for the believer depends upon which nature is in control.
When we read through the gospels with an eye for what Jesus did in so many situations, we are reminded of his constant concern for the other person. He loved his disciples, the crowds to whom he spoke, the sick he healed, and finally on the cross the executioners for whom he asked that they not be held responsible. There is no question but that God as Jesus Christ loved the world! Why? Because God is love. I’m sure he feels a tender regard for us but his love cannot be limited to an emotional sensation. His love is his constant desire to do something for our benefit.