God Is Love
5th Sunday in Easter
Archbishop Loren Thomas Hines
May 02, 2021
Readings: Acts 8: 26-40
1 John 3: 14-24
John 14: 15-26
Easter has been, in the past the most important event in all of humanity. But somewhere along the way, man began shifting their attention to the “Easter Bunny,” and then there were the “Easter eggs.” People gradually lost the true meaning of Easter. There was also a time in the past when during Black Saturday, no one was going out. Shops were closed during Holy Week. People knew the sacredness of these days. But today, malls are open even during Black Saturdays, and people have lost the significance of the Easter event.
And yet, we know that it is because of God’s unconditional love for man that Easter came about. God’s love for mankind is so powerful that there is a need for us to go back to the foundation of love. God is love. This is who He is. The very essence of His character. There is no evil there. No judgment. Everything He did, He did in love. The cross represents freedom and deliverance. Most of us see the cross as death. We should be seeing it as love.
Most Christians, when asked about salvation, would say, “we are saved from sin.” True, we are. But salvation goes beyond sin. We shouldn’t focus on only that aspect. It encompasses all the works of the enemy. This includes sickness, fear, anxieties and worries. God is life itself. He gave new life to us because of love. This love is measureless, incomprehensible, incomparable. Love is more powerful than any force in the world. Love is peace, joy, security. The enemy is deceiving man today. The enemy cannot handle love, which is why he is waging wars against Christ’s followers, many times by inflicting sickness to our physical bodies.
1 John 4:17 “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.”
Man has bowed down to the deception of the enemy. Many are in fear of the devil, when we should be in reverential fear of the Lord.
Ephesians 2:4-5 But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.”
We are seated together with Jesus in the heavenly places because of His mercy.
John 13: 34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
God loved us even when we were sinning – when we were in transgression. He restored us instead of condemning us.
2 Thessalonians 2:16 “May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope.”
If He is with us, who can be against us? Isn’t God able to fulfill all that He has promised us?
Roman 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were sinners, Christ died for us.”
Even when were rebelling, He still loved us.
Revelation 1: 5 “and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first-begotten of the dead, and the prince over the kings of the earth. Unto Him, that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.”
Romans 8:38 “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love”
John G. Lake, a Healing Minister during the early Twentieth century, in the midst of a worldwide pandemic known as the bubonic plague, was so filled with the presence of God that the plague did not touch him. He proved this by asking the doctor to take the foam from the lungs of a dead Bubonic plague victim, and test it under the microscope. True enough, the doctor discovered masses of living germ. Lake then, insisted that the doctor put the same foam on his hand and to observe the results under the microscope. The doctor was shocked because all the germs died instantly.
God has redeemed us from the curse. It is not just sin. Having done all this, he commands us to love each other. And God did something more by sending the Holy Spirit for us to be able to act in wisdom and in His power. God’s love is more powerful than any force in the world.
1 John 4:4 “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
God has already given us the victory but if we give in to the enemy, we will not receive this victory. God’s provision for us in Easter is not to be fearful. That this truth should be so alive in us because He is with us and in us. Hate is contrary to love. When we do not love, It’s when problems begin to surface. When we operate in hatred or fear, we are going against the very principles of God. We need not be stressed out because God is with us.
2 Corinthians 5:19 “that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”
We have been trained by the world’s ways to be anxious and confused- But God does not want us to be this way. He has given us new life. All things are new. He has redeemed us from sin and sickness and fear. We need to be living in faith. Love is who we are, and we should be living Easter every day in our lives.
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