Topics: Agape, God's unconditional love, God's incarnate love
I. Receive God's incarnate love
* Agape love was manifested in a baby lying in a manger!
- Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:34, 35).
- And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:7).
- By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:9, 10).
II. Spread God's unconditional love
* Agape love is passed on through believers to others!
- So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds (Luke 2:16-18).
- There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also (1 John 4:18-21).
- "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another" (John 13:34, 35).
- "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends"(John 15:13).
#1 Advent sermon by Pastor Rod Akins, December 3rd, 2023
Life group flow and discussion questions
An important Guideline of Life Groups: Reflecting on our purpose statement is a good way to stay focused on truly loving God, loving people, and proclaiming truth that can set people free. Try memorizing it and finding Scripture to support every aspect of it.
- How would you explain and describe AGAP? LOVE?
- Have you placed your trust in God and received His AGAP? LOVE in your life?
- How well do you represent AGAPE LOVE as it's described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a?
- Can you put your name in place of AGAPE LOVE in these verses?:..................is patient, is kind and I am not jealous;.........................does not brag and I am not arrogant, I do not act unbecomingly; I do not seek my own, I am not provoked, I do not take into account a wrong suffered, I do not rejoice in unrighteousness, but I rejoice with the truth; I bear all things, I believe all things, I endure all things. ........................never fails!
- If we interviewed your friends, family, and OIKOS relationships, what would people say represents your personal brand identity/your trademark/your logo?
- Has someone ever shared AGAPE LOVE with you with truthful admonishment?
- How can we become better at loving people, even abounding in love for them (1 Thes. 3:11-13) when the world seems to be growing cold to love (Matthew 24:12-14)?
- How did Jesus demonstrate His AGAPE LOVE to us?
Now What? Application:
- Who will you spread God's AGAPE LOVE with during this Christmas season?
- Is there someone you need to go and ask them to forgive you? Forgiveness is a beautiful way of expressing God's AGAPE LOVE.