The Kingdom Unveiled #10 – Matthew 6:1-4, 6:19-7:6

1. Give secretly

Matthew 6:1-4
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

2. Hide your treasure

Matthew 6:19-24
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

3. Don’t worry

Matthew 6:25-34
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

4. Don’t parent

Matthew 7:1-6
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

 

The Kingdom Unveiled #9 – Matthew 6:5-18

1) Prayer is between you and God

Matthew 6:5
“Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. 

Matthew 6:6
But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

2) Fasting is between you and God

Matthew 6:16-18
16 “Whenever you fast, don’t be gloomy like the hypocrites. For they make their faces unattractive so that their fasting is obvious to people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that your fasting isn’t obvious to others but to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

3) Prayer benefits you

Matthew 6:7-8
 When you pray, don’t babble like the Gentiles, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask him.”

Battalogeō – To stammer, or repeat things over and over

> Prayer has more to do with your heart than your tongue.

> The point of prayer is to build communion with God.

4) Prayer benefits your community

Matthew 6:9-13
“Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, your name be honored as holy. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

> The right kind of prayer has passion for:

  1. a) God’s name

9 “Your name be honored as holy.”

  1. b) God’s kingdom

10 “Your kingdom come.”

  1. c) God’s will

10 “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

> The right kind of prayer brings your need for:

  1. a) Daily provision

11 “Give us today our daily bread.”

  1. b) Continual forgiveness

12 “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

> The forgiven should be the first to forgive.

  1. c) Strength to fight temptation

13 “And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Peirasmos – tempted or tested

Rhyomai – to snatch up from danger

5) Communion with God requires forgiveness

Matthew 6:14-15
14 “For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. 15 But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your offenses.”

> Judicial Forgiveness – eternal forgiveness granted at the time of salvation.

> Paternal Forgiveness – ongoing forgiveness that restores fellowship with God.

1 John 1:5-9
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in him. If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” and yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth.If we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The Kingdom Unveiled #8 – Matthew 5:17-48

Matthew 5:17
17 “Don’t think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish but to fulfill it…” 

> 6 Laws of the Heart

1) Do not Murder

Matthew 5:21-24
21 “You have heard that it was said to our ancestors, ‘Do not murder, and whoever murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Whoever insults his brother or sister, will be subject to the court. Whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be subject to hellfire.”

LotH (Law of the Heart): Live at peace with everyone.

 23 So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.” 

2) Do not Commit Adultery

Matt 5:27-30
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’  28 But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”

LotH: Honor each other with your pure thoughts.

3) Do not Divorce

Matthew 5:31-32
31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a written notice of divorce.’  32 But I tell you, everyone who divorces his wife, except in a case of sexual immorality, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

Deuteronomy 24:1
1 If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house…

LotH: God desires that all marriages last for a lifetime.

4) Don’t Break your Oath

Matthew 5:33-34, 37
33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to our ancestors, ‘You must not break your oath, but you must keep your oaths to the Lord.’  34 But I tell you, don’t take an oath at all… 37 But let your ‘yes’ mean ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ mean ‘no.’ Anything more than this is from the evil one.”

LotH: Your character should be strong enough to verify your truth.

5) An Eye for an Eye

Matthew 5:38-42
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  39 But I tell you, don’t resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and don’t turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

LotH: Overcome evil with good.

6) Love your Neighbor

Matthew 5:43-44, 46-47
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy…’ 

Leviticus 19:18
18 Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself;

44 “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what are you doing out of the ordinary?”

LotH: Show love to everyone, no matter if it’s returned or not.

Matt 5:48
48 “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Teleios – complete, perfect

Romans 3:21-26 (NCV)
21 But God has a way to make people right with him without the law, and he has now shown us that way which the law and the prophets told us about. 22 God makes people right with himself through their faith in Jesus Christ. This is true for all who believe in Christ, because all people are the same: 23 Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard, 24 and all need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ. 25 God sent him to die in our place to take away our sins. We receive forgiveness through faith in the blood of Jesus’ death. This showed that God always does what is right and fair, as in the past when he was patient and did not punish people for their sins. 26 And God gave Jesus to show today that he does what is right. God did this so he could judge rightly and so he could make right any person who has faith in Jesus.

The Kingdom Unveiled #7 – Matthew 5:1-16

Matthew 5:1-16
1 When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to teach them, saying:

> Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty?  It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden.”  15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Isaiah 9:2
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness.

> Steps to Becoming Salt and Light

Beatitudes – “the blessings

(Makarios)

1) The poor in spirit

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

…receive the Kingdom of Heaven.

2) Those who mourn

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

…will be comforted.

2 Corinthians 7:10
10 Godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation… 

3) The humble

Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth.

(Praus)

…will inherit the Earth.

Romans 8:16-17
16 The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

4) Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

…will be filled.

(Chortazō)

5) The merciful

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

…will receive mercy.

6) The pure in heart

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

…will see God.

1 Corinthians 13:12
12 For now we see only indirectly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.

7) The peacemakers

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

…will be called children of God.

8) Those who are persecuted

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. 11 “You are blessed when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. 12 Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

…will receive a great reward in heaven.

16 …so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

> The Take-away Truth:

Give the Spirit permission to develop you.

The Kingdom Unveiled #5 – Matthew 3:13-4:11

Matthew 3:13-17
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to stop him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you come to me?”  15 Jesus answered him, “Allow it for now, because this is the way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John allowed him to be baptized. 16 When Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water. The heavens suddenly opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased.”

> After a major spiritual victory, expect temptation.

> Satan’s main purposes in the world are to frustrate the plan of God and to seize the place of God.

>> His two-part plan:

1) Attack the image-bearers

2) Attack the image of God

Matthew 4:1-2
1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 

Mark 1:13
13 He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and the angels were serving him.

Gr. ekballoimpelled

Gr. peirazō – to test

> Why did Jesus need to be tested by Satan?

1) To demonstrate his divine kingship

2) To demonstrate the pattern for human victory over temptation

After he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 

> 3 tests of Satan:

1) Serve yourself

Matthew 4:3-4
Then the tempter approached [Jesus] and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.  He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Deuteronomy 8:3
3man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

>> We are to surrender to, and depend on God, waiting on His provision, rather than grabbing satisfaction for ourselves, whenever we think we need it.

2) Test God

Matthew 4:5-7
Then the devil took him to the holy city, had him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: He will give his angels orders concerning you, and they will support you with their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Jesus told him, “It is also written: Do not test the Lord your God.”

>> We are told to believe first, and then, when we see miraculous things, it strengthens our faith.

3) Worship Satan

Matthew 4:8-10
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. And he said to him, “I will give you all these things if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”

>> We are to place our minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Matthew 4:11
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and began to serve him.

Luke 4:13
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

> Fight temptation with the truth of God’s Word.

The Kingdom Unveiled #4 – Matthew 3:1-12

> Who is John the Baptist?

Malachi 3:1
1 “See, I am going to send my messenger, and he will clear the way before me. Then the Lord you seek will suddenly come to his temple, the Messenger of the covenant you delight in—see, he is coming,” says the Lord of Armies.

Malachi 4:5-6
Look, I am going to send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers.”

Luke 1:11-17
11 An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified and overcome with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. 14 There will be joy and delight for you, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord and will never drink wine or beer. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit while still in his mother’s womb.16 He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.17 And he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.”

> Prophecies about John the Baptist:

1) God will send a messenger

Malachi 3:1 “See, I am going to send my messenger…”

Malachi 4:5 “Look, I am going to send you the prophet Elijah…”

Luke 1:15 “…he will be great in the sight of the Lord.”

   Luke 1:17 “…he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah…”

2) He will prepare the way of the Lord

Malachi 3:1 “…he will clear the way before me.”

Luke 1:17 “…to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.”

3) He will turn hearts toward each other

Malachi 4:6 “…he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers.”

Luke 1:16 “…he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.”

Luke 1:17 “…to turn the hearts of fathers to their children…”

Matthew 3:1-3
1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near!” For he is the one spoken of through the prophet Isaiah, who said: A voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way for the Lord; make his paths straight!

Isaiah 40:1-5
1 “Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and announce to her that her time of forced labor is over, her iniquity has been pardoned, and she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” A voice of one crying out: “Prepare the way of the Lord in the wilderness; make a straight highway for our God in the desert. Every valley will be lifted up, and every mountain and hill will be leveled; the uneven ground will become smooth and the rough places, a plain. And the glory of the Lord will appear, and all humanity together will see it, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Matthew 3:2
2“Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near!” 

Repentance isn’t just feeling bad for our sin.

It’s an action, a change of direction.

Repentance isn’t something we do before we come to God.

It’s what we do as we come to God.

Matthew 3:4-6
Now John had a camel-hair garment with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then people from Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the vicinity of the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.

Matthew 3:11-12
11 [John said,] “I baptize you with water for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to remove his sandals. He himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”  12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn. But the chaff he will burn with fire that never goes out.”

The Kingdom Unveiled #3 – Matthew 2

Matthew 2:1-23
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star at its rising and have come to worship him.”

> The Wise Men (Magi)

“Magi” Gr. magus

Why did they come? (a bubble)

When King Herod heard this, he was deeply disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 

> King Herod

Why was Herod so troubled? (bubble)

So he assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the Christ would be born. “In Bethlehem of Judea,” they told him, “because this is what was written by the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah: Because out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.”  Then Herod secretly summoned the wise men and asked them the exact time the star appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. When you find him, report back to me so that I too can go and worship him.” After hearing the king, they went on their way. And there it was—the star they had seen at its rising. It led them until it came and stopped above the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 

> 4 gifts of the Magi:

1) Gold (Royalty – KING)

2) Frankincense (Divinity – PRIEST)

3) Myrrh (Death – SAVIOR)

4) Their Worship

12 And being warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their own country by another route.

13 After they were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Get up! Take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. For Herod is about to search for the child to kill him.” 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night, and escaped to Egypt. 

Why did they go to Egypt? (bubble)

15 He stayed there until Herod’s death, so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled: Out of Egypt I called my Son.

Hosea 11:1
1 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.

16 Then Herod, when he realized that he had been outwitted by the wise men, flew into a rage. He gave orders to massacre all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, in keeping with the time he had learned from the wise men. 17 Then what was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: 18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.” 19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, because those who intended to kill the child are dead.” 21 So he got up, took the child and his mother, and entered the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned in a dream, he withdrew to the region of Galilee. 23 Then he went and settled in a town called Nazareth to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.

Why Nazareth? (bubble)

>> 3 Reactions to the birth of Jesus:

1) Hatred (Herod)

2) Indifference (Priests)

3) Worship (Magi)

Is Jesus YOUR Messiah?

The Kingdom Unveiled #2 – Matthew 1

(This week’s sermon, rather than “fill in the blanks”, encourages you to make notes of your own)

Matthew 1:1
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:

Genealogy

Matthew 1:18-25
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Joseph

Who is the child?

The Kingdom Unveiled #1 – Overview of Matthew

> Central Truth: The kingdom of God is at hand, and your heart is built for it.

> Primary purpose: to show that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah.

> 3 Roles that Jesus fulfills:

1) King

2) Prophet

Jesus as the new Moses:

Moses

Out of Egypt

Crosses the Red Sea

Wilderness for 40 years

Receives the Law on the mountain

Jesus

Out of Egypt

Baptism in Jordan River

Wilderness for 40 days

Gives a New Law on the mountain

3) Priest

> Organization of the Book of Matthew

>> Introduction (Ch. 1-3):

>> 5 sections about the Kingdom of God

1) Jesus unveils God’s Kingdom (Ch. 4-7)

2) Jesus brings the Kingdom to the people (Ch. 8-10)

3) Different responses to Jesus (Ch. 11-13)

4) Different expectations about the Messiah (Ch. 14-20)

5) The clash of the Kingdoms (Ch. 21-25)

>> The Finale (Ch. 26-28)

> Things to look for as you read:

1) Old Testament quotations

2) People who accept Jesus

The kingdom of God is at hand, and your heart is built for it.

Arrival #4 – Love

> Love

> More than anything, Christmas is a celebration of the love of God.

John 3:16
16 For God loved the world this much: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

>> God didn’t wait for the world to love Him before He sent Jesus.

>> The gift is received by those who believe.

 “The love of God is limitless; it embraces all mankind. No sacrifice was too great to bring its unmeasured intensity home to men and women: the best that God had to give, He gave – His only Son, His well-beloved.” -FF Bruce

1 John 3:16
16 This is how we have come to know love: [Jesus] laid down his life for us. 

>> God didn’t just say He loved the world, He proved it.

John 15:9-10
9 [Jesus said,] “As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love.”

Matthew 9:35-36
35 Jesus continued going around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd.

Romans 5:8
 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

1 John 3:1
1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

>> Jesus’ birth was an extravagant expression of the love of God for all humanity.

1 John 3:16
16 This is how we have come to know love: [Jesus] laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

John 13:34-35
34 [Jesus said,] “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

1 Peter 1:22 (MSG)
22 Now that your obedience to the truth has purified your souls, you can have true love for your Christian brothers and sisters. So love each other deeply with all your heart.