The love of God in this verse is “agape” love. It is a love that desires to do what God wants no matter what it is.
I John 5:1-3 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
We keep his commandments and that is the love of God, when we do them. A lot of people are saying they love God, but they curse or have bad attitudes against their neighbors. God’s love in us makes us want to obey his commandments.
Romans 5:1-5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand , and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed ; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
We have to be filled with the Holy Ghost if the love of God is going to be shed abroad. If we’re not sanctified, the carnal nature will want its way and won’t show the love of God. When Jacob served Laban seven years for Rachel, it seemed like a few days because of his love for her.
Genesis 29:15-20 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be? And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful…Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel…Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.
If the love of God is in us, we’ll be willing to work and it will seem easy because we love him. If there’s a heart of love in us, we’ll desire to work for God. We will have a willingness to serve and to sacrifice. We need to be willing to give all and to sacrifice ourselves for God. Jesus said we need to be willing to forsake our family and our own life to be his disciples (Luke 14:26-27). We have to sacrifice everything and the love of God causes us to be willing to do whatever God says. Abraham was willing to do what God said.
Genesis 22:1-3 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said , Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
Abraham waited 25 years for the son that God promised, but there was no hesitation to do what God said because he had a willing heart.
Genesis 22:4-12 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here…I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac…and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake…My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering…and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven… Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
God was testing Abraham to see if he loved God more than Isaac. If we don’t have our Isaac (everything we love) on the altar, it will be a hindrance and cause us to lose our soul. Abraham was fully persuaded God would do what he said and he didn’t stagger in unbelief because he loved God.
Romans 4:18-22 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations…being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body…he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith…being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
If the love of God isn’t inside us, it will be hard to serve and hard to endure.
I Corinthians 13:1-3 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity is the agape love that is willing to sacrifice ourselves to help others. This kind of love “suffereth long” and is patient.
I Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up…
Patience is slow to anger, endures personal wrongs without retaliation, gives others time to change and to make mistakes, bears patiently with people’s imperfections and faults. The love of God is an action word – love that has to be acted out. Patience must be acted out. We all have faults and failures at times, and we need the love of God to grow.
I Corinthians 13:5-7 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
The love of God is kind to everyone, even those who treat us badly. Jesus said to love our enemies.
Matthew 5:43-44 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Jesus said to bless our enemies. He didn’t gossip or retaliate against his enemies. If we gossip about our enemies, how can we bless or help them? We have to be willing to “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” so we can be children of the Father.
Matthew 5:45-48 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
If we’re not keeping the commandments, we are a liar if we say we love God. It is by keeping the commandments that we show we love God.
I John 2:4-6 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
We owe love to others.
Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)