Tuesday, March 14, 2017

God's Love

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This is LESSON ONE of the Woman2Woman: The Naomi and Ruth Experience Bible Study, found on page 19.

God’s Love


The greatest truth in the universe is that God is love.  The greatest discovery for a woman is to awaken and realize that God loves her.  The most important decision a woman can make is to acknowledge and accept God’s love for herself in a personal way.  God’s love is called “grace,” and it is expressed in these terms:  undeserved mercy, forgiveness, acceptance, favor, care, help, compassion, tenderness, patience, comfort, protection, and provision.

In what ways can you recognize God’s grace toward you?

Jeremiah 31:3
3The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.

Genesis 1:27-28
27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28And God blessed them, and said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:  and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 


Many times, as women, we settle for cheap imitations of love, which use and abuse us – leaving us cold, hard, and afraid.  Since God deliberately created each woman with her own special features and beauty, women are very valuable to Him.  By His design, a woman's deepest need and strongest desire is to be loved and cherished. There is a place in every woman's heart that only God can fill and nothing – nor, no one – can replace her relationship with Him.  Only He can satisfy. 

Just as God respects us, he expects us to respect Him, each other, and ourselves.  God intended for men and women to co-exist in a respectful, meaningful partnership with Him and with each other while here on earth. God is the author of “mutual respect.”

According to God’s original plan – based on Genesis 1:28 – God loves and blesses women and gives each of them purpose and power to live full, productive lives.  His best for us is often hindered when we allow the wrong people, or things, to substitute for His love in our heart.

Name some destructive attitudes or relationships that compete for God’s place:

Do you understand the term, “boundaries,” and how they are necessary to insure mutual respect?  If so, describe the type of boundaries that you need to uphold in your life.

1 John 4:7-11
7Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love.
9In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

1 John 4:19
19We love him, because he first loved us


God always takes the first step and offers us a proposal of genuine love.  1 John 4:10 says that even while we were still clueless and bound by our sin (with no respect for God), He sent us His Son, Jesus, to save us from the very penalty that God’s law demands for our disobedience.  In essence, God’s love saves us from His own wrath and judgment.  His amazing love (salvation through Jesus Christ) is a free gift with no strings attached!

When we can identify the “real thing,” then we will not be deceived by counterfeit affections.  When God reveals His love, we can trust in it forever. He will never neglect us, abandon us or treat us cruelly. By the same principle, when someone shows you his or her true colors - believe it. Loving hearts act in loving ways.  Anything else is not love.  Without God’s love, it is impossible to know or give true love, because God is the source of love.

Based on verses 7 and 8, of I John 4, can you determine if your actions are based on love?  Explain.

Can you recognize genuine love verses manipulation?  Explain.


At the mall or in our neighborhoods, even in our own families, we see women who disrespect themselves and live with the mentality that they are just doing what they have to do to survive.  While some crave attention at any price, others are caught in terrible circumstances of poverty and desperation.  In their weakness, they fail to make decisions based on honor, hard work, and morality.  They experience everything except genuine love, and they tolerate disrespect from others.  God desires to rescue hurting women today.  He offers hope through His Son, Jesus Christ, who graciously wants to heal broken hearts and broken lives.  No matter how horrible the circumstances, those who call on His name find forgiveness, wholeness, courage, significance and peace.  God restores their honor and self-respect and His love empowers them to rise up to a level of life that is rewarding.

What areas of your life do you need to trust in God’s love?

What steps do you need to take to deal with disrespectful and unhealthy relationships?


No matter where we have come from or what advantages or disadvantages we have been given, God loves us, and invites us to receive and trust in Him.  No matter who has wronged us, hurt us, or betrayed us, God is faithful. 

In order for us to fully trust in God's love for us, we must start by believing the greatest truth in the universe…God is love!  Then, as we talk to Him and tell Him everything on our heart (good and bad) we will begin to experience the relief and peace that His love brings to all who rest in His goodness.  Because of God's great love for us – and, His desire to manifest His love toward us – we should expect the unexpected in both practical and supernatural ways.  God is the giver of wonderful surprises!

Discuss how God has revealed His love in an answered prayer for you.

Romans 8:35-39
35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Study 1 Corinthians 13:1-8,
which defines the true characteristics of love.


Ruth’s story is a love story in the purest sense.  It depicts the mutual love of two women who share in bonds of suffering and redemption.  It is also about a deep love between a man and woman in the highest portrayal of mutual respect and devotion.   And most importantly, as a portrait of grace, it reveals the divine mutual love between God and his people.

The story serves as a tremendous example of God’s supreme faithfulness to those who love and trust Him, as He powerfully moves in the mysterious realms, unfolding His master plan in human hearts.

Ruth and Naomi, both poor widows with no one to help them, were in desperate need of someone to save them from their despairing lives.  Ruth’s commitment to her mother-in-law, Naomi, caught the eye of wealthy landowner, Boaz, and her humility captivated his heart and prompted a marriage proposal.  His passion for Ruth turned things around for the women.  Boaz, who came to be known as her kinsman-redeemer, returned the kindness that Ruth showed to Naomi.  He rescued them from destruction and led them into a place of loving favor, peace, provision, and protection, which is a beautiful picture of the same type of relationship that Christ desires to share with us. 

Dr. Patricia Shankle is a contributing writer for this lesson.