True and Perfect Love

From Paul Tripp Ministries

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life […] For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (John 3:16, Romans 5:6-8, ESV)

It’s a beautiful thing
when you know that you are loved:
rest giving
hope instilling
motivation inducing
courage igniting
fear diminishing.
It’s even a more beautiful thing
to know you don’t have to earn that love,
in spite of your weakness
in the face of your failures,
that this love is
not weakened because of your sin
not revolted by your foolishness.

merciful love
meets you where you are
and takes you where you need to be.
Real love doesn’t weaken
when love is hard,
requiring sacrifice
True and perfect love
keeps coming back
refusing to give up
resisting quitting.
True and perfect love
does its very best work
right at the very moment
when you derserve it the least.

Human love will
at some moment fail.
But there is a love
that will never fail or fade,
will always rise to the challenge
will always deliver what was promised
will never regret the commitment to love.

True and perfect love
is never found horizontally;
it comes from above
from the Father of Lights
who gives good gifts to his own,
who is ever forgiving
whose mercies are always new
who loves no matter what.
His love is never earned,
but comes to us as a gift of

“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:3-7, ESV)

God bless,

Paul David Tripp

Reflection Questions

1. How does the true and perfect love of Christ a) give you rest, b) instill hope, c) induce motivation, d) ignite courage, and e) diminish fear? Be specific and answer each of these elements as it pertains to your everyday life.

2. Consider the love that you express to others. Even in your best moments, how has your love been conditional upon their behavior? Find recent examples of when your love weakened or faltered when the going got tough and love required patience and sacrifice.

3. Are you looking for love horizontally when it can only be found vertically? Are you asking an imperfect person to love you unconditionally in the way that your Heavenly Father can only supply? How will that unrealistic pressure put a strain on this relationship?

4. How can you apply 1 John 4:11 to your relationships today? “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” Be specific. Who is God calling you to love today, why will it be difficult, how can you love them despite this difficulty, and how will you ask the God of love to give you a supernatural ability to love?

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True and Perfect Love

New Hope Presbyterian Church Bridgeton, NJ

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