Sermon quotes on Love

Augustine of Hippo

By loving us, God makes us lovable.


Augustine of Hippo

What is it then that I love when I love you? Not bodily beauty, and not temporal glory, not the clear shining light, lovely as it is to our eyes, not the sweet melodies of many-moded songs, nor the soft smell of flowers and ointments and perfumes, not manna and honey, not limbs made for the body’s embrace, not these do I love when I love my God. Yet I do love a certain voice, a certain odor, a certain food, a certain embrace when I love my God; a light, a voice, an odor, a food, an embrace for the man within me, where his light, which no place can contain floods into my soul; where he utters words that time does not speed away; where he sends forth an aroma that no wind can scatter; where he provides food that no eating can lessen where he so clings that satiety does not sunder us. This is what I love when I love my God.



Bernard of Clairvaux

Why should not the creature love His creator, who gave him the power to love? Why should he not love Him with all his being, since it is by His gift alone that he can do anything that is good? It was God’s creative grace that out of nothingness raised us to the dignity of manhood (or womanhood); and from this appears our duty to love Him, and the justice of His claim to that love.


Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.

The Cost of Discipleship


Fyodor Dostoevsky

There is no sin, and there can be no sin on all the earth, which the Lord will not forgive to the truly repentant! Man cannot commit a sin so great as to exhaust the infinite love of God. Can there be a sin which could exceed the love of God?

The Brothers Karamazov


Henry Drummond

Is life not full of opportunities for learning love? Every man and woman every day has a thousand of them. The world is not a playground; it is a schoolroom. Life is not a holiday, but an education. And the one eternal lesson for us all is how better we can love.

The Greatest Thing in the World


Richard B. Hays 

The content of the word “love” is given fully and exclusively in the death of Jesus on the cross; apart from this specific narrative image, the term has no meaning.

The Moral Vision of the New Testament

Timothy Keller

He loved us, not because we were lovely to him, but to make us lovely.


C.S. Lewis

The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.


Brian Loritts

The question of performance-free love transcends ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status. “Am I forever loved for who I am? Is the background elevator music to our hearts.

Saving the Saved

Max Lucado

God loves you just as you are but too much to leave you that way.


Brennan Manning

My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.

 The Ragamuffin Gospel


Mother Teresa

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.


Andrew Murray

Our love to God is measured by our everyday fellowship with others and the love it displays.



Henri Nouwen

Our inclination is to reveal to God only what we feel comfortable in sharing. Naturally, we want to love and be loved by God, but we also want to keep a little corner of ourselves, where we can hide and think our own secret thoughts, dream our dreams, and play with our own mental fabrications. We are often tempted to select carefully the thoughts that we bring into conversation with God.

Spiritual Direction


Henri Nouwen

Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.


Eugene Peterson

Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does.

The Message


Eugene Peterson

And yet I decide, every day, to set aside what I can do best and attempt what I do very clumsily–open myself to the frustrations and failures of loving, daring to believe that failing in love is better than succeeding in pride.

 A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in a Instant Society


Warren W. Wiersbe

Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.

On Being a Leader for God


Philip Yancey 

There is nothing we can do to make God love us more. There is nothing we can do to make God love us less.

What’s So Amazing about Grace?



My weight is my love. Wherever I am carried, my love is carrying me.


Bob Goff

If I’m only willing to love the people who are nice to me, the ones who see things the way I do, and avoid all the rest, it’s like reading every other page of the Bible and thinking I know what it says.


Mark Batterson

If you want to impact someone’s life, love them when they least expect it and least deserve it. 


CS Lewis

Love is not an affection feeling, rather it’s a steady wish for the other’s good as far as it can be obtained.

Craig Groeschel 

It’s difficult for people to love the real you when you are covering up who you really are. We connect with others when we take our mask off and let others in.

Hans Urs Von Balthasar

Lovers are the ones who know most about God; the theologian must listen to them.

Love Alone is Credible

Jess C. Scott

“When someone loves you, the way they talk about you is different. You feel safe and comfortable.”

The Intern

E.M. Cioran

Love is an agreement on the part of two people to overestimate each other.

Max Headroom

“Love! The walks over soft grass, the smiles over candlelight, the arguments over everything else.”

Quoted on the TV Show Max Headroom, 1987

Eleanor Doan

Love your enemy-it will drive him nuts.

John Ortberg

To be fully known and fully loved is the most healing gift one human being can give another.

Teilhard de Chardin

The day will come when, after harnessing the winds, the tides and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of Love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.

Brennan Manning

Jesus said you are to love one another as I have loved you, a love that will possibly lead to the bloody, anguish gift of yourself, a love that forgives seven times seven, that keeps no record of wrong. This is the criterion, sole norm, the standard of discipleship.

John Donne 

I am two fools, I know,

For loving, and for saying so.

The Complete English Poems

Alain De Botton

True love is a lack of desire to check one’s smartphone in another’s presence.

Wendell Berry

I take literally the statement in the Gospel of John that God loves the world. I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always toward wholeness, which ultimately is reconciliation and atonement with God.

The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

C.S. Lewis

Emerson once observed, Do you love me? actually means Do you see the same truth? Or at least . . . Do you care about the same truth?”

G.K. Chesterton

There is the great lesson of “Beauty and the Beast”; that a thing must be loved before it is loveable.


Thomas Lewis

[Romantic] Love may not be literally blind, but it does seem to be literally incapable of reason and the levels of appropriate negativity necessary for realism.

“Twenty-First-Century Love: The Neurological Underpinnings of Human Relationships,” San Francisco Medicine 82, no. 6 (July/August 2009):13, 

Minucius Felix

Our bond, which you resent, consists in mutual love, for we know not how to hate; we call ourselves ‘brethren’ to which you object, as members of one family in God, as partners in one faith, as joint heirs in hope. You do not acknowledge one another, amid outbursts of mutual hate; you recognize no tie of brotherhood, except indeed for fratricidal murder.


Augustine of Hippo

You are good and all-powerful, caring for each one of us as though the only one in your care.


Augustine of Hippo

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.


Paula Ripple

Jesus reassures us that every effort to love ourselves and others more faithfully, however imperfectly we are able to do this, is a response to God’s call to love as he loved. It is a response to the two greatest commandments as they stand in relationship to one another.

Called to Be Friends

Dorothy Day

The final word is love.

The Long Loneliness

Leo Tolstoy

Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone.

Vincent van Gogh

Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.

Elisabeth Elliot

To love means to open ourselves to suffering. Shall we shut our doors to love, then, and be “safe”?

John Hall Wheelock

Love is so great, is to be half afraid— It is like looking at the sun That blinds the eye with truth.

Gerald May

The invitation of love is not a proposal for self-improvement or any other kind of achievement. Love is beyond success and failure, doing well or doing poorly…. Love is a gift.

The Awakened Heart, Harper San Francisco

John Wesley

We should always remember that love is the highest gift of God. All of our revelations and gifts are little things compared to love…. Settle in your heart that from this moment on you will aim at nothing more than that love described in 1 Corinthians 13. You can go no higher than this.

Christian Perfection

Richard Rohr

We live a long time in order to become lovers. God is like a good parent, refusing to do our homework for us. We must learn through trial and error. We have to do our homework ourselves, the homework of suffering, desiring, winning and losing, hundreds of times.

Radical Grace: Daily Meditations

Augustine of Hippo

He loves Thee too little, who loves anything together with Thee, which he loves not for Thy sake.

John Oxenham

Love ever gives,

Forgives, outlives,

And ever stands with open hands,

And while it lives it gives.

For this is love’s prerogative,

To give – and give – and give.

Neil Postman

Orwell feared we would become a captive culture.

Huxley feared that we would become a trivial culture. . . .

Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us.

Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.

Amusing Ourselves to Death

Frederick Buechner

Romantic love is blind to everything except what is lovable and lovely. But Christ’s love sees us with terrible clarity and sees us whole. Christ’s love so wishes our joy that it is ruthless against everything in us that diminishes our joy. The worst sentence love can pass is that we behold the suffering which love has endured for our sake and that is also our acquittal. The justice and mercy of the judge are ultimately one.

“Jesus the Judge,” Preaching Today, Tape No. 129

James Bryan Smith

God sings his love to you in birdsong. God smiles at you in maple trees. God charms you with the color green. He gave you eyes to see sunsets, ears to hear rainfall, a nose to smell a rose. God’s massive love appears in the small fragments. God is loving you in these moments, even if you don’t know it.

Taken from The Magnificent Story by James Bryan Smith. Copyright (c) 2018 by James Bryan Smith. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Jonathan Swift

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to makes us love one another.

Wendell Berry

 “Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery.”

Hannah Coulter

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.  

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

To abide in love means to have open eyes, to be able to see something that only a few see, namely, the outstretched, begging hands of the others who are along the way, and now not be able to do anything else but to act, to help, to do one’s duty, using everything one has. That may be here or there. Most important is that, wherever it is, one can always allow oneself to be interrupted by God.

The Collected Sermons of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Volume 2 (p. 31). Fortress Press.

W.H. Auden

You shall love your crooked neighbor

with all your crooked heart.

“As I Walked Out One Evening” in Another Time, Random House, 1940.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The chief thing is to love others like yourself, that’s the chief thing, and that’s everything; nothing else is wanted—you will find out at once how to arrange it all. And yet it’s an old truth which has been told and retold a billion times—but it has not formed part of our lives!

The Dream of a Ridiculous Man

William Blake

Love seeketh not Itself to please, Nor for itself hath any care; But for another gives its ease, And builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair. So sung a little Clod of Clay, Trodden with the cattle’s feet; But a Pebble of the brook, Warbled out these metres meet Love seeketh only self to please, To bind another to Its delight, Joys in another’s loss of ease, And builds a Hell in Heaven’s despite.

The Clod and the Pebble

Søren Kierkegaard

When one has once fully entered the realm of Love, the world—no matter how imperfect—becomes rich and beautiful, it consists solely of opportunities for Love.

Karl A. Menninger

Love cures people: the ones who receive love and the ones who give it, too.

John Chrysostom

Where love rejoices, there is festivity.

Quoted in Matthew Levering, Sacrifice and Community: Jewish Offering and Christian Eucharist (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005), 27–28.

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