"That Love Which Is Of God"

by Dr. Ron Tottingham

[Dr. Ron Tottingham Picture]
Dr. Ron Tottingham, Pastor Emeritus
412 South Hawthorne
Sioux Falls, SD 57020
Telephone (605) 339-2038
Send Email to: DrTot@empirebaptistministries.org
© This book is copyrighted only to preserve the author's right to his own work.
Any part of this book may be used for non-profit use.
All the author asks is that proper credit be given


Al Lacey, D.D., Litt.D.

It is a pleasure for me to write the introduction to this profound work on the love of God. I have known Dr. Ron Tottingham for many years, and have had ample opportunity to observe his life and ministry. He is one of my close friends, and I can truthfully say that he practices what he preaches.

In this fascinating book Dr. Tottingham reveals that he knows the real place and time when God's marvelous love was revealed to this lost world . . . CALVARY! I agree with him wholeheartedly when he says in Chapter Four that one of modern Christianity's biggest problems is the lack of preaching on the cross. Calvary-centered preaching will tap every problem on earth that Christians face, and God's love displayed there will throw a rein on sin in thier lives. As my good brother points out in the book, we only love God because He first loved us (I John 4:19).  The more we are struck with God's love, the more we will love Him. The less we sin, the better our lives will be, and the more He can use us for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I am praying that my friend Ron Tottingham will get busy and write more books. This collapsing world needs books that are written by real BAPTISTS who have real CONVICTIONS, and who preach, teach, practice, and believe the real BIBLE, the blessed old AV 1611!

Dr. Al Lacy
Littleton, Colorado


Don Boys, PhD

Love, what a subject! I thought the subject had been exhausted until I read Dr. Tottingham¹s manuscript. Wow! He drove the nail into the board and bent it over on the underside. This book will make a difference in any person's life who reads it sincerely. He so aptly said: "Love is something that you grow into, something that you practice by habit. You do it because it is right. You develop it."

The author lays a sure foundation in explaining the love of God; then he develops the love that is of God between husband and wife, parents and children, etc. Listen to him when he says, "God is love and God first loves, so love may draw until its response begins returning service and giving back to God. God then must provide ways in which we might please Him, becaue that is what love loves. Love (agape) loves giving!" Great stuff, uh?

In another place, he says, "If it [love] is love as Christ loves, then it will be sacrificial giving beyond themselves in the evil times wihtout need for reward or praise to keep on always giving."

Then Dr. Tottingham hits one of "my" teachings when he says, "Love, my friend, is learned; it is never fallen into." Right!

The author then does some effective mind-bending when he says, "...as one grows into love, one grows out of love. Love is being blinded to one's faults enough to see the assets as towering over the faults. Love is majoring on the assets and forgetting the faults." Isn¹t that good? Wish I had said that.

A warning is sounded when he says, "One must diligently guard his heart and actively romance the Lord, his spouse, etc., or he will grow to hate the same . . . The son who rejects his father's caress and a wife who resists and rejects the love, the agape love of her husband, is a wife who will find a husband that is spending more time at the office and less time with her."

The writer makes a clear delineation between love and lust, when he says, "Love and lust may be similar in appearance, but they're very different in nature. Lust is getting; love is giving: lust thinks only of its own happainess; love thinks of the happiness of another. The word 'love' has little more meaning these days than an emotional or physical sensation - something which makes you feel good."

The author "goes to the mountaintops" when he says, "Only when we are willing to give up our money, our pleasure, our ambitions, our way, our will, our time and our life for someone else are we demonstrating love at its finest."

Finally, we are reminded that "Love is not simply a physical attraction to a person with a lovely form or face; it¹s not something one discards when someone more attractive comes along¹ or something one turns off when the going gets tough . . . Love is a beautiful thing." That it is and Dr. Tottingham has made a scholarly and necessary contribution to my library by penning this book.

I have been immeasurably helped by reading this manuscript. I have been "too busy" to observe the "little" things in a home and a relationship that are necessary - not to me - but to others I love in an agape fashion. I will be a better preacher, Christian, husband, father and friend because of this book. So will you.

Dr. Don Boys
Indianapolis, Indiana


This book is dedicated to my wife, Linda, who has been the "guinea pig" since May 1967, in which time it has taken for me to learn some things and begin practicing them correctly. She is my dearly beloved¹ and my closest friend. What a marvel she is to me!

I would also like to dedicate this to the church I have pastored since 1974. They have been the sweetest and most precious folks to pastor and to love. The I love you Preacher¹ notes I regularly get are the pulsation of my heart. I love each of them dearly. They will never know just how much they have made this preacher, in many things, what now is.

This is dedicated, as well, to the Lord, who has revealed this truth to me and is working it out in my own life. It is dedicated to my own children, also, who are the product of what I truly believe and practice in my home and to those families who have placed their lives in my care to help mold under Christ.

I am not what I should be and don¹t profess to know much, even now, after these many years (Saved in August 1955) of knowing Christ. I am overjoyed at the prospect of learning more in the future about Him.

Foreword and Acknowledgements

"Honor where honor is due," the saying goes and there are some folks deserving of honor who have made this possible.

This book is the results of Family Teaching on Wednesday and Sunday evenings at the church I pastor. The seed for this book began through teaching love during a series on the family. It was one of the most rewarding studies we ever had.

This writer is a personal "fan" of Dr. Jack Hyles, Hammond, Indiana, and some of the spirit of Dr. Hyles, I am sure, is captured in the pages of this book.

Most of the foundation of this was laid within my heart when I was a lad in the Central Ozark Mountains of Missouri, by my "best" friend: My Dad. It was he who taught me love by example. He did not serve Christ, but was loved, honored and greatly respected by all who knew him because of his kindness, consideration and always sweet spirit toward everyone. But he was also every inch a "Red-blooded" man: an ex-Golden Glove boxer, farmer and truck driver -- -- MY DAD.

I also owe a great deal to my family: my wife Linda and "kids." Thanks go to Dr. Brad and Paula Carver for their proofing and typing and to Mrs. Laural Albus for her typing of many hours on the original publication. Likewise to Mrs. Joy Griesse for the final typing draft and to Mark Walker for his hours of minute proofing and correcting the original, in spite of his own tests and heavy schedules.

There are many, many others who have helped to make this possible by teaching me parts of these truths along life's journey. I offer a special thanks to Pastor and Mrs. Olin Adams, Davenport, Iowa, in this regard. This work is truly the combination of the help and wisdom of many.


"What an odd subject to write about," some might say, while still others will say, "What have we here? Some liberal writing about more love?" This has been written that it might help someone obtain a clearer understanding of this subject. There is very little written about the love of God and the exercise thereof. Because true love, divine love, is only of God and no one is spiritual enough to have a corner on such a subject (which is an attribute of God), it is easy to see that not many would undertake to write of that which is indeed a deep spiritual subject. This book will likewise not exhaust the subject. Who could ever exhaust the basic heart of the God of the Universe?

This subject was chosen by direct leading of the Holy Spirit and is approached with great reservation and apprehension. It is the prayer of this writer that God, the Holy Spirit, would speak through this book to say something that will deepen each reader concerning his knowledge of God¹s love, its fruitfulness within the heart, and its outworking in the life. It is also this writer¹s prayer that this be practical, compre-hendable, and that it will give more of an understanding of God from a Biblical standpoint and its vital necessity of the believer¹s life. This subject was humanly chosen primarily because I have taught much on it and have had requests to write these ideas out and because there is very little written on this subject. There are things which need to be clarified on the subject, but this book will not be the end of the subject, nor will it be exhaustive. In fact, it will do little more than just give a glimpse of this great attribute of God.

If properly understood, the filling and controlling of the Holy Spirit would also be the filling and controlling of the love (true love) of God. It is my opinion that in just the proportion that the believer is filled by the Holy Spirit, he is likewise filled with that love which is of God. We ought, therefore, to be seeing more loveliness than we are, if we were to judge spiritually by what is being professed as spirituality and Holy Spirit filling. We should remind ourselves here of Hosea 9:7: "The spiritual man is mad (insane)." The quality of spirituality in our modern Christianity is deplorable to say the least, and much of the blame must be laid at the feet of the "spiritual leaders." There are many church problems which could also bae traced back to this very source.
Perhaps through this book, someone will receive some spiritual help. This is the Holy Spirit's subject. It is this writer¹s desire that human wisdom will be obscured and the Wisdom of God, the Holy Spirit, will shine unto understanding.

Published in 1984 by Dr. Ron Tottingham
Printed in the United States of America by Empire Baptist Publications, Sioux Falls, SD
Scripture quotations are taken from the Authorized King James Version.
If you would like to have a copy of this book, send your request to:

The College Book & Supply Shoppe
412 South Hawthorne Ave.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104

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