Summary: This world has some distorted views about what true love is. Agape love transcends the trite emotionalism and sensuality we are taught.
Ten Ways to Recognize True Love
Preached Sunday, January 19, 2003 – PM Service
This morning we were reminded of the fact that love is needed in all of our Christian activities. We saw that a soul winner without love is just noisy. We saw that even if a person proclaims God’s revelation by unveiling mysteries, expounding knowledge and demonstrating faith; without love he is nothing. We saw that sacrifice must be accompanied by true agape love, or there will be no reward.
With all of this in mind, it is imperative that we learn how to recognize true love. This kind of agape love is not an emotion. It is characterized by a series of choices made. Ask God to examine your heart and expose your true motives as we study ten ways to recognize true agape love.
I. Agape love is long suffering
1 Corinthians 13:4 - Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
A. It puts up with slights and neglects
2 Timothy 2:25-26 - 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
B. Will not get easily offended
Psalm 119:165 - Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
II. Agape love is kind – searches for opportunities to do good to the object of love
Luke 6:34-36 - 34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
III. Agape love envies not
A. Envy is an indicator of the presence of evil
James 3:14-16 - 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
1 Peter 2:1 - Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
B. Is others focused
Philippians 2:3 - Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
IV. Agape love subdues pride and vainglory
A. Does not brag
B. Is not proud
Proverbs 13:10 - Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
V. Agape love does not misbehave
1 Corinthians 13:5 - Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
A. Is courteous
1 Peter 3:8 - Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
B. Will never tempt to sin with the phrase: "If you love me…"
VI. Agape love does not seek her own – is others-centered