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
1 Corinthians 12:25 - That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
Philippians 2:4 - Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
VII. Agape love is not easily provoked, or hot-tempered
Proverbs 14:17 - He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
James 1:19-20 - 19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
VIII. Agape love thinks no evil
A. Is not suspicious or mistrusting in nature
Genesis 31:32 - With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.
B. Often suspicion betrays the one of whom people should be suspicious!
2 Samuel 10:1-5 - And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead. 2 Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the children of Ammon. 3 And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it? 4 Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away. 5 When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.