Summary: A Valentines Day Message about love being a lifestyle, or a way of life that believers in Jesus Christ are to live their lives by. It looks at what love is all about and three practical ways that we can show that love to our family and friends.

A Lifestyle of Love

1 Corinthians 13:1-8a

Today being Valentines Day I thought it appropriated to talk about the quality of love where love is not just a word we use in a sentence, but rather it is a lifestyle choice, or rather it’s a way of life that all believers in Jesus Christ must adhere to.

Today we’re looking at this topic of love from what many have called the Bible’s love chapter, or 1 Corinthians 13.

Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-8a

Basically what the Lord is saying is that without love nothing else matters. He says that it’s through our love for others that we show the world that we know and love God. Loving God and loving others should then be our number one priority.

Love is the greatest of all the qualities we as Christians are to possess, and this is the way the Apostle Paul ends this chapter on love.

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV)

But what is love? This is the question of our day, and that’s because the word “love” has been misunderstood and way over used. We use the word love for just about everything and anything.

• We talk about our love for food. “I love BBQ, anything and everything BBQ I love.” But is that the type of love God is talking about?

• We talk about loving our favorite sport or sports team. “Love them Yankees,” or “Love them Lakers.” “I love watching” (Now pick your favorite sport). But I doubt that this is what God had in mind.

• Or we talk about loving some of our possessions, like our cars, home, that new dress, or that old pair of jeans. But it’s our love for money that is the root of all evil, 1 Timothy 6:10, and that’s because greed for more is attached.

In short we use this term “love” in referring to how we feel about a lot of things.

But besides being misunderstood, the word love has also been misinterpreted. Many today are using the word love in place of the word lust. Men and women say to one another, “I love you,” when in reality what they are saying, “I lust after you.” And in our society of promiscuity and sexual immorality is more the norm than the exception.

But besides the word being misunderstood and misinterpreted, there’s also a serious misconception about what it means as well.

People today equate love more to a feeling. This is seen in a very popular song by the Righteous Brothers, “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.”

People talk about falling in love, like somebody tripped them or like falling into a ditch, but unfortunately people just as easily say they have also fallen out of love. Talk about being fickle.

Love for many is an ocean of emotions. And while love does create feelings, love itself is not a feeling. Instead love is a choice. We must choose to love, otherwise we’ll be known as hypocrites, because today we can be in love and tomorrow out of love if love is strictly an emotion. Love being a choice is how the Apostle Paul defines it.

“But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” (Colossians 3:14 NKJV)

What does it mean to “put on?”

In his letter to both the church in Rome and in Galatia, the Apostle Paul also used this same terminology saying that we are to “put on Christ,” Romans 13:14, Galatians 3:27.

What this means is that the same choice we made to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, is the same choice we make to love.

To put on Christ and to put on love is like getting dressed. It means to clothe oneself in. We have a choice every morning as to what we’re going to wear, or whether or not we’re going to get dressed for work, or stay home in our pajamas.

And so love is a choice. We have the choice to put the attitude of love on every day.

When I was proposing to Michaela, it was at the top of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas. I was on the outside ring, and as it slowly turned, I was soon finding myself moving away from her and to the next table. I’m sure she was mulling over the choice.

The Bible also talks about love being more that merely words we speak, it’s also communicated through our actions. The Apostle John said,

“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18 NKJV)

Love isn’t something we talk about, it’s more than merely a feeling, it’s more than just a thought we may have. Love is something we put into action every single day. Love is then more than a lifestyle; love is actually a way of life.

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