Summary: Humanity struggles with its knowledge of love. Although we have written about love, talked about love, and explored the many varieties and dynamics of love, humanity stills has to evolve in it practice of love.
John 3:16 and 10:11
“A Love That Never Quits”-Reverend A. LaMar Torrence
I. “I wish I knew how to quit you”. The infamous line comes from one of the most controversial movies that have come out of Hollywood where the character Ennis del Mar has to learn how to love, how to choose and how to make a commitment. That seems to be the struggle of most of our lives: learning how to love, how to choose and how to make a commitment.
a. Humanity struggles with its knowledge of love. Although we have written about love, talked about love, and explored the many varieties and dynamics of love, humanity stills has to evolve in it practice of love.
i. We struggle with what the Greeks call “Storge”- which is natural affection best seen between a mother and a child. And yet, we read repeatedly about parents killing their children and vice versa. “Shaken baby syndrome.”
ii. We struggle with “Philia”- which is the affection of friends, brotherhood and sisterhood (kindred spirits). We live in a world where we still ignore the injustices and needs of others. We are selective in who we love and/show love towards. There is still a racial divide in this country.
1. We saw this week, millions marching for the opportunity to pursue the American Dream. The controversy over whether or not the American Anthem can also be sung in Spanish.
2. We’ve witness the inadequate attention given to the needs of the Sudanese and the genocides that continue to take place as we continually put our attentions to Iraq. Both countries are ‘oil suppliers’.
iii. We struggle with “Eros”- the attraction of desire (sexual love).
1. Lust has always been an issue for humanity: Adultery, incest, pornography, and prostitution.
II. The fact is that we still do not understand and know what ‘real’ love is. As a nation where the divorce rate steady increases, how can we determine and define what ‘real love’ is. In a nation that still has to struggle with issues of racial harmony, economical disparity, and social inequalities, are we really qualified to define “who should and can love who?’
a. It wasn’t until 1998 that the state of South Carolina finally removed its ban on interracial marriage: Although it was not actively enforced, a clause added to the state’s constitution in 1895 prohibited "marriage of a white person with a Negro or mulatto or a person who shall have one-eighth or more of Negro blood."
III. Mary J. Blige probably said it best in her song “real Love.” I’ve been searching for someone to satisfy my every need. Won’t you be my inspiration be the real love that I need?” Jesus spent his earthly ministry teaching humanity about ‘real love’. Because he knew about love. He says, in verse 14 “…I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.
a. Love involves knowledge and scripturally to know someone implies having a intimate physical relationship. It’s impossible to effectively love another without knowing them. Jesus could show love because he knew three things,
1. He knew the Father. For Jesus, Knowledge= relationship and obedience. Jesus knew the father and he was obedient to the father.
a. He studied and He prayed. Don’t tell others how much you love God and yet you do not set time aside to get to know him.
b. And because of God’s immensity, you can never know enough about him. I continue to learn that God’s knowledge begins when Christ takes me to the edge of what I think I know and says, “Now Jump.”
c. In other for us to love, we must know and love God.
2. He knew us: Jesus says, “I know my own.” He knows us. Every detail: imperfections, habits, addictions, and sins. He knows what we been through, what we are going through, and what we will go through. He knows all about us. Who we slept with. Who we desire to sleep with. And yet, he still loves us.
a. In order for us to love others-we must have some form of a relationship. We must get over our fears of intimacy and trust and learn how to love each other. You can love others without bothering to establish some form of relationship. Yes, I love but you can’t come to my house. Yes, I love but I don’t want you in my country. Yes, I love you but you cannot have the same privileges and rights as me.
b. To know God is to love and obey Jesus.
i. John 12:13 “This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”