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Summary:

INTRODUCTION

WHAT IS IT IN JESUS THAT SO DRAWS MEN, THAT WINS THEIR ALLEGIANCE AWAY FROM EVERY OTHER MASTER, MAKES THEM READY TO LEAVE ALL FOR HIS SAKE, AND TO FOLLOW HIM THROUGH PERIL AND SACRIFICE EVEN TO DEATH?

IS IT HIS WONDERFUL TEACHING? "NO MAN EVER SPOKE LIKE THIS MAN!" (John 7:46)

IS IT HIS POWER THAT IS SEEN IN HIS MIRACLES?

IS IT HIS SINLESSNESS? THE MOST MALIGNANT SCRUTINY COULD FIND NO FAULT IN HIM.

IS IT THE PERFECT BEAUTY OF HIS CHARACTER? NONE OF THESE WILL ACCOUNT FOR THE WONDERFUL ATTRACTION OF JESUS. LOVE IS THE SECRET. HE CAME INTO THE WORLD TO REVEAL THE LOVE OF GOD -- HE WAS THE LOVE OF GOD IN HUMAN FLESH. HIS LIFE WAS ALL LOVE. HE REVEALED LOVE IN WONDERFUL WAYS DURING HIS LIFE.

MEN SAW IT IN HIS FACE, FELT IT IN HIS TOUCH, AND HEARD IT IN HIS VOICE. HIS FRIENDSHIP WAS UNLIKE ANY FRIENDSHIP THEY HAD EVER SEEN BEFORE OR EVEN DREAMED OF. IT WAS THIS THAT DREW THEM TO HIM AND MADE THEM LOVE HIM SO DEEPLY, SO TENDERLY.

NOTHING BUT LOVE WILL KINDLE LOVE. POWER WILL NOT DO IT -- MEN WILL TAKE GIFTS AND THEN REPAY WITH HATRED. BUT LOVE BEGETS LOVE; HEART RESPONDS TO HEART. THE POWER OF JESUS' ATTRACTIVENESS WAS THE POWER OF LOVE. AND IT IS THIS SAME LOVE IN US THAT WILL DRAW AND ATTRACT MEN TO THE SAVIOR TODAY. (#68)

LAST sermon WE HEARD JESUS ISSUE HIS (i) NEW COMMANDMENT -- IT'S IN JOHN 13:34: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another."

IT WAS NEW BECAUSE IT HAD A NEW (ii) CRITERION.

WE ARE TO LOVE OTHERS EVEN AS HE LOVES US . THERE ARE FIVE SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS ABOUT HIS LOVE. WE SAW THAT IT IS (A.) UNCONDITIONAL. JESUS LOVES US REGARDLESS OF WHO OR WHAT WE ARE, WHETHER WE DESERVE IT OR NOT -- HE LOVES US WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED.

HIS LOVE IS ALSO (B.) UNSELFISH -- CONCERNED ONLY WITH HELPING AND SERVING US. THIRDLY, WE SAW THAT HIS LOVE IS (C.) UNDENIABLE -- EXPRESSED NOT MERELY IN WORDS, BUT IN CONCRETE AND PRACTICAL DEEDS.

THE LOVE THAT CHRIST COMMANDS IS NOT AN EMOTION OR A FEELING -- IT IS AN ACTION, A DELIBERATE CHOICE, A DECISION TO TREAT OTHERS AS WE WOULD LIKE TO BE TEATED; A COMMITMENT MADE TO ACT WITH BENEVOLENT GOODWILL TOWARD OTHERS.

d. fourth, jesus' love was unrestrained.

He held nothing back.

true love is extremely

1. vulnerable. love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. christ's love got him hung on a cross. Love makes us open up, it makes us expose ourselves, it makes us vulnerable -- and, because of this, many people are afraid to love.

we grow up hiding behind masks and false fronts because there exists that deep fear that -- if we should open up, someone will take advantage of us.

IF YOU REACH OUT IN LOVE TO ANOTHER PERSON, YOU TAKE A RISK. THAT PERSON MAY REJECT YOUR LOVE OR DISAPPOINT YOU OR LET YOU DOWN. I WOULD GUESS THAT SOME OF YOU HERE THIS MORNING HAVE BEEN "BURNED." YOU TOOK THE RISK AND CARED DEEPLY ABOUT ANOTHER PERSON.

THAT PERSON REJECTED YOU AND YOU NOW CARRY AN EMOTIONAL SCAR. SOMETIMES THE HURT IS SO DEEP, IT IS HARD TO TAKE THE RISK OF LOVING AGAIN. (1194)

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