Summary: If the Servant Church models itself after Jesus Christ who ultimately taught us what a servant is: then the Servant Church must love God, it must love the children of God, and it must keep His commandant to love.
A Servant Church Loves
I John 5: 1-5
“We Love the Children of God”
Verse 2: By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.”
Hear Paul’s poem:
I may speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but if I have no love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal;
I may prophesy, fathom all mysteries and secret lore,
I may have such absolute faith that I can move hills from their place,
But if I have no love,
I count for nothing;
I may distribute all I possess in charity,
I may give up my body to be burnt,
But if I have no love,
I make nothing of it.
Love is very patient, very kind
Love knows no jealousy;
Love makes no parade, gives itself no airs, is never rude, never selfish, never irritated, never resentful;
Love is never glad when others go wrong,
Love is gladdened by goodness, always slow to expose, always eager to believe the best, always hopeful, always patient.
Love never disappears.
As for ‘tongues,’ they will cease;
As for knowledge, it will be superseded.
For we only know bit by bit, and we only prophesy bit by bit;
But when the perfect comes, the imperfect will be superseded,
When I was a child,
I talked like a child,
I thought like a child,
I argued like a child;
Now that I am a man, I am done with childish ways.
At present we only see the baffling reflections in a mirror, but then it will be face to face;
At present I am learning bit by bit,
But then I shall understand, as all along I have myself been understood.
Thus ‘faith and hope and love last on, these three,’ but the greatest of all is love.
If the Servant Church models itself after Jesus Christ who ultimate taught us what a servant is; then the Servant Church must love God, it must love the children of God, and it must keep His commandment to love.
The people of the church have wrestled with this notion of love since its inception in Antioch. Jesus Christ taught the idea to his disciples. Ultimately he demonstrated this idea to us all. He died on the cross for our sins. “Greater love has no man than that he lay down his life for his friends.”
The people of the church have wrestled with this notion of love because they bring their knowledge of love from the world to the church. Two ideas the world teaches about love that finds itself in the church.
1. The world teaches that love is self serving. If it feels good do it. If it satisfies your cravings, that’s love. If it excites your senses, that’s love. If it fulfills your fantasies, that’s love. The world teaches that love is the drive whose ultimate aim is to satisfy one’s longings for wealth, for power, for fame, for conquests, for dominance, for destiny, for immortality. The world teaches that love must satisfy one’s selfish needs. It will exploit people. It will reduce humanity to things. Self serving love will destroy. It will kill. Self serving love is erotic. The world teaches that love is self serving.
2. The world teaches that love is self exchange. It is something for something. It is quid pro quo. It’s if you will do this for me, I will do that for you. The world teaches that love is reflective of the equality or the value of the exchange. After Kobe Bryant got himself into a little difficulty in Denver, he immediately went out and bought his wife the biggest diamond ring he could find and gave it to her because the world teaches that love is in value of the exchange.
Think about it do you define love in terms of the feelings it produces? Do you define love in terms of its value?
I had to wrestle with this idea myself when just the other day, I donated a 1994 Chevrolet Prism to an organization. The car had 182,000 miles on it. It was used by my wife, my son, and my daughter. Through many dangers toils and strife, it had brought us. I had to wrestle with my feelings as I drove the car to the front of the house to be towed away. It was good on gas. It had a good engine. It was dependable. I realized that I had developed an affinity for a thing. See the USA in your Chevrolet. I had to rebuke Satan who had seeking to trick me. What I had done was attribute qualities to a thing based upon its utilitarian value.
Because the thing had served me, because the thing did what I wanted when I wanted, because the thing had not really costs me much; I had positive feelings towards the thing. The positive feelings where derived from the fact that it served me when I wanted it to serve me. Because I was about to get rid of it I was feeling a sense of lost.