Summary: A 5-point sermon dealing with different types of love, including the love God has for us and the love we are to have for His church.
As humans, our emotions can vary widely throughout a whole range of subjects. And while this is certainly true, since Valentines day was yesterday, I want to focus on love. We are capable of feelings several types of love, too, and each type has its own focus of intensity.
There is an old saying concerning love. ’If you love, let it go. If it never returns, it was never yours anyway. If it does return, it will be yours forever. If it returns and eats everything in sight and leaves a mess, you are either married or the parent of a teenager.’
Let’s talk about different types of love from both a worldly and Godly perspective.
We have -
1. THE LOVE BETWEEN A PARENT AND CHILD
One young boy said love was when his daddy read him a bedtime story. He went on to say that true love was when his daddy didn’t skip any pages.
I remember when my son Shawn was in high school. Several times he parked his truck in the middle of the driveway. That got my dander up because I could not get in or out of the garage.
One time I happened to come out of the door just as he had parked there and was climbing out of his truck. I gave him the old ‘what for’ father-son lecture. Then I ordered him to move his truck out on the street.
I was fuming, and as I turned to walk into the house, he followed me instead of moving his truck. I turned to continue my tirade, but he quickly asked me where the end of the lecture went.
I asked him what he was talking about, and he reminded me that the end of the lecture was when I said, ‘I love you, Son, so let’s try to correct this, okay?’ That was the end of my anger, and the end of his blocking the driveway. This was also a sign of the love shared between a father and a son.
In the world, a parent loves their children and a child loves his or her parent. But, as those of you know who has raised children, there are times when it is very sweet, and then times between the ages of 12 and 21 that are very difficult.
As parents, we strive to take care of our children and give them everything they need, don’t we? And as children, since we aren’t mature enough to always know what we need, we depend fully on our parents to give us what we want.
If we are to model our lives after Jesus, should we not also model our relationship with our children after His relationships with children? There is a Bible passage that begins with Jesus talking to His disciples. They had come to Him and asked who the greatest was in the kingdom of Heaven. Here is what Jesus told them in -
‘He called a little child and had him stand among them. And He said, ’I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.’
Jesus was saying that a child’s heart is absolutely pure. It has no unloving feelings towards anyone and has no ungodly characteristics. It is the essence of God, to put it mildly.
And notice that Jesus didn’t say we needed to be like them. He said we needed to ‘CHANGE’ to be like them. That denotes the purity of a child, and the sinfulness of an adult.
There is another passage that talks about how Jesus dealt with children.
‘The little children were brought to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.’
I am sure the disciples had Jesus’ best interest at heart. I believe they were trying to protect Him from the public, much like we see the Secret Service doing for the presidential today. But Jesus gave them a rebuke. And in so doing, He again elevated the purity of children to a Heavenly level.
Now, if Jesus placed so much love on children, should we not do the same? Jesus handled children with love, not harshness. But how many times have we treated our children like I treated my son the day he blocked the driveway?
Another type of love is -
2. THE LOVE OF SELF
We always seem to be the centers of our own attentions, don’t we? If you doubt that, look at your instinct of survival. We have all read about - or seen instances - when people are said to have ‘scurried’ to safety. I will say this: There is no way a person can stop to help anyone else while they are scurrying.