Summary: The struggle for most of our lives seems to be learning how to love. This sermon is about how we can love each other as members of the body of Christ
And I’m telling You, You’re Gonna Love Me!
Reverend A. LaMar Torrence
Cross of Life Church, 1240 E. 7th St. Plainfield, NJ
I. Tell your neighbor, “I’m telling you. You are going to love me. “The prerequisite for our entrance into heaven is to love each other. It doesn’t matter how many people we tell about Christ. It doesn’t matter how many hunger souls we feed. It doesn’t matter how much money we put into the collection plate; the only way to get to heaven is to love God with all our heart, mind and soul and to love each other as Christ loved us. So I’m telling you that if you want to get to heaven, then you’re ‘gonna’ love me. Don’t tell me how much you love God but you can’t stand my guts. You gonna love me. Don’t tell me how well you can pray but you are quick to tell me off and cuss me out. You gonna love me. Don’t tell me how much you go to church, read your bible and watch TD Jakes, yet you can’t give me a hug, nor even acknowledge me with a nod or a smile. You have to love me. You gonna love me. That’s the message of Paul who echoes the words of Christ. We are to love each other.
A. And that’s all anyone desires. We want to be genuinely loved. We want to be love not for what we are doing or can do for others but we want to be love for who we are. We want to be more than essential lifelines to those who act as parasites absorbing our energies. We don’t want to have to put on a façade or project an illusion of acceptable behavior, but we want to be love with our faults and habits as we are. We want to be loved. We want to be the very essence of someone else’s day. We want to be the fragrant odor that fills someone’s nostrils as they inhale and exhale life’s necessities. We want to be loved. I want to be loved. You want to be loved. We want to know that our lives have more of a purpose than filling the hours and minutes with seamless routines and details. Our very souls hunger for love.
B. And many of us are willing to do anything for love. Some will settle for relationships hoping that the other person will change or that they will change and grow to love the one they are with. Some will stay in a loveless relationship from the fear that nothing better will come long. They settle for less. Many will compromise their morals and ethics just to be loved. Many are willing to loose their identities and individuality just to be loved. And many will pursue various interests to fulfill the empty void in their hearts in order to compensate for not being loved
II. St. Augustine believed that everyone spends their lives looking for the highest form of happiness which is the love of God. The struggle for most of our lives seems to be learning how to love. 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.
A. 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.”
B. 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.
C. We struggle with “Eros”- the attraction of desire (sexual love).Lust has always been an issue for humanity: Adultery, incest, pornography, and prostitution.
III. The fact is that we still do not understand and know what ‘real’ love is. How do I love? So how do we love god with all our heart, our soul, and our mind?
A. For me to be loved, I first must know how to love. And I learn how to love by loving God first. The key to me finding someone to love me rests in my willingness to love my god and to love God’s people.
1. 1 John 4:8 “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
2. 1 John 4:16 “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”