Summary: We have been made in the image of God, & God expects better of us than to fashion our lives according to the instincts of a beastly nature. So let's consider what the Bible says about some attributes of Christian love. (Powerpoint Available - #333)
MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org & request #333.)
TEXT: 1 John, 4:7; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
A. The Bible has a lot to say about love. In fact, from beginning to end that is its theme - God's love for each of us, & our love for Him, which results in our loving one another.
ILL. Some children were asked what love is. Their answers were interesting. Let me just mention a few of them. One said, "Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you’ve left him alone all day."
Another said, "Love is when my mommy makes a cup of coffee for my daddy & takes a little sip before she gives it to him to make sure it tastes okay."
One boy said, "When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."
Another thoughtfully responded, "You really shouldn’t say, 'I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it you should say it a lot, because people forget."
And finally, 7 year old Bobby said, "Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents & listen."
(Robert Eggars on SermonCentral.com)
The Bible clearly teaches that the most important virtue we exhibit as Christians is our love for one another. So the Bible has a lot to say about the subject of love.
B. But so does the world. The problem is that the world doesn't say the same thing that the Bible says. And because we hear the world say so much about love, we tend to get the two mixed up.
ILL. In years past I was an avid reader of the "Dear Abby" column in the news-papers. Sometime I really appreciated the advice she gave, & at other times I disagreed. But let me pass on to you some of her advice that I really appreciated.
A man wrote: "Dear Abby, I am in love & I am having affairs with two different women other than my wife. I love my wife, but I love these other women too. Please tell me what to do, but don’t give me any of that 'morality' stuff." Signed: "Too much love for only one.”
I think Abby’s answer was "classic." She wrote: “Dear 'Too much love for only one.' The only difference between humans & animals is morality. So you need to write to a veterinarian." (Jason Cole on SermonCentral.com)
I think Abby got her point across. We have been made in the image of God, & God expects better of us than to fashion our lives according to the instincts of a beastly nature. So let's consider once again what the Bible has to say about some of the attributes of Christian love.
I. CHRISTIAN LOVE IS ALWAYS ROOTED & GROUNDED IN GOD
A. First of all, Christian love is always rooted & grounded in God.
The world tends to look at love as strictly a relationship between human beings, & we have been taught by the world that if we just love each other enough, we can create for ourselves an utopia on earth.
ILL. We sing songs about it. "What the world needs now is love, sweet love." And "We are the people. We are the children who can make it a better world."
B. These are noble words, words that we need to hear. But as long as love is seen as strictly a product of human effort, without involving God, it will never succeed in making our world a better place.
We have tried that as long as man has been around, & we still steal, rape, & kill each other. This world that ignores God is not becoming a better place. It is becoming a terrible place.
John says in 1 John 4:7, "Dear friends, let us love one another for love comes from God." Love originates with God. And it is not until we have felt & understood God's love, & respond to it, that we really begin to learn how to show love to one another.
Listen again to the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7,
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
C. I am convinced that there are many marriages that would not survive if it weren't for a mutual faith in God.
ILL. My wife & I have been married for nearly 61 years now, & we have had some rough times - 3 children to raise, very busy schedules, sickness & accidents, financial pressures - all those things. And sometimes we wonder how we survived, & how our marriage survived.