Summary: Jesus followers are a weird group of people. We don’t live like other people. We don’t have the same priorities or look at life the same way as everyone else. Genuine love always points people to Jesus Christ.
Let’s just be real here. Jesus followers are weird people. We’re wacked. We say stuff and do things that most people around us find odd, or even dumb. For example, we look for ways to bless the kind of people that others want to avoid. We want to go to prison and love on inmates. We get a thrill out of doing stuff like that. We get a rush when we take food to someone, or when we visit an elderly person. We’re excited when we’re presented opportunities to give money, or time and help to others. And we do all this stuff for a completely different reason than everyone else.
People help people all the time, because good people help those who need it. That’s not the weird thing; the weird thing is that Jesus followers help others not because people need help, but, because we love Jesus. There is a difference. When a person helps another person they usually do so because the person needs help. But Jesus followers help other people because we want Jesus Christ to get all the attention. We don’t want the attention. We don’t want the accolades, the “atta boys.” We could care less about getting a pat on the back, we want Jesus to receive the accolades. Jesus followers point to Jesus Christ in everything they do, and this makes us different. Paul tells Titus to do good stuff for people for the purpose of sharing the truth of Jesus. We love people as God loves. God wants people to know His Son Jesus, so we do too.
We’re talking about genuine love today. Godly love. The love God showed us and expects us to have for Him and others. God created love. He said He is love and He showed us what love is. "This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." 1 John 4:10.
Everyone has their own definition of what love is. If you're on facebook and/or twitter you know what I'm talking about. Many facebook status updates and tweets that people put up about love is evidence enough that most people don't have a clue what love really is. Well, they know what the world thinks of love, but, a lot of folks, maybe even Christians don’t have a clue what genuine love is. For example I found this little nugget on the internet from 'Canada Sweety' she defines love this way, "...Love is when you can feel someone coursing through your veins. Love is when you know you have found love. Love is when someone breaks your heart in every possible way and you can still admit you love them. Love is a 4 letter word with 4 million meanings"
Canada Sweety says there are 4 million meanings to the world love, but, God defines it much more simply. And while Canada Sweety finds it difficult to define love other than a feeling coursing through her veins, if she were sitting here today, I would hope she would discover how simple love really is and be amazed at how much God loves her. Jesus tells us that the single greatest command is to love God and to love others. So we must have a Biblical understanding about what love is to obey God's most important command.
God's love flies in the face of how human beings think or even experience love. His love isn't normal. The world around us has a completely different understanding of love than the way God defines it. Many folks often confuse love and lust, or even love and caring deeply for someone. This God love we’re talking about is foolish to most people. They don’t get it, because they don’t understand what love really is. God loved us by offering Himself as a sacrifice to save us from our sins. So I just want to point out two things this morning about this God love we're talking about.
1. Genuine love is about faithfulness.
“Professor Bradley Wright, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut, explains from his analysis of people who identify as Christians but rarely attend church, that 60 percent of these have been divorced. Of those who attend church regularly, 38 percent have been divorced.”
So according to this researcher fans of Jesus are 60 percent more likely to get a divorce. His analysis also tells us that even people who go to church regularly divorce almost 40 percent of the time. What does this research say? Is it surprising? I don’t think so. I know a lot of people in our churches who are divorced. But what does all of this suggest? It’s uncomfortable to talk about. But these divorce statistics tell us that even among the people group who should understand God’s love, His genuine love, we don’t. I understand that sometimes, especially in cases of abuse, or unfaithfulness that separation is necessary, but, this isn't the case for many terminated relationships.