Summary: The topic of Love again...Christian love out love as Christians.
For the Love of God
So, the topic this morning is Love “again.”
Webster’s dictionary, defines love as a strong liking for someone or something, or a passionate affection for another person. Notice that Webster’s definition of love involves objects of the world, using the word “person” or “something.”
The Webster definition seems a little incomplete. Webster’s definition fall sort of how I would attempt to describe my love for Renee and our children. A strong liking…. I guess any human definition might fall short. As a human I know that there are a lot of things that I can not describe properly. Things like a fantastic sunset or the color of the fall leaves, perhaps the yellows and reds in the spring flowers. I just don’t have the vocabulary and if I did, I am not sure that we have words that are descriptive or vivid enough.
The non-Christian, Greek writer Lucian who lived from 120-180 A.D. made an observation about Christians. He said, “It is incredible to see the fervor with which the people of that religion help each other in their wants. They spare nothing. Their first legislator [Jesus] has put it into their heads that they are brothers.”
Lucian said that Christians “spare nothing.” “Sparing nothing” is an indication of unconditional love.
So, where can we find a definition of Love that is valid and real?
First we need to remember that love is from God, therefore a human definition will never be good enough. God is the only completely accurate source for a definition and that is primarily by or observation of his actions.
The love that God demonstrates and defines is even harder to grasp – we call it unconditional love. Unconditional love is the goal that we are to try to achieve as Christians and ultimately as a church.
Many people have their own interpretations of Love and they use their worldly personal view to experience love. Some of the misinterpretations about love are that love is purely physical, or that love is only a temporary state. As we will see though, these interpretations about love are way off track. We want to discover today what truly sets us apart from the rest of the world, a growing unconditional love.
Love must be visible in the way we interact with one another. The picture is much bigger than the relationship between the members of this church. When we love like God Loves, his creation, we will feel a sense of outrage when we see the lack of love in the world causing the innocent to suffer.
• Refugees created by the war torn culture of a third world country.
• Victims devastated by violence and the obvious apathy of our culture.
• Babies aborted by their mothers.
If we live with the love of God as our model we will see the damage caused by hate, discrimination, greed, selfishness and feel hurt or ill from the status of mankind.
If our spiritual life originates with the Father, we must love one another. But if it originates with Satan, we will hate one another.
Perhaps we need to define hate as a contrast to love. Hate originates in evil and will lead a person to ignore goodness and love because it feeds pride and selfishness. All the dark things within our soul try to hide or over come the good because, when they are examined fairly the ugliness of evil is exposed.
Unhappy, angry people lash out because it -- something -- seems unfair and destroy relationships to feel better. Hate always destroys even when it is not necessiary, only love creates.
A lack of love displayed by the church and individual Christians reflect that there is a serious flaw in their relationship with Jesus Christ. A person or church that has no compassion for the people of the world that are suffering or that only focuses on itself and it’s possessions has a problem. Christians … in order to be called Christians need to mirror Christ. That is just a basic qualification or description of what a Christian is.
In our scripture today, John makes some deductions about love.
John tells us that we should love because we are loved by God. The letter mentions our need to “love one another” 3 times in the reading this morning. That seems to make it important.
John gives several interesting descriptions. Like this one:
“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
People always what to know what God looks like, I guess it was no different back then. John points out the obvious, No one has ever seen God, I think he is talking about average humans like you and me. Then he explains that if we love one another then God’s love is made complete in us.