Summary: God's love language is to love Him and obey him and love others as he loves us. The Spirit enables us to BLOW : Believe, Love, and Obey to Win the victory.
God’s Love Language
In our first reading in Acts this morning Peter and the Jewish believers were astonished to see evidence that the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. They were “born again” after hearing the gospel preached and believing in Jesus Christ. And this common thread united them.
That’s what John said in our second reading…”everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.”
In our third reading there it is again, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.”
The recurring theme in our scriptures this morning is love.
Love is a complex word.
Ask 100 people what love means to them and you’ll probably get at least 50 different answers.
People say: I love my wife. I love my cats. I love cherry cheesecake. I love to garden. I love to paint. I love old movies. I love… well, you fill in the blank.
Today is Mother’s Day and I think probably the closest example of God’s kind of love is a mother’s kind of love for her children and grandchildren. Mothers sacrifice so willingly to make their family happy.
You have probably seen on the internet how some small children defined love when asked about it:
"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love."
"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.”
"Love is when someone hurts you, and you get so mad, but you don’t yell at them because you know it would hurt their feelings."
"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is okay."
"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."
"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."
"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."
"You really shouldn’t say ’I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."
In John 15 Jesus says he loves us exactly like the Father loves him and he wants us to love each other “as I have loved you.”
What did Jesus mean by that?
Think about the passages in the Bible where we see Jesus loving people. He loved the religious people who still had questions such as Nicodemus with patience. He loved sinful and outcast people such as the Samaritan woman at the well with compassion. He loved little children with open arms. He loved the disciples by humbly washing their feet and serving them.
I am challenged by the command to love this way so genuinely and sacrificially.
We tolerate some people, ignore some people and show interest in others. Rarely do we love them as much as ourselves much less the way Jesus loves us!
Yet we are commanded to love….forgiving one another, making friends with one another and bearing fruit that shows our love for each other.
We are not commanded to FEEL love but to SHOW it by our actions. Our faith prompts our actions.
The scriptures say we love by keeping the commands of God and we know they boil down to two: loving God with all our hearts and our neighbor as ourselves.
So the two distinguishing birthmarks of a true believer are:
1. A love for God, demonstrated in the way we obey Him.
2. A love for one another, demonstrated in the way we treat each other.
We lay down our lives for each other, not physically as Jesus did for us, but by laying aside our own plans when we can serve another’s needs.
By giving up some of our money, food or clothing to help others who need it, we show the love of Christ. By making phone calls to check on sick folks, sending cards or visiting them we are loving as Christ loved us. And the reward is that we receive His joy and our joy is made complete.
God knew we would search for happiness and joy and he gave us the prescription for it. Lay down your life for others and gain the life you lose this way by feeling joyfully fulfilled.
One writer wondered if a stranger entered our church services would he notice our joy?
Non-believers might not understand the symbol of a dead Christ hanging on a cross so perhaps we need a statue of the triumphant Jesus rising from the dead!