Summary: How we know what true love is: 1- By understanding Jesus’ death 2- By sharing material possessions 3- By resting in God’s presence

INTRO.- The movie, Love Story, came out in 1970 and starred Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw. This was when MacGraw was 32 years old and O’Neal was only 29. The film is considered one of the most romantic movies of all time by the American Film Institute.

Harvard Law student Oliver Barrett IV and music student Jennifer Cavilleri share a chemistry they cannot deny - and a love they cannot ignore. When they marry, Oliver's wealthy father threatens to disown him. Jenny tries to reconcile the Barrett men, but to no avail. Oliver and Jenny continue to build their life together. Relying only on each other, they believe love can fix anything. But fate has other plans.

After failing to have a child, they consult a medical specialist, who after repeated tests, informs Oliver that Jenny is ill and will soon die. Oliver then tries again. While this is not stated explicitly, she appears to have leukemia.

From her hospital bed, Jenny speaks with her father about funeral arrangements, then asks for Oliver. She tells him to avoid blaming himself, and asks him to embrace her tightly before she dies. They lie together on the hospital bed.

It’s a love story but also a sad love story. And they believed that love could fix anything. Well, it can if it’s the right kind of love. But romantic love won’t fix what ails the world! What this world really needs now is God’s love manifested in Jesus Christ!

Love comes in various forms: romantic love, parental love,brotherly love, but the greatest of all is GODLY LOVE! It’s the love that God had for mankind when He sent Jesus into the world to become a sacrifice for our sins. THERE IS NO GREATER LOVE THAN THIS.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world...”

That is God’s love in action! That is the kind of love this world needs to know. It’s the very love that caused Jesus to leave Heaven for earth and become our Savior!

How can we come to know what true love is? Are we listening to Hollywood, the world or to our Holy God?

PROP.- This text teaches us the truth about real love.

How we know what true love is:

1- By understanding Jesus’ death

2- By sharing material possessions

3- By resting in God’s presence


16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

ILL.- It all happened on January 13, 1982, in the Potomac River. Do you remember? Do you know what I’m referring to? The air crash, Air Florida Flight 90, into the Potomac River. IT WAS BIG NEWS, if for no other reason, because of one person. Remember his name? LENNY SKUTNIK. Lenny dove into that river to help save someone from drowning.

One passenger, Priscilla Tirado, was too weak to grab the line dropped from a helicopter. Hundreds of people were watching, including emergency services personnel. Skutnik saw the situation, and stripped off his coat and boots and, in short sleeves, dove into the icy water and swam out to assist her.

He succeeded in getting Tirado to the river shore, from where Tirado was subsequently taken to hospital, saving her life. And Lenny Skutnik did risk his own life for that woman. But there is another story. Here’s a one-upper.

Arland Dean Williams Jr. (September 23, 1935 – January 13, 1982) was a passenger aboard Air Florida Flight 90, which crashed on take-off in Washington, D.C. on January 13, 1982, killing 78 people. He was among the six people to initially survive the crash. His actions after the crash, handling the initial rescue efforts as a first responder, became a well-known example of extraordinary heroism, although it cost him his life. He did not know any of the other victims personally. In fact, his identity was not even known until some time after the bodies were recovered.

The next day, the Washington Post described his heroism: “He was about 50 years old, one of half a dozen survivors clinging to twisted wreckage bobbing in the icy Potomac when the first helicopter arrived. To the copter's two-man Park Police crew he seemed the most alert. Life vests were dropped, then a flotation ball. The man passed them to the others. On two occasions, the crew recalled last night, he handed away a life line from the hovering machine that could have dragged him to safety. The helicopter crew - who rescued five people, the only persons who survived from the jetliner - lifted a woman to the riverbank, then dragged three more persons across the ice to safety. Then the life line saved a woman who was trying to swim away from the sinking wreckage, and the helicopter pilot, Donald W. Usher, returned to the scene, but the man was gone.

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