Summary: In contrast to what the world calls love, this sermon explains the Bible’s definition of what real love is.

What Do You Know?

I Know What Love Is

1John 3:11-24 & 4:7-21

May 13, 2001

Mother’s Day


A. [Kellie Ammons sent the following e-mail to me this week…]

Once upon a time there was a child ready to be born.

So one day he asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

God replied, "Among the many angels, I chose one for you. She will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

But the child wasn’t sure he really wanted to go.

"But tell me, here in Heaven, I don’t do anything else but sing and smile, that’s enough for me to be happy."

God smiled. "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you every day. And you will feel your angel’s love and be happy."

"And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me," the child continued, "if I don’t know the language that men talk?"

God patted him on the head and said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."

The child was sad. "And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"

But God had an answer for that question too.

"Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."

The baby then turned to God and asked, "I’ve heard that on earth there are bad men, who will protect me?"

"Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life!"

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore," the child continued warily.

God smiled on the young one. "Your angel will always talk to you about me and will teach you the way for you to come back to me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from earth could already be heard. The child knew he had to start on his journey very soon.

He asked God one more question, softly, "Oh God, if I am about to leave now, please tell me my angel’s name."

God touched the child on the shoulder just before he departed and answered, "Your angel’s name is of no importance. You will simply call her ....Mommy."

B. Mothering may be the toughest job in the world—I think most men would say their glad their not mothers!

1. Today as we continue our study of the book of 1 John, we come to a subject that is very much associated with mothers: love.

2. Our society is very messed up when it comes to exactly what love is.

3. We love our dogs, we love our cheeseburgers, and we love our spouses.

4. They seem to be crying out in unison, "I wanna know what love is! And I want you to show me!"

5. Today, as we continue our study of 1 John, John gives us eight practical answers…

I. Love is other-centered

1 John 3:11-15, This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.

A. 1 Corinthians 13 says that love is not self-seeking.

1. Love is looking out for others.

2. I know that we say that others come before ourselves, but I would say that is often just words.

3. I think one of the ways that we see this the most is when someone suggests that something is done that we really don’t like personally and we get our noses all bent out of shape about it.

4. When we are looking out for ourselves we say things like, "I would rather…," "I’d like to see…," "My opinion is that they should’nt…," or perhaps even worse, "We’ve never done it that way before…"

B. The founding fathers of the Restoration Movement of which Somerset is a part, had a slogan that said, "In essentials: unity, in non-essentials: liberty, and in all things: love."

1. Somehow in recent years, that slogan has been forgotten.

2. What that slogan means is that in things that are of Biblical and spiritual importance, we should have unity.

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