Summary: Finishes off my Seven virtures series, but needs some editing to fit the flow of the others.

“I want to know what love is” – selected scriptures

By James Galbraith

FBC, Port Alberni

August 27, 2006

(texts within message)


- will start on sermon series from Philippians soon

- wanted to share about something that we all can relate to

- we all want and need love, so here we go

- Back in the 80’s, a song came out that stood a bit apart from the usual froth of my generation

- I do like this music, but I recognize it’s strengths and weaknesses

- it was a love song,

but instead of the typical “I want you, I want you right now” message,

it was written from the standpoint of someone who feels empty inside.

He’s felt heartache and pain,

He feels lonely inside,

He feels that there’s something more he needs to search for,

and ultimately he makes the statement/question,

“I wanna know what love is”

That’s a question many of us ask, and maybe for some of the same reasons as the song writer:

- maybe we’ve been hurt by those who say they love us

- maybe we’ve never felt loved at all

- maybe we’ve been loved so much that we don’t understand how deep and true the Love of God really is!

Well, this message is my attempt to understand love,

as God himself wants us to know it and show it.

I’m going to tackle this in three steps

1. define/explaining love

2. understanding that love is expected of us

3. seeing love demonstrated for us, so that we can then love others

I. Love defined

Deuteronomy 7:8-9

8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.

If you wanted to summarize the Bible in ten words or less you could call it

“the greatest love story ever told”


- (*) represents all versions of word - 787 times in Bible

60/66 books - with exception of 2 Kings, Obadiah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Haggai, Acts


160 x in Psalms alone

- 69/150 Psalms

- 18 times in Psalm 119 - the longest Psalm

- 26 times in Psalm 136 - once in every verse

God and Love

- the words God and Love* occur together in 123 verses, in 42/66 books

- God is Love repeated twice in I John

Jesus and love*

forty verses, in 19/27 books of the NT

So what exactly is this love that occupies such an important role in the Bible?

I have yet to find a better definition than the one found in 1 Cor.13:4-8

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

4 Love is patient,

love is kind.

It does not envy,

it does not boast,

it is not proud.

5 It is not rude,

it is not self-seeking,

it is not easily angered,

it keeps no record of wrongs.

6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

7 It always protects,

always trusts,

always hopes,

always perseveres.

8 Love never fails.

This is the kind of love that God has for us,

and it is the kind of love that he wants us to have for others.

Which brings us to part two of this sermon - Love expected…

II. Love expected

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

** Love the Lord your God is repeated 12 times in Scripture

** love your neighbour as yourself repeated 9 times

People want to be loved. People need to be loved.

And most people are even prepared to love, if they will be loved in return.

However, love that comes out of our own strength is more often then not a selfish love.

We want to be taken care of

we want to be appreciated

we want to be treasured

we want to feel needed

we want to be accepted as we are for who we are,

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