Summary: To love and be loved is life’s greatest gift. Love is divine. Love is from God. Nobody knows more about love than God Almighty. He is the originator. Love was God’s idea.
Jesus: Teach Us How To Love
1. To love and be loved is life’s greatest gift. Love is divine. Love is from God. Nobody knows more about love than God Almighty. He is the originator. Love was God’s idea. 1 John 4:8
• This being Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be timely to speak on this subject of love. Jesus spoke about it.
2. In fact, Christ came to this earth and was a living demonstration of divine love.
• He came to reveal to us what true love is in a way that we can grasp and understand.
3. As we read Paul’s writings to the church, the idea is that since Christ has fully demonstrated His love to us, and since His Spirit now lives in us, we can love others as Christ has loved us. We can love in a divine way! Romans 5:5; Ephesians 5:2a, 25; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; 4:9; 1 John 4:7, 11; John 13:34; 15:12
4. In the passage before us, the subject of “love” is mentioned 8 times in six verses. Jesus spoke very personally with His disciples (his inner core group, his friends).
5. There is a lot that we can learn about love from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ.
6. Every believer can love as Christ loves. Christ makes that very clear. How can we love in such a divine way?
Love needs daily maintenance.
1. Every time I see that word “maintenance” it reminds me of a saying I heard once, “A marriage may be made in heaven, but the maintenance must be done on earth.” How true!
• Illustration: A story of couple married 60 years and dolls.
2. Jesus expresses this concept when He says, “…continue ye in my love.” vs. 9
• Continue means “to stay in a given place, state, or relation.” I tell my kids, “I want you to continue in the house while we are gone.” What does that mean? It means stay there and don’t leave.
• The issue here is not that Christ will stop loving them. This was something that they were to do and something that they were in control of.
• Also, the issue wasn’t “continue…to love me.” That is not what it says.
3. It wasn’t that they were in danger of losing His love. Christ’s love is constant. It wasn’t that they were being asked to love Him more. No, He said, “…continue ye (all of you) in my love.”
4. The issue was that they might no longer continue to abide and bask in His love, and in turn, manifest it to others (vs. 12).
• The danger then was in not appreciating Christ’s love and living in the reality of His love – not receiving it and allowing it to work within them.
• Illustration: A married couple – she loves him with all her heart and soul, but he leaves her for another woman. He didn’t abide in, appreciate, and value her love for him. Now do you see what He meant – “You abide in my love.”
5. What does this teach us? Love is something that must receive daily, on-going attention. Love must be maintained or it won’t be properly understood. Married couples, you must continue in each other’s love, daily giving and receiving that love from each other.
6. A big part of this is your personal growth in understanding of God’s love for you (vs. 9). Notice, as Christ basked in the Father’s love, He valued the Father’s love. Then, Christ was able to share that love with His disciples. vs. 10
7. As you grow in Christ’s love and abide in it, you will have a greater capacity to truly love others. This is exactly what Paul taught the church. Ephesians 3:17-19
• Paul didn’t want them to simply have a puppy love understanding of Christ’s love. He desired for them to have a true and deep understanding and comprehension of the divine love of Christ.
• How do you get this? It must be spiritually revealed through His Word. You read God’s Word – His love letter – and you accept it by faith. As this happens you are strengthened with spiritual might and power in your inner man (vs. 16). You are able to love at the deepest level, expressing the same passion that Christ displayed.
• The result is in verse 19 – you are filled with the fullness of God. “Filled” and “fullness” carry the idea of replete and running over. As you yield to God’s Word and His Spirit, God’s love begins running over in your life.
• What is the point? There is no way that Christ’s love can be shared through you until you understand Christ’s love for you. Now do you see why Christ said, “…continue ye in my love?”