Summary: Love is the hallmark characteristic of the Christian and is the power in reaching out to a lost world.
What is love, from a kid’s point of view?
"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. You know that your name is safe in their mouth."
"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 what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
"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."
“Love is when Daddy reads me a bedtime story…and doesn’t skip any pages.”
"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."
Several years ago, Bonnie Raitt wrote and performed a song entitled, “Let’s Give ‘Em Something to Talk About”. The song describes two people that everyone was talking about. Everyone else said they secretly carrying on a clandestine relationship when the narrator of the song suggests they really give them something to talk about… “How about love”, she says.
What would get people talking about the love of McAdenville Wesleyan Christians?
In Mark, chapter 3, we have three illustrations of how Jesus emphasized something different than what popular thinking and teaching of the day would have dictated. At the end of our time together we will understand how loving the way Jesus did will get people talking about the right things…that Christians are known for their love. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:35
1. Jesus emphasized Love over Legalism (v.1-6)
• The heart of the rejection of Jesus is the thirst for power. The Herodians and Pharisees were afraid of losing power.
• The Herodians supported the Roman provincial government under which they thrived. The Pharisees supported the current religious structure under which they manipulated the masses.
• It’s common for normal people to think of Christians as narrow-minded, holier-than-thou judges. Why? Because we are more concerned, many times, about preaching against sin instead of demonstrating the power of God’s love into the lives of needy.
• In this passage we see Jesus desiring to bring the power of God into the life of a needy man. All the critics could see was that He wasn’t doing it the way they thought it should be done. They were more concerned about the rules than the people the rules were made to benefit. (And Jesus destroyed their poor understanding of what the Sabbath was about).
• Our goal should be to welcome anyone unconditionally and only present Christ to them. We don’t expect anyone to follow the pattern of Christ until they have repented of sin and His Holy Spirit is within them living to establish that new life.
2. Jesus emphasized Love over Leisure (v.7-12)
• Jesus was trying to rest. It says that He withdrew with His disciples to the lake. This was a familiar retreat for them.
• But they couldn’t escape the throngs of needy individuals hoping for a touch that would bring healing.
• There were so many that Jesus had to devise a crowd control/escape plan.
• It’s common for normal people to think of Christians as nothing but talkers because they rarely see them get themselves dirty in working sacrificially.
• Hal Niedzviecki in his book "We Want Some Too: Underground Desire and Reinvention of Mass Culture" - Has identified another type of culture that exists today which he calls "Lifestyle Culture" defined as "the triumph of our leisure lives over the things we are supposed to be paying attention too."
• Steve Camp wrote a song entitled “Run to the Battle”. He writes, “Some people want to live within the sound of chapel bells, but I want to run a mission a yard from the gates of hell.”
• It is a popular thought today that God is a business and people are His consumers. For example, I heard L.L. Cool J talking about his faith. He talks about God’s blessings in his life and yet his songs have nothing of Christ in them. They are filled with profanity and contrary to the values of Christian living. His lifestyle is one of obscene extravagance and self-indulgence. God is not in the business of giving us things.