Summary: Understanding love is a choice, there are three aspects of Love we will examine this morning: Love is the FOUNDATION upon which we are to live, the COMMAND by which we are to live, and the EXAMPLE for how we are to live.
Text: 1 Cor. 13; 1 John 4:8-21
1. For the past few weeks we have been looking at Living a Legacy. A Legacy is something you possess and pass on to someone else (typically, but not limited to, family). Generally what is transferred is of value to the recipient . So far we have seen the benefits of Living a Legacy of Hope and Faith. This morning we examine Living a Legacy of Love.
2. Love seems to be allusive. Waylon Jennings wrote this about love:
I was looking for love in all the wrong places
Looking for love in too many faces
Searching your eyes, looking for traces
Of what.. I'm dreaming of...
3. Love tends to be just that… a dream. We conjure up the best we can imagine and then go hunt for it. But love can only come from God. Mankind may develop substitutes, but real love is only found in God. Love is not a feeling or emotion; yes, that is how the world would describe it; but love is a choice with regards to how we are to live our lives.
Understanding love is a choice, there are three aspects of Love we will examine this morning: Love is the FOUNDATION upon which we are to live, the COMMAND by which we are to live, and the EXAMPLE for how we are to live.
I. Love is the Foundation upon which we are to live.
Thursday at Cory and Michelle’s wedding they had read verses from 1 Cor. 13 also known as the “Love chapter” of the Bible.
Read 1 Cor. 13 -
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
a. Without Love I am nothing.
i. Paul is addressing the Corinthian church regarding the use of gifts. There had been some issues raised that one gift was greater than another, but Paul (who was experienced with a variety of gifts) noted love as the greatest of gifts.
ii. Love is a gift of God. Man with his deceitful, corrupted heart is incapable of love on his own. Lust, infatuation, tolerance, but not love.
iii. On the outside you can look fantastic. You can serve others, teach, even have faith like a giant; but without love it is worthless.
So what is this love from God? Paul describes it:
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
b. True Love like this can only come from God. True Love is selfless.
i. Phil 2:3 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
ii. Living a Legacy of Love means living a life that is selfless and humble. Much easier said than done; this is why it is necessary to seek God’s strength instead of relying on your own. On your own (pardon my bluntness) you are selfish, sinful creatures. And so am I. On our own we would fail miserably, but God’s love does not fail.
Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
c. True Love is the expression of Faith and Hope. You can have faith and hope in many things but without love your faith and hope are unfounded. Love is the foundation by which we are to live our lives.