Summary: Here is a sermon that teaches us to "love one another". 1. The Standard of Love. 2. The Test of Love. 3. The Ultimate Example of Love. 4. The Unlimited Boundary of Love. 5. The Application of Love.
Living The Christian Life – Loving
Many years ago Robert Fulghum wrote a book titled: “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” This book was his way of sharing all that he thought we would need to live by in order to be happy and successful in life. He says:
• Share everything.
• Play fair.
• Don’t hit people.
• Put things back where you found them.
• Clean up your own mess.
• Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
• Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
• Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
• Take a nap every afternoon.
• When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
• Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
• Goldfish and hamsters and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
Robert Fulghum gave some great advice about life. But today I want to talk the most important lesson you need to know about being successful in life – I want to talk about Love. The advice I’m going to tell you abut comes from God’s Word the Bible. The Bible is God’s instruction book for successful living. Our text for today is found in first John chapter four beginning at verse seven. Follow along with me as I read:
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
1 John 4:7-11 (NKJV)
From these five verses the Bible gives us five insights that will help us better understand love.
Verse seven talks about:
1. The STANDARD of Love.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7 (NKJV)
God’s standard for us – is that we are to love ONE ANOTHER.
The Bible doesn’t say to only love the lovable. It doesn’t say to only love the healthy. It doesn’t say we should only love those who live in a ten mile radius of Burlingame, KS. It doesn’t say that we are to love only the middle class. What it does say is that we are love, “one another”. That’s “us” folks. We are instructed to love each other.
God wants us to accept one another – no matter what. No matter of a person’s past or present – no matter the color of their skin. No mater a person’s gender. No matter their political beliefs. No matter their occupation. No matter of a person’s educational level. No matter their level of spiritual maturity. No matter their monthly income. No matter of their age. God says that we are to love one another.
We need to say: “I will love and accept you exactly the way you are – warts and all.” If you want to succeed in love then you have to learn to accept one another no matter what. Follow along with me as I read from first Corinthians chapter one:
“Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of "the brightest and the best" among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these "nobodies" to expose the hollow pretensions of the "somebodies"?”
1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (MSG)
Take a look around you – those sitting next to you - to your right and to your left. Those sitting in back of you and in front of you. These are the people you are supposed to love. They are the “one anothers” that we are instructed to love. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”
Did you know that twelve times in the New Testament we are told to love one another? That’s right – twelve times! Now why would the New Testament tell us twelve times to love one another? It’s because love does not come naturally. It’s hard for us.