Summary: The importance of loving one another. Not just fellow Christians.
Love = Choices and Actions
If you could sum God up in one word, what would that word be? Would it be Almighty? Would it be Omnipotent? Or possibly Creator?
Any one of these would be a legitimate answer. You see, He is Almighty. He is omnipotent. He is also the Creator! But the word that I am looking for is Love! I am sure that everyone here today would agree that God is indeed Love!
Think about everything that he has done for you out of love. Think about all that he has done for all of us out of love! He has done so much for me that I could not even begin to list everything! My life, my family, this church. But most of all, His son, Jesus Christ!
One of the biggest responses of people that we share the plan of salvation with, is that they cannot understand how he can forgive the despicable things that they have done. How can anyone forgive a murderer? An adulteress? A thief? A liar? The things that people could never forgive? And it truly is amazing at how he can forgive like this! But none the less- he does forgive them all! He does it because of unconditional Love!
He unconditionally loves you, you, you and me! Each and everyone of us!
Just what should be our response be to this Love? Just how should we react to this powerful gift of Grace that God has given us? What does he want our response to his eternal love?
The first thing I want to do is to clearly define just what love is. What this love does for us. What it does for others. What it does for the Church.
A survey of 8,600 people from congregations in 39 different denominations measured their `love quotient’. The conclusion - growing churches are more loving to each other and to visitors than declining churches. Loving churches attract more people regardless of their theology, denomination or location.
Love is defined as a strong affection, desire or devotion. So why is it exactly that we say things like, “ I love my wife’s asparagus?” or “I love watching football!” Should we really use a word o f this magnitude for such ‘things’? Like the Dallas Cowboys? Vegetables?
I think that somewhere we have diluted the true meaning of this beautiful word. So, this morning, I would like to go to the authority o f love, God, and his word to clearly define the true meaning of Love.
Let’s open our bibles to the book of Corinthians. Chapter 13 is known as the love chapter. Beginning in verse 4 and to the beginning of verse 8. We read, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud, it is not rude. It is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, it always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Now that is a very tall order, wouldn’t you say?! Love is patient. Patient means to have hopeful forbearance. To have endurance. Staying power. Love is not self-seeking. Love is something for you. It is sacrificial. You give without any expectations in return.