Summary: This a Valentine’s Day Message focusing on John’s call for us to Love One Another
***Intro - play first part of Beatles song, “All You Need Is Love” found on youtube***
In 1967, John Lennon and Paul Mcartney, were asked to write and perform a song for a live broadcast that would go out all across the world. The song they wrote and chose was All You Need Is Love. It was an instant hit... Lennon was fascinated by slogans and their power to unite. Love is all you need has a simple, and yet profound message
Jesus said it this way, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
The Apostle John picks up on this theme in his first letter to the churches... If you have your bibles, let’s look together at 1 John 4:7-12 (Read Text)
If you had to choose one text to share with someone, that sums up the gospel and our calling as followers of Christ, this passage might be it. Jesus often reminded his disciples of the importance and the nature of love, and here, John seems to remind us of those same truths.
I have highlighted some of this passage for us this morning. The first is this “let us continue to Love One Another”
Have you ever wondered why John starts there? If they were already loving one another - why does he say to continue? to keep going? to do that more and more?
Love that is not expressed, or shown, fades over time.
If you want to test it this out, here’s a little test for those of you in relationships - skip valentines day. Just forget about it. Don’t buy flowers. Don’t buy candy. Don’t make any special plans t celebrate...
That would be terrible, right? Why? Because love is meant to be expressed - and when it isn’t expressed in a while, it begins to fade. That’s why I think John says here “continue” to love one another. keep it up. Don’t stop. Keep going.
After his reminder, he gives us a challenge: “ Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Here’s the challenge... You don’t get to choose to love or choose who you love. If you are a believer. If you are truly a child of God, then you are called to love.
The evidence of you being his is love. You think about that for a second. Let that sink in a moment. The evidence of you being his child is love.
Listen to this quote from Rockstar Bono - “Well, you know, I am not a very good advertisement for God. So, I generally don’t wear that badge on my lapel. But it is certainly written on the inside. I am a believer. There are 2,103 verses of Scripture pertaining to the poor. Jesus Christ only speaks of judgement once. It is not all about the things that the church bangs on about. It is not about sexual immorality, and it is not about megalomania, or vanity. It is about the poor. ’I was naked you clothed me. I was a stranger and you let me in.’ This is at the heart of the gospel. Why is it that we have seemed to have forgotten this? Why isn’t the church leading this movement? I am here tonight because the church ought to be ready to do that.”
The evidence of your being His is Love...
John also gives us a definition: “This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins”
I think John knows how impossibly hard it is for us to remember what real love looks like - so he reminds us of the cross. If you want to see real love look there. And he points out one of my favorite things about the nature of God’s love. It goes first.
If we are honest, most of our love is in response. I love you because, you love me... Not God’s love - not real love. Real love is a sacrificial love that is willing to say, it doesn’t matter if you love me or not - I love you.
That seems like an impossible kind of love doesn’t it? But listen to this... Look at this last thing that John says... “No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.”
Here’s the kicker - you and I are the tangible expression of God’s love.
John reminds us that no one can see God - what they see is us!