Summary: The essence of our existence is centered in relationships and love. We can not truly experience either of these with out first having a right relationship with God. This sermon should challenge listeners to experience the true authentic love of Christ and

Subject: Authentic Love

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13.7

Sermon: Love Is…

Scope: This sermon should challenge each listener to experience the true authentic love of Christ and share it with others.

Summary: The essence of our existence is centered in relationships and love neither of which we can truly experience until we have experience a love relationship with Jesus Christ.

Segue: I want to share 3 truths about love that will help you experience a true authentic relationship with God and others.

Introduction: We have just survived … I mean celebrated the bitter sweet holiday we call Valentines Day. It is bitter sweet because women love it and men fear it. Women love it because they hope against hope that the dormant section of the male brain that houses the romantic nature will miraculously come to life again. All of their romantic hopes rest upon this obscure holiday set in the depth of the winter. They wait in anticipation for a miracle of romance to occur.

While women love Valentines Day men fear it. We fear it because we do not know what our dear lady wants on any given day of the year much less this day. Why should they expect any thing different from us on Valentines Day? Yet, they do. So, we frantically try to meet expectations we can not understand nor comprehend and the stress of Valentines Day overwhelms us as we try to pull of the impossible. Such is the roller coaster of relationships and love.

Relationships and love are like two peas in a pod. As the old song says, "they go together like a horse and carriage." Relationships and love are the fundamental elements of life. These are the very concepts that we were created to engage in. When you boil life down to its essential elements you will find that the foundational concepts are relationships and love.

In fact God has created us in such a way so that our very existence hinges upon these two concepts. The Bible bears this out. The heart of God and His Word is centered on relationships and love. The fundamental Law of God is hinged on these two concepts. Jesus expresses this clearly in Matthew 22 as he is questioned by the lawyer asking Him to share what He understood as the greatest commandment. In answering this question Jesus reveals to us that the Divine plan and purpose of God for our lives rests in the fundamental elements of relationships and love. The lawyer asked for the greatest commandment and Jesus gave him the reason for our existence.

Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to love God with everything you are, but He didn’t stop there. He went on to express that the second greatest commandment was to love your neighbor as yourself. While these two statements are profound enough, Jesus, with His next statement revealed the key to our whole existence. Hear what He said, "on these two commandments hang ALL of the Law and the Prophets." The phrase Law and Prophets is a euphemism for the entirety of God’s Word in their time. We understand that to be the Old Testament. In essence Jesus was saying that the very heart of all of God’s teaching rest upon these two commandments.

In order to see the significance of this even more we must think just a moment about the underlying source of these commandments which is the Ten Commandments. In these two statements Jesus summed up the Ten Commandments. When God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses we know from His Word that He wrote them on two stone tablets. On one tablet are four laws that deal with out relationship with God. On the other tablet are six laws that deal with our relationship with each other. At the heart of each of these relationships is one key world -- Love. Therefore, the very essence of God’s purpose for our existence is to enter into a personal relationship of true authentic love with Him and to share that Godly love as we develop meaningful relationships with each other. So, my friends what we are discussing today is at the very heart of our reason for existing. Today we are talking about aspect of love in relationships.

Love is the glue that holds relationships together. Therefore, today I want to share three truths about love with you that will help you in your efforts to love God and love others. We will begin with the challenges of love, we will continue with the character of love, and we will finish with the source of true authentic love. May God open our minds to understand as we open His word today.

I. The Challenges of Love -- "All Things".

a. All things in your self.

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