Summary: Sermon inspired by a Thom Rainer blog where he encouraged pastors to challenge their congregations to Love Loud
Love Loud Dare
A couple of years ago Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, GA made a movie that many of us have seen called Fireproof…we showed a clip from it a couple of Sunday nights back.
The premise of the movie is a fire fighter who is watching his marriage fall apart and his father steps in and encourages him to wait 40 days before taking any action.
During that time he is to go through a book called The Love Dare which consists of 40 daily lessons from Scripture and a challenge that would show his wife how much he loved her.
The end result was after 40 days, his marriage wasn’t fixed…but he continued with the Love Dare until he finally reached out to his wife and won her back.
Not only that, but she said she wanted what ever caused the change in his life…and that was a relationship with Jesus Christ.
That is the power of love, especially a love that is loud.
Do love loud?
When I say “love loud” I mean having a love that is not one you simply talk about, but one that is evident because it is both seen and heard.
Sadly, when we are loud…it usually isn’t about love, now is it?
We are loud about moral standards that we hold dear…and rightly so.
We are loud in our disagreements…even if the lost and seeker are witnessing it.
We are loud when we assume we are right...even when we might be wrong.
But are we loud in our love?
This morning, I want us to consider how to love loud together.
Read 1 John 3:11-20.
Dr. Johnny Hunt, President of the SBC, has challenged our denomination to “Love Loud”.
What would it be like if our congregation were to make this our personal challenge?
What would God do if we “dared” to love loudly?
What would our community see if we put the love of Christ in action? Today, I challenge you to the Love Loud Dare!
4 Truths about Loving Loudly:
1.Love is not an option (vs. 11)
If you are a born again believer this morning, you have no option but to love others.
Because it was Jesus Himself who said, “You must love...”
Listen to His exact words, John 13:34-35, 15:12-17.
It is a commandment, not a suggestion.
It isn’t even a recommendation...He said do it!
It is one of those commandments that we find not only repeated, but repeated often in Scriptures, and that should tell us something.
In fact, one of the few commandments we find more often in Scripture is “sing your praise to the Lord...”
But then again, that may be the issue.
We put so many restrictions on what we like or prefer, and allow our cultural preferences to dominate our worship...we have a hard time singing our praise to the Lord.
And if we can’t do something as simple as singing, no wonder we struggle with loving.
Yet, that doesn’t excuse from the fact that God has called us to love.
First of all, love Him...that is the first and greatest commandment.
And 2nd, to love our neighbor as ourselves.
And who is our neighbor, depends on where you are.
At home, the person next door to you.
In the store, the person in line in front or behind you.
At church...just look around.
Can you honestly say that you love others as you love yourself?
Can you truly love God if you don’t love others?
If you don’t love, perhaps you are experiencing the opposite extreme, which is hate.
Well, there is a problem with that, and that is our 2nd truth about loving loudly this morning...
2.Hate is a serious sin (vs. 12-15)
A born again believer should not capable of hating another person!
You might be able to not like something about them, or be discouraged about behavior...but hate is never, never, NEVER a feeling we should have for another person.
Don’t ever forget how heinous hatred really is...Jesus spoke about it in the Sermon on the Mount.
Read Matt 5:21-22.
Jesus is telling us that the emotion of hate is so vile, that to hate another person is no different than murder.
Think about that for a moment...and think about the last time you either said “I hate” or felt hate for someone.
It is no different than saying “I’m going to kill you...”
Hate is a serious sin, and for the born again believer it should not even be an option for us.
If you have been born again, changed by God’s grace from the inside out and filled with His Holy Spirit...there is no room for the emotion of hate for another person.
If you do hate someone, you need to repent...right now, seek forgiveness and ask for God to love that person through you.