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Summary: 1- The charge of love 2- The creator of love 3- The crown of love

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INTRO.- ILL.- Someone wrote: If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it was and always will be yours. If it never returns, it was never yours to begin with.

If it just sits in your living room and messes up your stuff, eats your food, uses your telephone, takes your money and never behaves as if you actually set it free in the first place -- you either married it or gave birth to it! IT COULD BE!

Love, love, love. This is what our world needs but the world is often mixed up when it comes to love.

First and foremost, we must consider what the Word of God says about love. Consider some verses.

Romans 12:9-10 “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

This sounds like how brotherly love is supposed to work. Are you devoted to any brother or sister in Christ? Do you honor them above you?

1 Corinthians 4:17 “For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.”

It’s easy to love a faithful brother in Christ, is it not? It’s easier to love a faithful brother than an unfaithful brother.

ILL.- Jerry Ford is about 72 years old, a southern Baptist pastor of the 2nd Baptist Church of Herrin, IL. He has ministered probably 50 years and is very faithful and consistent in his work and preaching. He is a good student and preacher of the Word. He does his homework. He calls on his people. He ministers to his people faithfully. AND IT’S VERY EASY FOR ME TO LOVE HIM AS A BROTHER.

Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

It should be obvious that both husbands and wives should love one another. Sometimes, however, it’s one-sided or lop-sided. Elaine always says to me, “I love you most.” I say, “Ok!”

ILL.- On December 17, 2009, my daughter and her husband (Holly and Chris Santasiere) celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary. Holly wrote these words on facebook about Chris: I am the luckiest woman on earth today! Today I have been married 15 years to the most wonderful man, who adores and spoils me constantly. I love you, Chris!

I wrote Bob Stacy about this and here’s what he wrote about his anniversary and his dear wife, Nell: Sweet! Too bad all couples aren't that way! After nearly 55 years, Nell and I are still "in love." Many things have changed, but our love has only grown!

Wow! Pretty great, wouldn’t you say? Where does this kind of love come from. I think we all know. The Lord is the author of true love and this is what our text is all about.

PROP.- This text is all about love, true love, the real thing.

1- The charge of love

2- The creator of love

3- The crown of love

I. THE CHARGE OF LOVE

7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

ILL.- “You’re my child/kld and you will....whether you want to or not.” Did you ever say those words to your children or your child? “You are going to school like it or not!” “You will clean your plate or else you’ll go to bed hungry?”

Coercion generally doesn’t work well with some people but when it comes to God’s command to love one another we have more motivation to do it.

John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.

ILL.- When Benjamin Franklin wished to interest the people of Philadelphia in street lighting, he didn’t try to persuade them by talking about it—instead, he hung a beautiful lantern on a long bracket before his own door. Then he kept the glass brightly polished, and carefully hung it at the approach of dusk.

People wandering about on the dark street saw Franklin’s light a long way off and came under the influence of its friendly glow with grateful hearts. To each one it seemed to say; “Come along, my friend! Here is a safe place to walk. See that cobblestone sticking out? Don’t stumble over it! I shall be here to help you again tomorrow night, if you should come this way.”

It wasn’t long before Franklin’s neighbors began placing lights in brackets before their homes and soon the entire city awoke to the value of street lighting and took up the matter with interest and enthusiasm. Example is always a strong motivation for doing the right thing in life. And the Lord gives us the best example of all.

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