Summary: What is a Christian? A mind through which Christ Thinks. A voice through which Christ Speaks. A Hand through which Christ Helps. A Heart through which Christ Loves
Beloved, let us Love one another… I John 4:7-21
Five days ago we celebrated a holiday of sorts called Valentines Day. Valentines Day is a day that is set apart to show and share Love. In light of Valentines Day and to keep this message as light as possible, I’ll speak this morning on the subject of Love. Love is not a light subject according to the Bible and we as Christians need to remember that it was because of God’s love for us we can have a relationship with him and him with us.
So this morning as I speak about love I need for you to remember from what direction I am speaking. Not of the world, not of the flesh, but of God’s Word. And from who’s prospective I am speaking … from the Christian prospective.
What is a Christian?
A mind through which Christ Thinks.
A voice through which Christ Speaks.
A Hand through which Christ Helps.
A Heart through which Christ Loves.
Now, the main problem with Christians here isn’t that they aren’t where they need to be according to love. It’s that they aren’t what they need to be where they are. And what I mean by that is that we all are in different situations with different love lives. For some to love comes easier and for others to love comes hard. But when we throw the equation of “(Me + Jesus) x Love = NO EXCUSE” into the mix, our excuses go away.
With that said, Lets look at Love according to God.
In scripture there are 4 different types of love:
EROS – Erotic, sensual, sexual, passionate love. (Spousal)
STORGE – Family love. (Family)
PHILIA – Deep Friendship, brotherly/partnership love. (Community)
AGAPE’ – unconditional, unchanging love. (World)
(Draw: World, Community, Home, Bedroom on Board)
Turn to Song of Solomon 8:6, 7
Love is as strong as death. It cannot be killed by time or disaster; it cannot be bought for any price; because it is freely given. Love is priceless and even the richest King cannot buy it. Love must be accepted as a gift from God then shared. We are to accept the love of our spouses as God’s gift to us and strive to make it a reflection of the perfect love that comes from God himself.
Sadly EROS is ruined by the world… (See magazine – Bringing up a Moral Child)
“Marriage is to be honorable and respected among all and the marriage bed undefiled, but sexual sinners and adulterers, God will judge.” Hebrews 13:4
Turn to I Corinthians 13:4-7, 13
Our society confuses Lust and Love. Unlike lust, God’s kind of love is directed outward towards others, not inward towards ourselves. The type of love we’re talking about here is unnatural. It is possible only if God supernaturally helps us set aside our own desires so we can give love while expecting nothing in return.
Therefore, the closer we come to Christ the more love we will show to others.
Turn to I John 2:2,8,11
The commandment to love is both old and new. We find it in Leviticus 19:18 but its new because Jesus interpreted it in a new “radical” way. (John 13:34,35) “A new command I give you – love one another just as I have loved you. This will prove to the world that you are my disciples.
See the importance of proving your love?
Love should be the unifying force and the identifying mark of the Christian community. It’s the key to walking in the Light because we cannot grow spiritually while we hate others.
What about disliking others? Fortunately, Christian love is not necessarily a feeling but a choice. We can choose to be concerned with people’s well-being, whether or not we feel affection toward them. (Example: Not everyone that worked on the spaghetti dinner knew Michelyn personally, but because of their compassion for their fellowman, they helped. Not everybody that bought spaghetti craved spaghetti. They bought because it was to help show their love and support for a community friend.)
Turn to John 3:14-24
Real Love is an action not a feeling. It produces selfless, sacrificial giving. The greatest act of love anyone can do is to give himself for others. Most moms and dads probably wouldn’t think twice if it came down to giving their life for their child.
So how can we lay down our lives for others? Daily cross-bearing, putting Christ first, then others, then ourselves. JOY!
James tells us to be a doer of the Word, not just a hearer.
We are to be “Doers of Love” James and John both punch hard at this point in their letters. Why? Sadly, many people who profess faith in Christ are lacking in AGAPE’.
Far too many churches have been split by un-loving people. While love was a highly talked about subject for Jesus, it may also be one of the least practiced by professed Christians.