Summary: Do you know what it’s like to intend the best but be thought of in the worse possible way; to give deeply and not get something back; to be intentional in trying to build a bridge in a relationship only to get your legs chopped off at the knees? If the an
“LOVE – something you act upon, not simply feel” – Sermonspice.com
Glenys’ family – wonderful, relaxed wrap up to any conversation – “loves ya!” Not merely sentiment with words but words that are an expression of what is lived out.
It is a sentiment that needs to be lived out in the life of the Church but more than an expression to being an experience.
I must confess though, I find it hard to dispense the gift of love when it comes to dealing with people and situations that will not be easily consoled or cares little about my feelings.
Have you had those experiences or am I alone in this? Do you know what it’s like to intend the best but be thought of in the worse possible way; to give deeply and not get something back; to be intentional in trying to build a bridge in a relationship only to get your legs chopped off at the knees?
If the answer is YES then this sermon is for me and for you, even if there are only two of us in the building!
God has plenty to say to us on this love subject. As we explore what He says, we need to understand that these instructions are necessary if we are to love like God. To love like God is to attain to the highest experience of human interaction and relationship.
LOVE LESSONS 101:
1. Love is commanded
• Key words – “command” – “love” – “as I have” – “must love”.
Jesus had hung out with these twelve men for three years. They ate, slept, worked and journeyed together for a long time (it’s a long time when you’re always in the same company). Jesus’ death was now at the doorstep of fulfilled prophecy and if ever they needed to get the point of his life and work, it had to be now. So He spelled out the absolute, non-negotiable, if-you-want-to-be-great-in-God’s-Kingdom message which is, YOU MUST LOVE EACH OTHER JUST THE WAY I HAVE LOVED YOU.
Of course they understood the message from the incomplete perspective of all that Jesus meant to them up to this point. The cross had not happened just yet and it would be years later before John grasped the full strength of that instruction that led him to write in chapter 15, verse 13, “the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends.”
Jesus takes the love language even further when he speaks about how we should love our enemies. He says “If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5) What is that perfection? It is perfect love – love that reaches out even to the people we don’t like.
God is telling us IT IS NOT AN OPTION TO NOT LOVE. We MUST love. To ignore it is to disobey His instruction and to put ourselves out of relationship with God – 1 John 4:8, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (SLIDE) This commanded love is a reference to our relationship to other believers, other Christians, other people who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ – to one another in this church today.
To love each other is to use the most powerful tool we have to demonstrate to other people what it means to know Jesus and to have a relationship with God.
Love is not only commanded / required / expected with no excuse, LOVE LESSON 101 also teaches:
2. Love is costly
I can read your thoughts because I’m having some of the same thoughts – “it’s one thing to talk about loving each other. You don’t know what I’ve been through or how people have treated me. That’s just too much to ask.”
Opening statement - “LOVE – something you act upon, not simply feel” – Sermonspice.com
• If Jesus decided to make excuses about why he had the right not to love us and go to the cross – responding to what he felt instead of acting on what he knew to be right, where would we be? E.g. Jesus FELT absolutely cold to the concept of the cross. However he responded – ACTED – on the knowledge of what God wanted of Him for this time.
• Love is not simply an emotion felt as much as it is a choice to make.
• People of God, we have a choice to make and the time is now – will you love or not love, in respond to the instruction of God in today’s verses?