Summary: Everyone admits that love is wonderful and necessary, yet no one agrees on just what it is. If our songs, movies and poems (as interesting and entertaining to listen to, watch, and read as they are), are any indication, most of us don’t really know what l
Notation: Today we will be taking a break from our Parables of Jesus series to celebrate love and marriage. I cannot miss this opportunity to address one of the most critical subjects of all…loving someone.
Opening Statement: Perhaps, our musicians who seem to be enamored by love underscore this the most. But even then, there seems to be some confusion on what love is and what we should do with love. Elvis sang, “I can’t help falling in love with you.” Tina Turner sings, “What’s love got to do with it.” And what about the movies? From “Sleepless in Seattle” to “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” we are all led to believe that love is something that we fall into and live happily ever after. Many of the movies that we watch come from Hollywood, CA. I’ve driven through there and believe me; it’s not that impressive. In fact, it’s a little disappointing. And what about our poetry? We tell our beloved how we would climb high mountains to be near them, swim wide oceans, cross deserts in the burning heat of day, and even sit at their window and sing love songs to them in the moonlight, but when it comes to doing the dishes, all of sudden, we’ve been on our feet too long today and can’t quite muster up enough gusto to knock those dishes out.
Quotation: Poet Samuel Daniel, a contemporary of Shakespeare, said, "Love is a sickness full of woes, all remedies refusing." Love is the universal topic of writers, poets and singers. It is the subject of both highbrow literature and the lowly country song.
Observation: Everyone admits that love is wonderful and necessary, yet no one agrees on just what it is. If our songs, movies and poems (as interesting and entertaining to listen to, watch, and read as they are), are any indication, most of us don’t really know what love is; we confuse real love with other experiences and emotions. Consequently, we have no basis on which to evaluate the relationships we pursue and the decisions we make in search of real love.
Key Word: What we need—and what we most want to hear-- is a realistic and Biblical understanding of true love. So let me suggest to you first what love is not, and then I’ll try to show you what love is.
Title: Real Love
Text: John 3:16; 15:13
Recitation: 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 15:13 No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life for his friends.
Opening Statement: You weren’t expecting it. You never saw it coming. You were minding your own business when it happened. You were standing in front of your locker at school, just talking with your friends, when all of a sudden the door opened and --WHAM! BAM! SHAZAAM! -- through the door walked your dream come true, a combination of all the posters hanging on your bedroom wall, the embodiment of all your fantasies, the fulfillment of all your hopes, and you knew, like you never knew anything before, that you were in love, that here was the person you would marry, that you had just met. . . .your destiny!
Transition: That’s how it’s supposed to happen, right? That’s what love looks like, right? That’s how people fall in love, right? Love at first sight is not a miracle. It’s when two people have been looking at each other for years that it becomes a miracle.
Observation: Everyone wants to love and be loved. And at this point in your lives, there may be nothing as powerful as that desire. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Without it, life would be, at best, incomplete--at worst, desperate. The yearning to give and receive love throbs in the heart of everyone, male and female alike. That’s the way God designed us. He placed the need for relationship inside each of us. People try in many different ways to discover true love, real love, a love that is strong and deep, a love that lasts for all time. Yet the pursuit of love has caused more heartache and pain, more brokenness and bitterness, than all the diseases and all the wars of history. A lot of people struggle mightily to understand what love is and how they can find it. Many are willing to give almost anything in order to experience love.
What Love Is Not
Real love isn’t the same as lust. Love gives; lust takes. Love values; lust uses. Love endures; lust subsides.
Real love isn’t the same as romance. Some couples experience emotional fireworks when they kiss. Some guys can speak words that make a girl feel so good inside. Some girls can make a guy feel taller and stronger than anyone else, just by looking into his eyes. Candlelight dinners, mood music, slow dances, and starry skies can make a moment special. Romance can be wonderful, but it’s not love. Romance is a feeling; real love is much more.