Summary: This message is how people look for love in places other than the place to find it. It is also how true love promotes faithfulness and forgivenss in our lives.
Stupid Cupid and the Effect of Love
Intro: Society has a warped view of love and how it shows up in our lives. Often love is thought of as flowing from person to person. If you “Google” the word love, and you have to be very careful doing this, you will find all sorts of websites,120,000,000 to be exact. Here are some examples that you will find:
I love Dogs.com
I love Cats.com (Although this one is a plea to spay or neuter)
I love Cheese. Com
I love Lucy.com
We love the Iraqi Information Minister.com
True Romance Dating Service.com
The Love Calculator.com
(On this site you type in your name and your mates name and it gives you the odds of your relationship lasting. Alana and I got 41%)
The interesting aspect is that on all these sites, love is seen as almost an entirely human endeavor.
Theme: True love begins with God and is passed on to others.
All true love originates with God. Man would not have any concept of love without God loving us.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” 1John 3:16
Without Jesus demonstrating love, we would have no idea what love is.
Proverbs point out two great effects of love in our lives:
Ex: Faithfulness is a by-product of love. When true love is found, faithfulness is also present.
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name with God and man.”
The term “faithful” comes from the Hebrew term for certain.
When true love, love, that originates from God and grows in our hearts, is present, faithfulness is one of the results.
In the Hebrew text love, (hesed) is almost always used in connection with a result; faithfulness, righteousness, steadfastness.
This type of love, though evidenced in man, always refers back to God’s love.
This love demonstrates a covenant or a love contract between God and man.
“Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.” Proverbs 16:6
Gods love is a contract that he will never break. It is an unfailing love.
“The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Psalm 147:11
NAR: Alana and I have a Marriage Covenant that hangs on the wall at our house. As soon as you walk in the door it is the first thing you see. We had a special anniversary dinner with our children and explained that this document was an outward sign of our commitment to never divorce. We vowed to each other and to them that we would remain faithful and in love to one another. We both signed it and had the kids sign it.
APP: Do you trust Gods faithful love? Does a failed human relationship cause you to question the eternal love of God? He is always loving and faithful.
Ex: Gods love allows us to experience forgiveness from him, but also to forgive others.
Forgiveness from God:
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in transgressions- it is by grace you have been saved.”
God’s love produced a harvest of forgiveness for us.
Forgiveness For Others:
“Hatred starts fighting, but love pulls a quilt over the bickering.” Proverbs 10:12(The Message)
Gods love and forgiveness for us allows us to forgive others. Forgiveness is one way Gods love passes from one person to another.
Three important truths about forgiving:
1) Forgiving is not forgetting.
We may never forget how someone hurt us, especially if we are victims of violence or abuse. But God has called us to forgive.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
2) Forgiveness is a choice.
It is our decision to forgive. We can either choose forgiveness or bitterness. But we must live with whatever choice we make. It is not our place to repay evil but Gods.
“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for Gods wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Romans 12:19
3) Forgiveness is agreeing to live with the consequences of someone else’s sin.
The greatest example was Jesus. Even though he literally died, he refuse to bring condemnation. From the cross he cried:
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34