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Summary: Love is a prime ingredient in church growth

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SERIES: “THE GROWTH FACTORS”

TEXT: VARIOUS

TITLE: “THE AFFECTION FACTOR”

INTRODUCTION: A. Love: as defined by kids

1. “When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails

anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got

arthritis too. That’s love.”

2. “When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that

your name is safe in their mouth.”

3. “Love is when someone hurts you, and you get so mad, but you don’t yell at them

because you know it would hurt their feelings.”

4. “Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before

giving it to him, to make sure the taste is okay.”

5. “Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and

listen.”

6. “Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after

they know each other so well.”

7. Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer

than Robert Redford.”

8. Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.”

9. “You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you

should say it a lot. People forget.”

B. Tuesday is Valentine’s Day

--Men, are you ready?

1. I couldn’t think of a better day than two days before Valentine’s Day to address the

subject for this morning

2. We’ve been studying “The Growth Factors”

a. This morning we’re looking at “The Affection Factor”

b. The importance of love in growing our congregation numerically and ourselves

to spiritual maturity

3. Jn. 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.”

I. THE PRIORITY OF LOVE

A. Our society is confused about love

1. They see it as something expressed in a greeting card

2. We love our pets, our spouses, our children, pizza, chocolate, sports, etc, etc. etc.

3. But we need to understand the importance of love

--the Biblical kind of love which found its epitome in Jesus Christ

B. Jesus placed a premium on love as an essential quality to be nurtured in the lives of His disciples and in

the corporate life of the church

1. Love is not just “vital”. It’s “essential”

2. People don’t need the mushy, fuzzy, spineless ooze produced by secular minds

--They need the meaty compassion and commitment that we see in Christ

C. The scriptural emphasis

1. Jesus said that the second of the greatest commandments was to “love your neighbor as yourself”

2. Eph. 5:1-2 – “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as

Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

3. Col. 3:12-14 – “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with

compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive

whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And

over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

4. 1 Jn. 3:23 – “And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love

one another as he commanded us.”

D. Have you noticed that love is not an option? It’s a command

1. 1 Jn. 5:3 – “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,”

2. So why do we have such a difficult time when it comes to loving others?

3. The first verse of the following poem was written anonymously years ago.

--The next five were written by Ian Service

What joy to love the saints above

When I get home to glory.

To love below, the saints I know,

Well, that’s another story!

To love mankind I always find

To be a simple task.

To have love for the man next door

Is more than one should ask!

Love’s full and free when two agree;

It isn’t hard at all.

But easy it ain’t to love the saint

Who drives me up the wall!

When someone’s kind, and has Christ’s mind,

I love him with great ease.

But one who hurts with words he blurts,

Don’t make me love him, please!

If no one needs my loving deeds,

I love unstintingly.

But hungry saints with real complaints

Should stay away from me!

But Jesus said, to those He led,

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