Summary: The importance of Love in a church

1. What Real Love is Like

As many here experienced in the Marriage enrichment class we did on Wednesday nights in the fall we learned that there are a lot of different kinds of love, and it makes a bid difference how we understand the word Love in our lives and in the church.

God is Love

1 John 4:7-8 (NIV)

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

• Love is the most important part of the Kingdom of God because it is the central character quality of God – He is Love.

• Love is the Oxygen of the Kingdom of God, we can get along without a lot of things that are important, but we cannot survive without Love.

• I want you to experience what a church without Love is like…So I am going to ask you to hold your breath as long as you can.

- In the beginning we think that it doesn’t matter, and then it becoming harder, and less comfortable, then a slight panic sets in and finally we can’t stand it any longer and we breath – that is how important Love is the family of God.

God is not just Love, he is loving

• Jesus laid down His life for us – that is what love looks like

• In the OT love looked like this:

Leviticus 19:18 (NIV)

18 ”‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

• In the NT the look and feel of Love is slightly different

John 13:34 (NIV)

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

• Eternal Love is better still

John 17:26 (NIV)

26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Real Love is Jesus laying down His life for people who are unable to pay it back or deserve it in any way.

In the fall of 2005, 8-year-old Briton Nordemeyer of Brandon, South Dakota lost her tooth. Briton had heard about the victims of hurricane Katrina, and wanted to help the little children who lost all of their possessions. So, she decided to donate the money the tooth fairy would bring for her missing tooth to the local chapter of the Red Cross. Instead of waiting for the tooth fairy to arrive, however, Briton mailed her tooth to the Red Cross. She included a letter explaining her desire, and her confidence that the tooth fairy would render payment upon arrival.

When news about Briton’s generosity reached the public, the Red Cross received a $500 donation from an anonymous donor who had heard the story and wanted to help provide a fairy-tale ending.

2. What real Love looks like @ Church

1 John 3:18 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Love can be seen in individual Christians and we see the evidence of Love all the time, but it is even easier to see Love as the church comes together.

• Love is not in a mission statement that we will love people, it is not the sentence on the bottom of a church’s stationary that says the Loving church

• Love @ Church is not seen in only words – we care about you, or we love you, of those words are not backed up by actions

• Love @ Church is seen in actions

1 John 3:17 (NIV)

17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?

- If anyone has the means of life in this world and hoards them in their heart – How can the Love of God be in Him

- There is only room for one – either the Love of God or our stuff, the heart is only big enough for one.

According to the Self Storage Association, a trade group charged with monitoring such things, the country now possesses about 1.9 billion square feet of personal storage space outside of the home, 1 out of every 11 homes also own a self-storage space. This represents an increase of 75 percent since 1995. Last year alone saw a 24 percent spike in the number of self-storage units on the market. But, amazingly, as the amount of storage space required by homeowners has grown, so has the average size of the American house. In fact, the National Association of Homebuilders reports that the average American house grew from 1,660 square feet in 1973 to 2,400 square feet in 2004.

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