Summary: Love is an expression, not a feeling. It involves personal sacrifice.
I. Ideal Love
a. There was a Dad who took his kids to do a little shopping. As they drove up, they spotted an eighteen-wheeler parked with a big sign on it that said, "Petting Zoo." The kids jumped up in a rush and asked, "Daddy, Daddy. Can we go? Please. Please. Can we go?"
"Sure," He said giving them both a dollar before walking into Sears. They bolted away, and He went in looking for a scroll saw. A few minutes later, he turned around and saw His daughter walking along behind him. He was shocked to see she preferred the hardware department to the petting zoo. Recognizing his error, he bent down and asked her what was wrong.
She looked up at me with those giant limpid brown eyes and said sadly, "Well, Daddy, it cost two dollar. So, I gave Brandon my dollar."
b. what an amazing thing this little girl did for her brother. She gave up her ability to have fun so that her brother could get into see the animals.
c. In this little story we see a glimpse of what love really is.
d. Love is not that squishy warm feeling we get inside. Or at least it is not limited to just that feeling.
e. Love is about sacrifice.
f. Christ himself said truly I tell you no greater love does a man have than to give his life for his friends.
g. How great is the love of those who place their life on the line so that others may know the sweet taste of freedom.
h. On a morning that many of us will now never forget a small group of people with the final words, “Let’s roll” set off to stop four men who were seeking to destroy the lives of many others. They risked their own lives in an effort to stop people from hurting others.
i. No greater love have a man that to sacrifice himself for others.
j. And there are people in our lives who serve in a position that can and does risk their life for the benefit of others.
k. I have shared this before that I grew up in a military family.
a. My father was career Air Force – 1st flying the venerable B-52 and later as a senior mission planner for the B-1’s
b. So I have great respect for the men and women who serve in the uniformed services
c. For these men and women have answered a call to serve others in away that can put their lives on the line.
l. A firemen risking a blazing inferno to bring out a helpless child.
m. The policeman on patrol for whom a simple traffic stop can turn deadly.
a. Just the other day I saw a report about a cop who was shot after pulling somebody over for speeding.
n. No greater love have a person
o. Of course then there is the greatest example of sacrificial love, in the love that God showed us when he allowed three nails to bind him to a tree and his blood was poured out for us.
p. But we do not always see and experience the wonders of love.
q. Because we are not consistent in our love. It ebbs and it flows. Sometimes it even seems disappear.
II. Love lacking
a. True love is hard to come by because it requires a sacrifice on our part, a giving up of something of ourselves in order to express it.
b. And because of our sinful nature we are self centered.
i. We have the tendency to mistakenly believe the world revolves around us.
ii. And we focus on our own needs rather than reaching out to help others.
c. And no where is it more evident that we are self-centered than when it comes to our love God.
Cs Lewis, the author of many great books including the Chronicles of Narnia once said that “On the whole, God’s love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for Him.
i. Which is definitely true, because our love of God is not very evident because so often we are so often hindered by selfcenteredness..
ii. Jesus many times said that if you love me you will do my will.
iii. So to love Jesus means we have to submit to his desires and sometimes that means giving up our own desires because they conflict with his will.
iv. And if we act selfcentered we cannot do his will because his will is
v. love your neighbor as yourself.
vi. How you treat others in your life, be they the kid at the fast food restaurant who got your order wrong. Or your best friend who gave you the most awesome birthday present. How they are treated reflects just how much you love Jesus.