Summary: Where do we as Christians find our definition and understanding of love?
The husband had just finished reading the book, "MAN OF THE HOUSE". He stormed into the kitchen and walked directly up to his wife. Pointing a finger in her face he said:
"From now on, I want you to know that I am the man of this house and my word is law! I want you to prepare me a gourmet meal tonight, and when I’m finished eating my meal, I expect a sumptuous dessert afterward, Then after dinner, you are going to draw me my bath so I can
relax. And when I’m finished with my bath, guess who’s going to dress me and comb my hair?"
His wife replied......."The funeral director would be my guess"
Guys, I don’t recommend you go home and try this with your wife this afternoon. I would expect that if we did, we would have much the same reaction, and probably even worse.
What is love? It’s obviously not speaking to a loved one the way that husband did. Love is a word that has been given much study in trying to understand exactly what it is. We hear it and probably use it multiple times each day. I love that car or house, we loved the movie last night, for my wife, she loves coffee. For me, I love a good steak. It seems that we have turned something very special into a word, which we use to describe our feelings for everyday things, which has lessened the true meaning of the word.
How often within the church, do we come up to each other and say, I love you, to someone other than our spouse or children? Certainly not often enough. Love is a very special emotion, completely in a class by itself. What other word can make a person feel so happy about themselves with merely the mention of it. I know for me and Melissa, just hearing or saying, “I love you” can melt away any stress we may have, or can turn a bad day into a great one.
So where do we get our understanding of love? Obviously, it is not from society, as we have seen how love has taken a negative tone within the world. This past weekend, we celebrated Easter and remembered what sacrifice Jesus did for you and for me as He was crucified. That is true love. It is not the trivial things we use the word to describe; it is the expression of the deep and constant love of a perfect being towards entirely unworthy objects, we are those objects.
*Turn in your Bibles to 1 John 4:7-12.*
I want to break this passage up into three main points that I think we can all benefit from.
1. Love Defined 7 – 8
Love comes FROM God. It is only through an intimate relationship with Him, that we are able to fully know love and to show it to others. People have tried for years to find love on their own, the problem is, without God, we have no idea what real love is. Within the pages of Scripture, we find the definition of love, God.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
John Wesley wrote: “It is hard to find human words to explain ‘the depth of God. We read here in 1 John, the best description of the depth of God, Love. God is love! We see repeatedly throughout Scripture this being so. From the calling of Abraham, to God sending His Son Jesus to be our Savior, God has shown His love for us, His creation. We often hear of God’s attributes, holiness, compassion, keeper of His covenants. Those are certainly important attributes of God; however, here is the ultimate attribute of God, love.
Eph 2:4,5 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.
John shows us how important love is by stating that everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. If we love God and know God, our lives will be lived as one characterized by this love.
For us in the church, it is not enough to simply know what love is, we also need to know how we as Christians can show and share this love with others.
2. Love Demonstrated 9 – 10
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”