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Summary: How can we as humans know what true love is? God’s love for humanity guides us to understanding true love.

“What Is Love?” 12/15/2009 A.M.

I. 1 Corinthians 13

A. We can get a greater understanding of what true love is from understanding God’s love for us.

1. God’s love is complete.

a. Vs. 1-3

- The love of God is the key ingredient that completes the recipe of all that we attempt to do in our life.

- Anything that we attempt, without the love of God, is incomplete and not enough.

- When we add to the mix God’s love in everything that we do, we have a complete project.

- Many have preached, taught, and sang without the love of God, and it was not enough to get the job done.

- When our actions are based solely on a “have-to” mentality, or out of a desire fulfill an obligation or sense of guilt, then we have not truly given of ourselves.

- When our actions begin with the love of God, then that which we set out to accomplish is truly complete.

- John 3:16

- When Christ came to this earth to be the sacrifice for our sins, He came because He loved us, not because He would gain anything from it.

- John 19:30 – “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

- What was finished was that all scripture concerning His ministry had been fulfilled, but they weren’t just fulfilled, they were completed.

- He was saying my love for you has completed the work of salvation, and my love for you will cause me to rise for you again.

2. God’s love is loving someone who doesn’t love you back.

a. Vs. 4-5

- Notice here that it says love is patient.

- It takes true patience to show someone love who returns the opposite to us.

- Matthew 5:44 – “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”

- I used to feel that God didn’t know what He was asking of us when He commanded us to love our enemies, those who do NOT love us.

- Then I realized that since the beginning of time humanity has refused to fully, truly, and completely love the creator of the universe and Savior of their soul, yet He continues to shower us with His love.

- Romans 5:8 – “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

- Fireproof movie – it was near impossible for him to continue to love his wife with her continuing to reject his attempts at showing love, until he realized his love was not enough, and he needed the love of God in his life.

3. God’s love doesn’t hold a grudge.

a. Vs. 6-7

- Humans lack the ability to forget.

- When someone does something to us, it is always floating around in the back of our mind.

- We even keep those things floating around just in case they mess up again, and we can bring up what they have done to us before.

- Psalm 103:12 – “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

- Micah 7:19 – “He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”

- Isaiah 43:25 – “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”

- The love of God does not hold our past mistakes and sins against us.

4. God’s love never fails.

a. Vs. 8-13

- Where there are preachers, there is failure.

- Where there are those who speak in tongues, there is failure.

- Where there are know-it-alls, there is failure.

- The truth and reality is that everything on earth can, and has at some point, failed.

- Man’s attempt to reach God with Babel failed.

- Man’s attempt to silence the teaching of Jesus failed.

- Man’s attempt at stifling the growth of the early church failed.

- Everything on earth fails, but God’s love NEVER fails.

- Romans 8:37-39

- God’s love for us caused us to be victorious… nothing could overcome it or cause it to fail.

- Nothing could get in the way of God’s love and prevent it from accomplishing what it sets out to do.

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