Summary: LOVE IS AT THE CORE OF BEING A TRUE DISCIPLE
PROPOSITION: Love is at the core of being a true disciple.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,--I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1770-1850)
· What’s love got to do with it? How does it relate to being a true disciple?
I. True Disciple Loves Sacrificially (v. 16-17).
A. What is love? If you haven’t wondered about it yet, you will in college. How do we know? How do we know what true love is. We can know by Christ’s demonstration: Jesus gave his life for us. We should be like Christ. Like Jesus, following him. One way we follow is that we love. How do we love? Sacrificially. How sacrificial? To the point of death.
B. When we already commit to something that dramatic, it’s not hard. In other words, if we are willing to give our lives for a cause, it’s not very difficult. Illustration: William Wallace was not only willing to die for his cause of freedom, but he was willing to be tortured beyond our imagination for the cause of his country’s freedom.
C. If you are willing to die for others, what’s material possession? Willing to give it all (not just money). Illustration: Good Samaritan was willing not to only make sacrifice of time, but sacrifice of all his resources. That leads to sharing the Gospel. Can’t be willing to share the Gospel w/o a dying, sacrificial and giving attitude.
II. True Disciple Loves with Action and Truth (v. 18).
A. I’ve been meeting with students a lot and I’m almost done w/ Junior class. A lot of them said: we are too cliquish. We could say we love others, and God, but don’t have action: it’s not love.
B. Gotta be both action and truth. We go to missions, homeless ministry, nursing home ministry. You could do all this but if your hearts is not in it, it’s not love; you are only going through the motions. We need to have both action and heart, willing to sacrifice. Illustration: gotta be like the widow’s offering. I don’t have much, but I will give everything that I have.
C. I want our church to grow: I didn’t come here for any other reason. But if we don’t have love the the lost and love for the fringe members we are not gonna be able to accomplish any of our visions.
III. True Disciple is Assured by Love (v. 19-23).
A. How do we know that we belong to truth (Christ)? Because we obey (v.22). Obey what? Loving one another. We are assured by our faith in Christ, but that’s just half of it. Other half is because we love one another.
· What’s Love Gotto Do With It? Everything. Love must be the core of being a true disciple. W/o love it is all for nothing. Cuz if I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
· Challenge: to love sacrificially, w/ Action and truth and be assured by Love of your Salvation.