Summary: Christ said the demonstration of the reality of a relationship with Christ is the bond of love between believers. When the world sees true Christian love in action they will know it’s real. But the question that must be asked is “Where is the Love?”
WHERE IS THE LOVE?
Introduction: Christ declared that the demonstration of the reality of a relationship with Christ is the bond of love between believers. Note that Christ said when the world sees true Christian love in action they will know that a believer’s professed faith is not just talk but is genuine. But the question that must be asked is “Where is the Love?”
I. Where is the love, when there is NEED to be filled?
A. In December 2000 a German woman living in the city of Marburg, died while at home in her flat. Ten months later her landlord forced open the door to the flat, concerned that she had paid no rent for as long time. It was only then that her body was discovered. It seems the woman had lost contact with her relatives and had few friends, or even concerned neighbors. But this is not an isolated phenomenon. Germany regularly has cases where a body is not discovered until weeks, months or even years after the person has died. In one case, a Hamburg man sat dead on his sofa in front of his television for five years before he was found. We live in a society where the sense of connection and community is breaking down. How tragic that situations such as this occur. In particular, we in the church should be attentive to caring for those around us, and for ensuring we do not ignore that person who we haven’t seen for a while. – Source: reported at reuters.com, November 1, 2001.
B. 1 John 3:16 - 18 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. (NLT - let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions)
C. Galatians 6:9 – 10 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
D. The soldier’s first article of faith is summed up nowhere more eloquently than in an 1865 letter from William Tecumseh Sherman to U. S. Grant: “I knew wherever I was that you thought of me, and if I got in a tight place you would come—if alive
II. Where is the love, when there is CONFLICT to be resolved?
A. Galatians 5:13 - 15 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
B. A man was working a crossword puzzle and asked, "What is a four letter word for a strong emotional reaction toward a difficult person?" Someone standing nearby said, "The answer is hate." A lady interrupted and said, "No, the answer is love!" Everyone is working that same crossword puzzle, but the way you answer is up to you. (Kent Crockett, The 911 Handbook, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2003, 23)
C. Ephesians 4:25 - 27 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.
D. Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
E. Two men who lived in a small village got into a terrible dispute that they could not resolve. So they decided to talk to the town sage. The first man went to the sage’s home and told his version of what happened. When he finished, the sage said, "You’re absolutely right." The next night, the second man called on the sage and told his side of the story. The sage responded, "You’re absolutely right." Afterward, the sage’s wife scolded her husband. "Those men told you two different stories and you told them they were absolutely right. That’s impossible -- they can’t both be absolutely right." The sage turned to his wife and said, "You’re absolutely right." – David Moore in Vital Speeches of the Day.
F. Philippians 2:1 – 4 If, then, any exhortation is in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye may mind the same thing—having the same love—of one soul—minding the one thing, nothing in rivalry or vain-glory, but in humility of mind one another counting more excellent than yourselves — each not to your own look ye, but each also to the things of others.