The question we are thinking about today is this - What does love look like?

  • the world has been asking this question for decades!
    • Romeo recites fitful poetry about it in his opening scene of Shakespeare’s play:
      • "why then oh brawling love oh loving hate, oh anything of nothing first create.  O heavy lightness! serious vanity! Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms!"
    • Cinderella and her prince charming sing it to one another as they dance in the disney film - “so this is love"
    • The incomparable Tina Turner asks - “what’s love got to do with it - what’s love but a second hand emotion?"
    • the immortal dance anthem by the artist Haddaway asks the question straight out “what is love?"
  • If anyone should know the answer to this question it is the church - That is the question we are going to pursue these next few weeks.  What does it look like when we love each other?
  • 1 John 3:16-19

 

16We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

  • Love is sacrificial - expensive for the giver
    • The Cross is the greatest example - demonstration of Love the world has ever seen
      • Christ’ example is that of self sacrifice
    • John 15:13 - no greater love has no one that this, that someone lay down his life for his friends
    • Love is sacrificial - expensive - at the cost of the giver
      • sex is like gasoline
      • 2 Cor 8:9  9For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
  • Love is not earned or deserved - free to the receiver
    • Romans 5:8 - while we were yet sinners Christ died for us
    • it is given without expectation of reward or reciprocation - does not expect anything in return
      • Matt 6:3 - do not let you left had know what your right hand is doing

17But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of Godabide in him?

  • Love is moved by need, compassionate and refuses to be desensitized to the needs of others - vs 17
      • Prov 28:27 NLT - Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.

18Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

  • Love is practical - requires more than words -
    • the cross is physical - Jesus BODY was torn, beaten, killed
    • the greek word here means “work that displays an inward desire"
    • John 13 - Jesus washes the disciples feet
    • James 2:14-16 - 14What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what goodb is that?
  • Love is sincere - “in truth” means that God calls us to be whole sincere about our love for each other - that it be a living reality in our hearts - it is not enough to love with just hands but also with hearts.

19We will knowby this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him

  • Love that looks like this is how we know God is at work in our hearts
    • The presence of Love like this is the only measuring rod to the activity of Christ in our hearts
    • 1 John 3:14 - we know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other.  Anyone who does not love remains in death
  • it is how the world will know that we are His disciples
    • John 13:35 - By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another

 

Response:

  • Do you love like this?
  • you cannot do it without the cross - it’s too costly - but when we know that the one who had more than we will ever imagine has already given all he is and all he has to us then we can turn and do the same for others without fear.
    • 1 John 4:19 - We love because he first loved us
  • Come to the Cross and receive love so we can turn and give it.

 

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