Definition of Love:
- Love is a strong affection between two people.
- It is something that is passionate, intense; that has to do with extending a hand of sharing/ caring to another.
Focus on God’s love; God kind of Love:
How does God require that we show love to others- by loving our neighbors and each other.
Text: 1 John 4:7-21
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
9 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.
10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.
14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,God lives in them and they in God.
16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us.
20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
Love is personified in the makeup of our God..In verse 19 of the text we see that before we even thought of loving Him, He first loved us. Then in John 3: 16:
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
He demonstrated the highest form of love; He gave up His ONLY Son for mankind.
The word Love is an action word, it’s a verb…To say you love a person; you must show/ demonstrate this act of your love. God demonstrated His love in verse 10..by giving His Son as an atonement for us sinners..This all goes to say that a character of love is showing or in demonstration. You can show love to different people in different ways.
Verse 20 of the text says goes on to say that if you say that you love God, you must therefore love your neighbor as yourself….your neighbor –you can see but you cannot see God, if you cannot love a fellow human whom you see, your claim to loving God is suspect…
1 Corinthians 13: 1-8
If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 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 do not have love, I am nothing.
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
Characters of Love
Love is not envious, it doesn’t boast, it isn’t proud nor is it rude, self-seeking, doesn’t mock others, or easily angered..Which character reminds you of how not to love people around you?
These 3 will remain: Faith, Hope and Love..the greatest of these is Love.
Love never fails…
What God expects:
When we say we love, God expects:
- Sacrifice: love is sacrificial..You must be willing to make sacrifices for people you claim to love.
- Love is Patient
- Love is supporting another to meet his needs
- Love is being merciful and forgiving.
- Love is giving and caring for those you say you love.
- Love doesn’t provoke. Galatians 5: 35-36
- Love is doing the will of God; which is loving your neighbor as yourself. Philippians 4: 8
In John 11:33-36 we see an account of a demonstration of love from our Lord Jesus.
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
In Matthew 18: 21-35 we see a clear example of what love is not, while getting his own debts cleared the unmerciful servant held to heart a fellow servant’s debts…
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[a]
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[b] was brought to him.
25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’
27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[c] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.
31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.
33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’
34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
So in conclusion: according to Philippians 4:8
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.