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Faithlife Corporation

How Christians Show Love

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LOVE

I understand there is now a "Husband Shopping Center" where a woman can choose from among many men, for her husband. It is laid out in five floors, with the men increasing in positive attributes as you ascend up the floors.
The only rule is, once you open the door to any floor, you must choose a man from that floor, and if you go up a floor, you can’t go back down except to leave the place.
So, a couple of girlfriends went to the place to find men.

First floor, the door had a sign saying

"These men have jobs and love kids."

The women read the sign and say "Well that’s better than not having jobs, or not loving kids, but I wonder what’s further up?" So up they go.
Second floor says

"These men have high paying jobs, love kids, and are extremely good looking"
Hmmm, say the girls. But, I wonder what’s further up?
Third floor:

"These men have high paying jobs, are extremely good looking, love kids and help with the housework."
Wow! say the women. Very tempting, BUT, there’s more further up! And up they go.
Fourth floor:

"These men have high paying jobs, love kids, are extremely good looking, help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak."

Oh, mercy me. But just think! What must be awaiting us further on!

So up to the fifth floor they go. The sign on that door reads,

"This floor is just to prove that women are impossible to please."

 

TODAY’S SERMON IS ABOUT LOVE.

NEXT SATURDAY IS VALENTINES DAY, SO I’M GIVING ALL YOU GUYS SOME ADVANCED WARNING.

DON’T FORGET TO GET HER SOMETHING NICE.

I read about a man and his wife who had a tradition that they did on special days throughout the year.

Take valentine's day for instance, he would take her by the hand and lead her to the Greeting card section of Wal-Mart.  And as they stood together there in the store, he would read Valentine Cards to her.


Well, that seems to work fine for them…
But I don't think many of us guys could get away doing that.

SO GUYS, GET HER SOMETHING NICE FOR VALENTINES.

LET HER KNOW THAT YOU LOVE HER.


SINCE VALENTINES DAY IS COMING UP,

I THOUGHT I’D TELL YOU

THE STORY OF SAINT VALENTINE.

THERE WAS A REAL PRIEST NAMED VALENTINE:

Approximately 250 years after Jesus was born in Bethlehem,

there was a priest by the name of Valentine.

He lived in Rome, ABOUT 250 YEARS AFTER JESUS WAS BORN.

CLAUDIUS THE CRUEL RULED:

At that time, Claudius was the Emperor of Rome.

Some people called him Claudius the Cruel.

St. Valentine didn’t like Emperor Claudius, and he wasn’t the only one!

Many people felt the same way.

CLAUDIUS WANTED A BIG ARMY:

Claudius wanted a big army. He thought men should volunteer to join.

Many men just did not want to leave home and go off to fight in wars.

They did not want to leave their girlfriends and wives.

So, not many men volunteered for the Roman army.

This made Emperor Claudius very angry.

He had a crazy idea that if men were not married, they would be more inclined to join his army. So Claudius decreed that there would be no more marriages.

Young people thought his new law was really cruel. Valentine thought it was ridiculous!

ONE OF VALENTINES FAVORITE DUTIES WAS TO MARRY PEOPLE:

One of his favorite duties as a priest was to marry people.

After Emperor Claudius passed his law, Valentine kept on performing marriage ceremonies – but secretly. He would whisper the words of the ceremony, while listening for soldiers on the steps outside. 

ONE NIGHT VALENTINE WAS CAUGHT IN THE ACT

AND PUT IN JAIL:

One night, Valentine did hear footsteps at his door. The couple he was marrying escaped, but he was caught. He was thrown in jail and told that his punishment was death.

YOUNG PEOPLE THREW FLOWERS AND NOTES INTO HIS WINDOW:

St. Valentine tried to stay cheerful. Many young people came to the jail to visit him. They threw flowers and notes up to his window. They wanted him to know that they, too, believed in love.

THE PRISON GUARD’S DAUGHTER:

One of these young people was the daughter of the prison guard. Her father allowed her to visit him in his cell. They often sat and talked for hours. She believed he did the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and performing marriage ceremonies.

ON THE DAY VALENTINE WAS TO DIE

HE LEFT HER A NOTE SIGNED

LOVE FROM YOUR VALENTINE:
On the day Valentine was to die, he left her a note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. He signed it, "Love from your Valentine."

THAT NOTE BEGAN THE CUSTOM OF EXCHANGING LOVE NOTES ON VALENTINES DAY.

 

IT WAS WRITTEN ON THE DAY HE DIED, FEBRUARY 14, 269 A.D.

Now, every year on this day, people remember. But most importantly, they think about love and friendship. When they think of Emperor Claudius, they remember how he tried to stand in the way of love, and they laugh -- because they know that love can’t be beaten!

WHEN JESUS WAS ASKED ‘WHICH IS THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT IN THE LAW’, HE SAID;

Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)
37
 …“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

 

 

During the preparation for this sermon I tried to define 'what love is'. 

What is the essence of love?

One of the things I realized is that Love is an action word.  it's a verb.

And then I thought some more and came up with the realization that decisions come before actions.

 

Our decisions and our loves are closely tied together.

We say things like;

I love Hot Dogs.

I Love Ice Cream.

I think that girl is pretty nice.  I'd like to know her better.

I love my wife.

I love my kids.

I love my job.

I love sports.

I love money.

I love power.

I love my big beautiful house.

Even, I love God.

All these things that I love are self centered. 

The focus is on what I love.

 

THE FOUR LOVES

THE GREEK LANGUAGE HAS FOUR WORDS FOR LOVE.

1.   Passionate love or eros love.

This is the physical love between sexes; the patriotic love of a person for his nation; the ambition of a person for power, wealth, or fame. Briefly stated, eros love is the base love of a man that arises from his own inner passion. Sometimes eros love is focused upon good and other times it is focused upon bad. It should be noted that eros love is never used in the New Testament.

2.   Affectionate love or storge love.

This is the kind of love that exists between parent and child and between loyal citizens and a trustworthy ruler. Storge love is also not used in the New Testament.

3.  Phileo love, is an endearing love, the love that cherishes.

This is the love of a brother for a brother, or a friend for the dearest of friends.

It is the love that cherishes, that holds someone or something ever so dear to one's heart.

4.   agapē PWS: 549 love is selfless and sacrificial love.

 Agapē PWS: 549 love is the love of the mind, of the reason, of the will.

It is the love that goes so far...

·  that it loves a person even if he does not deserve to be loved.

·  it goes so far that it actually loves the person who is utterly unworthy of being loved.

 

 

25 ἀγαπάω [agapao /ag·ap·ah·o/] v.

Verb, Finite, Second Person, Singular, Future, Indicative, Active.

Note four significant points about agapē love.

a.     Selfless or agapē love is the love of God, the very love possessed by God Himself.

1.     Agape Love is the love demonstrated in the cross of Christ.

 

 

 

 

2. Agape Love is the love of God for the ungodly.

 "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6).

3. Agape Love is the love of God for unworthy sinners.

 "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

4. Agape Love is the love of God for undeserving enemies.

 "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life" (Romans 5:10).

b.  Selfless or agapē  love is a gift of God.

It can be experienced only if a person knows God personally—

only if a person has received the love of God into his heart and life.

Agapē love has to be shed abroad (poured out, flooded, spread about)

by the Spirit of God within the heart of a person.

 " the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).

c.  Selfless or agapē love is the greatest thing in all of life according to the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

d.  Selfless or agapē love is the greatest possession and gift in human life according to (1 Cor. 13:1-13).

 

 

THE TERM AGAPE LOVE

IS THE SAME THING AS CHRISTIAN LOVE

WHICH IS THE SAME AS GOD LOVE

WHICH IS THE SAME AS SANCTIFIED LOVE.

 

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (NIV)   

IF I DON'T HAVE THIS KIND OF GOD  LOVE

THEN WHAT I DO DOESN'T RING TRUE

If I speak in the tonguesa of men and of angels,

but have not 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 have not love, I am nothing.

3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,

but have not love, I gain nothing.

Tongues without love are meaningless.

    The gifts of prophesy, knowledge or faith, without love are nothing.

AGAPE LOVE IS

4 Love is patient,

love is kind.

THIS KIND OF LOVE DOES NOT

It does not envy,

it does not boast,

it is not proud.

5 It is not rude,

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.

WHAT GODLY LOVE DOES

7 It always protects,

always trusts,

always hopes,

always perseveres.

8 Love never fails.

THINGS THAT WILL END

But where there are prophecies, they will cease;

where there are tongues, they will be stilled;

where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

WE DON’T SEE IT ALL YET

9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,

10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.

When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror;

then we shall see face to face.

Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

THE GREATEST IS LOVE

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

 

Acts 11:26b (NIV)
The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. And it was a derogatory term.  It meant little Christian.

WELL, THE NAME FIT AND STUCK.

IF AGAPE LOVE IS GOD’S KIND OF LOVE,

AND WE ARE “LITTLE CHRIST’S”

 

THEN IT ONLY MAKES SENSE FOR US TO SHOW A GODLY KIND OF LOVE IN OUR EVERYDAY LIVES.

A CHRISTIAN WILL GO OUT OF THEIR WAY TO HELP SOMEONE.

A CHRISTIAN WILL GIVE SACRIFICIALLY TO THOSE IN NEED.

A CHRISTIAN WILL LOVE THOSE WHO TREAT THEM WRONGLY AND SHAMEFULLY.

A CHRISTIAN WILL LOVE LIKE GOD LOVES

BECAUSE GOD IS INSIDE US HELPING US TO BE LIKE THAT.

 


 

NOW LET'S LOOK AT MARRIAGE.

Alicia thought she had the perfect fiancé. As she was getting to know Michael and his family, she was very impressed by how much his parents loved each other.
"They’re so thoughtful," Alicia said. "Why, your dad even brings your mom a cup of hot coffee in bed every morning."
After a time, Alicia and Michael were engaged, and then married.
On the way from the wedding to the reception, Alicia again remarked on Michael’s loving parents and his mom’s morning coffee in bed.
"Tell me," she said, "does it run in the family?"
"It sure does," replied Michael. "But you should know -- I take after my mom."

When the honeymoon is over, and weeks give way to months which give way to years, the love that once burned hotly has more times than not become a weak flame.

LOVE IN ACTION

 

FIVE LOVE PRINCIPLES OF PHILIPPIANS 2:1-5.

Philippians 2:1-5 (NIV)

2     If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

 

I. Principle #1: Encourage one another.
Philippians 2:1a
1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ,

Question: When was the last time you praised your mate with encouraging words?

Anonymous quote
Someone noted, "Man doesn’t live by bread alone.

He also needs buttering up."

-------------------
Magician
A magician accidentally turned his wife into a couch and his two kids into armchairs. He started to panic and thought to himself, "What on earth have I done?"
He began to ponder, "How am I going to bring back my beloved family?" So, he thought for a while, and decided a good idea was to take them to a hospital and see if the surgeon could operate and bring them back. He loaded them into his van and off he rushed to the local hospital.
He walked up and down the hospital hall and after some serious surgery, he asks the doctor, "Doc, how are they?"
The doctor replied, "Comfortable!"

II Comfort One Another.
Philippians 2:1
1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any
comfort from his love,
WE ALL NEED TO BE COMFORTED -- (RECLINER CHAIRS)

---------------

Tornado
A tornado hit a Kansas farmhouse just before dawn one morning. It tore off the roof and picked up the beds on which the farmer and his wife were sleeping. By some miracle, the tornado set them down, unharmed, the next county over.
The wife was sobbing uncontrollably.
"Don’t be scared, Mary," her husband said. "We’re not hurt."
Mary continued to cry.

"I’m not scared," she said between sobs. "I’m happy... this is the first time we’ve been out together in 14 years."

 

III. Spend time with one another. 

Fellowship together DO THINGS TOGETHER.

Philippians 2:1
1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any
fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,
Fellowship!

Everyone here knows how to fellowship.
But there’s one thing you need to fellowship: Time!

Spending time together is so important for any relationship, including marriage!

 

IV. Fourth Principle: Be Tender to one another.

Philippians 2:1
1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,

Tenderness IS HOW YOU WOULD HANDLE A DELICATE FLOWER.

If you bruised your hand, You would be careful with how you used it.



-------------

Clara (BABY PACIFIER)
Few would think of a baby demonstrating compassion, but that’s exactly what happened to Clara.

Clara, a young single mother was having a horrible day.

Everything seemed to be going wrong.

She didn’t feel well, the washing machine broke, and an unexpected bill arrived in the mail.
While tears were coming down her face

she lifted her one-year-old into his highchair.

Then she leaned against the tray and began crying.
Without saying a word, her son took his pacifier out of his mouth and stuck it into her mouth

There are times when we all need to be babied,

when we all need to be shown compassion.

V. Be Compassionate to one another.

Philippians 2:1
1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and
compassion,
Compassion shows that we care and are willing to do what we can to help.

Our love comes alive when we show

encouragement,

comfort,

fellowship,

kindness,

tenderness,

compassion and mercy to our mates.

AND TO EACH OTHER.


MY FRIENDS

THE APPLICATION FOR US IS

TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

 

LET'S GO OUT AND SHOW THE WORLD SOME OF THIS   CHRISTIAN LOVE.

LET'S DEVELOP AN INFECTIOUS CASE OF SANCTIFIED LOVE, AND SPREAD IT TO EVERYONE WE MEET.

LET'S BE FILLED WITH THIS GOD LOVE, THAT WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT.

LET'S GO OUT AND AGAPE LOVE THE WORLD.

AND RIGHT NOW LET'S PRAY


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a  Or languages

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