You Can’t Give What You Ain’t Got!
1 John 4:7-21
October 12, 2008
This morning we are continuing our series on relationships.
1. We have looked at topics like “Help I’m Married and I Want to Give Up!”
2. Last week we explored the first half of our message that we will follow up on today called “I’ve lost that loving feeling.”
3. This morning’s topic is “You can’t Give What You Ain’t Got!”
4. Now I know that this is an English teachers nightmare, because I know that ain’t ain’t a word!
5. But this is a concept that is pretty easy for us to grasp.
6. Suppose I was to say to you, “Give me a million dollars!”?
7. You would probably not give it to me! Why? You can’t give what you ain’t got!
8. Use other examples: soda, hamburger, and fries or motorcycle, etc…
9. This morning we are going to explore this topic “You Can’t Give What You Ain’t Got!” in regards to our relationships.
1 John 4:7-21
Do you have anybody in your life that is hard to love?
“…let us love one another…” (7)
We said last week that love is a trait that sets follower of Christ apart.
1. I fact the words that John choose here actually say, “Let us keep on loving each other.”
2. This is not just a casual, once in a while type of love, but this should be the habit of those who call themselves Christians.
3. Our love for God and our love of others are connected! (7, 11, 20-21)
4. That is because this type of love defines the believer!
5. It sets us apart from the rest of the world.
6. Jesus himself said that, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35).
7. So the believer’s life should have love as his life, not just a part!
So what does this mean to love?
1. What kind of love are we talking about here?
2. As we said last week there are 3 Greek words for love.
3. The first word eros, means the appetitive, lust, erotic type of love.
4. This kind of love asks the question, “What can I get out of this?”
5. The second word phileo, is a brotherly type of love.
6. As long as your being a brother to me, I’ll be a brother to you! (50/50 plan of love).
7. If you love me I’ll love you back.
8. It asks the question, “What can we get out of this?”
9. But the kind of love that John is talking about here is the 1 Cor. 13 type of love.
10. This is the kind of love that God has for us!
11. This is the word agape and can be defined as a love that gives, regardless of whether you deserve it or not, whether you feel like it or not!
12. It is a deliberate choice that asks, “What can you get out of this?”
13. 27 times John uses this word agape in this passage!
14. So John is not talking about mans kind of love, which is eros or phileo, he’s talking about a special kind of love!
15. Both Paul, last week, Jesus and John, all say that this is the type of love that we should have towards others!
But where does this type of love come from?
1. I mean, how are you doing loving other people with this kind of love?
2. I don’t know about you, but the harder I try to love others unconditionally, the more I fail!
3. There are times when I can show this type of love, but I certainly don’t naturally and easily produce this!
4. I find that the eros type of love and the phileo type of love more or less come naturally.
5. But this agape type of love more often than not, alludes me!
6. What is the problem?
“…for love comes from God.”
“This is how God showed his love among us…” (9-11)
Monkey See Monkey Do!
Love comes from God’s example! (9-11)
1. We can tell what love is by looking at God and His actions towards us!
2. The word showed here means came out in the open, was made public!
3. Just on Friday a newscaster from another station, proposed on the air to his wife who was also a news broadcaster.
4. In front of the whole world he let the world know that he loved her!
5. God didn’t just tell us that he loved us in His Word!
6. God proved his love for us at the cross!
7. The actions that God had for each of us, should motivate us to love others.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!” Romans 5:8
Over and over again we see that we should love this way, because this is how God loved us.
1. Out of the greatest intentions in the world we try to love this same way.
2. Most of us who desire to follow Christ, want to be like him!
3. The Bible tells me that I am to love other people, so I am going to do my best to love them.
4. Because God loves like this, I should love like this also!
5. God has shown me what love is so now I am going to try and live right!
6. And we choose someone who is hard to love and we attempt loving them God’s way.
7. And this may go okay for a little while, but before long we give up.
8. We say that it is just too hard!
9. We’ve done our best and we were still unable to love that way!
Have you tried to love this person, but you were not very successful?
Monkey See; Monkey Can’t!
So what is the problem?
1. Why is it that no matter how hard we try, we can’t love like God loves?
2. Go back to verse 7.
You can’t give what you ain’t got!
“…for love comes from God.”
The word comes actually means origin!
1. If you are away and someone comes up to you and says, “Where did you come from?”
2. You would probably say, “Cochranville” because that is where you started out.
3. So in this context, John is saying that love, agape, originates from God!
4. In other words, God is not only the example of that love, he is the source of that love.
5. This agape kind of love can only be expressed by God!
6. This kind of love is beyond us as human beings!
You see God not only demonstrated his love for us by forgiving our sins on the cross, but He also had another purpose in dying on the cross.
1. That other purpose is also found in the end of verse 9.
2. Do you see it?
3. “…that we might live through him.”
4. God didn’t just die on the cross in the past for some future kind of benefit!
5. He died on the cross so that our lives right now could be different!
6. Our everyday lives are to be affected by his death 2000 years ago.
7. God wants to share his life, enjoy his love and have a deep relationship with you!
8. Go back to the end of verse 7 and verse 8.
9. God wants us to be able to love like He loves!
10. And it is only those who “have been born of God and knows God” that can love this way!
But how? (12-13)
“God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
1. This is not talking about his love for us so much as he is talking about his kind of love.
2. In other words “God lives in us and his type of love is made complete in us.
3. Romans puts it another way:
“…God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:5
Are you starting to see how this is supposed to work?
1. God dies on the cross to show us what love really is.
2. Then time and time again he tells us that we should love like Him.
3. And we try and try harder to accomplish this kind of love, but we always fall short.
4. But that is exactly our problem: We are the ones doing the trying.
5. John is telling us is that this agape love can only be produced by God.
6. So if we are going to love this way we must let God live through us!
Look at Galatians 5:19-25
Substitute the word human for sinful.
1. These things look strangely familiar to me, do they to you?
2. You see the human nature’s actions look hauntingly similar to the eros and phileo type of love.
3. But look at the fruit of the Spirit.
4. The very first one is love (AGAPE!)!
5. When we accept Christ we are given a new capacity to love.
6. The H. S. takes up residence in your heart, giving you the capacity to love that you don’t have on your own!
7. This kind of love only comes from God Himself!
8. Love in the person of the Holy Spirit becomes a working force in us!
9. No matter how hard we try, we can’t love the way God loves.
10. But God living in us now gives us that ability to love God’s way!
How does this practically play out in our lives? The answer is found in verses 15 and 16.
1. So we know and rely.
2. So we must go back to what we know and a reliance on that information.
3. We have to know certain things; things like we have learned about this morning.
“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Romans 8:5
When we are trying to love others with God’s type of love we must stop and think.
1. Wait a minute, I can’t love this person the way God wants me too.
2. But, God has given me the Holy Spirit to live inside of me and He can love this person that way.
3. So God, the best I know how I am recognizing that I can’t love them, but I am asking you to love them through me!
4. By faith, I am taking you at your word and allowing you to work through me!
5. You see it is a surrender of self, to allow God to have his way with you.
6. It is me saying, God I can’t do it but you can! Do it through me!
7. It is allowing God to take control of you totally!
8. This is the only way we can love others with God’s type of love!
You Can’t Give What You Ain’t Got!”
Do you know Christ as your Savior?
1. This is the very first question that you have to deal with.
2. God love’s you and He wants to forgive you of all your sin.
3. He wants you to understand that you can’t really love His way without His power.
4. He wants to change your life, but you must give your life to him.
5. You must allow Him to give your life purpose and meaning!
6. Why not give your life to Him today?
If you know Christ as your Savior, STOP trying to love others God’s way!
1. Let God live through you.
2. You don’t have the capacity to love others God’s way.
3. So by faith take the opportunity this week to love God’s way, but don’t try to do it on your own.
4. Allow Christ to live through you!