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The Meaning of Love Part 2

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Proverbs 3:9–10 NIV84
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
This is not a microwave recipe. As modern Americans, we are prone to look at a scripture like this, try it for 3 days and then complain it does not work.
It takes time to build barns. It takes time to fill barns. It takes time to plant field, harvest fields and store the harvest in barns. This is no microwave miracle recipe.
It is a long term process of God ensuring that He will bless and prosper those who put him first by giving their tithe.
I have seen this work in America. I have seen this work in India. God’s promises transcend all cultures, all economic conditions, all ethnic backgrounds. God has promised to bless those who honor him with the tithes and offerings.
NIV84
1 John 3:11–24 NIV84
I want to encourage you to get as many kids here next week as you can for Super Sunday. In just a moment we are going to stop and pray for next week’s service. But I am believing God next week that these altars will be filled with children giving their heart to the Lord.
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It will be a special service focused on winning kids to Christ. Don’t worry grown ups- there will be plenty of meat in the message for you too.
But every child that comes next week will get a special prize.
And everyone who comes will leave with a sweet. That is all I can say for now, but with a name like Super Sunday! I am guessing you can figure out what to expect.
There are going to be several things happening next week.
All of our kiddos will be promoted to their next grade. So if they were in 4th grade last year, we will move them up to the 5th grade class after next week. Our 6th graders will start joining us in the main sanctuary on Sunday mornings and start attending youth services.
We will also have a special Dash For Cash. Usually our Dash For Cash offerings to BGMC to help reach children around the world. But this time the offering will go towards launching the day care and reaching children here in the 4 Corners area. So bring all of your spare change. Ladies, the boys have won the last two dash for cash offerings, so I just want to give you fair warning for next week. A 3-0 sweep would be a bit embarrassing.
And next week we are believing God for a miracle offering to launch the day care. We need $50,000. So far almost $20,000 has been given. I had a great talk this week with AG Financial- our mortgage company, and I am optimistic that they will release $10,000 of the insurance payout towards the windows and the doors we are having installed for the day care.
If you have not yet made a faith promise towards the day care, can I encourage you this week to pray and as the Lord leads you and as you are able, to bring a special offering next week. Launching this day care is something our Church has been talking about doing for nearly decade. Now is the time. We are going to do this, but we cannot do it without you. Whether it is $25, or $50, or $100, $500, perhaps $1000 or maybe someone here can even give $5000 or $10,000. Would you pray and bring the most generous offering you can next week.
SuperSunday is all about reaching the next generation with the Gospel. So bring as many kids as you can.
This morning we are going to take a test. We discussed last week that 1 Corinthians has the most exquisite definition of true love ever captured in words. This morning I want each of us to test our own hearts against to see how we measure up against God’s definition of love.
So as I read through this passage this morning, every time I say the word Love I want you to substitute your name and see how many of these statements would be true if they were said about you. So keep score for me. Every time a statement is true with your name in the place of love, add a point. Ready. Fingers up to track your points. Here we go. Let’s try one together.
Instead of Love is patient. I would say Chad is patient. And if that is a true statement, I get one point. If not, I stay at zero. And it looks like I am off to a bad start. Hopefully you guys do better than I do. There are 15 possible points. Here we go.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love does not envy.
Love does not boast.
Love is not arrogant.
Love is not rude.
Love does not insist on its own way.
Love is not irritable.
Love is not resentful.
Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing.
Love rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things.
Love believes all things.
Love hopes all things.
Love endures all things.
As Spirit-filled believers who believe in the exercise of the charismata or grace gifts of the Spirit , is especially telling.
Many in Corinth proudly boasted of their Spiritual giftings and flaunted their gifts before other believers to demonstrate their spiritual superiority. They became proud of their giftings and presumed that the more they exercised their spiritual gifts, the more spiritual and godly they were. All the while, they seem to have beeen blind to their pride and its impact on their lives.
Paul drops a bomb in the middle of the hyper-Spiritual brag fests, and elevates love above all expressions of their spiritual gifts. In fact he warns that even if they were to display the greatest of sacrifices- surrendering one’s body to the flames- these acts would be pointless if not motivated by love.
Now don’t misunderstand me- I believe the spiritual gifts were given by God to His Church to build up and empower the Church to fulfill its mission. And we believe those gifts are still available to the Church today and should be actively used in the Church to build it up. We welcome the gifts. We need the gifts. We want the gifts.
But those gifts must be exercised by people who are motivated by love. Love is the right foundation for the expression of the gifts. Paul’s warning to the Corinthians demonstrates that people can use God-given gifts from wrong motives. Pride would love to use God-given gifts for self glory, but Paul slays the idol of self and then elevates LOVE as the only right motive.
And to be sure they understand his point, Paul goes on to explain what love looks like. This passage wonderfully and rightly centers on LOVE, but at the same time- it could be described as the ultimate assault on pride. Paul uses both sides of the double edged sword of God’s word to define love and condemn pride- and to call the Corinthians to use their God-given gifts from a heart of love, completely detached from the tentacles of pride.
The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volume 30: 1, 2 Corinthians Chapter Thirteen: The Greatest Gift of All

The Greek language has many different words for love, while in English we have just one. Consequently, before we look at the chapter in detail, we need to be sure we look at the word Paul used and the meaning he attached to it. Eros was the word the Greeks used for love when it defined intense physical desire. If you were to make a survey of the way the word “love” is used in the lyrics of popular songs or in the dialogue of soap operas, in most cases it would be what the Greeks meant by eros. But neither the verb nor noun form of eros is found in the New Testament. A Greek word for a more reciprocal kind of love appears in the Bible a number of times; that word is philos. (For an example of the ways in which it is used one has only to read such passages as Matt. 10:37 or John 11:36.) While eros was a kind of selfish passion and philos described a more brotherly love, neither was used consistently by the New Testament writers when discussing love.

The supremacy of love over the spiritual gifts can best be illustrated by looking at Jesus.
So as we study 1 Corinthians, it is important to separate the description of love in this passage from the lower uses of the word love so common in our culture.
Love in American culture generally refers to eros, or romantic love, a love than can be quickly and easily tainted by sin and pride.
Agape on the other hand cannot be tainted by pride, because in as much as any person acts in the Agape form of love, they are acting in accordance with the nature and character of God- who never acts out of pride.
Opening Up 1 Corinthians Chapter 13: The Most Excellent Way (1 Corinthians 13:1–13)

No one knew more of the Spirit’s power and gifts than our Saviour. Significantly, however, when we think of him our thoughts go more to his character and work than to the gifts that he exercised. The Spirit’s principal task in our lives is to reproduce in us the character of our Lord Jesus Christ. The priority in that character reproduction is love; and it is from love that all the other aspects of the Spirit’s fruit flow.

If this is the case- that the Spirit’s priority is to conform us to the image of Christ, who is God. And if as John writes God Is Love, and Jesus is like His Father. Then ultimately, the Holy Spirit’s highest priority is to bring us to mature us to the place that we truly, deeply, genuinely LOVE PEOPLE.
Tools vs Love: We want to be defined by our spiritual gifting. This is the result of pride at work in our hearts and causing us to misplace our value in what we do rather than in God’s unconditional love for us.
Drill Guy
Hammer Guy
Saw Guy
Love Guy
Which is really the Jesus Guy
The English language can be deficient compared to other languages, and this is especially evident when considering the word love.
We say things like:
I love my shoes.
I love my hamburger.
I love my dog.
I love my friend.
I love my mom.
I love my wife.
And in each case, the word love really has a slightly different meaning.
The Greek language actually had 4 words for love.
Phileo: affectionate friendship love
Eros: sexual attraction
Storge: maternal love
Agape: selfless love
The first 3 are based primarily on emotions. Agape on the other hand exists independent of emotion. It is based on the character of the one showing the love, not the emotions they are experience, or the attractiveness of the object of the love.
So in other words, God loves us because He is a loving God, not because we are lovely. In fact, our loveliness does not come from ourselves, rather it is God's love that makes us lovely.
This love is spontaneous, not evoked by any intrinsic worth in its object, but rather creating that worth.
So as we study 1 Corinthians, it is important to separate the description of love in this passage from the lower uses of the word love so common in our culture.
Love in American culture generally refers to eros, or romantic love, a love than can be quickly and easily tainted by sin and pride.
This love is spontaneous, not evoked by any intrinsic worth in its object, but rather creating that worth.
Agape on the other hand cannot be tainted by pride, because in as much as any person acts in the Agape form of love, they are acting in accordance with the nature and character of God- who never acts out of pride.
So, let’s clarify for a minute which kind of love we are talking about.
The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volume 30: 1, 2 Corinthians Chapter Thirteen: The Greatest Gift of All

The Greek language has many different words for love, while in English we have just one. Consequently, before we look at the chapter in detail, we need to be sure we look at the word Paul used and the meaning he attached to it. Eros was the word the Greeks used for love when it defined intense physical desire. If you were to make a survey of the way the word “love” is used in the lyrics of popular songs or in the dialogue of soap operas, in most cases it would be what the Greeks meant by eros. But neither the verb nor noun form of eros is found in the New Testament. A Greek word for a more reciprocal kind of love appears in the Bible a number of times; that word is philos. (For an example of the ways in which it is used one has only to read such passages as Matt. 10:37 or John 11:36.) While eros was a kind of selfish passion and philos described a more brotherly love, neither was used consistently by the New Testament writers when discussing love.

So as we study 1 Corinthians, it is important to separate the description of love in this passage from the lower uses of the word love so common in our culture.
Love in American culture generally refers to eros, or romantic love, a love than can be quickly and easily tainted by lust and pride.
Agape on the other hand cannot be tainted by pride, because in as much as any person acts in the Agape form of love, they are acting in accordance with the nature and character of God- who never acts out of pride.
So let’s explore what true Love, Agape, is really like.
The first thing Paul tells us is that:

Patience (makrothymia) is the capacity to be wronged and not retaliate.

Patience denotes the withholding of anger, or displeasure at the offences or failings of others, and thus implies the overcoming of a natural indignation.
Patience is the result of:
Valuing another person greatly
Esteeming another person worthy of honor
Being willing to suffer for another person
Being willing to suffer for another person
And these all flow naturally out of us towards a person when we love them.
And these all flow naturally out of us towards a person when we love them.
Another way of saying “patient” is long suffering. We willingly endure agony for an extended time for the sake of another person.
Story of Pastor J. in Iraq
Opening Up 1 Corinthians 2. Love Is the Chief Aspect of the Spirit’s Fruit; In Fact, All the Rest Illustrates It (cf. Gal. 5:22–23 with Love’s Characteristics in 1 Cor. 13:4–7)

Love is patient with people and it tries to understand them and react accordingly

Love suffers long -It will endure. It is not quick to anger. It puts up with the inadequacies of others stoically. It can endure evil and provocation. It endures with many slights and neglects from the person it loves and has patience to await the eventual good that it believes shall eventually prevail in others thru faith in God’s ability to change them. It has self-restraint. In our current day of domestic violence, sexual unfaithfulness and broken relationships it is an important aspect of true love and one against which many of us will surely be tested, for in it we see that love can and must be able to suffer the pain of betrayal without ceasing to truly care for and continue to love those who have betrayed us, wronged us, or who simply do not accept or understand what true love is.
Love is the force that propels anything good in this world.

denotes the withholding of anger, or displeasure at the offences or failings of others, and thus implies the overcoming of a natural indignation; the latter denotes the exhibition of a mild, gracious, tender disposition.

NIV84“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
This is most clearly seen when we compare God to satan.
Ultimately, Agape stands in contrast to eros, a love that is impatient and seeks emotional or physical gratification immediately.
A gravestone once read:What I kept for myself I no longer have. What I gave away I now have forever.This reflects the truth contained in Matthew 6:20.
NIV84As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”
God is willing to sacrifice Himself to rescue us from the punishment we deserve.
Agape is patient. This is not something humans can easily understand or accomplish on their own. The best example is to look at God.
Matthew 6:20 NIV84But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Satan is willing to sacrifice us to exalt himself.
As we talked about last week, most people tend to see hatred as the opposite of love: wanting ill for others.
Pride can never be wrong. Love would rather be wronged than risk losing others.
How full is your heavenly bank account? Start filling it today. And take hope. Deposits into your heavenly account are measured not in dollars and cents, but by the amount of faith, sacrifice and love from which they were given. A million dollars from Bill Gates would count far less on heaven’s scales than the meagre small copper coins given by the widow at the temple.So thank you for your faithfulness. God keeps doing miracles for us as we continue to walk in faith, give, sacrifice and trust Him.Every step requires faith and courage, but how else would you want to live?I want to thank everyone who has made a faith promise towards the launch of the day care. Those
But many theologians suggest that Pride, or excessive self-love is the true opposite of love.
Pride will condemn and criticize even the most generous acts of love, for it would rather be deprived than acknowledge in humility its need.
Consider the response of the Pharisees to the death and resurrection of Christ. They denied God's divinity, damned Love's champion and then hypocritically plotted an intricate deception to deny Love's resurrection. In their pride, they not only refused to consider the truth, but went to great lengths to prevent others from seeing it.
Pride despises love, truth and generosity because they expose pride's own internal poverty, seflishness and greed.
God is the source of patience. When we consider how patient God has been with us, we are enabled and empowered to be patient with others.
Patience is closely tied to God’s character and to love.
In the Old Testament, when God revealed Himself to Moses, He described Himself so that Moses would know what He is like. It is this beautiful self description in which God reveals the core of who He is and what He is like. I want to read that with you this morning:
Exodus 34:6 NIV
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,
God describes Himself as Slow to Anger.
That is the essence of patience. Can that be said of you?
Jefferey Anselmi states that “When we get impatient, we make mistakes and some of them can be very costly.”
SAGU GraduatesServed with Teen Challenge in OklahomaMoved to Jackson Hole Wyoming to help plant RidgeLife Church 3 years ago
So how we can learn to patient with others?
We can be patient when:
We remember how patient God has been with us.
SAGU Grad with his Masters in CounselingServed 6 years at SAGU as the Missions Travel Coordinator. He sent students to over 100 nations of the world.IntroductionThis week Angela and I took some time to get away as a couple. I highly recommend all married couples make time to get away alone as often as possible. My parents came to watch the girls. If your parents can't come watch your children, I will go ahead and volunteer Pastors Tim and Lori to watch your kids for you if you need to get away. 😬While we were gone, love was at work in our home. When we came back, it was like an Easter Egg Hunt walking around our house to see all that my parents did. They bought dishes, towels, decorations. Crazy thoughtful stuff. They fixed the girls broken iPad screens. My dad brought me a hunting rifle. I have aspirations of elk hunting.They gave. They cleaned our garage. Fixed broken furniture. They served. They honored.
We trust God to take care of us
We value other people and want to honor them
We want to be channels of God’s love to other people.
God gives His Love to us. That enables us to then give His love away to others. And we can know if we are loving others first of all by checking to see if we are patient with them.
Are you patient with your children?
Are you patient with your spouse? Do you get upset quickly, or can you endure gently their mistakes, misunderstandings, their failures and faults?
Are you patient with your co-workers?
Are you patient with your enemies? With your adversaries? With those who slander you? Attack you? Hurt you?
Truly there is no higher calling, nor more difficult calling than the call to Love.
Illustration: Richard and Marylin Smith
The second thing Paul tell us about love is that...
A Church without love is just a misguided social club.A marriage without love is just a legal contract between two miserable people.Music without love is just noise.Friendships without love are just frustrations waiting to happen.Love is the most important thing in all the world. In fact, love is the most important thing in all of creation. Love is God’s character. God is love. The Bible never says Love is God. It says God is Love. Why. Love flows out of the character of God. He is the spring, the source of all love. When we act in love, we act like God. When we act against love, we act against God.The greatest definition of love in all of the world is contained in 1 Corinthians 13. Even hostile non-Christians will ususally acknowledge the beauty of this passage. It has been read at countless weddings. It is the greatest recipe for a successful marriage.
Kindness means to be gracious, gentle, helpful towards someone.
It’s not merely passive; it is actively engaged in doing good to others. It’s the picture of a person who spontaneously seeks the good for others and shows it with friendly acts.
Opening Up 1 Corinthians 2. Love Is the Chief Aspect of the Spirit’s Fruit; In Fact, All the Rest Illustrates It (cf. Gal. 5:22–23 with Love’s Characteristics in 1 Cor. 13:4–7)

Love is kind in that it always thinks of a gentle and constructive way of dealing with people and difficult situations.

When pride and anger respond to someone, they only think of self. I was wronged. I deserve. I need.
When love responds, it first thinks of others. How will this affect them? How can this problem be addressed in a way that encourages and helps this person?
Love and anger will respond to the same problem in very different ways.
Imagine your child refuses to take out the trash.
Anger will assume the child is being rebellious, and then try impatiently to pound the child into obedience.
Love will patiently consider reasons why the child might not want to obey, including perhaps that the child is rebellious, but also other options. In the end, imagine with me that a child is scared of the dog across the street, so the child never wants to go outside. It looks like rebellion- the child refuses to take the trash out. Anger will never know because it will never give the child a chance to express themselves and the child will never feel safe to explain what is hinder them.
Love on the other hand will patiently ask questions. It will not merely presume the disobedience is from a wrong motive, but it will patiently, gently, considerately try to discover why the child is refusing. When love discovers that fear is the motive, it will work with the child to overcome the fear. Perhaps love will walk to the trash can with the child, pointing out that the dog is confined behind the fence. Love will gently consider how the child feels and try to help the child overcome the pain of the fear that is preventing them from fulfilling their responsibility.
Pride and anger vs love and patience and kindness.
What kind of person do you want to be? I think we can all agree: we want others to be kind and patient with us. So then Jesus calls us to:
Matthew 7:12 NIV84
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
I think that means we want other to be kind and patient with us, so we should be kind and patient with others. And if we do- then we will have taken the first steps in learning to love.
I think that means we want other to be kind and patient with us, so we should be kind and patient with others. And if we do- then we will have taken the first steps in learning to love.
1 Corinthians 13 NIV84If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 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. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 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. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 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. 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. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Story of Pastor J. in Iraq
Success without love is empty.Ministry without love is pointless.Sacrifice without love is worthless.Spiritual gifts are temporary. Love is eternal.Doing God’s work without love is not doing God’s work.Love values others. Pride values self. Love sacrifices self for others. Pride sacrifices others for self.This is most clearly seen when we compare God to satan.God is willing to sacrifice Himself to rescue us from the punishment we deserve.Satan is willing to sacrifice us to exalt himself.Pride can never be wrong. Love would rather be wronged than risk losing others.
It would be hypocritical of God to call us to be patient and kind, but then not be patient and kind towards us.
1 John 3:11–24 NIV84This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
Perhaps you grew up on a family where the smallest mistake would receive an instantly harsh response. If so, that is probably how you expect God to respond to you. But the truth is- God is nothing like that.
God does call us to leave sin.
1 John 4:7–21 NIV84Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 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. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 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 him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 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. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
When Mercy was about 2 years old, we attended a youth camp in India. I can still remember watching her as she would put her hands on the ground, get them dirty and then stick out her tongue to taste the dirt. Kids. They will eat anything.
Angela would immediately rush to her, grab a wet wipe from that seemingly infinite supply in her diaper bag and quickly wash Mercy’s hands and face. At which point, Mercy would cry to get down, and using her freshly moistened hands to touch the ground and pick up twice as much dirt as before. And again, try to taste the dirt. Not sure why she expected it to taste any different. But over and over again, her mother would grab her up, wash her hands and try to prevent her from eating what was obviously unclean.
Isaiah 49:15 NIV84“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
Not surprisingly, Mercy actually got terribly sick that week. She got a fever that spike to over 103 and had constant vomiting and diarrhea.
Isaiah 66:13 NIV84As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”
When Angela scooped her up from the ground, washed her hands, and gently scolded her not to eat the dirt- was she being mean or angry or trying to hurt Mercy? Not at all. She loved her dearly and was trying desperately to protect her, but without constantly confining her- trying to give her the freedom to grow and explore the world around her.
May I suggest to you that is how your heavenly Father views you. When He warns you not to sin, it is not because He does not love you, but because He does love you that He warns you of the dangers of sin. He wants to let you grow and mature and explore freely this wonderful world around you, but at the same time He tries to protect you.
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition b. God’s Love for MenThis love is spontaneous, not evoked by any intrinsic worth in its object, but rather creating that worth
Love values other people.What is the opposite of love?Hatred: ill willPride: IndifferencePerhaps both.External Motive: Hatred wants ill for the person.Internal Motive: Pride values itself to the exclusion of others.Pride will destroy all that love has built. Love will restore what pride has destroyed. “Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD evil is avoided.”Intrinsic Value: Indifference wants neither good, nor ill for the other person. It simply does not value the person. Love cannot be indifferent because it so highly values the other person. Indifference affords no value to the other person. Key Components of Love:Highly valuing the other person: God so loved the worldThis value is derived from the Character of the one giving the loveIt is completely independent from any benefit the recipient might render to the one giving the love. Love values the person, not any benefit that may be derived from the person.It is frustrating to me that I can be with someone I deem important and be polite and kind. Then I turn around and treat my family rude. What I am showing is that I am not highly valuing my fam.Does this mean that I don’t love my family? Of course not. but it does mean that in those times that I act this way I am not acting in love towards them.Wanting what is best for the other person: should not perishWillingness to sacrifice for the benefit of the other person: He gaveIntention to honor and celebrate the value of the other person: the Father threw a feast to celebrate the homecoming of the prodigal son
And when you get dirty, He patiently and kindly tries to scoop you up in His arms, wash your hands and face, cleanse you from your sin, warns you gently against the dangers of sin and then releases you to try again.
Your heavenly Father is far more patient and gentle with you than Angela was with Mercy, and let me tell you, Angela is an amazing mom and was always so sweet, gentle and patient with her girls. And your heavenly Father is even more so with you.
Perhaps you are here this morning, and your mind and spirit have been infected by the contamination of sin. Perhaps you have been ensnared by a pesky sin you don’t feel you can escape. Can I tell you God has plenty of wet wipes, plenty of love, plenty of patience, plenty of kindness, plenty of forgiveness this morning to cleanse you, forgive you, heal you, and send you out of here today full of joy, peace and wrapped in the warmth of His love.
“Dr. Eleanor Chestnut was appointed a missionary in 1894 from Chicago. She received her medical and theological education in that city. She was head of the Women's Hospital in Lienchow and had charge of the medical work at other stations.”Chestnut, a medical missionary, sailed to China in 1894 and took over a new women's hospital that was still under construction. She traveled to small villages on horseback to hold clinics. Before she died, Chestnut, performing surgery in her bathroom, had to amputate the leg of a local Chinese manual laborer. A few days later, someone noticed that Dr. Chestnut was limping. A nurse present at the surgery revealed what had happened: There were complications in the surgery and the patient needed a skin graft. Chestnut gave herself a local anesthetic and removed skin from her own leg.She literally gave her own skin for this poor Chinese worker. Why? Love. She valued his life above her own. Not for what he would do for her, but because God loved him and valued him.After Chestnut's 11 years of faithful service, another missionary, Dr. E.C. Machle, had an argument with Buddhist priests over a religious structure placed on hospital property. Although Machle resolved his conflict with the Buddhist priests, some locals burned the hospital to the ground. The missionaries barely escaped but the mob found them and five Americans, including Chestnut, Machle's wife and 10-year-old daughter, were murdered.Chestnut, and the other missionaries with, literally gave their lives to bring healing and the hope of the Gospel to the people of China.Why?
1 John 3:16 NIV84This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
And all you have to do is ask Him to forgive you. He is ready.
Why do we follow Jesus? Because He loves us. And that means He wants what is best for us. He knows what is best for us. He alone has the power to do what is best for us. And we can be sure of this because we see what He already did for us- He died on the cross, spilling His blood, laying down His life to rescue us from our sins. You cannot love without:HonoringServingGivingLove values us even when we are broken.Love values us even when we are wrong.Love values us even when we are mean.Love values us even when we are grouchy.Love values us even when we are poor, lost, confused.Love seeks nothing from us. Love expects nothing but us.Love. Your value today is set by love. Not by a world looking to get something from you. Not by a spouse that rejected you. Not by an illness that has de-habilitated you. Not by abuse that has wounded you. Not by a report card, nor the car you drive, nor the clothes you wear.Love has set your value. And love set your value at priceless. And then love gave all for you at the cross. Proverbs 16:6 NIVhttp://bible.com/111/pro.16.6.nivIt is easy to love that which is within our family circle. It is more difficult is to love that which is outside our family circle. God does the unthinkable. He loves not just with words, but with actions. And He loves not just those within His family circle- but He drew the circle bigger to include His enemies. He endeavors with selfless, patient kindness to win the hearts of those who hate Him and curse Him and mock His name, so that He can adopt them into His family circle. This is good news, for such were all of us until God In His mercy and Kindness won us over with His love from our love of sin.
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