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The Meaning Of Love Part 3

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Proverbs 3:27–28 NIV84
Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow”— when you now have it with you.

The Meaning of Love

Over the last few weeks we have been exploring the meaning of the word love.
From we listed
Key Components of Love:

4 Key Components of Love:

Highly valuing the other person
Wanting what is best for the other person
Willingness to sacrifice for the benefit of the other person
Intention to honor and celebrate the other person
Many Christians share this definition of love:
Love is an accurate estimation and adequate supply of another person’s need.
Love is Christlike. Christian love is an outgoing, self-giving, unselfish concern for others.
At the very heart of God is a love that is not deserved nor earned, but a love that keeps on reaching out to those who are lost.

Love

The modern English definition of love is:
an intense feeling of deep affection
a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone
a great interest and pleasure in something
affectionate greetings conveyed to someone on one's behalf.
a formula for ending an affectionate letter
a formula for ending an affectionate letter: take care, lots of love, Judy.2 a person or thing that one loves: she was the love of his life | their two great loves are tobacco and whiskey.• British informal a friendly form of address: it's all right, love.• (a love) British informal used to express affectionate approval for someone: don't fret, there's a love.3 (in tennis, squash, and some other sports) a score of zero; nil: love fifteen | he was down two sets to love.[apparently from the phrase play for love (i.e., the love of the game, not for money); folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf ‘egg,’ from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero.]verb [with object] feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone): do you love me?• like very much; find pleasure in: I'd love a cup of tea, thanks | I just love dancing | [as adjective, in combination] (-loving) : a fun-loving girl.
feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to
like very much; find pleasure in
In a modern sense we perceive love as an emotion. Biblical love however- what we call Agape- is presented as an action. True love acts. It is not just a feeling. It does what is in the best interest of another person.
So Biblical love is more than an emotion. It is best seen in the acts it performs.
"Certainly every expression in the Bible that refers to God’s love shows God in action; in love he sent his Son to be our Savior and our Redeemer. Likewise, Christian love for others is a love that will engage in loving acts—acts of kindness, tenderness, compassion, protection, perseverance, and so on.
Even though it is one of the most common words in the English language, love can be hard to explain.
21 Kids were asked about the meaning of love. Their answers were enlightening. As I share some of their thoughts, I want you to take score and tell me whether or not each of these children are describing love and as emotion or an action.
It shows we feel entitled to what others have.
"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday,"
Entitlement is the first born son of pride.
— Noelle, age 7 Action
Envy and boasting both flow from the same source- entitlement.
"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs,"
— Chrissy, age 6 Action
Envy feels entitled to more stuff.
"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired,"
— Terri, age 4 Emotion
"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love,"
Boasting feels entitled to more glory.
— Rebecca, age 8 Action
"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you,"
— Karen, age 7 Emotion
"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other,"
— Karl, age 5.
"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day,"
"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss," — Emily, age 8
— Mary Ann, age 4 Emotion and Action
"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen,"
— Bobby, age 7 Emotion
"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth,"
— Billy, age 4 Action
"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken,"
— Elaine, age 5 Action
"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget,"
— Jessica, age 8 Action
"There are two kinds of love. Our love. God's love. But God makes both kinds of them,"
— Jenny, age 8 Emotion and Action
"During my piano recital, I was on the stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore,"
— Cindy, age 8 Action
"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK,"
— Danny, age 7 Action
"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones,"
— Lauren, age 4 Action. Actually…deception.
"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,"
— Nikka, age 6 Emotion.
"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford,"
— Chris, age 7 Emotion.
"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones,"
— Karl, age 5 I
— Lauren, age 4 Action. Actually that is not an action or an emotion. That is not love at all… that is deception. Gotta watch those older sisters.
think we will just skip categorizing this one and give Karl the benefit of the doubt since he was only 5. I am sure his perceptions were innocent even if his explanation could come across a little bit questionable.
— Nikka, age 6
Love. Agape. Biblical love at its core is a reflection of God’s nature.
“The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.”
Both are the result of a proud selfish heart.
Peter proclaims Christ the messiah one day- the requirements for salvation. And is denounced as the voice of satan the next, when Jesus said, “Get the behind me satan” as Peter tried to persuade him away from the road to calvary.
The will of God is never accomplished through envy.
The will of God is always accomplished through love.
“The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.”
Note the elements of God’s love:
Compassion
Mercy
Slow to Anger
Filled with unfailing love
the very nature of biblical love is that it is directed outside ourselves toward someone else. EBC
First Corinthians lists 15 things love does OR does not do.
So Biblical love is more than an emotion. It is best seen in the acts it performs.
"Certainly every expression in the Bible that refers to God’s love shows God in action; in love he sent his Son to be our Savior and our Redeemer. Likewise, Christian love for others is a love that will engage in loving acts—acts of kindness, tenderness, compassion, protection, perseverance, and so on.
First Corinthians lists 15 things love does OR does not do.
Seven of these verbs denote positive characteristics that love does; eight of them tell us what love does not do.
Seven of these verbs denote positive characteristics that love does; eight of them tell us what love does not do.
5 “Love is not rude”; loving people do not treat others indecently, sexually or otherwise. The word group reflected in aschēmoneō (GK 858; cf. 859, 860) is used elsewhere in the NT with sexual overtones (; ; ; ). Love “is not self-seeking”; loving people do not attempt to advance their own interests, especially at the expense of other people. Love “is not easily angered”; loving people do not have a sharp tongue that is ready to lash out at others at the drop of a hat. Love “keeps no record of wrongs”; loving people do not keep bringing up past failures in an attempt to control others.
6 “Love does not delight in evil”; loving people do not rejoice when they see people doing wrong things so that then they can keep bringing up such deeds to blackmail them. Rather, love “rejoices with the truth”; loving people do not try to lie their way out when faced with the truth but accept responsibility for what they have done, for they know that, in the end, Jesus, who is “the way and the truth and the life” (), triumphs.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love is kind.
Love does not envy.
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.
Accurate estimation and adequate supply of another person's need.
Love is not resentful.
Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing.
Love rejoices with the truth.
at the very heart of God is a love that is not deserved nor earned, but a love that keeps on reaching out to those who are lost.
Love bears all things.
Love believes all things.
Love hopes all things.
Just as it has been difficult for people to think of God as a loving and forgiving God, it has been equally difficult to think of love being of paramount importance in one’s religion.
Love endures all things.

The Meaning of Love

This week we are going to tackle the next three statements:
5 “Love is not rude”; loving people do not treat others indecently, sexually or otherwise. The word group reflected in aschēmoneō (GK 858; cf. 859, 860) is used elsewhere in the NT with sexual overtones (; ; ; ). Love “is not self-seeking”; loving people do not attempt to advance their own interests, especially at the expense of other people. Love “is not easily angered”; loving people do not have a sharp tongue that is ready to lash out at others at the drop of a hat. Love “keeps no record of wrongs”; loving people do not keep bringing up past failures in an attempt to control others.
6 “Love does not delight in evil”; loving people do not rejoice when they see people doing wrong things so that then they can keep bringing up such deeds to blackmail them. Rather, love “rejoices with the truth”; loving people do not try to lie their way out when faced with the truth but accept responsibility for what they have done, for they know that, in the end, Jesus, who is “the way and the truth and the life” (), triumphs.
7 Love “always protects”; loving people are willing to overlook the foibles of others and do not betray them. Love “always trusts”; loving people never lose faith in other people and give up on them but remain faithful to them, in spite of their shortcomings. Love “always hopes”; loving people keep looking ahead to better days, for they know that God has sent his Spirit to work out his will in his people (cf. ; ). Love “always perseveres”; loving people stand firm in the midst of trials and hardships and do not give up the ship.
Love is Christlike. Christian love is an outgoing, self-giving, unselfish concern for others.
At the very heart of God is a love that is not deserved nor earned, but a love that keeps on reaching out to those who are lost.
Love does not envy.
Love does not boast.
Love is not proud.

There will never be a situation in which love is the wrong way to act.

Peter proclaims Christ the messiah one day- the requirements for salvation. And is denounced as the voice of satan the next, when Jesus said, “Get the behind me satan” as Peter tried to persuade him away from the road to calvary.
But we are going to reverse the order, because envy and boasting flow out of pride. So to really understand and resist the temptation to envy and boast, we must first understand what pride is and how it affects our lives.
The will of God is never accomplished through envy.
The will of God is always accomplished through love.

There will never be a situation in which love is the wrong way to act.

Love Is Not Proud

I grew up in the city of Sweeny, Texas. As you drove into our city, there was a large sign that read: Sweeny- A City With Pride. Overall, I don’t think this kind of pride is necessarily bad. I think the intent was to say: we love our city, we believe it is a good place, we all work hard to make it a good place.
However, pride is tricky. Even when it has the best of motives- it can be tricky. There were 5 roads into Sweeny. That sign: Sweeny- A City With Pride- was placed on the road coming from West Columbia- our number one football rival. There was never a sign on the other 4 roads.
In a modern sense, I think we tend to think of some pride as good, too much pride as bad.
Envy is a sign we don't trust God to provide what we need.
Without a measure of pride we assume a person would not love themselves, because there would be nothing to love. So we talk about having self-esteem- meaning valuing one’s self. And the Bible never calls us to hate ourselves. In fact, it calls us to love others as we love ourselves. This requires a measure of self love. The problem is not self-love, it is excessive, selfish self-love. It is the question of what our love for self is based on.
If our love of self is based on success, wealth, appearance, ability- it is doomed. For we will all fade, or find our accomplishments and accumulated assets empty.
A healthy self love needs to be constant and significant. There is only one foundation upon which a healthy self-love can be built- God’s unconditional love for us- a love that does not change, waiver or falter. It is constant through our successes and failures, through our good days and bad, through our health and wealth and our hurts and poverty. It does not change.
And this unconditional love becomes the model of how we should love and treat others. And it becomes the foundation of our love for self, and the measure for how we love others.
On the other hand, when our self-love is based on our own deeds, abilities, assets or accomplishments- the result will inevitably be an unhealthy pride.

Rebellious pride, which refuses to depend on God and be subject to him, but attributes to self the honour due to him, figures as the very root and essence of sin.

It shows we feel entitled to what others have.
Pride follows in the footsteps of satan, seeking to claim the glory for self that belongs to God alone.
The Bible tells us in that Satan was corrupted in his beauty. He was too proud of his own attributes- especially his beauty. And the Bible says this was his downfall. He became consumed with his own beauty and he felt he deserved the glory that belonged to God alone- saying I will ascend to the mount of the most high. In other words. I will sit on a throne as high as God and get glory like God does.
Entitlement is the first born son of pride.
This kind of pride, excessive self love, cannot follow in the footsteps of Jesus who said:
Matthew 11:29 NIV84
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
When you walk in pride, you set yourself up to oppose all that God is, and all that God calls us to be and to do. Listen to the words of James 4:6.
James 4:6 NIV84
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Pride always wants more, expects more, feels entitled to more. And that is the great curse of pride: entitlement.
Entitlement: we feel we deserve more than we have. And so the result is that we seek to consume all we get upon ourselves, leaving little if anything of others.
Entitlement is the firstborn son of pride.
We feel we deserve more, so we seek to get more at all expense, feeling we cannot be satisfied until we have more.
Pride always wants more, more wealth, more praise from men, more possessions.
And when pride enters into our relationships with others- it turns us into leaches. Someone described their marriage as two ticks without a dog- sucking the life out of each other.
Pride will always produce entitlement. Entitlement will always be selfish. Selfishness will always corrupt a relationship.
Love will always walk in humility. Humility will always serve and honor others. Serving and honoring others will always enrich a relationship.
Walking in love requires conquering pride. You cannot walk in love and walk in pride. Pride values self and debases others. Love values others and humbles self to serve.
Envy and boasting both flow from the same source- entitlement.
This is a daily battle. Pride must be beat down daily. Flesh must be crucified daily.
Peter proclaims Christ the messiah one day- the first step towards salvation. But he is denounced as the voice of satan the next, when Jesus said, “Get the behind me satan” as Peter tried to persuade him away from the road to calvary.
Envy feels entitled to more stuff.
Peter was exalting Jesus- something that seems right. But he was exalting Jesus to encourage him to rebel against the purposes of God. That is rebellion. And he was appealing to entitlement- no Jesus, you are too good. You don’t have to die. You don’t deserve to die.
So it does not matter how close we are to Jesus- we are all susceptible to pride. In fact, the closer we think we are to Jesus, the more susceptible we are to becoming proud of how close we are. And that pride will contaminate all that we do.
Boasting feels entitled to more glory.
The will of God is always accomplished through love.
Pride will corrupt and contaminate all that we are and all that we do.
Both are the result of a proud selfish heart.
I am not suggesting that we need to despise ourselves or wallow in shame.

There will never be a situation in which love is the wrong way to act.

Pride causes the religious man to boast of his deeds.
But we need to base our self worth on the constant, unchanging love of God- a love that we do not deserve. A love that is completely separate from anything we have ever done. A love that we can never earn.
Pride causes the warrior to boast of his strength.
This is humbling- which is exactly what we need.
Prides causes the craftsman to boast of his skill.
Prides causes the rich man to boast of his wealth.
Pride causes the poor man to boast of his thriftiness.
And in every case, pride causes each one to trust in himself rather than God. And to do what is right in his own eyes-the way of rebellion, rather than do what is right in God’s eyes- the way of humility, faith and love.

Love Does Not Boast

Each of the gifts has been given for the edification of fellow members of the same body. If we use our gifts to advance our own agendas and bring glory to ourselves instead of building up the church, then we have failed to use those gifts for the purpose for which they have been given. EBC
the very nature of biblical love is that it is directed outside ourselves toward someone else. EBC
Pride causes the modern man to boast of his knowledge.
Pride causes the religious man to boast of his deeds.
Pride causes the warrior to boast of his strength.
Prides causes the craftsman to boast of his skill.
Prides causes the rich man to boast of his wealth.
Pride causes the poor man to boast of his thriftiness.
Pride causes the wicked to boast of scheming.
Prides causes the corrupt to brag of his shame.
And in every case, pride causes each one to trust in himself rather than God. And to do what is right in his own eyes-the way of rebellion, rather than do what is right in God’s eyes- the way of humility, faith and love.
As we discussed- the first born son of pride is entitlement. Pride always feel entitled to more.
And boasting is an expression of that entitlement- we feel we deserve more glory than we are receiving- so we boast in hope that others will praise us.
We boast hoping that others will recognize our value and affirm us, validate us, tell us that we are important.
This is like building your house on the sand- building it on the praise and approval of man. It will never stand the storms of life.
Love does not need to boast, because it has cast aside pride, freed itself from the entanglements of entitlement, found its worth in God’s love and affirmation and is now free to walk in humility and service to others.

Love Does Not Envy

Envy is a sign we don't trust God to provide what we need.
It shows we feel entitled to what others have.
Entitlement is the first born son of pride.
Envy and boasting both flow from the same source- entitlement.
Envy feels entitled to more stuff.
Boasting feels entitled to more glory.
Envy just feels entitled to more. More money. More attention. More pleasure. More travel. More house. More car. More power. More control. More, more, more. And envy becomes unhappy, discontent, embittered, and sullen when it does not get more.
Both are the result of a proud selfish heart.
Just like a fever indicates there is an infection in the body, envy indicates there is pride in our hearts. And boasting indicates that pride has escaped our hearts and made its way to our mouths.
There cannot be peace in a relationship when envy is present. We must deal with envy to truly have a healthy relationship with another person. But envy is a symptom- not the illness. If you have a cancer, there may be many different symptoms, but treating the symptoms won’t really fix the problem. You have to treat the illness. If you have a fever because you have an infection- treating the fever may be necessary, but it won’t really fix the problem. You have treat the infection.
In the same way, boasting and envy are symptoms of pride. Fixing the boasting and envy requires rooting out the pride.
And the best way to fix pride it to:
Humble yourself before God
Humble yourself before people
Put others needs before your own
Serve others without seeking glory
The will of God is never accomplished through envy.
The will of God is always accomplished through love.

There will never be a situation in which love is the wrong way to act.

Envy always wants more, feeling it has not receive what it deserves.
But the truth is this: if we got what we deserved, we would all be in hell. Hell’s flames are the only thing we actually deserve. Anything else is a gift from God, who gives us life and let’s us keep the life he has given us for a season- even though we use it to scorn and blaspheme him.
We cut of the limb we are standing on- blaspheming the God who gives us life with the very life He has given us.
But love.
Love does not envy.
It does not boast.
It is not proud.
If you are struggling not to envy, be generous.
If you are struggling not to boast, praise others.
If you are struggling not to be proud, serve others.
And in this way, you will drive a stake through the heart of the pride corrupting your life and free yourself from the bloodsucking tendencies of envy, boasting and pride.
Last night Angela and I attended a wedding across the street at Pinon Hills for the daughter of one of their pastors. Makenzie Schmidt married Robert.
At one point in the ceremony- he surprised her by taking a bowl, a pitcher of water and a towel and washing her feet.
She was stunning beautiful of course in her wedding dress. But as he knelt in front of her to wash her feet, she was overwhelmed. I think you could say even a little bit embarrassed to be served by the husband she had just pledged herself to serve.
Some might say washing feet at a wedding is excessive. But isn’t that the way love is.
It goes out of its way, ignores the crowd, and lavishes its honors and service on the beloved.
It leaves us feeling cherished and embarrassed at the same time. Humbled.
Perhaps you are here this morning, feeling unlovable. Perhaps you have been broken because the house of cards you built your self esteem upon collapsed under you, and the fall left you shattered.
Perhaps you have succumbed to the deception of pride- chasing things you felt entitled to, only to be left lonely and isolated.
Perhaps you have envied the attention or awards given to others.
This morning, God himself wants to serve you, honor you, cherish you, embarrass you with his love.

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