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Waiting on Love

Waiting (Advent)  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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As we enter our final week of waiting, too many of us are still waiting on love when it's actually been available to us the whole time.


Candles and Communion

Today, we light the last of the little candles
In the season of Advent, we light these as reminders
Not only what the world waited for before Christ was born...
Also, what we wait for now - before Christ comes again
Light candles:
We wait through the power of hope
We wait in the Peace of Christ
We wait with the joy of the Savior
And today, we wait on love
Waiting on love to do what? To have it’s perfect way
What’s interesting is John has an interesting explanation of God and love
1 John 4:8–10 ESV
8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
It only makes sense then, that we would reflect today on God’s perfect love
Not that we have loved Him, but that He loved us
And showed it by sending His own Son to die
Jesus taught us to remember that very sacrifice in Communion
We’re going to take communion together, but first we need to get the elements
Come down the center aisle, take the elements, return to your seat
Beginning in the front row
Also, we have a table at the back
The back row will head there first
As we collect the elements, we will sing our praises to God
After singing, we will come back together
Take Communion


There are 2 kinds of love out there
A lot of you know about the different Greek words for love
Eros - Erotic or passionate love
Phileo - Brotherly love
Storge - Familial love
Agape - Unconditional love
But I’m breaking those down more broadly
Each type of love is going to work one of two ways:
The love of the object is based on the value of the object
The love of the object establishes the value of the object
Show hi-hats
These are 14” Zildjian A-Custom Mastersound hi-hats
Just under $500 new, and I love them!
I love how they sound, how they feel, how they look
They are valuable, so I love them
However, if I dropped them and formed a crack - my love for them would change
The smallest chip or crack would diminish their value, and I’d be in the market for a new set of hats
Assuming I could talk Tash into getting some K Sweet hats for around $600
The point is, I love these because they’re valuable
Show Slob Tongue Video
That is Slob Tongue - clever name for 2nd grader
Matchbox made these things called Razzcals in the 90’s
Apparently you squeezed them and the tongue would inflate and it made a farting noise
My mom got it for me for Easter on clearance at Toys R Us - it didn’t work
Its the most worthless toy ever - but I loved Slob Tongue
Did anyone in here have something special to them when they were little?
Teddy bear, doll, blanket...
Ronnie has a pillow pet that looks like it travelled with the Donner party
But he keeps sleeping with it!
If you have something like that, think about it
Do you love it because it’s valuable?
Or is it valuable because you love it?
Slob Tongue has virtually no value
But when he disappeared I was devastated
Turns out, my brother got mad and dumped him in the trash
Through my mom’s awesome interrogation skills he admitted it - and Slob Tongue was saved
Show Slob Tongue
Here he is, in all his glory
Tash has tried to get me to toss him numerous times
But she knows, this isn’t something you throw away
Because it is love by me
It has value because I love it
YouVersion: Waiting on Love
We’re in 1 John 4:7-12
This is an unusual Christmas passage
This week I was Googling Christmas love passages
I considered John 3:16, but I always do that
Turns out, everyone else does too
I was ready to say, “Okay, this is all we have,” then I came across this passage
It’s still the same author as John 3:16, but it’s from an epistle and not a gospel
Let’s hop in
1 John 4:7 (ESV)
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
Remember, advent (from adventus) means “coming”
The point of this series is to make the connection between Christ’s first coming and His second
The time He was here, and the time he will come again
Both of those situations required “waiting”
What John is saying here, starts with love at the root
The Greek is much more beautiful here:
Simply: “agapetoi agapomen”
Literally, those who are loved, let us love
“agapetoi agapomen”

If God loves us, we should love each other

When you know God, love is a part of your life in a way that was impossible before
At Christmastime, I look around and I am so full
I just love what God did for us
The colors and lights just seem to point that direction all the time
If you know God, you know love!
So then there’s a flip side to that too:
1 John 4:8 (ESV)
8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
If you don’t know God, you can’t know love
Not the pure, holy, perfected agape love that God offers
You may have erotic love or brotherly love...
But if you want perfect love, you have to know God
You might think, “I don’t know love, I don’t experience God’s love and I know Him!”
No, you don’t - Scripture is clear
You may know about God, you may believe He exists, but you don’t know Him
You can’t possibly know Him because John says, “God IS love!”
He doesn’t just have it or show it, He IS it!
We have to be careful, because God is love, but that doesn’t mean that love is God
God is not only love and love doesn’t completely describe God
Scripture says that God is spirit, light, and consuming fire
We don’t look at fire and say, “Oh look! There’s God!”
When we describe God, His love is so rich and powerful and full, that everything He does is an expression of that love
C.S. Lewis: “Though our feelings come and go, God's love for us does not.”
In love, God does not force Himself on anybody
In love, Jesus went about doing good to everyone without partiality
In love, Jesus lived a humble life without complaint
In love, Jesus is even kind to sinners
That’s why John said this:
1 John 4:9 ESV
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
Do you ever question God’s love?
Sometimes I don’t question whether God loves, just whether He loves me
Maybe you look around and think, “If God loved me, this wouldn’t happen” or, “If He loved me, He would have done that.”
Max Lucado: “God loves us too much to indulge our every whim.”
I’ll put it to you this way, if you ever doubt God’s love remember this:

We know God loves us because Jesus came

Love is the only possible explanation for Jesus coming to the earth
One of my favorite parts of the Christmas story is the angels appearing to the shepherds
Luke 2:15–20 ESV
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Shepherds were some of the dirtiest people in ancient Israel
Only a notch above a leper
If you touched one, you had to ceremonially wash
They were with animals all day, even slept with them to protect them
And yet, the angels appeared to the shepherds!
To announce the king of - not just the Jews - the world!
Messiah! Christ the Savior is born!
And they run down there, and where is He at?
In a marble crib with golden fleece diapers?
No, he’s in a manger… a feeding trough for animals
Your first thought is like, “What?! Who would do that?”
I’ll tell you who would, a shepherd...
What a thought, the creator of the universe sleeping in the most humble of places
The same place I did and my children did...
If Jesus would choose that how could you think He doesn’t love you
If that’s still not enough, look at this:
1 John 4:10 ESV
10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
It’s amazing that God would humbly walk amongst us
It’s even more amazing He would be the propitiation for our sins
Propitiation means atonement
What’s even crazier is this:
Romans 5:8 (ESV)
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God came, and died for us, when we didn’t deserve it!
Do you know what that means?
You are Slob Tongue!
I should have made that a fill in the blank...

We are valuable because God loves us

As worthless as you are on your own...
You are priceless when God loves you
God has gone to great lengths to prove His love
It doesn’t matter that you’ve been stitched up, patched up, missing eyes, duct-taped your ears back on, whatever!
God loves you anyway and there’s no damaged part that could change that
Remember that blanket or stuffed animal or whatever you had...
No amount of drool marks or missing eyes could change that love
That’s how God loves you, but in perfect way
A love that could only be loved by an all-powerful, all-loving, all-holy God
So what do we do?
1 John 4:11–12 (ESV)
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
Because we’re flawed, we do forget God’s love
We focus on our shortcomings and think they’re too much
But John is saying this:

God’s love is perfected in us

Today’s message is called “Waiting on Love”
And some of us are
Maybe someday I’ll experience God’s love
Maybe someday that love will change me
Maybe someday, God will actually love me
You might be waiting on God’s love, but you don’t have to
God’s love is here! It’s been here!
And it’s been beautifully obvious for 2,000 years!
Sammy Tippit: “There's no place too dark for God's light to penetrate and no heart too difficult to be set aflame by His love.”
A week from today, we’ll be celebrating Christmas day
That means you have one more week to love
When people are struggling or miserable, they need to feel God’s love
You know where God’s love is made complete? In us...
That is accomplished when we love like God
This is what Jesus taught us to do
John 13:14 (ESV)
14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
I picture Jesus standing after He washed His disciples feet
I’d be thinking, “Ok, must be my turn to wash His feet.”
Instead, He says, “If I wash yours, go wash others.”
We always press people to remember the “reason for the season” at Christmastime
And that’s great! But how do we do that?
By loving people...
If you want to give a great gift this year, give what people need
They need God’s love! They need hope and peace and joy!
Share that this week, and then carry it on into the rest of your waiting process
...until Christ comes again...
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