Scripture Reading: 1 John 4:7-11
1 John 4:7-11 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
Scripture Text: 1 John 3:16
1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
Webster defines valentine as, “a gift or greeting sent to someone (special).” It almost always contains a message of love or affection that the sender has for the receiver. God has sent to this world a valentine, a message of the love He has for all mankind. From the very beginning God has expressed and manifested the great love He has for man. God expressed His love----
---in the very act of creation.
---when He said, “Let there be light.” He knew that nothing could live without light. Science teaches that light is independent of the sun. It was created before the sun. God prepared the earth for man before He created him.
---when He saved Noah’s family from the flood.
---He preserved a seed so man could be spared and replenish the earth.
---when He sent Jesus to be born of a virgin and become a human.
---love caused God to become man.
---in the life of Christ on earth.
---Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
---in the death of Christ.
---John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
---in the resurrection of Christ.
---John 14:19 ....because I live, ye shall live also.
I. Expressions of God’s Love.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Ephes. 2:4-5 [Living] But God is so rich in mercy; he loved us so much  that even though we were spiritually dead and doomed by our sins, he gave us back our lives again when he raised Christ from the dead--only by his undeserved favor have we ever been saved--
II. God Expects the Church to be Carriers of His Valentine to the World.
A. We are to send a message of love to the world.
1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
1 Cor. 13:4-7 [GW] Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant.  It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs.  It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth.  Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up.
B. Our valentine message to the world must be a message of .. ..
1. Patience. (v.4a,7a)
a. We live in a world of tense impatience. We are impatient with waitresses, store clerks, family members, and even ourselves. We have a great need of patience.
1 Thes. 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
Illustration: A young man, a Christian, went to an older believer to ask for prayer. "Will you please pray that I may be more patient?" he asked. The aged saint agreed. They knelt together and the man began to pray, "Lord, send this young man tribulation in the morning; send this young man tribulation in the afternoon; send this young man...." At that point the
young Christian blurted out, "No, no, I didn’t ask you to pray for tribulation. I wanted you to pray for patience." "Ah," responded the wise Christian, "it’s through tribulation that we learn patience."
b. God is a patient God. He suffers long with people.
c. Christ is a patient savior. He was patient with His apostles and with you and me.
d. Christ will help us to be patient with all men.
e. Patience suffers long; bears all things; endures; never retaliates.
2. Kindness. (v.4) Love in action.
Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Ephes. 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
a. Joseph was kind to his brothers.
b. The good Samaritan was kind to the wounded Jewish man.
Matthew 25:34-40 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. [37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
3. Unselfishness and generosity. (v.5)
1 Cor. 13:5 [Living] Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.
Matthew 22:39 Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
1 Cor. 10:33 (Paul) Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
Matthew Henry: Christian liberty was allowed, not for our pleasure, but for the glory of God, and the good of others. We must please our neighbour, for the good of his soul;
Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your
bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
4. Righteousness. (v.6-7) Love in Conduct.
Luke 1:74-75 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,  In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
Philip. 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
a. Righteousness means to do that which is right to God and men.
b. Love “believeth all things”, i.e., full of faith; always ready to give due credence to others.
c. Love “endureth all things”, i.e., hardships, trials, etc.
d. Love “beareth all things”, i.e., does not discuss others sins. “Beareth” means “to cover’.
Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
5. Sincerity. Love in Profession.
Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Romans 12:9
(Liv. B.) Don’t just pretend that you love others: really love them.
1 John 3:18,19 (Liv. B.) Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions. Then we will know for sure, by our actions, that we are on God’s side, and our consciences will be clear, even when we stand before the Lord.
Illustration: A speaker held up a blank sheet of paper and asked, "What do you see?"
The reply was, "A piece of paper."
He then placed the paper on the podium, made a tiny dot in the center and held it up again. "What do you see now?"
"A dot," was the unanimous reply from the audience.
"Imagine this blank paper is a person," the speaker said. "The small dot you saw is his/her biggest fault. The white surrounding the dot represents all of this person’s worthwhile qualities which we so easily fail to see. Often a fault seems bigger than it really is and we allow it to overshadow the many positive aspects of that person’s personality."
“God so loved” us that Christ died for us. We must strive to be an example of that same love to a lost and dying world. John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Matthew Henry stated, “As the Father loved Christ, who was most worthy, so he loved his disciples, who were unworthy. All that love the Savior should continue in their love to him, and take all occasions to show it...Christ’s love to us should direct us to love each other.”
May the Lord help each of us to spread His message of love around the world until He comes.