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LOVE

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“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Love. There are literally millions of songs, poems, sonnets, plays and movies written, produced and acted out about love. We can be so cavalier about how we use the word love, assigning it to so much that we water down it’s true meaning.
• I love those shoes
• I love that dress
• I love that color
• I love that car
• I love that food
There are even those who will say the words I love you to a person just to get what they want, whether it’s sex or material things, and the one they speak it to is so in need of hearing those words they yield whatever it is the person is asking of them, even to their very soul.
The words are sometimes spoken, “if you love me, you will...” But what is true love, what does it mean to love and be loved, what does love look like.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning in her Sonnet 43 had this to say about love...
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Gary Chapman tells us there are 5 Love Languages
1. Acts of Service
We can be so cavalier about how we use the word love, assigning it to so much that we water down it’s true meaning.
2. Physical Touch
3. Words of Affirmation
4. Receiving Gifts
5. Quality Time
The Love Boat theme song tells us that love is exciting and new, then invites you to come aboard.
People go on television shows like the bachelor and bachelorette, and do things, in front of cameras, with complete strangers in hopes of finding love. In another show called, Married at First Sight, people marry complete strangers and the first time they see them is when they are walking down the aisle to get married.
Love. People look for new and better and more exciting and different ways of expressing their love for one another from having it written across the sky, to a simple note in a lunchbox.
Love. It’s something everyone needs, it’s something everyone wants. Helen Baylor sings in her song, Testimony, “We all wanna be loved”. And she’s correct, from the youngest to the oldest, we all want someone to love us and we all want to love someone.
We must recognize, love is only true love when it’s given willingly and gladly. You can’t make someone love you, true love is not something you can work for, beg for or pay for.
Love is expressed in many ways, but what does the Bible say about love? The word love is mentioned in the Bible more than 400 times, a man’s love for a woman, a parent’s love for their child, a child’s love for their parent, a country’s love for its leader, the people’s love for God and God’s love for His people. There are many examples of love in the Bible.
You really want to know what true love between a man and a woman should look like? Read the book Song of Solomon, as Solomon expresses his love for the Shunamite woman and she expresses her love for him.
Now I already talked about how cavalier we can be with the word love. But as we look more closely at this word, in the Greek there are three different words for love, which better express what is being said.
I love those shoes
The Greek word agapao, is used by Jesus and is a caring or godly concern for someone even if you do not know or like him or her. It’s an unconditional love. In almost all of his teachings Christ used this word.
The Greek word Peter used to respond to Christ is phileo, which means brotherly affection. It’s the root of the word Philadelphia and is why the city of Philadelphia is known as the city of brotherly love.
The third description of love found in the Greek language is the word eros, this word was used by the ancient Greeks as the name of one of their pagan gods. We get our English word "erotic" from this Greek word, which is used in reference to something sexual.
I love that dress
Eros is not found in the New Testament and one reason for this is God is more concerned about how we treat him AND each other rather than He is about our physical sensations. We must learn to control our bodies and not let our bodies control us.
What else does the New Testament have to say about love? Well, we of course must go to the “Love chapter” to see.
• Love is patient, it will wait for you. This is not just talking about sex. Have you ever been with an impatient person, who always wanted you to hurry up for them, despite what you may be doing? Love doesn’t hurry you along to fit its on whims and desires.
I love that color
• Love is kind, it has a gentle nature and wants to do good for and to you. It doesn’t hurt you emotionally, mentally or physically.
• Love is not envious. It’s not jealous of your accomplishments but will rejoice and celebrate them with you.
• …or boastful. It doesn’t brag about what it’s doing, not tooting its own horn
I love that car
• …or arrogant. It doesn’t think of itself as better than you
• …or rude. We all know and have dealt with rude people. That’s not what love looks like.
I love that food
• It doesn’t insist on its own way. Love won’t pout when things don’t go its way
There are even those who will say the words I love you to a person just to get what they want, whether it’s sex or material things, and the one they speak it to is so in need of hearing those words they yield whatever it is the person is asking of them, even to their very soul.
The words are sometimes spoken, “if you love me, you will...” But what is true love, what does it mean to love and be loved, what does love look like.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning in her Sonnet 43 had this to say about love...
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal grace. I love thee to the level of every day’s Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for right. I love thee purely, as they turn from praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal grace. I love thee to the level of every day’s Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for right. I love thee purely, as they turn from praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.
Gary Chapman tells us there are 5 Love Languages
Acts of Service
Physical Touch
Words of Affirmation
Receiving Gifts
Quality Time
The Love Boat theme song tells us that love is exciting and new, then invites you to come aboard.
People go on television shows like the bachelor and bachelorette, and do things, in front of cameras, with complete strangers in hopes of finding love.
In another show called, Married at First Sight, people marry complete strangers and the first time they see them is when they are walking down the aisle to get married.
Love. People look for new and better and more exciting and different ways of expressing their love for one another from having it written across the sky, to a simple note in their lunchbox.
Love. It’s something everyone needs, it’s something everyone wants. Helen Baylor sings in her song, Testimony, “We all wanna be loved”. And she’s correct, from the youngest to the oldest, we all want someone to love us and we all want to love someone.
We must recognize, love is only true love when it’s given willingly and gladly. You can’t make someone love you, true love is not something you can work for, beg for or pay for.
Love is expressed in many ways, but what does the Bible say about love? The word love is mentioned in the Bible more than 400 times, a man’s love for a woman, a parent’s love for their child, a child’s love for their parent, a country’s love for its leader, the people’s love for God and God’s love for His people. There are many examples of love in the Bible.
You really want to know what true love between a man and a woman should look like? Read the book Song of Solomon, as Solomon expresses his love for the Shunamite woman and she expresses her love for him.
Now I already talked about how cavalier we can be with the word love. But as we look more closely at the word love - in the Greek there are three different words for love, which better express what is being said.
The Greek word agapao, is used by Jesus and is a caring or godly concern for someone even if you do not know or like him or her. It’s an unconditional love. In almost all of his teachings Christ used this word.
The Greek word Peter used to respond to Christ is phileo, which means brotherly affection. It’s the root of the word Philadelphia and is why the city of Philadelphia is know as the city of brotherly love.
The third description of love found in the Greek language is the word eros, this word was used by the ancient Greeks as the name of one of their pagan gods. We get our English word "erotic" from this Greek word, which is used in reference to something sexual.
Eros was not found in the New Testament and one reason for this is God is more concerned about how we treat him AND each other rather than on our physical sensations. We must learn to control our bodies and not let our bodies control us.
What else does the New Testament have to say about love? Well, we of course must go to the “Love chapter” to see.
Love is patient it will wait for you. This is not just talking about sex. Have you ever been with an impatient person, who always wanted you to hurry up for them, despite what you may be doing? Love doesn’t hurry you along to fit its on whims and desires.
Love is kind, it has a gentle nature and wants to do good for and to you. It doesn’t hurt you emotionally, mentally or physically.
Love is not envious. It’s not jealous of your accomplishments but will rejoice and celebrate them with you.
…or boastful. It doesn’t brag about what it’s doing, not tooting it’s own horn
…or arrogant. It doesn’t think of itself as better than you
…or rude. We all know and have dealt with rude people. That’s not what love looks like.
It does not insist on its own way. Love won’t pout when things don’t go its way
It’s not irritable. You won’t get on love’s nerves for the smallest thing you do.
…or resentful. Love won’t be angry or show displeasure toward you
It does not rejoice in wrongdoing. Love is not happy when bad things happen, even when they happen to people doing something bad or people that are mistreating them. It doesn’t riot in the street and lute when there is an injustice.
…but rejoices in the truth. The truth is the truth and love will not be upset when you share the truth with them, even if it’s correcting them.
It bears all things. Love can handle sickness, lean times, unemployment, love can handle the worst of times.
Believes all things. Love will believe the good for you
hopes all things - hope the best for you
endures all things and stands with you through thick and thin.
8 Love never ends.
Love never ends. No matter what, true love will always be.
• It’s not irritable. You won’t get on love’s nerves for the smallest thing you do.
How many want to be loved like that? That is love that loves you just the way you are. You don’t have to change to fit their mold and when you do change, and you will, they will adapt to the new you and fall in love all over again.
• …or resentful. Love won’t be angry or show displeasure toward you
• It does not rejoice in wrongdoing. Love is not happy when bad things happen, even when they happen to people doing something bad or people that are mistreating them. It doesn’t riot in the street and lute when there is an injustice.
• …but rejoices in the truth. The truth is the truth and love will not be upset when you share the truth with them, even if it’s correcting them.
• It bears all things. Love can handle sickness, lean times, unemployment, love can handle the worst of times.
• Believes all things. Love will believe the good for you
• hopes all things - hope the best for you
We have to know not all change is bad and we should hope for and encourage change in our mate when it comes to things like education and training for better jobs, or promotion on the job they have, which may mean a move to a new place. Opening a new business means change.
• endures all things and stands with you through thick and thin.
• Love never ends. No matter what, true love will always be.
How many want to be loved like that? That is love that loves you just the way you are. You don’t have to change to fit their mold and when you do change, and you will, they will adapt to the new you and fall in love all over again.
We have to know not all change is bad and we should hope for and encourage change in our mate when it comes to things like education and training for better jobs, or promotion on the job they have, which may mean a move to a new place. Opening a new business means change.
And then there are the changes our bodies go through. It’s a fact of life the body will deteriorate as we age. We can eat right, exercise and take care of it the best we can but in the end, this body will die. The saving grace is, studies show when a person takes care of their body, there’s less of a chance of them having to deal with a long illness before death. But unless Jesus returns first, we will all die. And even Jesus, in his earthly body, died…but praise be to God that wasn’t the end of his story and neither does death have to be the end of ours.
In our Scripture text, Jesus has washed his disciples’ feet, even Judas’, showing them what a true servant looks like and he has told them he would be betrayed by one of them, leaving them asking the question, who is it? You see these 12 men had been walking with Jesus for 3 years. They had eaten together, slept in a group together, studied together, traveled together for 3 years. They thought everyone was on the same page, they thought they were all on the same team, especially since Jesus had just finished washing all of their dusty dirty feet. They thought all of them loved Jesus. But they were wrong.
And then there are the changes our bodies go through. It’s a fact of life the body will deteriorate as we age. We can eat right, exercise and take care of it the best we can but in the end, this body will die. The saving grace is studies show when a person takes care of their body, there is less of a chance of them having to deal with a long illness before death. But unless Jesus returns first, we will all die. And even Jesus, in his earthly body, died…but praise be to God that wasn’t the end of his story and neither does death have to be the end of our story.
There are people who will walk with you for years, yet they are still not your friend and they will sell you out for a proverbial 30 pieces of silver. They will sell you out for what matters most to them, whatever that may be, it varies for each person.
In our text, Judas has left the room to do his deed and Jesus is talking to the disciples. This message is for the believer, not the world. The question is sometimes asked, “Why can’t we all just get along” or “How can people do that, whatever that is, to one another”, the answer is, not everyone is a believer. Not everyone loves God with all their heart, soul, might, and strength. Not everyone has given Jesus lordship over their lives and until they do, they are working for the other team and the leader of the other team is on a mission to kill, steal and destroy, thus, his followers will also kill, steal and destroy.
So in our text; Jesus says to the disciples, “I give you a new commandment”. A commandment is not optional, when you’re a believer, you don’t get to decide whether or not you’re going to do this. The commandment is, “that you love one another”. Now it’s not just any old kind of love, the translator put a period there but in the next sentence Jesus tells the believer how to love one another, he says, “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another”.
The love Jesus speaks of here goes back to the Greek word for love, agapao’ or agape’ love. That is unconditional love that does not have to be earned or bought. It’s love that says you are worth me loving just because you are. You don’t have to try to live up to my expectations, just be who you are, and I will love you.
So what does this mean? It means that when a believer makes a mistake or messes up you don’t jump on the bandwagon that will say things about them like, “And I thought they were supposed to be a Christian” or “I knew they were fake”, or “see that’s why I don’t go to church”. Instead we who are believers should first pray for them because Paul tells us in All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Our goal is not to fall short, our goal is to be holy as Jesus is holy, our goal is to please God, our goal is to live in obedience to God. But when we fall, we still want to be loved.
After we pray, if we have access to the believer that made the mistake, reach out to them, encourage them, help them find and receive their forgiveness through repentance. Help them to know God still loves them, despite what the world may say. We can also try to help them deal with the consequences of their transgression. Sin has consequences and those must be faced and dealt with.
In our Scripture text, Jesus has washed his disciples feet, even Judas’, showing them what a true servant looks like and he has told them he would be betrayed by one of them, leaving them asking the question, who is it? You see these 12 men had been walking with Jesus for 3 years. They had eaten together, slept in a group together, studied together, traveled together for 3 years. They thought everyone was on the same page, they thought they were all on the same team, especially since Jesus had just finished washing all of their dusty dirty feet. They thought all of them loved Jesus. But they were wrong.
The world will try to classify sin as big and small. It doesn’t matter how big or small the sin is; to God, sin is sin and He doesn’t look on any of it with joy. Sin grieves His heart and that is what Jesus hung on that cross for oh so many years ago. Your sin was not a surprise and it’s already been covered and forgiven. Repent, turn away from it, don’t do it again, receive your forgiveness and move on with your life.
The same way we tell you don’t stop in your storm, you have to keep moving to get to the other side of through; don’t get stuck in your sin and think you are less than in the Kingdom of God. God can still use you
• Noah was a drunk and he built an ark and saved his family from the flood
There are people who will walk with you for years, yet they are still not your friend and they will sell you out for a proverbial 30 pieces of silver. They will sell you out for what matters most to them, whatever that may be, it varies for each person.
• Abraham was too old to have a child, yet he did
In our text, Judas has left the room to do his deed and Jesus is talking to the disciples. This message is for the believer, not the world. The question is sometimes asked, “Why can’t we all just get along” or “How can people do that, whatever that is, to one another”, the answer is, not everyone is a believer. Not everyone loves God with all of their heart, mind, soul and strength. Not everyone has given Jesus lordship over their lives and until they do, they are working for the other team and the leader of the other team is on a mission to kill, steal and destroy, thus, his followers will also kill, steal and destroy.
• Isaac was a daydreamer
So in our text; Jesus says to the disciples, “I give you a new commandment”. A commandment is not optional, you don’t decided whether or not you’re going to do this. The commandment is, “that you love one another”. Now it’s not just any old kind of love, the translator put a period there but in the next sentence Jesus tells the believer how to love one another, he says, “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another”.
• Jacob was a liar and stole his brother’s birthright
The love Jesus speaks of here goes back to the Greek word for love, agapao’ or agape’ love. That is unconditional love that does not have to be earned or bought. It’s love that says you are worth me loving just because you are. You don’t have to try to live up to my expectations, just be who you are and I will love you.
So what does this mean? It means that when a believer makes a mistake or messes up you don’t jump on the bandwagon that will say things about them like, “And I thought they were supposed to be a Christian” or “I knew they were fake”, or “see that’s why I don’t go to church”. Instead we who are believers should first pray for them because Paul tells us in All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Our goal is not to fall short, our goal is to be holy as Jesus is holy, our goal is to please God, our goal is to live in obedience to God. But when we feel, we still want to be loved.
• Joseph was abused first by his brothers, then by the pharaoh
• Moses stuttered and still led the people out of slavery
• Gideon was afraid and still led the people into battle
• Samson had long hair and was a womanizer
• Rahab was a prostitute but is in the lineage of Jesus
• Jeremiah and Timothy were too young and still preached the Gospel
• David was an adulterer and a murderer but was still a man after God’s own heart
• Elijah was suicidal but was still a great prophet
• Isaiah preached naked but was also a great prophet
• Jonah ran from God but still preached and the city of Nineveh repented
• Naomi was a widow and was still blessed by God
• Job went bankrupt but still recovered and God gave him double
After we pray, if we have access to the believer that made the mistake, reach out to them, encourage them, help them find and receive their forgiveness through repentance. Help them to know God still loves them, despite what the world may say. We can also try to help them deal with the consequences of their transgression. Sin has consequences and those must be faced and dealt with.
• John the Baptist ate bugs but still preached and baptized Jesus
• Peter denied Christ three times but still preached on the Day of Pentecost and more than 3,000 souls were added to the kingdom
• Paul murdered, harassed, and persecuted Christians in the early Church but still wrote over half of the New Testament
All of these were people, just like you and I, they made mistakes, they were not perfect and God still used all of them to do great things in the lives of His people.
Don’t let anybody try to tell you that your past disqualifies you from future service. God has laid out your future knowing what your past would be. We are a supernatural church, filled with supernatural people, doing supernatural things for the Kingdom of God.
So when your brother or sister messes up, show them and the world who you are by showing your love for them. And Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”.
The world will try to classify sin as big and small. It doesn’t matter how big or small the sin is; to God, sin is sin and He doesn’t look on any of it with joy. Sin grieves His heart and that is what Jesus hung on that cross for oh so many years ago. Your sin was not a surprise and it’s already been covered and forgiven. Repent, turn away from it, don’t do it again, receive your forgiveness and move on with your life.
Love is a verb, that means it’s an action, not just an emotion to be used when it’s convenient. Love will sacrifice for others, it will get uncomfortable sometimes. It’s not fun sitting with a person who has just lost a child, but love will do it and not try to offer a reason. It’s not entertaining sitting with a person who is in distress because their spouse has just left them, but love will do it and not cast blame. It’s not exciting sitting with a teenager who has just found out they’re pregnant, but love will do it without judging or condemning.
Love is not always going to be times filled with joy and happiness, love won’t allow you to walk off the proverbial cliff they see you on but will pull you back and turn you in the right direction.
Love won’t try to pull you into its own misery or trouble, instead it will ask you to help them out of theirs.
The same we tell you don’t stop in your storm, you have to keep moving to get to the other side of through. Don’t get stuck in your sin and think you are less than in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus showed the disciples service when he washed their feet, but He showed us the greatest love when he hung on a cross as a sinless man and died a sinner’s death. Jesus modeled true love when He died for our sins before we were even born. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us, so we should think of that love when we look at our brother or sister and we should display that kind of love to and for them.
So the next time you hear of or see your brother or sister in a situation that doesn’t reflect Christ, pray, then reach out to them and show them the love you would want if it was you. Love them the same way Christ loves you.
Noah was a drunk
Abraham was too old
Isaac was a daydreamer
Jacob was a liar
Joseph was abused
~ Joseph was abused
Moses stuttered
We all want to be loved.
Gideon was afraid
Samson had long hair and was a womanizer
Rahab was a prostitute
Paul murdered, harassed, and persecuted Christians in the early Church and he wrote over half of the books of the New Testament.
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
David was an adulterer and a murderer
Elijah was suicidal
Isaiah preached naked
Jonah ran from God
Peter denied Jesus three times, and failed many times (just like us). But he also had faith and walked on water. He received divine revelation that Jesus Christ was the son of God, then turned around and became an adversary (speaking for the devil), trying to keep Jesus from fulfilling His mission. So Jesus had to rebuke him. Even after all this, God used Peter mightily to encourage, teach, heal, minister to, lead and grow the early church.
Naomi was a widow
Job went bankrupt
Rahab was a Prostitute. Despite her background, God used her in mighty ways. She showed great faith and helped the people of God. She’s listed in the “Hall of Faith”, and she is in the direct lineage of Jesus Christ.
John the Baptist ate bugs
Peter denied Christ three times
Paul murdered, harassed, and persecuted Christians in the early Church
All of these were people, just like you and I and God used all of them to do great things in the lives of His people.
Don’t let anybody try to tell you that your past disqualifies you from future service. God has laid out your future knowing what your past would be.
So when your brother or sister messes up, show them and the world who you are by showing your love for them. And Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”.
Love is a verb, that means it’s an action, not just an emotion to be used when it’s convenient. Love will sacrifice for others, it will get uncomfortable sometimes. It’s not fun sitting with a person who has just lost a child, but love will do it and not try to offer a reason. It’s not fun sitting with a person who is in distress because their spouse has just left them, but love will do it and not try to cast blame. It’s not fun sitting with a teenager who has just found out they’re pregnant, but love will do it without judging or condemning.
Love is not always going to be times filled with joy and happiness, love won’t allow you to walk off the proverbial cliff they see you on, but will pull you back and turn you in the right direction.
Love won’t try to pull you into it’s own misery or trouble, instead it will ask you to help them out of theirs.
Jesus showed the disciples service when he washed their feet but He showed us the greatest love when he hung on a cross as a sinless man and died a sinner’s death. Jesus modeled true love when He died for our sins before we were even born. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us, so we should think of that love when we look at our brother or sister and we should display that kind of love to and for them.
So the next time you hear of or see your brother or sister in a situation that doesn’t reflect Christ, pray, then reach out to them and show them the love you would want if it was you. Love them they same way Christ loves you.
We all want to be loved.
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