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Love in 2021

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Valentines 2021

Another Valentines Day falls on a Sunday and that gives me a great reason to talk about: Love, God and Relationships.
Today we will look at a few of the things the Bible has to say about Love.
And then focus in on 1 Cor 13
Let’s start with the idea that God is Love
1 John 4:16 ESV
16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
Some have grown up with the idea, that God loves them, but when they know it in their hearts,
God love me
God really loves you.
That knowledge really can help us when we struggle with low self esteem.
Some of you, may be like me, not knowing that God loves me, but at least Cammie and I knew that mom loved us.
She could be kind or the wicked witch to us if she was in a bad mood
One way mom showed her fierce loyalty to us kids was in defending us.
She was quick to drop friends that said anything against my sister or I.
King David wrote many words about God’s love, here is just one example
Psalm 86:15 ESV
15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
God’s kind of Love is steadfast.
He doesn’t just love us, when are needs are few and we are living right
He,
God
Loves us, when our needs are great and
we are falling short of his standards.
Now that doesn’t mean He won’t allow troubles in our lives
Hebrews 12:6 ESV
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
Do you/ do we have steadfast love our hearts
are we faithful to others?
Or are we only opportunist,
fair weather friends.
If you believe we evoled to this level, you might wonder, why it is we can be loving and kind and not just be opportunist.
You might ask, why we seem to have a nice gene?
But God’s Word explains,
we have some of God’s characteristics,
Because we were made in His image
We are image barer, baring His image to the world and the people around us,
for it says in
Genesis 1:27 NIV
27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Romantic love

Many in earlier generations were convinced Song on Songs, was an allegory about God’s love for us.
There is a fun childrens song about
His Banner
Over Me
Is Love.
But the Jewish people must have thought something different about Song of Songs because,
a man had to be at least 30, before he could read from that book.
There certainly is good imagery about God’s love for us in that book but primarily,
its a song, a play for reading, celebrating marital love.
Three times,
in the middle of this love story
there is a pause to give warning
first in Song of Solomon 2:7
Song of Solomon 2:7 NIV
7 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.
Then in 3:5 the same words
Song of Solomon 3:5 NIV
5 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.
And finally a shortened version
Song of Solomon 8:4 NIV
4 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.
Do you think Solomon, knows something about the human heart that we don’t know.
Why should there be a warning?
Isn’t love just wonderful?
Could it be that if we go about searching for love in the wrong way, the wrong places, the wrong time in our lives
It’s not going to be a blessing in our lives?
When we try too hard to find love and cure our loneliness
we often make poor choices.
I remember my 6th and 7th grade science teacher saying try hard not to get married before you finish school.
He fell in love and got married,
in the middle of his college years.
He had a wife to support, and probably pretty soon a child or more while going to school and finances were real tight.
They had too move it with her folks and couch surfing for a few years.
He liked his inlaws, but the lack of privacy really was hard on him and his wife.
His plea, his theme was

Wait until the right time to get married.

Yet being teen agers in the 70s, a lot of people were not waiting for the right time.
My sister experienced the heartache and drama and she accompanied her friend to an abortion clinic and then saw her home.
My generation needed to hear words like Solomon’s

Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

If we are too desperate to find:
The guy or gal of our dreams, we set ourselves up for failure and man pains in our life.
But if you have the attributes of Godly Love, it is likely, you will find the right person, the right time, the right situation for physical love
That time, place and situation is within a Godly marriage.
You might ask,
Well Dave,

What are some characteristics of Godly love?

I’m glad you asked,
Let’s look at 1 Cor 13 for a fare sized list describing Godly love
1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
So
being impressively smart, isn’t nearly as valuable in God’s eyes as having love.
My friend once tried to recruite me to join him playing drums for the school band. So he come over with a couple drums and were on the front lawn banging out a marching rythim and mom didn’t like it,
She said go somewhere else with that noise!
If all we are is smarts, but we don’t have love,
God and our fellow people will find us just as anoying as 2 guys banging on drums in front of your house.
1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV
2 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 do not have love, I am nothing.
Now we are talking about some cool things
Being able to say, “This is what God has to say.....”
Understanding ALL Mysteries, not just the who done it’s on TV
Great Knowledge, have I ever told you my hero growing up was Dexter, from Disney's Computer who wore Tennis shoes.
All this stuff sounds really neet,
but God says

but do not have love, I am nothing.

He must have a different standard then ours.
All that is NOTHING
If we don’t have love.
1 Corinthians 13:3 ESV
3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Here is a third impressive thing!
Being so selfless that we give everything away
and offer up our life to
it still is worthless
if love isn’t a part of our lives.
God help us not to squeeze LOVE out of our lives
help us not to make ourselves worthless
while we pursue impressive things in life.
Amen? Amen.

So we know that Love is real important as a Man, Women or Child of God.

Let’s hear about what love is like.
1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
Wow, do you mean I have to be patient like God is patient with me?
that I have to be kind, like God is kind to me
I cant envy or covit
I can’t be boastful
I’m gonna need God’s help to consistently avoid all those things.

How about you?

1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
If our focus in on ourselves, we can easily find ourselves doing all of those things
dishonoring others
self-seeking
easily angered
How that is a problem that is sometimes very obvious to others,
but weather our anger is out visible
or just kept to ourselves,
God knows what were are thinking
what we are saying in the back of our mind.
Now we all get angry sometimes.
Even God get’s angry sometimes,
for the right reasons but we should never be
easily angered.
Often when someone is easily angered, it comes from within,
Perhaps a man or a women is struggling with their own self worth,
if they get their self worth from God,
and not from being the smartest
the fastest, the richest
the most giving person in the room
if we start to get our self worth from
our relationship with God
then many of these bad things just might sluff away like loosing your sunburn.
Keeps no record of wrongs.
That is an area where many of us fail.
oh we might not keep a paper list
we might even denie we have a list but when
mud starts slinging,
magically that list can re-appear.
Everyone says, I just had a few things
but they hit me with this whole long list.
Well, God says, don’t worry about their list
stop keeping your own list
stop going over you list of how someone wronged you
day after day.
It’s boring and
keeps you stuck.
1 Corinthians 13:6 NIV
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Truth be told, sometimes we rejoice when bad things happen to bad people
if we have a bad case of envy and jeolosy going
we might even rejoice when bad happen to good people but
God says
Love does not delight in these things
Love delights in the TRUTH.
Not only that, Love does a number of other things
1 Corinthians 13:7 NIV
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
It protects
always trusts
always hopes
always perseveres
It sounds to me like Love is a lot of work.
If you have enough Love for God, you won’t sin.
If you have enough Love for your spouse, you wont cheat
1 Corinthians 13:8 NIV
8 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.
Did you hear that

Love never fails

I am know for my patience and kindness but
to tell the truth,
sometimes I run out of those thinks and
generally when that happens
people are shocked and disappointed.
But Love, Love that comes from God Never Fails.
I need more filling of God’s love
How about you.
Prophecies will cease
tongues will be stilled
knowledge will pass away.
Only love endures
it never fails
it never gives out.
That is true about God’s love for you and me and
with God’s help, it can be true about
our approach to others.
illus.
An old preacher was dying in the hospital and one of his grandsons came to visit him.
The preacher was so old, he had lost many things, including much of his memory
but one thing he still had was his love for Jesus.
So when his grandson came to visit him, he didn’t know it was his grandson,
he just knew it was a nice young man.
He said, Son, I don’t know who you are, but one thing I do know is that if you give your life to Jesus
you can’t go wrong.
Amen? Amen!

What Endures, what will really last?

These days, Presidents seem to serve as long as they can,
and then they build a library
they will it with documents and pictures
so that people will remember,
what they have done.
But God’s word declares that such knowledge will disappear and only the most important things in God’s eyes will remain
1 Corinthians 13:9–12 NIV
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 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 the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a 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.
Childish things like being smart but heartless
childish things like boasting
and putting others down
Those will all be in the past, but what will remain?
1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Do you have a faith in God that will endure?
Is God your hope in Good days and bad?
Do you still have room in your heart for love?
With God’s help are you a loving person?
Let’s prays.
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