What Love Looks Like
What Love Looks Like
$20 bill – Who wants? Floor - still? Step – still? Crumble - still? Why? Not change value, even crumpled or dirty. Just like me – you! Priceless b4 God, even crumpled or dirty.
You created in image of God. Sent son to die 4U! You priceless cuz He loves every one of you. Why? Cuz so lovable? Cuz so valuable? No – valuable Bcuz He loves us. He loves us cuz He chose to! That virtuous love - love as choice, as loyalty. Christ’s love for us not based on our value but on His choice – NT word = agape.
Need to “add to” - support faith w/ agape love. 2 Pet 1:5-7, Peter tells us this (RD). Our faith supported by these traits. Seems Peter saved most important for last – “bro. love” - phila followed by “agape.” Love most important support beam of our faith. 1 Cor 13:13 tells us - greatest of these is love. Knock out support beam, faith comes crashing down. 1 Cor 13:2 tells us have faith to move mountains, but no love, you’ve got nothing!
PM – look at what agape love looks like. See what changes agape love should make in lives. Love transforms our lives into an acceptable offering to God.
T - Look primarily @ 1 Cor 13, 1st 3. 1st way seen in beautiful psg that love changes us…
I. Love Transforms Our Speech (RD - 1 Cor 13:1)
A. Without love, our speech is noisy gong or clanging symbol. What Paul talking about? Simply - noisy gong draws attention to himself. Context, talking speaking in tongues - wanted everyone know he had gift. But, all anyone ever heard was babbling. However, to make application, we all know noisy gong, clanging cymbal comes in many forms:
1. Gossip – One with nothing good to say about anyone else. Why do gossips gossip? Makes selves look better! Makes wonder if they talk about you too! Another type…
2. One talks too much. Folks can’t get word in; have to wait them breathe, then talk.
3. One who talks only about himself. I did this – I did that… How about…
4. Negative person. I don’t think this can happen. I don’t want to…Mouth moving, but people hear, “blah blah blah.” Each of these are speaking really for own benefit.
B. Like guy rec’d letter from girl broke engagement. “Dearest Jimmy, No words express great unhappiness I’ve felt – so lonely – so burdened w sadness. Please take back. Life so empty wout you.” Many flowery words expressed her sadness - her sorrow. Closes – “Please forgive me, take back. I love you, forever I’ll love you. Susan. PS – Congrats on lottery. Words suddenly empty, spoken for benefit of speaker!
C. With love, speech becomes like beautiful music. When hear beautiful music, you are drawn to it. In Prov 12:18, Solomon describes a wrong and a wonderful way to use words (RD). Paul says, back in 1 Cor 13:4 - Love does not brag. Similar idea! Love is not self-centered. Agape love is centered away from self and shown in our speech – centered on God, and on encouraging and edifying others.
II. Love transforms our knowledge (RD - 1 Cor 13:2)
A. If really know “all” things - don’t have love, it’s nothing. What knowledge wout love do? Few chap. back, in 1 Cor 8:1, Paul writes about affects of knowledge wout love (RD). In context, many hurting brethren w/ their knowledge.
1. “Let’s go get steaks from Pagan Plate.” Said meat offered to idol, just meat! BUT - not all believed that. But, Paul addressing those who proudly displayed their “enlightenment.” Hurt their brother’s conscience due to arrogance.
2. Great threat to early church – Gnosticism. English, be “knowledgism.” Xianity became mental excercise, no love. Still a type of “knowledgism” today.
3. Know grace, freedom, holiness, sound doctrine, etc. But, have contempt for “others” that don’t. Paul says in Rom 14:3 (RD).
B. Xianity not about merely “knowing” but “loving”! Knowledge can puff you up, make you think highly of self. Also find in Rom 12:3, further instruction from Paul (RD). In other words, build up others, not puff up self. See, love builds up. Not about - “look what I know.” IS about - “How I use what I know to build you up?” 1 Cor 14:26 (RD).
1. Love builds up. Interesting thing - Paul “contrasts” love with knowledge. Possible and OK be deficient in knowledge, but full of love. Don’t have to be intelligent, smart, etc.
2. In Matt 11:25, Jesus describes this very notion (RD). If you know a little, or a lot, add love to that knowledge, and you will build others up!
C. In John 13:1, Jesus “loved them to the end.” How exactly? Jesus was teacher – lord. He did lowly job to serve others - loved them. See both humility and love in Christ and His actions! Again in 1 Cor 13:4 - Love not arrogant - it is humble!
1. Cannot have both pride/arrogance along with love. Knowledge says - I know what to do; love says - let me help you!
2. When reach out to the lost in love, you don’t beat up with Bible. You do as Jesus did, you love them and share the good news.
III. Love transforms our giving (RD - 1 Cor 13:3)
A. Wout love, our giving is investment! Wout love – ques. is “what’s in for me?” Don’t give unless get something back. Truthfully, foolish keep giving - get nothing back. As people, we don’t want chance of being used. If we keep giving, we might feel used if get nothing back.
B. BUT – w/ love, giving is divestment – an emptying of self! Jesus talking about Luke 6:34-35 as describes giving (RD). Give, expecting 0 in return. Giving selflessly is sign of love.
1. Jack Kelly - USA Today tells about time in Mogadishu, Somalia – famine. Went into village, all dead. Boy, malnourished, with reddish hair and skin – severe. Gave grapefruit to boy - didn’t have strength to hold it, so cut in half, boy back to village, followed at distance. Came upon younger boy on ground, barely alive.
2. Older boy bit off piece, chewed it, put in brother’s mouth, worked jaw up and down. Found out - doing for 2 weeks. 2 days later, older boy died, younger brother lived.
3. (RD - John 15:13) - Love gives freely simply because it chooses to love. God loves a cheerful giver – of money certainly, but of time, effort, and love! Does God love this brother that gave so freely? Don’t know who he was, but he is in God’s arms.
C. 1 Cor 13:5 - Love does not seek its own. Other words, love not selfish, it is selfless. Love is wonderfully and lovingly sacrificial! Jesus gave life on cross, knowing many would reject him anyway. But…to the end…He loved them – He loved us – anyway.
Commanded to support faith w/ “bro love” AND “agape.” Just barely scratched surface of what agape love is about. 1 Cor 13:4-8a gives good picture, description (RD). God loves us freely, therefore we freely love. Love is not something to look for, but it is something to give. God offered us love, He 1st loved us, and now we love Him and others.
True love is genuine love - love never fails. His love hand in hand w/ His grace. God loves us spite of being dirty, crumpled, filthy. Cleanses us by washing of water of word.
Transforms us when sins washed away at baptism. When have love of God in our heart, it transforms us. Is no arrogance - instead humility. Is no bragging; but focus on others and not self. Is no seeking of our own - but selflessness.
Want that love in life? Can. Need to be in Him 1st. Need to share that in life but finding difficult? Need prayers to put love back into life so you can show world around you what love – love that comes from God – really looks like? Let us help.