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Valuing Love

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We’ve been talking about values to live by. I remember when I used to do youth ministry in schools. We would do these values exercises. We would give you a scenerio that puts you in a rubber raft with a friend… a set of flares… enough food for a week… 5 gallons of water… You can’t make it to land without throwing something overboard. What do you throw? If you said my friend, I’m glad you are here because we need this message.
We are going to talk about the value of LOVE. Jesus was asked a values question once. The religious folks in his day came to him and said, there are a lot of laws in the scriptures, which on is the most important?
Here is his answer…
Mark 12:29–31 NCV
29 Jesus answered, “The most important command is this: ‘Listen, people of Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second command is this: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ There are no commands more important than these.”
We have looked at a lot of values, but this is perhaps the most important of all.
1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV84
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Love is number 1. Look what Paul said…
Galatians 5:14 NCV
14 The whole law is made complete in this one command: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
He said, take the whole law and sum it up and here is what it means… Love your neighbor as yourself. That’s powerful, but we all struggle with this even though it’s something that God really values. We talk about making love work in our lives but it’s a struggle to love people sometimes… a lot of the time.
Let’s ...

I. Ask What Love is

What is genuine love? Love is the most misunderstood word in our language. I can say I love my wife… the saints… pizza… cake… I hope that you know there is a difference in those types of love. It’s a very misunderstood word.
Dearest Ben, No words could ever express the great unhappiness I've felt since breaking our engagement. Please say that you'll take me back. No on could take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love you. I love you. Yours forever, Betty.
P.S. And congratulations for winning the state lottery
Real love? Nope...
There are a lot of misconceptions of love that we learn as we grow up and as we watch Halmark.

Popular Misconceptions

Love is Romance

Halmark - two people don’t like each other at first… then they fall for each other but don’t really admit it but they get close … then there is a misunderstanding… and in the last 5 minutes they figure it out and live happily ever after. That’s love right? No.

Love is just a feeling

Love is a great feeling but that’s all there is… it’s all emotional. Love produces some wonderful feelings but it’s much more than that.

Love is uncontrollable

People say things like when they are in love their head is spinning… giddy… knees weak… I don’t know about you but that sounds like motion sickness to me… We say stuff like they do the craziest things when they are in love… Or they fell in love… It’s like you are walking down the street and fell in love like you fell in a ditch. You tripped and fell… couldn’t help it. Here’s one of the problems with that. If you can fall in love you can fall out of love.
What does God say love is?

What God says?

1. Love is a matter of choice

It’s a choice that you control. Jesus told us to love each other, but he never commanded us to FEEL a certain way. You can’t command a feeling, but God commands us to love others… he commands our actions.
Colossians 3:14 NLT
14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
Paul says it’s like the choice to get dressed in the morning. You choose to love. You put love on like you do your clothes. You don’t wake up and fall into the closet and come out dressed. You make a choice about what you are going to wear and you put it on.

2. Love is a matter of conduct

It’s about the way we act.
1 John 3:18 The Living Bible
18 Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions.
The greeks had four words for love ranging from friendship to affection to sexual attraction to unconditional actions of love towards another. This word is the word for unconditional acts of love. It’s the word that describes God’s love towards us. We act in love.
How do we do that?How does love act towards people? maybe even people who are your enemies?

II. Act like Love acts

This is tough because it’s where the rubber meets the road. Paul gives us a guide to the actions of love in 1 Corinthians 13. This is Paul telling us this is how you show love. This is how it works.

1. Be patient

1 Corinthians 13:4 NLT
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud
That’s the first word Paul used in describing the actions of love. Love takes patience with other people. Waiting is a big part of our lives and part of loving someone is waiting with them for important things to happen in their lives… in your lives.
But the hardest part is waiting for them not with them. Waiting for them to change… to come to the Lord… to marry… You are waiting for a change that needed to happen a year ago, but they have not made the choice yet. You are waiting for them to change… to grow.
That’s what God does for us. He waits for us to “get it.” Love is patient.
Paul told us how patient love acts in…
Ephesians 4:2 NLT
2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
Here’s what real patience is. Patience is making allowance for another person’s faults because of your love. Here some practical examples.
Getting ready for church and you are ready before your spouse… you don’t circle the cul-de-sac in the car.
Patience means you help your kids with homework when you really want to do something else. Not do it for them… help them
Patience doesn’t finish people’s sentences for them… Love is patient in the way you talk and listen to people. No better example of this than God. He listens to every word… he doesn’t try to guess my punch line or requests… he waits patiently for me .
God waits … for me to gorw… to change… to let go of sin… for soem of you he’s waiting patiently for you to come to him.

2. Be kind

Love is kind.
1 Corinthians 13:4 NLT
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud
Kindness is caring for someone in the practical and small details of their life. Kindness is taking your grand wedding vows and turning them into washing the dishes and taking out the garbage. Kindness is taking care of someone who can’t take care of themselves… Kindness makes a difference. It may not fix the problems but it makes them better.
When we had COVID, people (Gores, Melansons, Denise) brought food. It didn’t make COVID go away, but it made us feel better. It made a difference.
Through one act of kindness, you have the power to change a person's life That’s why God say love is kind.
Survey about what people look for in a leader. One of the things at the top was Someone who can encourage your heart. That’s what kindness does.
Paul gives us an outline of how kindness works.
Ephesians 4:32 The Living Bible
32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ.
Tenderhearted - I have to care in my heart about what you are facing.
forgive one another - kindness means we forgive others just like God forgave us. It means I act towards others like God has acted towards me.
Someone wrote this about kindness…
Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care and kindness and understanding you can muster and do it without any thought of reward and your life will never be the same again

3. Don’t be showy

Don’t try to impress people with your love for others.
1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV84
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
This verse deals with insecurity. Insecure people envy … If I have security in my love, I don’t envy you…
insecure people boast… You don’t have to boast about what you have.
Security is a big deal in relationships and that’s why god says things to us that northing can separate us from his love. God basically says he loves us and there is nothing we can do to change that.
What are you doing that might be adding insecurity to your relationships?
Are you hiding things from your spouse? Being really inconsistent with your kids? do they know what they can expect from you? maybe you haven’t spoken to someone in a long time… and you need to.
Maybe you need to as we go into these holidays pick up the phone and call a brother… sister… parent… child or friend and say, We've had our differences. But I want you to know, no matter what happens, I love you. No matter what happens. that would give security in the relationship. That kind of security is the foundation love is built on. That might be scary to you, but act in love not fear. Fear keeps us from doing things. Love changes us and allows us to become all God wants us to be.

4. Don’t be selfish

1 Corinthians 13:5 NLT
5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
Rudeness is a sign of selfishness. demanding your own way is a sign of selfishness. Being irritable is a sign of selfishness. Keeping a record of wrongs is a sign of selfishness.
Love isn’t rude. I can be selfish with my words.
Love does not demand it’s own way. I can be selfish with my plans. do you ever have a plan that no one else knows about and they are not going along with your plan that they don’t know about?… and you get mad at them because they didn’t go along with your plan?
Love is not irritable or easily angered. We can be selfish with our attitudes from when we wake up until …
Love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs. It’s easy to be selfish with our memories.
Love is not selfish. It changes the way we use our words and the way we make our plans and the way we allow our attitudes to run throughout the day.
I think everyone of us think this way. "I'm going to be unselfish. I'm going to be totally unselfish toward a husband, wife, somebody in the family, somebody outside of the family. I'm going to be unselfish towards them and they're just going to eat it up. They're supposed to be unselfish back but they're going think this is great! Serve me!" There's a little bit of fear in that. There the fear that if I risk myself to selflessly love another person maybe they won't return that love. That's a honest fear. Maybe they won't. I can't promise you that they will. Maybe they won’t.
God has selflessly loved us all and some of us have never loved Him back. Love is the greatest risk you can take. But it provides the greatest benefits in your lives. It provides the greatest joys in your life, but it also provides the greatest hurts. But it’s throught e value of love that God changes us and changes the world around us. Loving others like God said is worth the risk.

5. Don’t quit

1 Corinthians 13:7 NLT
7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Love never gives up. Love says I am committed to you no matter what.
Two guys on battlefield… tying themselves to each other so neither would leave the other on the battle field… tying the not.
That’s genuine love.
So how do you never give up? never lose faith? always hoe for the best? always endure through it all? Where do you get the power to love like God? Remember the command. Look at the first part.
Mark 12:29–31 NLT
29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
The first part says to love God with everything in you… with every part of your being. It’s like trying to go to 2nd base without going to 1st base. First base is loving God.
Say you had a new car but you didn’t read how to use it. You are in the car but don’t know there is a key to start the engine. It’s in neutral so it will coast downhill but then when the ground levels off, it slowly rolls to a stop. That’s how a lot of relationships are. You get out and you push but the car isn’t going anywhere. so you get ready to quit. Listen before you quit… know that there is a key that will crank the car and give it the power to take you all sorts of places.
Before you quit consider for a moment that there is a key… Jesus that will give you the power to love the way God says. God, our Father, wants to show His love to you. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to say, "Look how much I love you. Let Me love you." And when you begin to let Him love you like He wants to, it turns the key to empower my love, your love for other people. The power is not in our efforts, but in God’s love for you and for me. Jesus came and said, I love you no matter what.
Galatians 6:9 The Living Bible
9 And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.
We have to make a choice to accept that love into our lives… Love is a choice.
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