Does Your Love Measure Up

LOVE (PART 1) – DOES YOUR LOVE MEASURE UP?

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC)

I)     INTRODUCTION – TODAY BEING VALENTINES DAY, I FELT TO BEGIN A SHORT SERIES ON THE SUBJECT OF LOVE.  MY TEXT TODAY IS CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 13, WHICH IS KNOWN AS THE “LOVE CHAPTER”. AS WE LOOK AT THIS CHAPTER WE WILL SEE A SHARP CONTRAST BETWEEN WHAT GOD CALLS LOVE AND WHAT WE PASS OFF FOR LOVE TODAY.  SO MUCH OF WHAT IS CALLED LOVE TODAY BETWEEN YOUNG PEOPLE GOD CALLS LUST.  THIS IS NOT TO SAY SEX IS INHERENTLY EVIL, AFTER ALL GOD INVENTED SEX.  GOD MADE THE FIRST MAN AND THE FIRST WOMAN AND GAVE THEM THEIR PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES FOR INTIMACY AND HAVING CHILDREN WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF A LOVING MARRIAGE   THERE ARE ACTUALLY FOUR GREEK WORDS THAT ARE INTERPRETED LOVE OR CHARITY:  1ST EROS – REFERRING TO SENSUAL, SEXUAL FEELINGS FROM WHICH WE GET THE WORD EROTICA, 2ND PHILEO – BROTHERLY LOVE USED IN  HebREWS 13:1  Let brotherly love continue.   THE PHILADELPHIA IS CALLED THE CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE.   3RD AGAPE –  USED IN OUR TEXT 1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 13 AND IN REVELATION  2:4  IN THE OUR LORD’S LETTER TO THE CHURCH OF EPHESUS Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.  AND 4TH A WORD VERY CLOSELY RELATED TO AGAPE, AGAPAO, USED IN WHERE JESUS SAYS  JohN 13:34 – 35:   A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

II)    (1COR 13: 1 – 4) IN THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER PAUL TALKS ABOUT SPIRITUAL GIFTS AND HOW INDIVIDUAL CHURCH MEMBERS ARE PART OF THE BODY OF CHRIST. HERE WE SEE THAT SPIRITUAL GIFTS AND RELIGIOUS SERVICE ARE OF NO SIGNIFICANCE UNLESS THEY OPERATE IN AND ARE MOTIVATED BY LOVE.

A)   THE KIND OF LOVE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HERE TO DAY IS AGAPE LOVE, THE KIND OF LOVE THAT GOD HAS FOR US;  THE KIND OF LOVE THAT LED JESUS TO THE CROSS TO DIE FOR OUR SINS, TAKING OUR PENALITY.

B)   Rom 5:5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

C)   THIS IS THE KIND OF LOVE THAT WE NEED TO SERVE IN THE CHURCH AND MINISTER TO THE NEEDS OF OTHERS.  GOD IS THE SOURCE OF THIS LOVE, OTHERWISE IT CANNOT BE SUSTAINED.

III)   (1COR 13: 4-7) GOD’S KIND OF LOVE IS DIFFERENT FROM HUMAN LOVE – IT DOES NOT GIVE UP AND IT DOES NOT QUIT – IT IS NOT SELF SERVING.

A)   IT IS PATIENT – IT IS LONG SUFFERING, ENDURING, AND PERSISTENT.

B)   IT IS KIND AND CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS – IT IS GENTLE, KIND AND COMPASSIONATE, CONCERNED ABOUT THE WELFARE AND WELL BEING OF THE OBJECT OF THAT LOVE.

C)   IT IS NOT RUDE, SELF-SEEKING OR SELF-SERVING.  IT DOES NOT DENIGRATE OR PUT DOWN.  THIS KIND OF LOVE DOES NOT REJOICE IN BEING “RIGHT” OR JUDGING OTHERS.

D)   IT IS NOT EASILY ANGERED AND KEEPS NO RECORD OF RIGHTS AND WRONGS.

E)   IT DOES NOT DELIGHT IN EVIL BUT REJOICES IN THE TRUTH.

F)    IT ALWAYS PROTECTS, ALWAYS TRUSTS, ALWAYS HOPES AND ALWAYS PERSEVERES.

IV)  (1COR 13:8 – 13)  GOD’S KIND OF LOVE NEVER FAILS – IT IS SELF SUFFICIENT AND SELF-SUSTAINING – IT IS INHERENTLY GOOD EVEN WHEN THE OBJECT OF THAT LOVE FAILS TO RECEIVE OR ACCEPT IT. 

A)   WHEN THAT WHICH IS PERFECT IS COME; WHEN WE ARE WITH OUR HEAVENLY FATHER IN AGES TO COME (WHEN TIME IS NO MORE):

B)   PROPHECIES WILL CEASE; THEY WILL NOT BE NEEDED:  Jer 31:33, 34  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 AND they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

C)   TONGUES WILL BE SILENCED: Psalms 46:10 BE still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

D)   KNOWLEDGE AS WE KNOW IT WILL PASS AWAY:  Hab 2:14 FOR the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

E)   WE SEE BUT A POOR REFLECTION OF REALITY, AS LOOKING IN MIRROR (MIRRORS BACK IN THOSE DAYS WERE POLISHED BRASS OR POLISHED GOLD).

F)    WE ARE AS CHILDREN TODAY WITH LIMITED KNOWLEDGE AND UNDER-STANDING BUT WHEN WE ARE IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD OUR KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING WILL PERFECT. NOW WE KNOW IN PART BUT THEN WE SHALL KNOW EVEN AS WE ARE KNOWN.

V)   CONCLUSION – in matthew 22:36 – 40 JESUS WAS ASKED which is the greatest commandment He replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 22:39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two. first and foremost, we are to love god and only after we have come to love god can we properly love our fellow man.   JESUS TOLD US TO LOVE EVEN OUR ENEMIES.  WE KNOW THAT THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE, BUT WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. In Romans 12:9 it says  “Let love be without hypocrisy, shrinking from evil, cleaving to good…”.  I CHALLENGE YOU TODAY BY THE WORD OF GOD TO LET THIS YEAR THAT YOU DETERMINE TO EXPRESS THE LOVE OF JESUS TO EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE ON EVERY OCCASION, FOR THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD EXPRESSED THROUGH CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD!

 

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