LOVE. What is true love? We say I love you in regard to our most sacred relationships and also in regard to our favorite flavor of ice cream. “I love you.” “I love baby back ribs.” “I love my wife.” “I love basketball.” “I love my kids.” “I love Krispy Kreme Donuts.” (Can I get a witness?) It’s like the words “thank you.” You don't have a stronger word. English language is limited in many ways compared to others.
What is TRUE LOVE? Have you ever tried to explain it? I can't really adequately put into words my love for my wife, my children, my family.
One writer said, “love is that feeling you feel when you feel you’re going to feel a feeling you've never felt before.
True love is not just an emotion. It’s an action. True love is not just an option. It’s a command. True love is not just an obligation. It’s an opportunity.
1. True love is seen in the love of God.
God loves us…
Jeremiah 31:3, The Lord said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
Ephesians 2:4-5, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.”
1 John 3:1, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
In John 13 we see the love of God.
We see the selfless love of God. Jesus washes the disciples’ feet.
We see the steadfast love of God. Jesus washed Judas’ feet too.
We see the serving love of God. Jesus ministers to the disciples even though Jesus is facing the crucifixion.
2. True love is shown as we love others.
John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
Concerning this new command, Don Carson says, “the new commandment is simple enough for a toddler to memorize and appreciate, profound enough that the most mature believers are repeatedly embarrassed at how poorly they comprehend it and put it into practice”.
The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:4–8, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.”
The Lord Jesus makes true love possible as we abide in Him and the filling of the Holy Spirit. John 15:9, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”
3. True love makes known God’s love in Jesus.
John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
ALL PEOPLE need Jesus. This is why we partner together to send missionaries, plant churches, equip pastors and leaders, and revitalize and strengthen churches. The only way to know true love is to know God’s love, and the only way to know God‘s love is to know Jesus.
Loving others is used by God to impact the world as we proclaim the Gospel. The church leader Tertullian (A.D. 155–220) quoted the pagans as saying of the Christians, “See how they love one another?”
LOVE NEVER FAILS. JESUS NEVER FAILS.
Your brother in Jesus,