01 Apr Love
For God, who was so deeply in love with the world, that He determined to give. He gave his very own Son’s life. He offered His very own Son to purchase humanity. Anyone who accepts and believes His Son is part of the family. paraphrase of: (John 3)
Love. His love is why we celebrate this day.
What is love? (Get reactions)
In our study of 1 Corinthians, we are in a passage where Paul speaks into this idea of Love.
1 Corinthians 13
If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn’t love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, without love I would be no good to anybody. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would be of no value whatsoever.
My Love matters more than my gifting.
What we are good at, what we can do well, is secondary to our ability to love others.
Love is what makes my life substantial.
According to Paul, without love, we are wasting energy.
That tells me there may be a natural tendency in us to believe what we contribute to the world around us justifies a lack of love. It tells me I may naturally want to offer my skills more than my love.
Love is my choice.
No one can make me love. Neither are others responsible for my lack of love.
So, What is love?
Here is where the dilemma begins.
We, like this Corinthian culture, have a variety of definitions for love, and we use them interchangeably.
When it comes to living out the Kingdom, this leads us to confusion.
The vast majority of our love conversations function on exchange or love relationships that benefit us.
I love pizza.
I love my wife.
I love my freedom…
I love my kids
These are not wrong. But we must have a moment where we understand that Paul, under the authority of Jesus, is commanding us to walk in something different.
So, what is the Love Paul is talking about?
Paul is speaking of the willingness to live for the benefit of others.
So, Paul essentially says, “without sacrificial love, you will stand before Jesus at the final day and be tragically sad. You will discover you missed the point.”
Jesus says that He and the Father are going to actually dwell or live in us.
1 John 4v8
“God is love.”
Love lives inside of us.
Could I submit to you that this Love has a deep desire for your life?
Ephesians 2 declares Love has master works to do and accomplish with our lives. (Ref)
Will I surrender my life to Love?
Will I say to God, “I am yours…You have control.”
What is the point?
Love has an agenda for your life. Paul is trying to help this young culture see this. The LOVE in them is passionate about getting out.
So back to our question: what is love?
Paul gives a very simple and clear answer.
Love is patient and kind.
Real, Authentic Love is an outflow of patience and kindness towards others.
patient – “makrothumeo,” having a long mind,
a long holding of temper, intentionally slow to anger,
This word deals specifically with disposition. To the question of, “how long?” Patience will answer, “As long as it takes.” To the question of, “why?,” Patience will answer, “Because of you.”
“In the first place, love is long-suffering, that is, patient, is not hasty and quick to wrath, revenge, impatience, and to insist upon its own rights: but is patient and suffers the unrighteous and weak until they finally come. “-Martin Luther
kind – to show oneself mild, useful or pleasant, (as opposed to harsh). Easy, good and kind. Kindness including attributes like friendliness, compassion, generosity, and tenderness.
This word specifically deals with, “how,” we engage others. It is an easy word to flesh out. It simply means to be kind and helpful. The key in this understanding is that the word stands opposed to harshness.
Together, these words form a picture of kindness that is consistent and unwavering. It is a picture of a helping hand being offered with no willingness to withdraw that hand.
What if it is this simple.
The Kingdom God is releasing must first be released in me through this active, patient and kind love. Everything else is secondary.
What if it is this mandatory?
Who fits the definition of, “others?”
What if this condition of Patient Kindness really matter to God so much that he would call us to live this way FIRST?
Can I ask us to be honest in this?
Are there people in your lives that you find it difficult to be authentically kind to?
How do I fix the areas of lack?
Receive and Release.
Receive from Him, give it away.
Covenant and Commit.
Covenant with Him and commit to radically deal with the world you live in kindly.
Jesus becomes my model. He is patient. He is kind. As I experience Him, I can love as I am loved.