What Is Love?

What Is Love?

Our series is “Love Well.”  Nothing matters more in life than having loving relationships.  But we are not automatically wired to know what that means nor do we do a good job of loving others well.  This week discover the keys to living a life that matters.

Outline

1 John 4:7-8
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

THE IMPORTANCE OF LOVE

  • Nothing is more important than how we operate as loving people, and who we love
  • “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others…
  • At the end of our lives—we all want to have experienced and given love more than anything else.
  • The pages of history are filled with people who have gladly given up treasures and opportunities because of love
  • When you wake up in the morning and your spouse first speaks… how can you respond well?

WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO LOVE

  • How do you respond when…
    • son or daughter talks back to you in disrespect
    • co-worker puts you down for the hard work
    • someone cuts you off in traffic
    • church spreads a false rumor about you
    • Do you let anger rise up?
    • Do you take revenge personally?
    • Or do you give them to God and let Him make it right -may take weeks, months or even years
  • Care and love aren’t the same thing.
    • Phil told Miguel that he was dealing with depression and it was affecting his job and his marriage.
    • Phil realized he didn’t know how to treat those he care about in the most loving way.
    • Some deny they have the capacity to truly love – they think it is a natural gift they don’t have
    • Other think loving well takes too much work, and they don’t want to take the risk.
  • But no matter what your previous experience, you can develop the capacity to be a loving person.

WHAT IS LOVE?

  • Imagine that Jay Leno is doing a man-on-the-street interview with you. He asks, “What is love?”
    • an experience of closeness.
    • a way to encourage and lift others up.
    • as actions that help others.
    • as equal to romance.
  • A biblical definition of love is “seeking and doing the best for another.”
  • It’s bending your heart, mind, and energies toward the betterment of someone else.
  • As the architect of love, God lives out this definition.
  • “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
  • People are not an obstacle between you and God, but a sacred “archway” through whom we come into God’s presence, and through whom God draws near to us.      
  • …sacrificing our own peace in order to help a hurting and devastated person get to the other side is what we are called to do

HOW TO LOVE OTHERS

  • If we are not able to see our challenge as a season of sacrifice we will become intolerant, impatient and angry and all that the Lord wanted to do through us becomes wasted in both our life and theirs.
  • God teaches us how to love through a process of transformation
  • humility and tolerating discomfort are two requirements in becoming a loving person.
    • loving people are growing people.
    • “love the sinner and hate the sin” is a good principle
    • loving a lovable person requires no real growth, grace, effort, or transformation