Let Us Love- 1 John 4:7
Intro: What a subject! Love!
We are in the month of that great Day of Celebrating Love- Valentine’s Day.
I’m not going into the history of the Day and St. Valentine except to say that Love is not just a worldly subject; not just a secular subject; not just an excuse for another money making holiday; LOVE is a Bible subject; a Major Bible subject.
Of course the Bible deals with the subject of Love from God’s Perfect Perspective and not from man’s limited view. According to the Bible, LOVE started with GOD.
It was God who FIRST loved. He Loved his Magnificent Creation; It was very good.
He loved Mankind as the Masterpiece of his creation.
He loved us So much that he designed the Plan of Salvation that would bring God’s own Son from eternity to time; from heaven to the world.
God’s love made Him who knew no sin to BE sin for us.
God’s love made Him who could not die willing to Die to pay the debt of our sins.
God’s love made it possible that we could enjoy earthly life and also inherit eternal life.
God’s love made it possible that we could become the sons of God and experience heavenly blessings while we lived on the earth; then when this earthly life came to an end we could experience heavenly blessings for all eternity.
That’s Incredible; Amazing; Astonishing; Wonderful!
Let me point out a couple of things about Love from God’s point of view.
I. Love is a Choice
We are sometimes led to believe that love is just an emotion or a feeling. We talk of “falling in love” and of “falling out of love.” We hear people talk about “being IN love;” then we hear them say “I just don’t love them anymore...”
I realize that love as we know it usually begins as an Attraction.
I know that God designed males to be attracted to females; and God designed females to be attracted to males. I know that there is something INSIDE Us that is sparked by attraction; we FEEL the attraction; we Feel love; it is an emotion and a feeling; BUT it is not JUST an emotion or feeling; love is much deeper than that.
This Attraction often grows to Infatuation which is defined by Webster as a fascination with something or someone.
Emotions are strong; feelings are real; BUT they alone are NOT Love. We can be fascinated by something or someone and it be a WRONG desire; an improper fascination; even an Ungodly passion.
Clearly, the Bible presents Love as a Choice we make. For LOVE as its presented in the Bible is not just an Attraction; or an Infatuation; or a Fascination; it is a DECISION a Choice; a Commitment.
The very meaning of the word LOVE in the Bible is one of decision and commitment. “Agape” indicates “unconditional, sacrificial, love or devotion;” love based not only on affection but on deliberate choice. Vine’s says that Christian Love is not Just an Impulse from the Feelings and it does not always run with what might be called the natural inclinations of human feelings; it is a Deep and Constant Devotion.
Love is a Choice.
- We must CHOOSE To love God in order to be saved.
- We must Choose to love one another.
- A Lady Chooses to Love a man so that he may become her husband.
- A Man Chooses to love a lady so that she may become his wife.
- Parents must choose to love their children
- Children must choose to love their parents
Love is a Choice.
II. Love is a Challenge.
Biblical love is not for the weak, wimpy or faint hearted. Did you notice that in my text verse the word love is used three times (twice love; once loveth)?
Notice now the difference in the way the word is used.
“Beloved, let us Love one another...”
“For love is of God...”
“Every one that Loveth is born of God and knoweth God”
First time- Action Verb
Second time- Noun
Third time- Action Verb
I went through the NT and found that the word Love and its forms, like loved and loveth, are used 246 times; 84 times love is used as a Noun; 162 times is it used as an Action Verb.
Love is not just a feeling; it is a motivation. Love is not just an emotion it is ACTION. That’s why love is a challenge. It’s one thing to Feel Love. It’s another thing to LOVE.
We are commanded to LOVE God with all our heart, soul mind and strength.That, my friend is a challenge! Do YOU love God with all of your Heart (spirit), Soul (will, mind and emotions) and Body?
We are commanded to Love our Neighbor as our self. That my friend is a challenge!
Do YOU love others like you love yourself? Are you concerned about Anyone Else as much as you are concerned about yourself?
Husbands are commanded to Love their wives and this is not just a Linking Verb but an Action Verb. Eph 5:28 “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it.”That my friend is a challenge! Do You love your wife as much as you love yourself? Eph 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” That my friend is a REAL challenge! Do you love your wife like Christ loved the Church?
Wives are told to Love their Husbands in Titus 2:4; this love is to result in the following things:
Col 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
Titus 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing
Love that Submits, that is Obedient; that is Subject to the husband in all things. That my friend, is a Challenge! Do you love your husband like that? Are you submitted to his leadership; are you obedient to his wishes; are you subject to his authority?
Parents are to love their Children and Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. That’s a challenge.
Children are to love their Parents and Obey them in the Lord for this is right and well pleasing unto the Lord. That’s a challenge; Do you children love your parents and obey them?
To love like God loved; to love like Jesus loved; to love like the Bible teaches us to love; is not Easy. It is not just a matter of emotions or feelings. This Godly love requires a Choice; a commitment; a decision and a determination. This Godly love is a Challenge that demands diligence and effort, but its Worth It! For God IS Love and every one that loveth is Born of God & Knows God.
Bro. Dwain Galiher
Pastor of JHPC