Sermon Title:  God’s Valentine

Summary:  Since the Lord has expressed his love for us as his “bride,” we need
to express love for our spouse and for each other through words and action.

Know:  God loves us and therefore wants us to love as well

Feel:  Loyalty and love to God and to those whom he loves, including spouse
and brethren

Do:  Identify ways to express love for spouse and for the brethren

Text:  Eph. 5:21-33

Scripture Reading:  1 John 3:16-19

1.  ILL:  Husband came home middle of bad week
	a.  Wife said had to go to dinner appt. can’t cancel again
	b.  He said to get car ready, he would be out in a minute
	c.  Came out, she standing next to running car, she locked key in car
	d.  He said - Can’t believe how God could make you so beautiful and 
	     stupid at the same time
	e.  She said - God made me beautiful so you could love me, me stupid so 
	       I could love you
2.  Marriage brings out the best and the worst
3.  Know what this is?  A valentine!
	a.  What is it for?  To remind someone of your love
	b.  God into valentines?  Yes.  Let’s see...

I.  God has given us many valentines
	A.  Several passage that remind us of his love for us
		1.  (Jer 31:3) - Loves us with an everlasting love
		2.  (Songs 2:4) - His banner over us is love
		3.  (Isa 54:10) - My “hesed” will not be removed from you
			a. Hesed = love, mercy, lovingkindness, covenant loyalty
			b.  Covenant love and loyalty - Is loyal in love to us
		4.  (Ps 63:3) - Your “hesed” is better than life
		5.  (Rom 8:35, 38-39) - Nothing can separate us from his love
		6.  (John 3:16) - God loved us in this way - gave his only son
	B.  (Eph 2:4-7) - Focus on Ephesians
		1.  We be nature children of wrath - rotten to the core
		2.  But he was rich in mercy - mercy covered ALL sins
		3.  Why was he rich in mercy?  LOVE
		4.  How much did he love us (2:13) - Gave his life
	C.  ILL:  Like the child who on Jesus lap
		1.  Jesus, do you love me?  Yes.
		2.  How much to you love me, this much?
		3.  No, I love you “this much” stretched out his hands
	D.  God loved us relentlessly while we were yet sinners, Rom 5:6-8
		1.  Would hardly die for righteous man, law abiding
		2.  Might dare to die for a good man - mother Teresa type
		3.  But Christ died for us while were were sinners
			- for liars, swindlers, adulterers, murderers, child molesters
		4.  That is unnatural, that is supernatural love

II.  God wants us to share his valentines (Eph 5:21-33)
	A.  Paul’s letters usually follow the same pattern
		1.  Begin with theology - teaching about God
		2.  Then the practical implications
		3.  God loved us, what should we do?  Be subject to each other
		4.  How?
	B.  Wives to your own husbands as to the Lord
		1.  This continues the sentence of v.22 - Mutual submission
		2.  Submit as to the Lord
		3.  In other words, honor, cherish, love husband
	C.  Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church
	      This is how husband to express his part of “submission”  How?
		1.  Give yourself up for her
			a.  Jesus gave himself up for others
			b.  He served them, he washed feet
			c. ILL:  A boy refused to do some of the chores
				- Called it “woman’s work”
				- Had to do many more chores a long time
				- Attitude from Dad - Certain things “beneath” him
			d.  But Jesus loved by washed feet, he came to serve
		2.  Sanctify her -- Set her apart
			a.  In other words - love the one you marry
				- Bible never says to marry one you love
				- Gen 24:67 - Arranged marriage, Isaac takes 
				   Rebekah as his wife THEN loves her
			b.  Decide that she is the number one person
				- v. 31 - You are one flesh with her
				- v.29 - Nourish and cherish her
			c.  (Prov 5:15-21) - Drink from your own cistern
				- Be exilerated (intoxicated) by her love
				- Delight in her, not try to find way out of it
			d.  Set her apart - she is the special person in your life
	D.  Christ love for the church is the model love for marriage
		1.  It is a love that is loyal, it cherishes, honors, sanctifies
		2.  It makes you a valentine all year
		3.  But what if I am not married?  Is there a message for me?

III.  There is a Valentine for all (Eph 5:1-2)
	A.  Loved us so much, he gave himself up for us
		1.  Chap 2 - We are brought near by his blood
		2.  Not one “flesh” with brethren, but we are one body (2:16)
		3.  Also one “household,” for family with the brethren (2:19)
		4.  Jesus loved us and gave himself up for us
	B.  We need to do the same for each other.  How?  (1 John 3:16-19)
		1.  Like Jesus, lay down our life.  How?
		2.  If have worlds goods, don’t close your heart
		3.  Love in deed and in truth, not with word or tongue
	C.  ILL:  Jim who worked on Railroad in South Africa, had freind, Jack
		1.  Jim lost his legs in an accident, got job and signal man
		2.  Jack stayed, did house work, cleaned, swept, pumped water 
		      from the well, even prepared some food
		3.  Pushed Jim on trolley 1/4 mile to the signal station
		4.  Became familiar with levers, and even did Jim’s Job sometimes
		5.  Jack never complained, and continued this for 10 years
		6.  Jack died of tuberculosis, buried at grave in Cape Colony,
		     tribute to a loyal, loving friend
		7.  By the way, Jack was a baboon!
	D.  If a Baboon can be that loyal a freind, how much more can we
		1.  We are made and remade in God’s image
		2.  That is what it means to lay down your life

1.  God has given you many valentines - He loves you and wants to remind you
	a.  He gave his one and only son for you
	b.  Have you accepted his valentine?  (Invitation)
2.  Have you been sharing his valentine to others?
	a.  With your wife?
	b.  With your brethren?
	c.  With your parents?
	d.  With your freinds?  

Questions for Small Group Discussion