Title: What is Love
Focus: We need to realize that we need to love each other and that love is not just a warm feeling, it expresses itself in selfless acts of service and humility to others.
Function: To motivate the hearers to humble ministry to others
Text: Lk 10:25-37; 7:36-50; John 13:1
Intro: 1. I love you - Isnít that nice to hear? a. Did Jesus love his disciples? Why did he never tell them? b. When he tells them to love one another as I love you, how they know? 2. The question is not whether Jesus said it, but HOW he said it a. We realize it the greatest command b. The question is how do I say I love you? 3. Tonight will be talking about the application of love I. Luke 10:25-28 - The Question A. This a man who was perceptive enough to know greatest command a. Says he was a lawyer b. His question was not what law said, but how to apply B. Jesus answers with a story (Luke 10:29-37) a. Road to Jericho like going through the hood b. Priest and Levite, (not pharisee) respectable folks c. Samaritan is the one who saves the day - He gets down to walk and puts man on saddle - Gets to town, pays the bill - Arranges to continue to pay for care d. Which was a neighbor - One who showed mercy C. Keep in mind, this is answer to greatest commands 1. ILL: Boy with no shoes or coat outside hot air register (europe) 2. Woman saw him, felt compassion 3. She brought him into the store, bought shoes, socks, coat 4. Lady, are you Godís wife? No, just one of his children 5. Well, I knew you must be some relation to him D. So if you are going to keep greatest command - Will lovingly serve So love is connected to servanthood which is connected to a third ingredient II. Lk 7:36-39 A. Imagine if you were there, and a woman with reputation comes in B. Look at Jesusí response 1. (v.40-43) - Love to God connected to forgiveness 2. (v.44-50) a. Jesus contrasts the Pharisee to Immoral woman b. She loved more than the Pharisee did c. Because the Pharisee did not love, he did not serve d. The woman loved and it led to service 3. Love is connected to servanthood is connected to humility a. Pharisee a proud man b. He did not serve his guest 4. Cannot love without servanthood, humility and sense of unworthiness. All are connected C. ILL: Man outside sleeping in front of church 1. Obviously homeless 2. People had to step over him 3. No one said a word, but talked about him when came in 4. Just before services, man came in, walked up front--to the pulpit 5. After taking off hat, all saw it was the preacher! 6. Preached a lesson on love and servanthood D. No one is beneath us 1. I have thought about stop wearing suits to make others feel more comfortable 2. If going to keep greatest command, will serve with humility!! So love is connected to servanthood which is connected to humility. III. This is all inline with the character of Jesus A. Our challenge is to love as he loved B. Two passages that demonstrate the manner of his love 1. (John 13:34-35) - A new command. As I have love you. a. What does that mean? b. John 13:1 - He loved them to the end c. How does this text show he loved them? - Washed feet d. Love and servanthood go together 2. (Lk 22:24-27) - For all of us, especially teacher, leaders etc. a. We donít lord it over others, we are servants b. Do you want to be a leader? -- SERVE c. Jesus is our example - He came as a servant 3. Our challenge is to love as our Lord loved a. John 3:16 - Loved the world, gave only son b. 1 Jn 3:16 - Application of John 3:16 - We ought to do the same. How? - v.17-20 - We know we are of the truth, how? Love - v.21-23 - HIs commandments - belief and LOVE c. 1 Jn 3:14 - Love is mark of authentic Christian - There are forgeries out there that look like one - Not matter how many commands keep without love C. ILL: A friend of mine from one of our previous ministries 1. His wife converted a year earlier, thought we brainwashed her 2. He saw change in her, she softened, he eventually did 3. Didnít attend regularly because of his job 4. However, he was known as the most authentic Christian of all 5. Didnít preach, teach, but he did demonstrate love of Christ 6. Had heart of servant - Always there for to encourage - If you needed food, gave, no questions asked - Responsible for anonymous gifts in the mail (I think) - Bought me my snowtires one year for the winter - Donated money one year to holiday gift baskets, asked that it me anonymous D. He had the Mark of a Christian as we saw in these passages 1. Even though he couldnít attend regularly because of his job He was one of the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven 2. The more you serve and love in humility, the greater you become in the Lordís kingdom E. Love is the mark of authenticity for a Christian Concl: 1. What is the greatest commands? 2. Love is synonymous with humble servanthood 3. Christianity without love/servanthood/humility is a forgery/conterfiet faith 4. Love is foundation of the Gospel, and is the foundation of our actions 5. I could even say love is the solution to all our struggles and our problems 6. Question: Am I loving as Christ loved? 7. Prayer 8. Invitation