Sermon:  Enduring Love


Summary:  Even when we are weary in our faith, it is important to endure in expressing the love of God in the manner and ways that are consistent with God, including brotherly love for one another, hospitality, and marriage.  We need to avoid the love of money, which can poison love,


Text:  Heb 13:1-6


Scripture Reading:  1 Cor 13:1-3



1.  Have you ever read a love story?  Listened to love songs?  Love poetry?

            a.  What is love anyway?  I did internet search on love

                        - Dating sites, meet other people sites

                        - Sites featuring gifts for that special someone in your life

                        - Most common color was pink, or some pastel color

            b.  But most of us know that romantic love is only one type of love

            c.  Love of parentood, love of friendship, love of a man or woman

            d.  Then there is godly love

                        - Godly love encompasses all these other kinds of love

                        - 1 Jn 4 - God is love - Love comes from God

2.  Part of the final message in Hebrews is a message of love

            a.  Remember what gave rise to book of Hebrews - persecution, hardship,

                 weariness of faith

            b.  Solution - Doctrine of Christ - He is better than all things

                        - He is God, Human, merciful and faithful High Priest

                        - Mediator of a better covenant, He is the forerunner,

                        - He is the author and completer of our faith

                        - He is our example of one who endured discipline

            c.  Exhortation

                        - Hold fast your confession of faith in Christ & your confidence

                        - Draw near to the throne to find help in time of need

                        - Draw near to each other to stimulate and encourage

                        - Remember you have come to Mt Zion, to God, Jesus, Joy

            d.  Then we come to the final chapter - begins with love

3.  Love is the greatest thing

            a.  It is the greatest commandment, Mt 22:37

            b.  Lack of love invalidates all you do, 1 Cor 13:1-3

            c.  Love is a reflection of God's character, 1 Jn 4:8

4.  When in hardship, love needs to continue to grow. 

            a.  What does it look like?

            b.  Text gives us several expressions of love

            c.  (Heb 13:1-6)


I.  Love of the brethren

            A.  Talking about loving our brothers and sisters in Christ

            B.  Take a closer look at the text

                        1.  Love of the brethren in Greek: filadelfia

                                    a.  Compound word

                                                - Philia = Love, affection, friendship

                                                - Adelphos = Brother

                                    b.  It expresses strong love of friendship

                                    c.  Often translate it "brotherly love"

                        2.  Text says to let it "continue"

                                    a.  Continue is menw

                                                - Means to remain, endure, last

                                                - Used also in 12:27 - Kingdom will endure/remain

                                                - Used also in 10:34 - We have an lasting possession

                                                - Idea is something that endures for the long haul

                                    b.  Voiced as a command in Greek

                                    c.  Need to have brotherly love that endures every challenge

                        3.  Many ways brotherly love is expressed

                                    a.  v.3 - Remember the prisoners, identify with them

                                                - Is this talking about brethren?

                                                - Probably, since it says, "you are in the body too"

                                    b.  10:33 - Became sharers with brethren mistreated for faith

                                    c.  11:25 - Moses identified with his Israelite brethren

                                                - Could have chosen to stand with Egypt

                                                - But he stood with Israel even in their hardships

                                    d.  10:24-25 - Consider how stimulate to love & good deeds

                        4.  Many other passages throughout scripture

                                    a.  1 Jn 3:16 - He laid down life for us, we lay down life for


                                    b.  1 Jn 3:18 Love not in word, but in deed and truth, shall

                                          know we are of the truth

                                    c.  Jn 13:35 - By this will all men know you are my disciples

                                    d.  Love of the brethren indispensable for Christian

            C.  ILL:  I remember a problem we had when I was growing up

                        1.  Several teens in church

                                    a.  We went to youth rallies together

                                    b.  We went to camp together

                                    c.  We had Bible classes together

                                    d.  Had youth devotionals together

                        2.  Problem?  Many barely acknowledge each other in school

                                    a.  I stood up during a youth devotional and pointed it out

                                    b.  Why do we do this?  Aren't we supposed to be brethren?

                                    c.  I challenged everyone to treat each other like brethren

                        3.  I went another step further, weekly prayer meeting in Library

                                    a.  Monday morning half hour before school started

                                    b.  Our school started at 8:30, not to terrible early

                                    c.  Grew closer, and brought in others as well

                                    d.  More encouraging to be a Christian in school, not alone

            D.  As brethren, we stand by each other because we are family

                        1.  We encourage and support each other

                        2.  Even if it singles us out as a Christian, we stand by brethren

                        3.  Let brotherly love continue, endure, never end - this is family


II.  Love of Strangers

            A.  Expressions of love are not limited to just brethren in Christ, but all

            B.  How do we get "love of strangers" from this passage?

                        1.  Comes from the word "hospitality"

                                    a.  Grk:  filoxenia

                                                - Compound word:

                                                            = Philos - Love, affection

                                                            = Xenos - Stranger

                                                - "Love of the stranger"

                                    b.  Similar form to brotherly love - Philadelphia

                                    c.  Philoxenia could be "Strangerly love"

                        2.  Let brotherly love endure, but don't neglect strangerly love

                        3.  What is this strangerly love?  It is "hospitality"

                                    a.  Text alludes to Abraham and Lot

                                                - They were examples of hospitality

                                                - They entertained angels and didn't know it at first

                                    b.  Example of Abraham - Gen 18

                                                - Abraham asks strangers not to pass by his tent

                                                - Washed their feet, had Sarah make bread

                                                - He took a choice calf, had it prepared to eat

                                                - Went to a lot of trouble for hospitality

                                    c.  Also the example of Lot - Gen 19

                                                - Two strangers sitting at the gate of the city

                                                - Lot invites them to his house for the night

                                                - They were going to sleep in the square, but Lot

                                                   urged them to come home with him

                                                - Lot prepared a feast for them in his home

                                    d.  They went to a lot of trouble

                                                - Philoxenia is a good word to express hospitality

                                                - Do not neglect love of strangers, hospitality

            C.  ILL:  Christians were known for their hospitality

                        1.  Early church before the days of auditoriums, pulpits, pews

                                    a.  Most Christians met regularly in homes

                                    b.  Center of Christian fellowship was the kitchen

                                                - Much more intimate setting than we have here

                                                - Jews and gentiles together

                                                - Slaves and masters eating together

                                                - Would find the master serving the slave

                                    c.  Can you imagine the impact this had on people?

                                                - It was an expression of the God they served

                                                - It communicated precious value to all who came

                                                - It expressed the love of God

                                    d.  One of the oldest and most powerful ministries of the

                                          early church was the ministry of hospitality

                        2.  My own experience - On a trip from Omaha to Vermont

                                    a.  Lake effect snow squall made it a long trip

                                    b.  Broke down just outside Syracuse, New York

                                    c.  What to do? 

                                                - We didn't know anyone there, never been there

                                                - We didn't know any mechanics

                                                - Dad said to call the brethren if we ever broke down

                                                - So we found the local church and called

                                    d.  An elder of the church came out, fed us, offered to let us

                                         stay the night at his place until the van was fixed

            D.  Let us never forget to be hospitable

                        1.  It isn't just a nice thing to do

                        2.  It isn't an antiquated practice from the past

                        3.  It is an expression of the God we serve

                        4.  Through hospitality, we demonstrate the love of God


III.  Love of your Spouse

            A.  We need to express marital love on our marital faithfulness

            B.  Notice what the text says

                        1.  Let marriage be held in honor among all

                                    a.  Honor means to highly value someone

                                    b.  It means to value marriage

                                    c.  Marriage is the first institution God created

                                                - By design, one man and one woman become flesh

                                                - Not man and women, or woman and men

                                                - Not men with men or women with women

                                                - One man and one women become one for life

                                    d.  Value, honor, and cherish the marriage

                                                - It means to do not harm to the marriage

                                                - It means you do what strengthens the marriage

                                                - It means you honor and value your spouse

                        2.  Let the marriage bed be undefiled

                                    a.  Do not cheat on your spouse

                                    b.  Keep your bed, your marriage, your mind undefiled

                                    c.  When you defile marriage, you pollute, stain, taint, infect,

                                         contaminate it

                                                - You bring a third person to contaminate relationship

                                                - You bring mistrust, fear, a rupture, scorn

                                                - Disease, child, loss of respect of kids

                                    d.  Your spouse will feel the presence of the third, alien

                                          person that doesn't belong

                        3.  Fornicators and adulterers God will judge

                                    a.  This is not a popular message today

                                    b.  In fact, world celebrates adultery

                                                - Use more general word, affair

                                                - Portrays it as harmless fun

                                    c.  In movies, they manipulate you

                                                - Often portray someone cheat on spouse

                                                - In the end they make you want her to be with the

                                                  other person rather than the boring husband

                                    d.  Sobering truth - God will judge fornicators and adulterers

                        4.  This is a call to reflect the love of God in marriage

                                    a.  God is faithful, therefore we are to be faithful to spouse

                                    b.  God loves selflessly, we are to love selflessly

            C.  ILL:  Actor in a talk show was asked, "What makes a good lover?"

                        1.  Ask a Hollywood type, you expect a certain answer

                        2.  His answer shocked many people

                        3.  He said, "A good lover is one who can satisfy one woman all her

                             life, and can be satisfied with one woman all his life.  A good

                             lover is not someone who goes from woman to woman, any dog

                             can do that."

            D.  A faithful loving marriage is a reflection of the God who created it

                        1.  Keep the marriage pure

                        2.  Avoid what hurts the marriage

                        3.  Do what strengthens the marriage


IV.  Avoid Love of Money

            A.  We do not let money or anything crowd out love for God and others

            B.  How do we avoid the love of money?

                        1.  Learn to be content with what you have

                                    a.  (Eccl 5:10-12) - Those who love money never satisfied

                                    b.  Prov 15:15-17 - Better to have a little with peace and joy,

                                         than to have a lot with turmoil

                                    c.  A rich man is one who is content with what he has

                                    d.  He is at peace, enjoys his family, enjoys life

                        2.  Trust God to never forsake you

                                    a.  God has promised you a garden

                                    b.  But that garden is not here on earth

                                    c.  Riches and things of this world will fade away

                                    d.  But you have an inheritance coming from God

                        3.  (1 Tim 6:7-10)

                                    a.  Be content to get what we need

                                    b.  Desire to get rich opens you up to temptation

                                    c.  Can wind up gaining worldly riches and forfeit inheritance

                        4.  (1 Tim 6:17-19)

                                    a.  Fix hope on God, not uncertainty of riches

                                    b.  Be rich in good works

                                    c.  Be generous, and ready to share

                                    d.  In this way, you have treasure in Heaven

            C.  ILL:  Heard about a speaker traveling to another city to speak

                        1.  Airline lost baggage, did not have a suit to wear

                        2.  Went to thrift store to find a suit

                                    a.  Thrift store said they got suits from local funeral homes

                                    b.  He didn't mind, so he bought two suits, $20 a piece

                        3.  Later that evening, getting dressed, found pockets sewn shut!

                        4.  Why?  Dead people do not need pockets

                                    a.  You can't take anything in this world with you

                                    b.  Accumulation of riches for selfish reasons is meaningless

                                    c.  In fact, the love of money can keep you from Heaven

            D.  Love of money stands in opposition to all these other loves

                        1.  Can taint love of brethren, strangers, wife, and even God

                        2.  No wonder it says to keep yourself free from the love of money

                        3.  Be content with what you have and trust God



1.  These are some of the expressions of love - Brother, Stranger, Spouse

2.  Avoid love of money which can defile these

3.  Above all, love God  (inv)