Week Two – “Connecting With Love” I John 4:7-19
I am so pumped this morning because we have had 22 couples working hard and living out the LOVE DARE. We are just seven days into this exciting journey and I am a better person for it – how about you? How are you doing?
In the "FIREPROOF Movie" Caleb's dad challenges him, “You cannot give what you do not have………”
I know you guys want to give your wives the love they need. And I know you ladies want to give your men the love and respect they desire. But you have got to HAVE love to give love. You have to BE loved to love. How does that happen?
If anyone DID know about receiving and giving love, it was the Apostle John! He gives us some valuable insights on how to connect with love. Get your Bibles and turn to I John 4:7-19 for a completely absolutely awesome portion of Scripture.
HOW LOVE LOOKS, Vv. 7-10
On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister made history when he broke the four minute mile. Some thought it was humanly impossible to do it. Once people saw that human beings could break the four-minute mile barrier many others broke it. Even top-notch high-school kids have broken it. They had to see it to believe it. Currently the record is 3:43.13.
It is important for us to know what love looks like. All of us grew up in homes where love was needed and desired. Most of us grew up in homes where love was talked about. A few of us grew up where you experienced healthy wholesome unconditional love. You got a good idea of what it looks like.
One of the great problems in our world is that many people are walking around trying to give and receive something they have never seen and never known.
They need a Roger Bannister-type in their life to help them get a good look at what real love is and how to connect with it.
If you have ever put together a jigsaw puzzle you know the importance of being able to look at the box top. You can't put it together if you don't see it.
WE NEED TO SEE LOVE AND BE LOVED SO WE CAN LOVE!
ERMA BOMBECK ONCE WROTE, “IF I HAD LIFE TO LIVE OVER AGAIN….”
"I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day."I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage."I would have talked less and listened more."I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded."I would have eaten the popcorn in the "good" living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace."I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth."I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day ... because my hair had just been teased and sprayed."I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains."I would have cried and laughed less while watching television, and more while watching life."I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime."Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle."When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.""There would have been more "I love you’s." More "I’m sorry’s.""But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute... look at it and really see it... live it... and never give it back."Stop sweating the small stuff. Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what."Instead, let’s cherish the relationships we have with those who DO love us."
What she was saying was, “No that I know what loves looks like I would do it better!
John looked at love in the life of Jesus for over three years. He had received the love of God and known it better than almost anyone else.
BY NATURE WE ONLY LOVE SELF LOVE – AND THAT’S NOT THE HEALTHY KIND.
WHEN YOU GET THE WRONG LOOK AT LOVE, YOU WILL LOVE THE WRONG WAY AND THE WRONG THINGS.
God showed His love so we could know His love.
Jesus shed His blood to show His love.
Love looks like submission. Love looks like surrender. Love looks like sacrifice. Love looks like serving. Love looks like Jesus!
HOW LOVE LIVES, Vv. 11-16; 19-21
That brings us to the second truth – love lives by dying! Dying to self and to selfish love and drawing life and love from Jesus.
Love lives out what it sees in Jesus.
Love lives by letting His Word and His truths live through us. That is what we have been doing this week with the LOVE DARE……
Love lives with patience……….
Love lives with kindness……..
Love lives selflessly….
Love lives thoughtfully…..
Love does not live rudely……
Love is not easily irritated…….
Love gives the benefit of the doubt......
If He lives through us He loves through us.
The closer we live to Him the more we love others.
God reached out to us in love so we can reach others.
HOW LOVE LIBERATES, Vv. 17-18
Unconditional love is full love.
In the movie – the game changer came when Caleb decided he was going to act loving toward Catherine no matter what! Even when she rejected his efforts or spurned his offers he did not stop offering her love. His decision to love her was not dependent on her response it was based on his commitment to show her love. This unconditional love flowed from Caleb’s commitment and character.
When you chose to love your spouse no matter what, that is full love!
This is like the love we have for our children – it is irrational, instinctive, unexplainable, unquenchable, and unstoppable.
Unconditional love is the love God has for us! He doesn’t just HAVE this love for us He IS this love for us! And He desires to give this love to us and to express it through us!
Full love is fearless love.
As a fireman, Caleb lived by the credo “never leave your partner behind”. That overcame the fear that they may have had when rushing into a burning house. Remember that scene when he went into the burning house to rescue the child? He was fearless!
When Caleb committed to fully love his wife, he became fearless in his efforts to reach her. Nothing stopped him. He took risks he would not have normally taken.
YOU NEED TO KNOW SEE LOVE SO YOU CAN GET IT.
YOU NEED TO LIVE IN HIS LOVE SO YOU CAN GIVE IT.
LOVE THAT IS FULL IS LOVE THAT IS FEARLESS SO YOU CAN ENJOY IT.