This is the audio from the February 13, 2022 sermon, “A Love That Is GREAT”, shared by Tom Lemler at the Deer Run Church of Christ.
Text: 1 John 3:16-24
1 John 3:1, John 15:13, 1 Corinthians 13:13
When we love God, love people, and follow Jesus we are called to rise above the ordinary views of this world and learn to live with a love that is . . .
- Giving. 1 John 3:16, John 3:16
- When we learn of God’s love, we find that at its very core is a love that is giving. When we seek to live with a love that is great, it is critical that we learn to give. The good news when it comes to giving is that everything we have that would be worth giving is not of ourselves but comes from God. It is when we realize the greatness of God’s love that has been given to us, we learn to live with a great love when we learn to give.
- Respectful. 1 John 3:17, Romans 5:8
- Living with a great love means that we extend that love to everyone with gentleness and respect. A respectful love is one that is offered unconditionally without regard for how similar or different a person might be from us. God’s example of a love that is respectful is that Christ died for us while we were sinners. Our love for others should always be appropriate and fitting, but it should also include everyone.
- Encouraging. 1 John 3:21-22, Philippians 2:1-2
- God’s Word tells us that we ought to be encouraged by His love as we live united with Christ. His desire and plan in giving us His Spirit is so that we would be comforted and encouraged throughout all of the details of life. We also find that living with a great love will call each one of us to encourage others. When we have that same love as Christ demonstrated toward us, we live with a love that is encouraging to everyone we meet.
- Active. 1 John 3:18, Luke 6:35
- Just as James tells us that faith without works is dead, love without action is likely not love at all. In fact, when God tells us to love our enemies He clarifies that we are to do good to them. It’s not that we don’t use words, but rather that whatever words we use are backed up by a life that puts into practice the things we know and say about God’s love. When we live with a love that is great, we find that our actions really do speak louder than our words.
- True. 1 John 3:19-20, 1 John 4:20-21
- God says that if we claim to love Him yet hate our brother then the truth is not in us. Jesus makes it clear that He is the way, the truth and the life all while proclaiming God is love. When we live with a love that is true, we seek to be genuine in our pursuit of God and in the way we treat one another. Living with a love that is great will require us to accept God’s Word as absolute truth in such a way that we choose to love the people that we can see just like we claim to love the God that we can’t see.
God has shown us through His Word, through His Son, and through His Spirit what a love that is GREAT looks like. The question each of us needs to ask is this, “Will I live with a love that is GREAT?”