“A BIBLICAL LOOK AT THE NATURE OF LOVE”Intro. 1. Love is one of the most overused and least understood words in Bible. 2. The Bible paints a clear and undeniable picture of love as it reveals God to us (God is love, 1 Jno. 4:8). a. We are compelled to love because He first loved us, 1 Jno. 4:19, 7. b. The motives, character and duration of love (1 Cor. 13). 3. Agape: “Unconquerable benevolence, undefeatable goodwill” (Barclay). a. “Love, whether used of God or man, is an earnest and anxious desire for and an active and beneficent interest in the well-being of the one loved.” (ISBE) b. A devotion and action of the will; not merely an emotion or feeling. 4. By this we know love: The nature of love, 1 Jno. 3:16. I. LOVE IS OBSERVABLE (LOVE IS AN ACTION WORD), Jno. 3:16. A. To Say we Love Someone without Acting in Good Will toward that Person is not Love, 1 Jno. 3:16-18. 1. If “love unspoken is not love”; then how much more can we say that love professed yet not practiced is not love! 2. Husbands, practice your love, Eph. 5:25, 28-29. II. LOVE IS SACRIFICIAL. A. It is not Selfish: Giving, not Taking, 1 Jno. 4:9-10; Jno. 3:16; 1 Cor. 13:5 (3). B. Willing to be Spent in Order to Help Others, 2 Cor. 12:15. 1. Love incurs cost to itself while it exhausts itself in practicing good will toward others. 2. There is no limit to love’s reach and the sacrifices it will make. III. LOVE IS OBEDIENT TO AUTHORITY. A. Obedience to the Lord is a Direct Reflection of One’s Love for Him, Jno. 14:15. 1. Person who does not obey Jesus does not love Him, Jno. 14:24. 2. Jesus set this example of love for us, Jno. 14:31. B. God Loves the Obedient Person, Jno. 14:21, 23. 1. Fellowship and blessings from the presence of God. 2. By this we know love, cf. 1 Jno. 2:3-5. IV. LOVE DOES NOT MEASURE ITSELF BY HOW OTHERS ACT OR TREAT IT, 2 Cor. 12:15. (Love doesn’t compare itself to others.) A. This Gets to the Motives of Love, 1 Cor. 13:1-3. 1. Love does not concern itself with itself; it focuses on the well being of others (spiritual, physical, etc.). 2. Christ is our supreme example, Jno. 15:9-14. B. Love on Display, 1 Cor. 13:4-8. Its character is revealed in our treatment of others: 1. God’s love for Christ, Matt. 3:17 — Jno. 8:29. 2. God’s love for mankind, Matt. 5:43-37 — Matt. 22:37. 3. God’s love for sinners, Eph. 2:4-7 — 2 Cor. 5:15. 4. Husbands and wives, Eph. 5:25-33. 5. Parents and Children, Eph. 6:1-4. V. LOVE IS JUST, 1 Cor. 13:6. A. Love does not Free the Guilty or Punish the Innocent, Exo. 34:5-9. -Love does not say: “I love you so much I will show favoritism toward you; I will not rebuke, reprove or correct you!” B. Love Disciplines when Needed (warns and corrects/punishes). 1. Correct (discipline) the child, Heb. 12:5-11 (Prov. 13:24). -The parent who does not warn, rebuke and correct his child does not love him in God’s way. 2. Correct (discipline) the sinful (unruly) Christian, 2 Cor. 2:3-11. -The church that does not try warn, exhort, rebuke and put away the unrepentant sinner does not love him! 1 Cor. 5:4-5 Conclusion 1. Many other things could be said about love. It is the enduring motive and defining attribute of the Christian, because “God is love” (1 Jno. 4:8). 2. Love never fails (powerful and effective), 1 Cor. 13:8 (13).