2002-12-13 - Love
Passages Related to Advent Series, Part 2
A plethora of songs have been composed on the topic. Countless books and
magazine articles purport to advise us how to find it. But what the world
thinks of "love" is often actually lust. And too often, people are in
relationships for what they can get out of them, with little thought for
the sacrificing nature of God's kind of love.
We tend to confuse love with a "feeling" word, when in reality, it's an "action"
word. Even if we don't "feel" love for our spouse, coworker or other difficult
person, God wants us to act lovingly toward them - even to those whom we
feel don't deserve it. After all, none of us truly deserve love.
The word love occurs in the Bible 527 times, so obviously it's something
God wants us to focus on. Today we will read passages about true love - the
love God has for us, as well as the true love that we should show for others.
All passages today are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.
1 John 4:16 So we have known and believe the love that
God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and
God abides in them.
1 John 3:1a See what love the Father has given us, that
we should be called children of God.
1 John 3:16-17 We know love by this, that he laid down
his life for us-and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does
God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods and sees a brother or
sister in need and yet refuses help?
Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the Lord your God with
all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
1 Corinthians 13:1-7 If I speak in the tongues of mortals
and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love,
I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body
so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient;
love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does
not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not
rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes
all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Matthew 5:43-47 You have heard that it was said, "You
shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I say to you, Love your
enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children
of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the
good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you
love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors
do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are
you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ
loved the church and gave himself up for her.