1 Corinthians 13 Signs
Week Two: What Love is Not!
Have you ever said that you love something. Like, “I love ice cream!” Or “I love chocolate!” Does that mean we love it so much we want to marry it? -no, that is silly. How about we love it like a brother or sister? Sometimes we wouldn’t mind turning our brother or sister into a chocolate bar, but they wouldn’t be very fun to play with then either. So do we love ice cream so much that it would make a best friend? -no, best friends tend not to melt in the sun or give you a tummy ache. So why do we say we love so many things? It can be quite confusing, and the truth is that many people are confused about what love is and is not. The greek people during Jesus time had 4 different words for different types of love. That might help our society today straighten out what kind of love they mean to say. Last week we talked about what God’s type of love is. Does anyone remember our verses from last week?
1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.
Can anyone tell us what love is? –Love is God; it is an action through us; it is our identity; and it is eternal. Love serves everyone, especially enemies and those that are “least” around us.
God’s type of love can not be completely clear to us unless we talk about what it is not. Many people are confused about love, because they don’t understand God’s type of love.
1. Love is not a feeling, that makes love an action and a choice. We talked about this last week. I think it is so important that we can talk about it again in the context of feelings. You don’t need to feel happy inside to love someone. Husbands and wives sometimes have to choose to love each other. Children need to choose to love their bothers and sisters, and teenagers need to sometimes choose to love their parents, and visa versa. There are times that you won’t be very lovable, (me too) but God still loves us. God wants us to love others the way he loves us. That brings me to the second “not.”
2. Love is not conditional. That means it doesn’t depend on what is happening around us and love doesn’t depend on what a person looks like, what they do or what they smell like. God’s love exists no matter what. For example, lets say there was a fire in this building. Does that mean that I don’t have to love? We have to get out, but we still have to love whether we get out or not. What happens if someone set the fire because he didn’t like us? Does that mean we don’t have to love him? –no. Love, God’s type, doesn’t depend on anything but the Nature of God. Since God is love and he can do anything, but change his nature (God can’t change his nature.)… love will always exist. We should always love other people, as God loves.
3. Love is not always fun. Loving God’s way is not always going to be fun. It is always going to be right, but not always fun. The Bible says God disciplines those he loves. (Hebrews 12:6, Proverbs 3:12) Does anyone here like to be punished? Do you think your parents do it because they love you? –yes. Because they have been alive longer they know the ugly places bad behavior can lead. And they want to keep you from those bad places. God disciplines us too and if you don’t listen to your parents you will get a punishment from God. Because God loves you and wants things that are best for you. God’s Ten Commandments are rules for a good life. Follow them and you will stay out of a lot of trouble in your life. When you love someone, it may not look like the love the world tells us about. For example: Pretend, you know a friend who loves to eat nails. To love this person do you give him more nails to eat? –no. Why? –because he is hurting himself. Often people mistakenly think love is giving someone anything they want. But that is not love. It won’t be love to the nail-eating guy either. And that brings us to the final point.
4. Love is not getting everything you want. Just like nail-eating guy, we shouldn’t get everything we think we want. You need to ask God, read the Bible and talk to a wise person, to know what to get and where to go. God has the answers. Some times he says “yes,” sometimes “no,” and sometimes “wait.” He always has a good reason even if you don’t like the answer. He can see things you don’t. God has given each of you parents to help see things you can’t. It is for your protection and for your best, even when you don’t like it.
Because of all the confusion about the difference between God’s love and the world’s love, knowing how to love can be confusing. There are also a lot of well meaning friends and family that don’t know or understand God’s type of love, they may try to pressure you to go against God’s type of love. You must choose God’s way.
Now that we understand the same type of love. Lets talk about how the Bible tells us to show that love. Some people have the gift of giving. People might say, “He would give the shirt off his back.” And then you might pat him on the back and say, “good job giving to the poor.” We are blessed when we give. God set it up that way. There is a difference between giving to the poor out of love and giving to the poor out of pride. The difference is eternal. When you give out of love, the poor not only receive things that they need to survive, but they also see Jesus’ love. Both of you get an eternal blessing. They have the chance to respond to Jesus’ love and you get blessings in Heaven. When you give to make yourself feel important, you not only take away your chance to show them Jesus’ love you also lose your reward in Heaven. So when 1 Corinthians 13:3 says,
“If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” Without love, you are missing out on a lot!
Important Point, week two: Love is not a feeling, but a choice. In love you don’t always get what you want or have fun, but you should always love no matter who, when or where.
Additional Material: Youtube Video week two: “Brazil: Garbage Dump Treasure“ by SideBySideUSA
Bean Bag Instructions:
4 small baby socks (ex. 6-18months)
1 cup small white beans or lentals
4 rubber bands or sewing machine
Pour .25 cup uncooked lentils or white beans in each sock and use the rubber bands to close the socks. You can sew the top of the sock for more security.