Biblical Love #3

Faith Church August 29, 1992

- today is our last lesson on Growing in Biblical Love
- we're asking questions like:
    1) Am I growing in my understanding of this topic?
    2) Am I growing in my application of this topic?
         - How would those around me answer that question
            about me?
         - What areas in my life am I least loving?
         - With whom am I least loving?
         - What concrete and specific steps would I need to
             take to grow in this area?

- our goal today is to complete the remainder of the handout
    we've been using (which we'll obviously have to go at a
    quicker pace if we're going to finish it)
     - We also have a case study we'd like to work on

- we're starting today with Roman III and trying to answer
   the question:
     - How Important Is Biblical Love?


     I. Taught to wives - Titus 2:4

        - INPUT - This verse brings a lot of hope. Why is
            that true?  (can't say - because of my
            background, I'll just never be a loving person)

        - last week we talked about some ways that a husband
          could be more loving.
        - INPUT - what are some practical ways a wife could
            show love in the home?

    J. Commanded to all - I John 4:11

    K. Able to overcome evil - Rom. 12:20, 21


    L. Able to defeat fear - I John 4:18


- the obvious point that we're trying to make is - this
    subject is very, very important to our Lord.
- INPUT -what question do we need to ask ourselves, then, as
    a result of studying this point?
       (have I given this vital subject the priority God
         has?)

(cf. counseling - folks who have put all kinds of other
   things as the priority--then as they achieve those things
   - no satisfaction -- marital problems)

 

- now let's talk about some practical steps we can take to
   grow in this area:

IV. What Does It Mean To Grow In Love?

    A. Love God and His commandments - Jn. 14:21, 15:10,
        I Jn. 5:3

       - INPUT - what would be some evidences of a person
            doing this?

    B. Sacrifice yourself for others - Phil. 2:3,4,
        Rom. 12:20, 21, Eph. 5:1,2


    C. Speak the truth in love - Eph. 4:15, 29

         - this is probably one of the areas where many of us
           especially need to grow in love.
         - INPUT - What are some ways this principles is
             often violated?

    D. Perform loving deeds and actions as well as to speak
        kind words - I Jn. 3:18


    E. Learn the blessing of giving - Acts 20:35


    F. Serve for God's glory - Eph. 4:16, Prov. 6:6-8

        - cf. couple at Indy BBC - I just want to serve the
               Lord for His Glory.

    G. Say, "Please forgive me," and "I forgive you." - Eph.
       4:32, James 4;6

    H. Confront others - Gal. 6:1

    I. Know that you are never unloved - Rom. 8:38, 39


    J. Overcome selfishness and its emptiness - Gal. 5:19-23

V. What Are The Consequences If We Ignore Growth In Love?

    A. Problems with others

       (looking at list on handout) - INPUT - How might lack
         of love result in these kinds of problems with
         people?


    B. Problems With God

        1. I John. 2:11 (read and discuss)


        2. I Jn. 3:18-22 - Because we have ______ and _______


       - Point is - we can't "divorce" our relationship with
          the Lord from our lack of love toward others.
            - these are spiritual issues.

    C. Problems with self

        1. fear - I Jn. 4:18 - matured love casts out fear

        2. lack of assurance

        3. if we love the things of the world above the love
           of Christ, we have insecurity because we're acting
           as if the love of the Father is not in us.  (I
           John 2;15-17)

        4. Wrong affections (Col. 3:1-3): Our affection is
           set on things of earth not on things in heaven.

- Of course our great example of love is our Savior. I'm
   going to ask you to look up the passages listed in this
   section on your own time.
- I'd like us to take the rest of the time we have together
   to review this case study.


    Our story begins in a quiet subdivision in a small
Midwestern town at the home of the "Saved" family.  The
children, Shouldbe, Ooughtabe, and Gottabe are out playing in
the yard.  The parents, Needtobe and Wantabe are sitting in
the dining room discussing their neighbor's, the Centered
family's, invitation to attend their church.

    All of sudden Oughtabe and Gottabe come bursting into the
house screaming, "they're at it again." Needtobe and Wantabe
run out on the patio, gaze over at the Centered family's
backyard, and hear the following discourse:

    The husband, Selfa, has just jumped out of his hammock,
obviously distressed, and in the process has spilled iced tea
all over his Sports Illustrated magazine.

    "MeMe," (his wife who was just finishing mowing the
lawn), "you just clipped my pine tree."  "Can't you do
anything right?  You don't ever see me cutting the lawn like
that!"

    "I don't see you cutting the lawn...period, you louse."
Meme fired back. "I should have listened to my mother and
married Billybob Bohansen."

    Selfa, hurt and frustrated by Meme's comments, lashed
back by saying, "You clipped that pine tree on purpose! You
never liked it and I knew you were waiting for the
chance to chop it down.  Some wife you are."

    Ego and Mego, their preschool twins, have been watching
intently from their front-row seats in the sandbox.  Mego
begins chanting, "Mommy loves Billybob, Mommy loves
Billybob."  Ego, upset by the accusations, grabs Mego's
favorite sandbox toy and throws it into the Saved family's
yard.

    As the Centered family watched the toy flying through the
air, they realized their shenanigans have been obeserved by
their neighbors. Selfa, quickly putting his arm arounf Meme,
smiles and says, "Hi folks, Isn't the love of Jesus something
wonderful?"  "Have you all decided about coming to church
tommorrow?"

    "We'll let you know" they said as they walked back in the
dining room. Once inside, Wantabe looked at Needtobe and
said, "That'll be the day. If that's what going to church
does for you, we better stay away."

    As the Centered family walks back to their house, Selfa
starts feeling guilty. "Meme," he said with puppy dog eyes,
"I'm sorry. You know I didn't mean it."

    "You don't need to say you're sorry," Meme replies.  "We
just need to get back that loving feeling."

    "Well, at least we asked our neighbors to church. Thats
the important thing."

Questions:
                    
1. Review the characteristics of love from I Cor. 13:4-8 and
   list the specific ways these characteristics were
   violated.


2. How could each member of the Centered family handled this
   scenario in a way that would have been more pleasing to
   the Lord?


3. What responsibilities do the family members have to each
   other, to their neighbors, and to the Lord?

Faith Church