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What Is Love?

This is love.

What is love the true spiritual love as we know it from the Lord and displayed throughout the Bible?


My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)




I.                    Love in the Bible

II.                  Love in Our Lives

III.                The Ultimate Love of God


We are going to explore…. Which encompasses all of it.


I.                    Love in the Bible


We see examples of various forms of love in the Bible and I am going to touch on a few. We see the love of God in all of them.



1.      Provision & Restores—The widow woman of Zarephath and her son—I Kings 17:7-14


Sometime later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land.  Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.”  So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?”  As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”

 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”

Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son.  For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”


 We will not read for the sake of time but in verses 15-24 the Lord restored her son back to life through Ellijah.


2.      Comforts— 

a.      Joseph in the book of Genesis — After being sold into slavery and then rising to power in Egypt, Joseph showed compassion to his brothers when they came to Egypt looking for food. This makes Joseph one of the greatest stories of compassion in the Bible.

b.      Ruth — Ruth loved her mother-in-law, Naomi, and had compassion for her. Naomi’s husband and sons had died. In an act of selfless compassion and empathy, Ruth traveled with Naomi back to Bethlehem and settled there with her.

c. Dorcas — In Acts, a woman is introduced as one known for her care of widows and her provisions of clothing for the poor. She was much loved in Joppa. When she became very ill and died, the townspeople called for Peter. He took Dorcas by the hand and brought her back from the dead. What a fine example Dorcas is to us today. She met the needs of those around her and when she was gone, her absence left a void.


3.      Serves— “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20:16)


a.      the disciples—they went from town to town to minister the word of God.

b.      Rahab—took care of the spies and hid them in Joshua 2

c.       Nehemiah-when saw the condition of the wall and gates of Jerusalem, volunteered in his brokenness to restore it.

d.      Joshua—faithfully served Moses and was brought into leadership when Moses could not cross over to the Promised Land and died.

e.      Moses—faithfully served the Lord and led the Israelites out of Egypt.


4. Heals, Walks alongside, never leaves or forsakes through good and bad times

Good Samaritan—In Luke 10:25-37 we read about the Good Samaritan—This is an example of all the qualities mentioned.

“On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”  He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”  “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”  But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.  A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”  The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”  Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

            The Priest and the Levite, who was to be holy and uphold the laws ignored the man and in judgment, he walked passed the man on the other side.  They turned their noses up so to speak and judged unclean.  Yet Jesus called them white washed, clean on the outside, but filthy on the inside.


For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:2)


5.      Gives Life—Story of Lazarus—This represents the new life we receive when born again and the one when we are raised to eternal life.




II.                  Love in Our Lives


How do we show it?


Poem: Did You Reflect God’s Glory Today?


Are you reflecting the glory of God?  How did you look at that homeless man you passed on the street?  Did you smile with the love of Jesus shining through or did you give him a look of disgust as you walked past?  Did you reflect God’s glory today?  Have you let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven?


As you hurried to the next business meeting or errand on your busy schedule today, how did you answer that one that dared stop you to ask for a dollar?  Did you reflect the glory of God or did you ignore him, passing by with a look of irritation on your face?  Don’t you know what you do to the least of these brothers you do unto Jesus Christ Himself?


Have you reflected the glory of God today?  As you hurried by to the next errand of the day, how did you treat that one that stopped you; who was lost and confused and needed directions?  Did you let your light shine giving glory to God?  Or did you snap at them with total impatience making them feel as low as the dirt beneath your feet?  Did they see Jesus in you?


Have you reflected God’s glory today?  In the midst of your day as you passed that one crying on a nearby bench, did you stop and offer a shoulder to cry on just as Jesus still does for you?  Did you offer to pray with them being the witness you should be?  Did you reflect the glory of God or did you just pass him by as if he was nothing?  You had more important things to do.  Where would we all be if Jesus thought that way on the road to Calvary?  Yet we are all something to Him.  He died for us.  Is our day and our plans much more important than His?  Don’t you know, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God?


Did you reflect God’s glory today?  Have you let your light shine before men that they may praise God?  Were you Jesus to the world today?  Have you made a difference in someone’s life today?  Were you a blessing and maybe the only Jesus that they may see?


If not, then remember this Scripture from Hebrews 4:13, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”


Did you reflect God’s glory today?


We are to be compassionate, and merciful, show grace, and forgive as the Lord forgives us.  We are to be like the Good Samaritan.  Do we?  When asked to help and step out of our comfort zone do we? But we are sure there to ask when we need a hand.


There are good and bad in all walks of life but God tells us to look at the good in people.


Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)


Police officers, Servicemen (get a picture)—They serve to protect us.  Do we appreciate it?


If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.” (I Corinthians 13:1-8)






III.                The Ultimate Love of God—Picture of Jesus


Self-sacrificing, putting others first as He did for us. This whip had metal, glass, bone, & rock embedded in it. He was beaten over 30 times with it, then had to carry an over200 pound cross to Golgatha and was hung on it.


Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)


Greek translation for lay comes from the word


Transliteration: tithémiPhonetic Spelling: (tith'-ay-meeeee)


And means: “lay aside, offer, purposed, serves, committed, puts away, establish, destined.


Greek translation for love in this verse comes from the word agape which is an unconditional love.


There are many forms of love, Phileo—brotherly love, Eros which is an intimate love, and an agape love.  Agape, unconditional.


So in this verse, God, purposed, destined committed to lay aside His life in His One and Only Son Jesus Christ, unconditionally, meaning we did not have to earn this gift.  It is free.


“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  (Ephesians 2:8-10)



So, why do so many people reject this unconditional, self-sacrificing love, when it is free and they do not have to do anything to earn it!  We just need to believe and receive.




If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)

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