Sunday, October 9, 2011


Good morning all.  This has been a great week of revival at our church and I am thankful that I was able to be there two nights.  Thank you to the two men who offered to drive me to and from.  This was a spiritual shot of espresso that my heart needed.  It is well with my soul today.

Today I want to talk to you about love.  Love is a word thrown around today by many who show no real signs of knowing how to love or what the meaning of the word really is.  Too often you will hear a man use the word to get what he wants from a woman.  You will hear a child use it with a parent to get what they want.  You even hear the word in church between fellow believers, but you do not see it in action.  Let’s look at the One who is love and what His word has to show us.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Luke 6:32 says, “32 But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.”  Luke 6:35 says, “35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.”  Ephesians 2:4 says, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,”  Mark 12:30 says, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment.  1 John 4:19-20 says, “19 We love Him because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

What is love to you?  Is it getting your own way?  Are you loved because someone gives you gifts?  Are you loved if someone gives you money?

Love can be defined as a profoundly tender, passionately affection for another person; a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child or friend.

We all have the capability to love and the desire to be loved.  The word love is used more than 320 times in the Bible.  John 3:16 is arguably the best known verse in the Bible.  Even those who don’t believe in a God, know this verse.   John 3:16 tells us that “God so loved the world”.  God loves us with a love we strive to attain and most often fail.  The Bible tells us that God loved us while we were yet sinners. 

Christ suffered a death that is unexplainable for the “world” whether we choose to follow Him or not, and that is the kind of love we are to strive to love Him with and others as well.

The Bible tells us that there is no reward for loving those that love us, even “sinners love those who love them”.  Our charge is to love those who love us AND those who don’t.  Those who would call us “Bible thumpers”.  Those who would mock and ridicule us.  Those who would make us be the topic of their jokes and laugh at us.  These are the ones we are to love and show God’s kind of love towards.

Mark 12:30 tells us that we are to “love the Lord our God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and all your strength”.  If we can ever accomplish this 100%, then all the other “loves” of our lives will be what they are suppose to be.  But we must first start with loving God and allowing Him to share that “Agape” love with us.

Remember:  When you are in love, you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.  (Dr. Seuss)

Until next time, please remember to pray for each other, and me, as I continue to pray for each of you.  Love in CHRIST

Brian Hanvey
Associate Pastor
Bethel Baptist Church

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