LOVE

 

Reading: Matthew 5:38-48

Text: Song of Solomon 8:7 (Living Bible)

"Many waters cannot quench the flame of love, neither can the floods drown it. If a man tried to buy it with everything he owned, he couldn’t do it."

INTRODUCTION

[*] Again, a year on, we have seen an outpouring of love such as Britain, and indeed the world, has seldom experienced, on the anniversary of the death and funeral of Princess Diana, it is but fitting this morning that we consider LOVE.

[a] A fifteen year old boy, and his thirteen year-old girlfriend came to me in one appointment, and asked me most earnestly "What is love?"

[b] How does one explain the deepest feeling the heart is capable of producing?

[c] "It’s love" the chorus says, "that makes the world go round"

[d] Love is the subject, most talked about, most sung about, the most poetic compositions are about, and yet, I would suggest that it is the most misunderstood and unexperienced thing in the world. "Make love your goal" said a pop song, a few years ago. (‘Frankie goes to Hollywood’ - Christmas 1984)

[e] People often make do with a sham, a pretence, simply because they have never experienced the real thing, and think that’s all there is to it. Once someone does experience the real thing, nothing else will suffice!

[f] When we speak about love, we speak about a greater force than all of this world’s nuclear weapons put together - before any reductions started taking place.

POINT 1

[a] Can we doubt the power of love when we saw a whole world moved to grief over the death of Diana, Princess of Wales - a young woman, who many saw as the living epitome of love, as she touched and ministered to the rejects and outcasts of society - as she hugged a dying child with tears in her eyes, or phoned a desperately ill child to invite them to have tea at her home.

[b] I was amazed to see her funeral beamed to Russia, America, Japan, and right round the world, and people in all these places feeling heartbroken at her passing. Such feelings came from a deep sense of love for her.

[c] Love is a powerful thing! We’re speaking about something that is as real, as wonderful, as powerful, as inspiring, as when it was first implanted in the hearts of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

[d] It still can and does, accomplish, in the hearts of people, that which nothing else could ever do.

[e] Love does not always operate within the guidelines of reason, or even safety, or even what may appear to all to be common sense!

 

[f] It is not snuffed out by prejudice!

Two groups of teenagers in Ireland, were taken and sent on holiday together. One group was from a Catholic Nationalistic community, and the other from a Protestant Orange community. In the beginning there was tension, because they didn’t know what to expect, and had grown up with deep-seated prejudices against each other.

But bit by bit, the barriers dissolved, and they found out that they were all human after all, and had many things in common.

It was so successful, that many friendships were made, and romance even blossomed, with a young boy and girl finding they loved each other!

[g] In the Gospel Film ‘World’s Apart’ produced in the 1960's, there was a beautiful song by W. J. Peterson:

It said, "Love is a power, far greater than any other power, on earth, that man, has ever known."

POINT 2

[a] Love is something which binds together and forms a powerful bond.

[b] When two young people, or even older people fall in love, everything else takes second place to that. Everything else must revolve around that relationship!

[c] Could it be said in this meeting, that that is a description of your relationship with the Lord?? HAVE YOU FALLEN IN LOVE WITH JESUS??

[d] On the natural plain, we find it very difficult to give and express love, if we feel our love is spurned and rejected by the one we love!

[e] But the wonderful thing is, that even though by nature, we are God’s enemies - even though we had effectively turned our back upon Him - the Bible tells us, "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

[f] Even though in days gone by, we have been ungrateful rejecters of His love, YET STILL IT FLOWS, AS STRONG AS EVER!

Even though we may have cast it all back in His face time and time again - YET STILL HE LOVES US!!

POINT 3

[a] Let me read to you our text again -

"Many waters cannot quench the flame of love, neither can the floods drown it. If a man tried to buy it with everything he owned, he couldn’t do it."

[b] REAL LOVE, IS UNQUENCHABLE AND INEXTINGUISHABLE.

[c] The love within a family, means that we can depend on one another, and rely on the strength of one another when the going gets tough.

[d] If we truly have a relationship of love with our Lord, then the same applies as we travel along life’s pathway.

[e] Whatever floods may come our way, if our love for Him is burning brightly, it will not be quenched! It must be something that is akin to His great love - dependable and not suffering from sudden changes of mind.

[f] There are many reasons why relationships spring up - not always love - the worlds cheap temporary imitations, infatuation, attraction, sexual desire, have no real foundation, and will not stand the test of time! Through time, they will vanish, like the snow melting of a wall.

[g] We are well aware, in these days with almost half of all marriages ending in divorce, that many of them didn’t start with the right foundation that of real and true love.

[h] There are also many reasons why people make decisions for Christ - and with some of them, that’s all they are - JUST DECISIONS - THERE’S NO CONVERSION, NO NEW BIRTH, NO CHANGE OF LIFESTYLE - AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL - NO FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE SAVIOUR!!

[I] If our relationship with Jesus is not one founded on a deep love for Him - it will not last - we will end up Christians in name only, and then perhaps not even that!

POINT 4

[a] Out text also tells us how precious this love is - we could give up all that we possess, and yet be unable to buy real love.

[b] Some of us are old enough to remember the old Beatles hit song, "Can’t buy me love."

[c] Love is much too precious to put a price tab on!

THERE IS NO VALUATION MEASURE IN THIS WORLD THAT COULD MEASURE THE VALUE OF LOVE!!

In recent years, there’s been a number of pop songs in the charts, with titles like "The Power of Love."

[d] Unfortunately, so often, composers compose, and singers sing about this power of love, without having come to know the greatest Lover of all, Who loved so much, that He went to the cross in our place, bearing the agony of our sin.

[e] He wants us to respond to that love, by yielding ourselves to Him. To do any other is to reject both Him, and His great love.

CONCLUSION

[a] If our love relationship is right with the lord, we will have no difficulty loving one another - love will simply flow from us, as it does from the Saviour - UNCONDITIONALLY!

[b] Remember, love will overcome, where nothing else can - love will win the victory, where all else fails - BUT ONLY WHERE IT’S THE REAL THING!!

[c] Is your love for the Lord, the real thing? Your relationship with Him is worth very little if it isn’t!

[d] Maybe you feel that your relationship with others, has shown that your relationship with Him has just been a sham - well it’s time you did something about it.

SONG                         TUNE

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Prayer Chorus - Lord How I love You

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