Learning To Love

  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. SCRIPTURE READING:
    2. Matthew 22:34-40 = "But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

    3. THE LORD ANSWERED THE QUESTION: "WHAT IS THE GREAT COMMANDMENT IN THE LAW?"
    4. Note: The Lord actually said that there were two great commandments:

      1. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." [Matthew 22:37]
      2. "The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." [Matthew 22:39]

    5. ONE OF LIFE’S GREATEST LESSONS IS LEARNING HOW TO LOVE. THUS THE TOPIC OF OUR DISCUSSION FOR TO DAY.

  2. DISCUSSION:

    1. LOVE IS NOT LEARNED BY FORCE OF WILL.
      1. One cannot learn to love by resolving to love -- that is, make yourself love something.
      2. One cannot learn to love by making demands upon yourself to do so.

      Comment: Love is much like a tender plant, it cannot be forced. If it is forced it will become broken and crushed.

    2. LOVE IS LEARNED WHEN WE GIVE ATTENTION, STUDY, AND MEDITATION UPON IT.
      1. We must give our continued attention to it – studiously contemplating and pondering it, if we are to learn how.
        1. John wrote in I John 4:19 = "We love him, because he first loved us."
        2. John also wrote in John 3:16 = "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
        3. Comment: Take a closer look at this verse with me:

          a.

          "God" = The greatest lover.

          b.

          "God" = The greatest lover.

          c.

          "Loved" = The greatest emotion.

          d.

          "The world" = The greatest company.

          e.

          "That he gave" = The greatest act.

          f.

          "His only begotten Son" = The greatest gift.

          g.

          "That whosoever" = The greatest opportunity.
          h. "Believeth" = The greatest simplicity.
          i. "In Him" = The greatest attraction.
          j. "Should not parish" = The greatest promise.
          k. "But" = The greatest difference.
          l. "Have" = The greatest certainty.
          m. "Everlasting life" = The greatest possession.

        [OUT OF MY TREASURE, Edited by Willie W. White, Vol. I, p. 157, College Press, Joplin, Missouri.]

      1. We must meditate on divine love to understand it.
        1. Its height.
        2. Its depth. Our hearts become radiant with beauty and warmth.
        3. Its length.

        Note: Love begets love, or Love generates love.

      2. When we walk in the light of the Father’s love, we become reflectors of that light, or love.
      3. We need to withdraw from the regions of darkness and keep ourselves "…in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life" = Jude 21
        1. Our receiving the crown of life is dependent on our loving the Lord.
        2. James 1:12 = "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him."

        3. The love of God is perfected only by keeping His word.

      1 John 2:5 = "But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him."

    1. LOVE IS ACTIVATED BY RENDERING DEEDS OF SERVICE
      1. There is warmth in activity.
        1. Our love for a neighbor grows when we do him good.
        2. Our love for the Church increases when we give ourselves in its work.
      2. Unto Christians who had left their "first love", the Lord said:
      3. Revelation 2:4-5 = "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."

        Hebrews 5:12-14 = "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

      4. When our work ceases, the heart grows cold – When work increases the heart becomes warm.

  3. CONCLUSION:

    1. SCRIPTURE:
    2. II Thessalonians. 3:5 = "And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ."

      2 Timothy 1:13 = "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."

      Hebrews 6:10 = "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister."

    3. LOVE IS MORE THAN JUST WORDS SPOKEN – LOVE IS EVIDENT BY THE ACTIONS WE MANIFEST BEFORE OTHERS.
    4. WE LEARN TO LOVE, IN SEEING THE CARE, CONCERN, AND WORK IN ACTIONS DONE:
      1. Comment: The greatest example of this John 3:16.
      2. From the eyes of an eight year old:
        We have the nicest garbage man,
        He empties out our garbage can;
        He is just as nice as he can be;
        He always stops and talks with me.
        My mother doesn’t like his smell,
        But, then, she doesn’t know him well.
        [OUT OF MY TREASURE, Edited by Willie W. White, Vol. I, p. 161,college Press, Joplin, Missouri.]

POEM 
BY 
BLACKMAN:

TRUE LOVE

Have you ever wondered what love is all about?
Have you ever had feelings about someone amid clouds of doubt?
Love is beyond affection and more sincere;
It is a deep caring and concern for another, that one holds very dear.
It is manifest by actions of service and care,
From someone that will always be there.
God loved us and gave His Son that we might be freed from sin;
That in an obedient spiritual birth we might in newness of life begin.
Such a price Christ paid,
While man was so deep in sin laid.
Christ on the cross suffered, bled and died,
While the world shed not a tear, or cried;
Not appreciating God’s Divine and precious love,
Sent down to unthankful man from above.
Jesus still loves us very much you know,
For He knows our trials and temptations we face here below;
Seated by- God’s throne – on the right,
We through Him can approach God day and night.
Christ told His disciples He went a place for them to prepare,
That those who followed His Word could be there.
God’s love was then, now, and forever more,
And through Christ -- to Him -- we have an open door.
This love of God is beyond descriptive words,
But into obedient hearts by it man may yet be stirred.
The love manifest by Jesus Christ,
Is described by His actions and tremendous price.
The love of God, may it we ever find,
Among the worldly mind thinking of mankind.

J.H. Blackman, Jr.
[4/7/2000]

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