I John 4:13-21
Get your copy of God's Word, would you, and find the fourth
chapter of the book of First John. We'll be looking at
verses 13 through 21. Our subject is Love -- God's love for
us and all people and our love for Him and all people.
Love. You know, that's a very big word. Yet we don't always
use it as though it were a big word. Indeed, one of the
besetting blunders of our day is that we waste our large
words on lesser objects than they deserve. For instance, in
the church where you go, do they use the word "great" a
lot? We're prone to do that aren't we? We talk about "great
teachers", "great preachers", "great meetings" and "great
events". Maybe you've heard an announcement about the
greatest fellowship in the history of the world. It turned
out to be an after game wiener roast with Albert Peabody
reading a poem he wrote while waiting for a bus.
If something really great comes along we won't have any
words left to describe it. What about the word "hate"? Now
that ought to be a heavy word! Yet I hear people say: "I
just hate neckties," or "Don't you just hate spinach?"
There are some things you ought to hate. The Bible tells us
to hate evil, this force which makes weak, frightened,
dangerous people out of people God loves and wants to give
abundant life. Now I truly hate whatever hurts people but
that's not the same way I feel about neckties and spinach.
Well, you and I could lengthen this list of endangered
words but my oh my how we abuse the word "love". Someone
may say "I love you" when all he means is "I want to use
you for my pleasure." Some say: "I love you" to poodle with
whom they're not even willing to he friends. Ever hear
anyone say "Yellow is my favorite color, I just love it!"?
Not a few use the word "love" when they mean "sex". Fact
is, we wear out the word using it on so many occasions it
simply loses any meaning.
But when we look in the Bible ...
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