Practicing Love

Bible Book: 1 Corinthians  13
Subject: Love; Valentine's Day

What does it mean when we say? "I love you." It depends on your definition. It depends on the value you place on the one saying these words. It also depends on your view of life and love.

Love is a word that is thrown around very loosely in our world today. Love is also a value that holds the others together. Where do we find the best explanation of love? God's word provides the only true explanation for this subject. There are many scriptures related to love. One of the greatest is found in 1 Corinthians 13. Today, we will study a lesson on love, God's way.

I. The Misconceptions Concerning Love

A. Love is Merely Emotional

Love, when defined, is most often defined as a feeling. Love produces feeling, but is much more than a feeling. Love based merely on feeling is very fickle, because emotions are fickle.

B. Love is Mystical

We would probably say that love is magical, but the meaning is the same. Many think that love just happens. We talk about "falling in love." You can fall out of love as easily as you fall into love.

C. Love is all about Me

Unfortunately many people are self-centered when it comes to love. The first thought is on receiving rather than giving. I am so glad God doesn't love us like that. God loved us before we loved him.

"While we were sinners..." He loved us. The Bible tells us that this is true. He loves us before we loved Him.

D. Love is for the Weak

Too many are too macho to love. Love is a demonstration of weakness to many. Nothing could be further from the truth. It takes great courage and strength to demonstrate love.

E. Love is for those who are Closest to Us

Some believe that we must not become too vulnerable and love those out of our inner circle. Jesus said that we are to love the world he loves.

II. Understanding Love

A. Love is a Choice

Jesus commanded us to love one another. He never commanded us to feel a certain way. I Corinthians 13 is all about a choice we make.

B. Love as a Conduct

In I John 3:18 we read, "Let's stop just saying we love people; let us really love them and show it by our actions."

There are several Greek words for love.

One is romantic attraction.

One is friendship.

One is an unconditional act of love towards another.

Unconditional love is the one used in 1 Corinthians 13. This is a very good thing. We can love people without liking what they are doing.

III. Loving God's Way

A. Love is being Patient Vs. 4

Do you remember the Love Is cartoons? What if we changed that to Patience Is:

Patience is waiting for your spouse to get ready for church without revving up the car engine.
Patience is helping your children do their homework without breaking their little necks.
Patience is not looking at mom and dad like their stupid when they don't understand something you've said.
Patience is allowing other people to finish their own sentences.

There is no better example of patience than God's patience with us. God is constantly waiting on us. God constantly is overlooking the dumb things we do. God is constantly allowing us to grow up spiritually. When we are having a tough time being patient we need to remember how God treats us.

B. Love is being Kind

Through acts of kindness you have the ability to be a change agent in a person's life. In a national survey people were asked, "What is the number one quality you look for in a leader?" One of the things on top of the list was "Someone who can encourage your heart." The bible tells us how kindness works. Ephesians 4:32, "Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as god has forgiven you." To be kind I have to be tenderhearted. That means to have care in my heart about what you're facing. Kindness means I forgive other people, just as God has forgiven me.

Kindness means I act towards others as God has acted towards me. I have God's heart.

C. Love is Secure Vs. 4

Love doesn't envy. I don't envy what you have. I am not jealous over the success of others.

D. Love doesn't Boast

I don't brag about what I have. I am not proud but humble in spirit.

F. Love Isn't Selfish Vs. 5

You find in verse 5 indicators of selfishness.

1. Rudeness is selfishness.
2. Self-seeking is selfishness.
3. Being easily irritated is selfishness.

Again, God is our greatest example of unselfishness. Christmas is all about the act of unselfishness. The most selfless act god did was come to this earth for us.

F. Love doesn't Vanish

Love always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres.


How do I love others with an eternal love? I must accept God's eternal love for me. How do I find it in my heart to love when I have been offended? I must understand how God has forgiven me. How do I love people I don’t even know? I must love Christ who loves the world.