Love of Another Kind
June 21, 2020

Love of Another Kind
1 John 4:7-16

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As I mentioned last week, the Lord seems to be having me on a new series since we came back from the COVID-19 shutdown. It comes from what Paul said to the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 13:13 that after it is all said and done, only three things will remain, faith, hope, and love.

And seeing how so much is happening in our world today, these three being manifested in our lives are now more important than ever.

We are now two-thirds through our study where we’ve looked at both faith and hope, each relating to what we’ve been going through recently in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic, and the more recent racial tension that has sparked violence here in America and around the world.

Today starts the last of the three, the one that Paul said is the greatest, and that is, love.

An actor, who was playing the part of Jesus Christ in the Passion Play, was being heckled by a tourist. Finally the actor had enough of the abuse, and so he threw down the cross, walked over to the tourist and punched him out.

After the play was over, the director told the actor, “I know he was a pest, but I can’t condone what you did. Besides, you’re playing the part of Jesus, and Jesus never retaliated. So don’t do anything like that again.”

The actor apologized and promised that he wouldn’t. But the next day the heckler was back and it was worse than before. The actor exploded and again punched him out.

The director said, “That’s it. I have to fire you. We just can’t have you behaving this way while playing the part of Jesus.” The actor begged for another chance promising that it would never happen again. So the director relented deciding to give him one more chance.

Well, you guessed it. The next day the actor was carrying the cross up the street, and sure enough the heckler was back. And you could tell that the actor was trying really hard to control himself, but as his emotions were about to get the best of him he looked at the heckler and said, “I’ll meet you after the resurrection!”

Sometimes it’s hard for us who profess to be Christians to behave like Christians, or to be like Christ. We try to carry our crosses,
but if someone crosses us we tend to lose our composure and behave in much the same way as this actor, or, as the rest of the world.

But the Bible teaches that we are to be people who exercise love in all of our relationships.

The Apostle Paul said, “I beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:1-2 NKJV)

Loving others isn’t easy, in fact there are times when it’s downright difficult, and that’s because not everybody is all that easy to love. And so, today I’d like to share with you about love of another kind.

The world only knows what is called a natural kind of love. It’s the most prevalent love around. It’s a love that loves only those who are lovely and who are going to love us back, which is only natural and logical

But there’s another kind of love. A love that doesn’t look for value in what it loves, but rather creates that value through what it loves. It’s a love that places no preconceived ideas or conditions on what it loves.

It reminds me of Rosemary’s Rag Doll. Rosemary was three years old when she was given a little rag doll. Soon the two became inseparable, and while she had nicer and more expensive toys, none were loved like that rag doll.

However, over time, Rosemary’s Rag Doll became more rag than doll. It was stained and dirty, and every time it was cleaned it became more ragged. Now logic dictated trashing the doll, but such an act was unthinkable, and that’s because it got to be an important part of Rosemary’s life, and so if you loved Rosemary, then you loved Rosemary’s Rag Doll.

This is that love of another kind that I’m talking about. It’s such a love that Jesus said should be the number one thing in our lives. We see this in Jesus’s answer to what was the greatest commandment.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38 NKJV)

But Jesus went on to add a second, which was like the first saying, “And the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39 NKJV)

In saying the second is like the first, He was basically saying that the way we show our love for God is by loving others as ourselves. And so if I could paraphrase what Jesus said, it was, “If you love God, then love His rag dolls.”

Now, what most of us desire above anything else during these unprecedented times is for a spiritual revival take place. But such a revival is, I believe, predicated upon our capacity to love with this other kind of love.

But it’s not human love, or the love that is promoted by our society and culture, but rather it is a divine love, or, the love of God.

Read 1 John 4:7-16

Wow, what a statement. “God is love.” This if probably one of the most awesome statements ever uttered, and also one of the most misunderstood, and that’s because of how we define the word, “love.”

In our culture, that is, what is found in our books, music, and movies, true love, that is this love of another kind, really has little to do with what is being portrayed. Unfortunately, many have been misled thinking that love is some kind of mushy emotional feeling that comes and goes, like something we fall in and out of. It’s something we can’t control, and it just something that happens.

Love in our society may also best be described as being conditional and self-gratifying, which probably explains the high divorce rate. Several songs from the late 80’s and early 90’s speak to this the best like Tina Turner’s, “What’s Love God To Do With It,” or Janet Jackson’s, “What Have You done For Me Lately.”

But the most devastating thing that society has done is to take God out of the ‘love’ equation. And because of this, humanity is running rampant in its quest for love, finding love in all the wrong places, and because of it, it is destroying all that God has created us to be, seeing that God has created us in His image and according to His likeness.

And so society has hidden the real beauty of God’s love. But, when we experience God’s love, that’s when we become conduits of His love to this lost and dying world. This is when the church will be a place where heaven and earth truly meet, because God, and the love of God, will be evident in our midst.

This love of another kind, this love of God for others places no conditions on what it loves. Rather, it’s completely unconditional. Therefore, it is more than merely a feeling. In fact, Jesus makes it into a command.

Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34 NKJV)

Notice Jesus said that this is a commandment, not some holy suggestion. God commands us to love each other, and the ultimate expression of this love is God’s love for us.

“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10 NKJV)

You also see this in other passages from the Bible.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NKJV)

“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.” (John 3:16 NKJV)

Unfortunately, this love of another kind, this divine love is looked upon as something illogical and irrational by our society, especially when we are told to love those who hate us, or those who are our enemies. Yet, as we have seen, this is the type of love that God has for us, so much so that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us, even though we were His enemies.

This is real love. It’s a love that is willing to sacrifice its own desires for the good of others. And it’s a love that Jesus models for us as He willing went to the cross to become that perfect sinless sacrifice.

It is this other kind of love that the Apostle Paul says is the better or more excellent way, which he goes on and outlines for us in 1 Corinthians 13.

Turn to 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13 is what most Christians refer to God’s ultimate chapter on what love is, and if I could briefly summarize, the Apostle Paul is saying, “I want to show you the best way to take care of virtually every situation, and that is the way of love.”

Paul begins by pointing out how love is more important than several things Christians deem to be important.
• Spiritual Gifts – “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels.” (1 Corinthians 13:1)
• Knowledge – “Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge.” (1 Corinthians 13:2a)
• Faith – “Though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains.” (1 Corinthians 13:2b)
• Generosity – “Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor.” (1 Corinthians 13:3a)
• Personal Sacrifice – “Though I give my body to be burned.” (1 Corinthians 13:3b)

And what Paul says as he ends these is that if he didn’t have love, then none of these things would mean a thing. Paul then goes on in verses 4 through 7 to describe what this love of another kind, looks like.

• Love Suffers Long – Love makes allowances for people’s faults, and is patient as well. Basically love doesn’t give into anger.
• Love Is Kind – Love not only endures wrongs, but shows kindness in return.
• Love Envies Not – Love doesn’t seek advantages, possessions, or gain. Instead love remains content.
• Love Doesn’t Parade Itself – Love doesn’t show off or brags. It doesn’t seek praise or applause.
• Love Isn’t Puffed Up – Love isn’t prideful or arrogant, rather it’s humble
• Love Doesn’t Behave Rudely – Love isn’t ill mannered or discourteous.
• Love Doesn’t Seek Its Own – Love doesn’t seek after its own rights, advancements, or self interests, instead love serves.
• Love Isn’t Easily Provoked – Love isn’t temperamental or easily offended, and it isn’t quick to become resentful.
• Love Thinks No Evil – Love doesn’t keep any record of wrongs with a view to get even
• Love Doesn’t Rejoice in Iniquity, But Rejoices in the Truth – Love isn’t glad when things go wrong for others, nor does it gloat. Rather love weeps and is broken hearted at another’s’ downfall.
• Love Bears All Things, Believes All Things, Hopes All Things, Endures All Things – Love doesn’t retaliate, nor easily deceived or suspicious, and it doesn’t give into despair.
• And then Paul ends with these words, Love Never Fails

Now, to see how well we fit into this description, we need to replace the word “love” with our own name. Let’s look at the first two: “Dennis suffers long and is kind.” Nope, can’t even get past the first one.

Yet, when we replace the word love with the name of Jesus, it’s a completely different story, and it is then we see what this love of another kind looks like. What do I mean?

Jesus showed love, compassion, and respect to sinners, like the woman caught in adultery, the woman at the well, or Zacchaeus the tax collector. Jesus also would touch those who the world would call untouchable, like lepers, or the woman with the issue of blood. And then Jesus showed kindness to His enemies, or those outside the Jewish faith, like the centurion when He healed his servant, of healing the demon possessed daughter of the Canaanite woman, and then there was the kindness showed to Judas, the one He knew would betray Him as He washed Judas’s feet.

Not only did Jesus show us this love through His examples, but also in what He taught, teaching that such love is central to our relationship with the Lord and then with others as He gave the Great Commandments that we looked at earlier.

Now, they say that love without an expression is useless, and we see this very thing from Jesus life and teaching of how He not only said He loved us, He showed it as well in His ultimate example, and that is He went to the cross to die for our sins, so that we can have eternal life in heaven.

And so, we come to the question, how about us? If we are to show God how much we love Him by our love for others, then how are we doing? Maybe we can look at this through the lyrics of a Christian hymn whose chorus goes like this, “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, and they’ll know that we are Christians by our love.”

Do people know that we are Christians by our expressions of God’s love, this love of another kind?

Think about it with me. What do people see?
• Do they see us grumble and complain showing resentment?
• Do they see us living in a state of fear or distrust?
• Do they see our service to the Lord growing colder, rather than staying hot and on fire?
• Do they see our loyalties divided where we are no longer serving God with the whole of our hearts?

So how can we put this into practice? Well, let’s start with being kinder and more tender and gentle with our spouses, parents, and children, instead of behaving like jerks.

Can you see how this will affect the atmosphere in the home? There would definitely be a whole lot less arguing or bickering; no sharp words between each other, because what this does is make their interests more important as ours.

This goes along with Paul’s admonition to the church saying, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” (Philippians 2:3 NKJV);

When we love like this then it will begin to filter down to all the rest of our relationships, like our in-laws and out-laws. It will begin to spill over to our friends and co-workers, even those who are our enemies as Jesus tells us.

“Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44 NKJV)

And so, where does this love of another kind begin? Simple, it begins in our hearts, but that can only happen when we invite Jesus into our hearts, and into our lives. And this happens when we take Jesus advice to Nicodemus, a religious leader of that day saying that unless one is born again, that is, unless someone has a new spiritual birth, a birth from above, they will not inherit the Kingdom of heaven.

Basically, the only way we can love others with this love of another kind is to have this love of another kind, this divine love, living inside of us, and this happens only through faith in Jesus Christ.

And so, if we want to survive and make a difference in what is happening in our world, then we have to love others with this love of another kind.

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