Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost – October 31, 2021
Four biblical loves
“[Agape] Love is a commitment of the will to do that which will benefit the loved one – even at great personal cost, and even when there is no response of love.” (Bob Smith, Love Story – The Real Thing)
Two conditions to grow in agape-love
- We must fiercely embrace the agape-love the Father and Son have for us.
“We know how much God loves us because we have felt his love and because we believe him when he tells us that he loves us dearly…we need have no fear of someone who loves us perfectly; his perfect love for us eliminates all dread of what he might do to us. If we are afraid, it is for fear of what he might do to us and shows that we are not fully convinced that he really loves us.”
-1 John 4:16a,18, LB
- We must increasingly have our selfishness purged through personal _______________.
“Although he was a Son, he learned obedience from what he suffered.”
– Hebrews 5:8
Three ways to grow in agape-love
- Don’t try to _______ your way into loving: love your way into feeling.
“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
– John 3:16
- Learn to speak the varied ______________ of love.
“And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
-1 Thessalonians 5:14
- Live at a slow enough _________ to make loving possible
“Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
– Hebrews 13:2
- Don’t Waste Your Sorrows by Paul Billheimer, Christian Literature Crusade, 1977.
- The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis, Harcourt Brace Javanovich, 1960.
- Bold Love by Dan Allender & Tremper Longman, NavPress, 1992.
- Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen, Crossroad, 1992.
- Love is Always Right by Josh McDowell & Norm Geisler, Word Publishing, 1996.