December 10, 2017 Sermon

Christmas is about love. If we go through the Christmas season with love, we are just going through the motions and, thus, we end up in a depressive state. What if we all made the choice at this season to give the gift of love? There are a lot of misconceptions about love. Myth: Love is only a feeling. Not true; we never fall in or out of love; we fall in or out of emotion. Love is a topic of music from every generation. "More Than A Feeling" and "Love Bites" cover the 80s generation, right? We need to have love that's deeper than a two-hour movie.

Two questions: What is love? and How would love act? Love is a choice! If you want to get your family together, you must choose to do so. You must also put forth action. It's more than what we say, but how we act.

Love is patient. When love is hurried, and we have unrealistic expectations of others, love begins to die. Make allowances for each others' faults. "EACH OTHERS'"'s not one-sided.

Love is caring. Love is dead when you see people start to ignore each other. Be kind and tender-hearted for each other. Kindness is practically meeting the needs of others. It's often easier for us to be kind to a stranger than it is for us to be kind to our family.

Love is security. If there is love present, it leaves no doubt to where trust lies. When love disappears, so does the security. Doubt leads to mistrust. If a relationship never leads to deep, trusting conversations, it does not have love. There is no security in this relationship. When you have a true, secure relationship, it's okay to take risks.

Love is giving. When there is always an exchange, the relationship is on decline. C.S. Lewis once said "There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket safe, dark, motionless, airless it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."

Sometimes we need to act our way into feelings. But, we typically wait for feelings before we commit to actions. What if we did that with our weight? Expect to never lose any. Christ was spat upon, cursed at, and hit with rocks when carrying the cross. Jesus's response: "Father, forgive them. They know not what they do." The people that we're called to love are the ones that are the hardest to love.

Love people now. We need to tell people that we love them now. We need to get on the phone or write a letter today to someone who we haven't told that we love them. Love is powerful. Love conquers all. Love is unconditional. People needs to be loved the most is when they deserve it the least.

The only thing that makes Christmas truly special is when we love.

I Corinthians 13:4-8, Ephesians 4:32

- Jon Bruney
(credit to Injoy)

Zion Missionary Church - Fremont, Indiana

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