Love sermon ideas

Love is the core characteristic of those who worship God. God is said to be love personified: God is love. From the overflow of divine love among the three Persons of the Trinity, creation sprang as God decided to share God's own zestful and effervescent love with an entire cosmos of creatures. Those created in the image of God — and now those recreated in that image through Christ — display love as a divine gift, as that which makes human beings most reminiscent of God.

What does the Bible say about love?

Sermon ideas about love

As a fruit of the Spirit

Love is the firstfruit listed in Paul's classic passage in Galatians 5, even as love is highlighted elsewhere in the New Testament as the core virtue or fruit that entails (and binds together in unity) all other spiritual fruit. If love is present, things like joy and patience and kindness naturally follow. Without true love, these other fruit/virtues cannot get beyond surface behaviors that lack depth and genuineness.

Kinds of love

Traditionally Christians have often spoken of the varieties of love by way of three common Greek words: agape, philos, and eros. Agape is often said to be the truest kind of God-like love, and it is the quality of love we owe to God but that we are also instructed to extend to all people. Agapic love is self-giving, self-sacrificing, self-forgetting love that leads us to be the servants of others, even as Christ came to serve and not be served. Philos is said to be the love between friends. Although friend-love includes agapic love, it has its own peculiar qualities that bind people in friendships based on mutual respect, shared interests, and so on. Eros is erotic or romantic love, the love that flourishes between spouses and that typically includes the sexual component of "making love" within the context of a marriage relationship. This love also includes agapic love but has the distinctive romantic qualities associated with courtship, marriage, and family. But agapic love is that to which all people are called. This is the love that seeks to give life to the beloved, to enrich another with no regard as to whether the lover will reap benefit. In Scripture's most famous passage on love, the apostle Paul goes so far as to claim that without love among God's people, their gifts and ministry are hollow at their core. "Love never ends. . . ." "The greatest of these is love. . . ." This love, then, defines Christian identity as rooted in Christ.

Loving and liking

Christians are called to love all people with the quality of God's own love as we see God's image in every person we meet. Within even the community of the church, however, this kind of love need not entail being best friends with everyone. We can love people even if they would not be our first choice for dinner companions; we can love people whose views, tastes, or lifestyle mean they are people we don't particularly like. This can be a fine line, of course, as sometimes our dislike of someone can quickly morph into behaviors that end up being unloving, or we can use our dislike as an excuse not to love some people in Christ. But it is possible to extend God's love to people we do not know well and to those with whom we have little in common.

"The power of agape — otherwise quite powerless — is perhaps nowhere better seen than in the tale of "Beauty and the Beast," where Beauty does not love the Beast because he is beautiful but makes him beautiful because she loves him. Ultimately, in other words, agape is God's love for humankind, and only as God's gift are humans enabled at rare moments to love that way themselves — transformingly, unconditionally, no matter what. Thus when Paul says `love never ends,' he is not being sentimental or merely rhetorical. There is no doubt that eros ends. Agape, on the other hand, is without end as God is without end because it is of the essence of God." (Frederick Buechner, {{The Clown in the Belfry}}, Harper Collins 1992, p. 57.)

Love on Zeteo's search

  • "From this overflowing fountain of the infinite love of God, all our love to God must spring. This must ever be a great and certain truth, that we love him, for no other reason than because he first loved us." Scripture Meditation or Sermon by Charles Spurgeon from The Spurgeon Center

  • "Yet this is how He comes. Through wine and bread. Love chooses to be emptied into me." Poetry by Malcolm Guite from Global Worship

  • "True love has two dimensions: love for God and love for our neighbor." Scripture Meditation or Sermon by Father José LaBoy from ePriest

  • "What Jesus holds together in this commandment, indeed what the entirety of the Old Testament holds together, is that the love of God and the love of neighbor are inseparably connected." Article about Scripture by Jason Buckwaler from A Plain Account

  • "True love requires us to live alongside and engage with others in a full-bodied way." Sermon Preparation or Illustration by Elizabeth Shively from Working Preacher

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