REAL LOVE 2-9-20
February 9, 2020
Do you remember your first love? Maybe it was a high school sweetheart. Maybe you even married that high school sweetheart and plan to live happily ever after. Or maybe, like me, that relationship ended and you were left with a big hole in your heart. And that hole carried over into later relationships which never quite filled it. Thankfully, when I had all but given up, the Lord sent me someone who has since brought me nothing but joy, and I am very grateful for him. But for many years that hole in my heart not only affected me, but regretfully led me to leave similar holes in the hearts of others. Broken hearts are contagious. And there is only one real cure. It isn’t found in a bottle, or a store, or a doctor’s office. It isn’t found in the right job or the right house or the right hobby. Only real love can cure a broken heart.
While others are out trying to woo a new love, or perform the expected Valentine’s Day obligation for their current love, by buying a box of chocolates or a bouquet of roses, do you think these represent what real love is all about? As Linus might say, “I can tell you what real love is all about, Charlie Brown. “‘This is real love - not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins’. 1 John 4:10.” Amen Linus. Real love is about sacrifice. It’s about putting the good of the other person ahead of your own desires. It is in giving love that you receive love. And that doesn’t mean giving a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day. It means giving of yourself, your time, your energy, your very being.
That is what Jesus did for us. He gave Himself. His very being. As the Son of God, the Living Word, he created everything in the universe and he could do anything he wanted with it. When we broke our once perfect relationship with him by sinning, he could have just abandoned us or destroyed us. And yet, because of His great love for us, he left heaven to be born as one of us, so he could suffer and die on a cross to redeem us from our sins, and to fill that hole in our hearts that sin left, hoping we would return to him and fill the hole we left in his heart.
Yes, in spite of all we’ve done, he wanted us back. Even while we were still lost in our sins, our backs to him, completely rejecting him, as Romans 5:8 says, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” That person that walked out on you and left you heartbroken, would you die for them? Even if they could care less if you did? Jesus did. That is real love. Those of us to whom the Holy Spirit has revealed this profound love that is beyond all human understanding, have had our broken hearts completely healed by it, and have had our perfect relationship with God restored, know that the real love of Christ is the only cure for sin, and the broken hearts it leaves in its wake.
And for those of you who have not yet experienced this real love, Jesus is still knocking at the door of your heart, patiently waiting for you to open it to him. He isn’t holding a box of chocolates or a bouquet of roses. Instead he is wanting to give you an eternity with him, where he himself will wipe every tear from your eyes, in a mansion he has built especially for you, in a kingdom where there will be no more death, or sorrow, or pain. (John 14:3, Revelation 21:4). Sound like a fairy tale proposal? Not even Disney could dream of the wonders that Jesus offers. There is no other ‘happily ever after’ that can compare.
The words to a hymn written by Will L. Thompson come to mind:
“Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling for you and for me; see, on the portals he’s waiting and watching, watching for you and for me. O for the wonderful love he has promised, promised for you and for me! Though we have sinned, he has mercy and pardon, pardon for you and for me. Come home, come home; you who are weary, come home; earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, calling, O sinner, come home! “
Whether you were once his, and then wandered away, or whether you have never known his love, come home to Jesus today and let him heal your heart. Amen.
Church (Take Me Back) Cochren & Co.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iomSB79ysc
God Only Knows (For King & Country): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5cPQg3oq-o