I have got to admit that when Pastor Lucas first told us he was going to preach out of that one book in the bible (1 John) I wasn't too excited about the idea. But now I understand why he did it.
1 John is known as the book of love and although it appears to be a bit redundant, I assure you that it is for good reason. God wants to stress his point so that we will get it. He tells us over and over how we ought to love.
Pastor Lucas continued his sermon straight out of 1 John this Sunday titled "Setting the Example." He told us that we set the example of love out of:
Contract vs. Covenant
When people buy cars and houses, they sign a contract. In a sense, a contract is like a form of insurance that protects you in the event that the other party fails to follow through with the agreement. However, in marriage we learn how to live out love based on actions. We do things because we want to demonstrate to our spouse that we love them which does not necessarily mean we will always enjoy doing them ( i.e. Lucas throwing out the trash for me). I guess for me it's cooking dinner (which I don't do often but when I do it, I try to make it special).
It is convenient for us to love because when we love, we abide by the laws. And what are the laws? Well, the most important one in the bible is quite simple and can be found in Galatians 5:14 "The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Pastor Lucas brought up a great point. He said that we are not told to love others more than we love ourselves because if we did then they would be our idols and that kind of love is reserved for one person only, God.
Everyone knows what John 3:16 says but how many of us know what 1 John 3:16 says? Here it is: "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers." In other words, 1 John 3:16 tells us that we ought to put love into practice. Have you ever met someone that actually did this? We did! Her name was Andrea and she was our "tour guide and chauffeur" in Brazil. I say that with much love and appreciation towards her. You see, Andrea was Lucas' mother's friend. She had never met us before but she knew that we would be in town and had no means to get around in the city so she arranged to take her vacation to cater to our needs. Andrea didn't have to do that but she did it out of compassion. She wanted to serve us.
My favorite quote from Pastor Lucas was "Love demands that we give up our rights to love others." Whether you are married, a parent or in a relationship you will know this to be true. There is no better way to show that we love than we put our own desires second to those of the ones we love.
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But however hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
-1 John 2:9-11