What is Love? - Here on Purpose

Good morning.  Today we are going to think, pray, and read about love.  Let's start by asking some questions.

How do you define love?
Most times love is associated with a feeling or a emotion.  But, is how we define love and how God defines love (in his Scriptures) the same?  Today we are going to look for this word in our readings and see if we can discover a Biblical definition.  Then, by knowing how God defines this word, we will have the opportunity to apply this new definition into our lives.  This would lead us to spiritual wisdom (applying the spiritual knowledge that God revels to us).

Let's begin in prayer.

Wow! - Brag on God. 
Lord I want to thank you for your Word.  I thank you for how it speaks to my life.  I thank you for how it provides direction.  I thank you for how it confirms.  

Now… - Tell God what’s going on in life

How? - Stop talking and start listening to God by his Spirit and his Word.

1 John 
Look at 1 John 2:7-10, What do you notice about love?
Look closely at 1 John 2:15-17, What is John's warning here concerning love?  

I want to share some thoughts I have concerning 1 John 2:15-17 in relationship to generosity.  Most people want to be generous.  However, the reason they can't be is because they love the world.  Unless you are very wealthy, it is almost impossible to be a generous person and ALSO drive a new car(s), always be in the latest style, have the home of your dreams, the boat and camper, and I could go on and on.  

I want to sneak in here my definition of love.  Love = Commitment.  John tells us not to be committed to the things of this world.  Instead, be committed, or love, the things of God.  

I want to pull back the curtain on my families view on generosity.  5 years ago, a mentor of mine said that he and his wife increased their giving by 1% each year.  That statement has stuck to my brain.  I have been a tither (give 10% of your income) ever since I became a Jesus follower.  I learned early that I could trust God with my money...In 20 years he has yet to let me down!  5 years ago Jenn and I put my mentor's advice into practice.  What this means for the Millers is that each time we receive money (payday, gift, EVEN tax return, sale something, or make extra money from an outside source) we give 15% back to God.  

I'm not telling you to give 15%.  I'm wanting you to trust God with these 2 truths:
1) It's impossible to be generous when you love the things of this world.  
2) It is impossible to out give God.  

I wish I could sit across from you and share how God was faithful to the Millers in 2014.  If you're praying for break through in your finances you have to play by God's rules...NOT the rules of this broken jacked-up world.  It's your choice.  Which will you be committed to?  
If you want to hear more of my generosity story I would be glad to tell it to you.  Just email me, matt@newcitychurch.com and we can set up a time to talk.

Ephesians chapter 1 
Notice in Eph 1:4, Paul uses the phrase "in love."  
What do you think this means?
Why do you think this?

Utmost for His Highest

Pastor Matt