Summary: Everyone says it, but who really knows what "I Love You" means. This series is intended to help us know more.


Everyone says, “I love you.” but do they really know what they are saying? Do they have any idea what real love really means...what it is...what it looks and feels like? During the month of February, amongst the Valentines and candy boxes, we will endeavor to define and discover real love and through God’s Word to ultimately return to the true source of true love.

Introduction –

My Many Loves

• I Love Tacos!

• I Love West Virginia Football!

• I Love Fishing!

• I Love Star Trek

• I Love to play cards/games

• I Love being a pastor

• I Love living in Vermont!

• I Love that song!

• I Love Tiramisu

• I Love Coffee

• I Love my wife!

• I Love my kids!

• I Love Jesus!

Message: Love Notes – Taking a Look at Real Love


1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (HCSB)

1 If I speak the languages of men and of angels, but do not have love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so that I can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient; love is kind. Love does not envy; is not boastful; is not conceited; 5 does not act improperly; is not selfish; is not provoked; does not keep a record of wrongs; 6 finds no joy in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for languages, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when the perfect comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things. 12 For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known. 13 Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

This morning’s Scripture shows up in a lot of places:

• Posters

• Valentine’s

• Greeting Cards

• Wedding Ceremonies

• Love Songs

• Marriage Workbooks

Warren Wiersbe says: “It is tragic when the world takes a chapter like this and divorces it from its true Christian meaning. The unsaved man can no more experience this kind of love than can a marble statue! It takes the indwelling of the Spirit of God in the life, and the empowering of that Spirit, for anyone to display this kind of character in daily life.”

Love Note #1: Real Love Is Essential (13:1–3)

Keep in mind that Paul is still dealing with the question of spiritual gifts. Here he is emphasizing the fact that gifts without grace (Love, Charity) lack the substance God intends them to have. Experiencing and expressing love is the priority.

Authentic Love Validates

Notice how he takes up some of the spiritual gifts of 12:8–10 and shows their emptiness apart from love. Tongues apart from love become mere noise, like the clanging of a cymbal. Prophecy without love makes the prophet nothing. This application can also be made to knowledge (spiritual insight given immediately by the Spirit) and faith. Paul is not minimizing these gifts; he is simply saying that they will have no good effect on the individual or on the church unless there is love in the life of the Christian in the exercise of his or her gifts. We might go so far as to sacrifice our body, but apart from love, this act would amount to nothing. Love is the measure of all things.

Authentic Love Differentiates

John 13.34-35

• A NEW Command…

• Love Each Other…

• By THIS will everyone know you are mine

Authentic Love Sacrifices

• The word love {AGAPE} (in some versions “charity”) means “love in action.”

• When Jesus was asked about what it meant to love one’s neighbor he responded with “The Parable of the Samaritan. (Dramatize it?)

• It is not simply an emotion; it is the heart reaching out to others. The word he uses for love is agape, which is love that SACRIFICES for the good of others.

Love Note #2: Real Love Is Effectual (13:4–7)

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