Jeff Needleman, New Beginnings Church
Love- it’s our most basic and deepest need. Do you feel loved? Do you feel loved by God? Do you love God? Do you feel loved by others? Do you love others? As followers of Jesus Christ, that’s our calling… as commanded by our Lord and Savior! Love is so important that there are four Greek terms to describe it! There’s also at least 10 songs that I found, dating back to 1896 entitled Love Makes The World Go Round!
John 3:16 tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only son that we might have the gift of eternal life. John 1:14 tells us that God so loved the world that He came to Earth to spend time with us! In that love, Mark 10:45 tells us that Jesus came to serve, not be served. Scripture is clear that in God’s love our lives are changed by His Words and our wounds are healed by His touch! Can I get an Amen from the reading audience here?
On our church website (NewBeginningsFernley.org) is a sermon from early December entitled “Keep The Main Thing The Main Thing.” The Main Thing is to love God and to love others. That means the Main Thing is our relationship with God and with those around us. Today we take a look at being better at fulfilling that calling!
Now, there’s a humorous story told among marriage counselors about a couple who went to their lawyer seeking a divorce. The attorney asked what had gone wrong in their relationship and the wife quickly responded: He never tells me that he loves me anymore. The husband was shocked and gasped: Honey, I told you that I loved you when I married you. If anything changes I’ll let you know! They left holding hands and lived happily ever after.
This might be funny if it weren’t such a widespread reality, but it certainly puts a shine on how easily we neglect or simply fail to communicate love to those who matter in our lives! Often it’s because we just don’t know how to express our love in meaningful ways and that’s where the 5 Love Languages come into play!
This is the third article from a two-part sermon message on the Love Languages as explained by Christian pastor, counselor and author Gary Chapman. If you like audio rather then visual, those messages are up on our web site. Whether you choose to read or listen, I highly encourage you to learn about acting on the Love Languages because we will love God and love each other better! And the added plus is that we’ll also better understand how we ourselves need to be loved as well!
So far we’ve studied three of the love languages: Words of Affirmation or Praise, Quality Time or undivided attention, and giving tangible gifts that can help us show our love to each other and to our Lord and Savior! But before we delve into Acts of Service and Physical Touch, let’s study these three just a hair deeper!
Now some people, like me, thrive on Words of Affirmation because as Proverbs 16:24 NIV states: “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” and Proverbs 25:11 NIV “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Or to put it in Needlemanese- Praise is like mounds of Bacon on a Large Plate!
Those with this Love Language are motivated and refueled by hearing praise and thanks. Words of Affirmation help them to feel appreciated, encouraged and validated. Words of Affirmation people are easy to spot because they frequently compliment and encourage others!
Next, Chapman identifies Quality Time which is simply being together- doing something or doing nothing. Its only requirement is our full and undivided attention, without postponement, multi-tasking, interruption or distraction. I’ve mentioned that my wife Alice is my highly paid assistant and one way she expresses her love to me is by editing my messages. This was personal comment she wrote:
Hah! My main Love Languages is Quality Time. That’s why when you’re on your iPad or cell phone while we’re watching TV, I get discouraged. You’re not with me, you’re with your computer, phone other people. It hurts my feelings.
This guy is so SNAGGED! Our loved ones need to feel that they’re more important then what’s going on around us. So if you hear requests like “let’s just be together” or “let’s go do something”, their Love Languages leans towards Quality Time.
Jesus understood this! Again He created both us and the Love Languages! We read in:
Luke 22:14-16 TLB -all sat down together at the table; and [Jesus] said, “I have looked forward to this hour with deep longing, anxious to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins.
Then in John 3:22 MSG After this conversation, Jesus went on with his disciples into the Judean countryside and relaxed with them there.
The third Love Languages we looked at was Receiving Gifts. Gifts as a Love Language aren’t about the money spent, but rather about feeling loved. It’s the thought and frequency that counts. Presents don’t have to be expensive or extravagant to send a powerful message of love!
To those whose Love Languages is gifts, almost any tangible and visual token loudly says “I love and care about you.” It doesn’t matter whether it’s purchased or handmade! Telling tip-off questions are; “Did you bring me home a surprise”, or “did you get me anything from the store?
Alice’s personal comment from the last message was: “I always appreciated the sweet gesture of bringing me treats home from the office. It was always endearing to me and reminded me that I am never far from your thoughts!” We’re talking donuts and cookies here folks! God too gives gifts, far better then donuts and cookies, even Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. And… we’re never far from His thoughts! We read in:
Jn 4:10 NIV Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
Ac 1:4-5 NIV On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.
God gave us the gift of His son Jesus Christ, and when we receive the gift of salvation we also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Now, what’s God’s Love Languages? All of them! Remember, He created the Love Languages and we’re created in His image! But how do we offer our love back to the sovereign God of the universe who needs nothing? We can sum it up as our time, talent and… treasures!
Time, talent and… treasures! All neatly wrapped in a pretty package of ourselves! Quality Time means we spend time with Him by reading His Words in the Bible, by talking to Him in prayer and listening to Him in meditation and by spending time with His children-us!
Words of Affirmation are found in our Praise and Worship and our Bible Study conversations; these please God! And we give our love back to God through our gifts of obedience and by using our abilities and talents, and our tithes and offerings to further His kingdom!
As we close Part 3, remember that our loved ones usually communicate their love to us in their own Love Languages. To help determine the Love Languages of both yourself and others, ask yourself these four questions:
- “How do I express love to others?”
- “How do my loved ones most express their love and care to me?”
- “What do I, and those that matter to me, complain about most often?”
- “What is it that I or my significant others ask for all the time! Paying attention will help you find the answers!”
Next time we’ll look at Acts of Service.
New Beginnings Church