Summary: Love

Consider the following love letter:

Dearest Jimmy,

No words could ever express the great unhappiness I’ve felt since breaking off our engagement. Please say you’ll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love you, I love you, I love you!

Yours Forever, Marie

P.S. And congratulations on winning the state lottery!!!

Genuine love is a powerful reality, a biblical reality, and a family transformation reality. The Bible has a lot to say about love, the word occurs at least 650 times. Scripture extols the transforming power of love, what it can do for broken marriage, a severed relationship or a struggling family.

Have you heard the story about the actor who was playing the part of Christ in the Passion Play in the Ozarks? As he carried the cross up the hill a tourist began heckling, making fun of him and shouting insults at him. Finally, the actor had taken all of it he could take. So he threw down his cross, walked over to the tourist and punched him out.

After the play was over, the director told him, “I know he was a pest, but I don’t condone what you did. Besides, you’re playing the part of Jesus and Jesus never retaliated. So don’t do anything like that again.” Well, the man promised he wouldn’t. But the next day the heckler was back worse than before and finally the actor exploded and punched him out again.

The director said, “That’s it. I have to fire you. We just can’t have you behaving this way while playing the part of Jesus.” The actor begged, “Please give me one more chance. I really need this job, and I can handle it if it happens again.” So the director decided to give him another chance.The next day he was carrying his cross up the street. Sure enough, the heckler was there again. You could tell that the actor was really trying to control himself, but it was about to get the best of him. He was clinching his fists and grinding his teeth. Finally he looked at the heckler and said, “I’ll meet you after the resurrection!”

You know, sometimes it is hard for those who profess to be Christians to behave like Christians should. We dress and act the part. We try to carry our crosses and walk the road Christ walked, but when someone does something we don’t like, when someone crosses us, challenges us, pushes us to the end our human limits and gets on our last nerve we tend to lose our composure and behave the same way the rest of the world behaves.

Let us turn this morning to our scripture found in 1Corinthians 13:1-3 that we might understand how we can always act as Christ would have us too. READ SCRIPTURE.

I Cor 13:1-13

Preparing for Jessica’s wedding

Wasn’t written as a mushy, gushy love poem. The Apostle Paul was writing to a church in conflict, but one that thought they had ARRIVED, spiritually speaking. They were having trouble with how they should treat each other, and who was the greatest among them.

The Corinthian Church had been having an ongoing argument. It had been going on for a long time. Speaking in tongues is the greatest spiritual gift, no prophecy is, no teaching and preaching is. They were in upheaval over whose gift was the most important and most God-graced. So Paul writes to them to explain things. In chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians Paul challenges the Corinthians to stop looking at themselves and start looking at the group. He says that we are all part of one system, one unit developed to work together for the glory of God not of self. He points to that fact we are to work together collective in whatever way or with whatever gifts God has chosen for us. There are no Lone Rangers and there are no Superstars in God’s kingdom. Each part of the body of Christ and each gift or talent is just as important as the others. Then he ends the chapter by saying but there is a way to use the gifts, there is a way to harmony, unity and peace, a way to fulfilling the will of God, it is in the most excellent of ways – is is the way, God’s way, the way that was demonstrated on the cross. It is the way of love.

Verse 1 - On the day of Pentecost, when the very first gospel was ever preached, God gave the apostles the special gift of being able to speak in languages that they had never learned so that the peoples hearing them could understand what was being said. An amazing gift yet Paul is saying here that if God gave us the gift to speaking every human language possible and even gift of the language of angels but we did not have love we would be nothing more than a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

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