Summary: This message tells how to apply God’s love to the home and family using the teachings found in I Corinthians 13.
The Most Excellent Way
-Applying God’s Love to your Home and Life-
During the month of May we have been focusing on the home and family. The family is the most important unit in our society. As the family goes do goes the nation.
Everyone is part of a family. Whether you are single or married, single parent, married with no children, married with children or a blended family. You are part of a family. Whatever our family situation our goal is to honor Christ and have a Christian home. More than anything else the Christian home is to be characterized by God’s love.
In I Corinthians 12 the Apostle Paul teaches that the Body of Christ includes people of all nationalities and people possessing various skills and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Every person in the Body of Christ is important. I Corinthians 12:22,Paul speaks of the various parts of the Body of Christ “In fact some of the parts that seem weakest are least important are really the most necessary.” Don’t ever think you are not important in the eyes of God. God created you and appreciates you.
Paul sums up chapter 12 in verse 31, “…and now I show you the most excellent way.” (NIV) I Corinthians 13 describes the most excellent way in applying God’s love in your home and in you life.
I. God’s Love Is the Foundation for the Christian Home
Three words are used for “love” in New Testament times: “Eros” is used in classical Greek (not used in the New Testament) to describe “selfish love.” “Phileo” describes “brotherly love” and “Agape” designates “spiritual love.” “Agape” love is the predominant word for love used in I Corinthians 13.
Unhealthy and dysfunctional relationships result when “Eros” love is predominant. Healthy relationships are built upon “phileo” and “agape” love.
“Agape” love was demonstrated when Jesus became incarnate in man – (John 3:16,17,36).
God’s love includes God’s authority and accountability. God’s Word is clear, sin has consequences. God is love, but true love makes justice and judgment necessary.
Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Psalm 111:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Deut. 6:13, “Fear the Lord your God.” “Fear” mentioned in these verses means having reverence and respect for your Creator.
It seems that an adequate fear of the Lord is missing in many of our homes.
1. A barrier to experiencing God’s love in the home is the fact that we have lost our fear of God. We no longer have proper respect for God or our parents. We quickly forget that love demands justice.
Is it any wonder that many American homes have no reverential fear of God when many College and University Professors ridicule and mock faith in God and dismiss the Bible as irrelevant? The Word of God is clear – Sin has consequences. Yes, God is love, but true love carries with it justice.
We need to get back to a reverential fear of the Lord in our homes and in our relationships with others.
2. Another barrier to God’s love in our home and in our life is the fact that we have abandoned absolute truth. John 8:31-32, “To the Jews who believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
The moral climate today is typified by the campaign Microsoft used to introduce Windows 95 in 1995. Microsoft Corp. ran a two page advertisement of two children running with a kite. The girl and boy with smiles on their faces romped across a deep green field with no fences. Two words stood out on the pages – “No Limits.”
Many have the attitude, “You can be free, live a life with no fences or boundaries. Why submit to old rules? You are in charge of your destiny. The only rule you need to know is that there are no rules.”
When truth and ethics are relative with no absolutes and no boundaries the end result is lawlessness. When Israel was going in and out of bondage in Judges the common theme of that time was: “Everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” With the view there are no absolutes, the words of Jesus in John 14:6, Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life;” Are too narrow-minded and intolerant.
God’s love is the most excellent way. It is the foundation for the Christian home. Christ is the key to the Kingdom of Heaven, but it is His love that turns the key that opens the door. God is love. Love and God are synonymous. Love never stands alone. It always involves relationships. “God so loved he gave…”