Sermons

Summary: A talk on the way love should look and be displayed, and the way we see spirituality (part 2).

Text: 1 Cor 13:1-7, Title: Church Personnel Manual Part 2, Date/Place: 2/5/12 NRBC

What Love Does (v. 4-7)

He gives us fifteen verbs, not adjectives, which show the defining qualities of how love is practiced. These are not potentialities, nor is it a salad bar theology of choice, these are the essential characteristics of practicing Christian love.

Patient: It is speaking of love’s self-restraint. It endures willingly much suffering at the hand of another, refuses to retaliate. It spoke of love’s ability to be wronged or taken advantage of without anger. Its primary concern is for the welfare of others, therefore it is much more willing to be taken advantage of, than to take advantage of another, much less retaliate. “Christians need to be given the painful reminder that frequent displays of temper betray the absence or at least the severe limitation of love.” Paige Patterson

Being Kind: This is the more pro-active side of patience. This word means serving graciously. It means to be helpful, willing to assist, or willing to furnish what is needed or beneficial to another. The church father, Origen described the verb as “sweetness to all persons.” It is the opposite of being neglectful, harsh, sharp, bitter, and resentful.

Not Being Envious: This is being content with what you have been provided, AND what your fellow church member has been provided. “If you find you’re lacking anything, neighbor, let me know and I’ll show you how to live without it,” said the Amish man to his techno neighbor.

Not Being Proud: The first of these words means to brag or boast about oneself publicly to the point of bubbling over. It is the outward manifestation of the second word, which means an inner attitude of self-exaltation. Literally it means to be inflated, or full of ourselves. A little boy and a little girl were riding a mechanical horse in a shopping mall. The little boy, who was riding in front, turned to the little girl and said, "If one of us would get off, there would be more room for me."

Not Being Rude: The idea behind this is that love is tactful or proper in its expression. It is very cautious and careful in how it presents itself in word and deed out of concern for others. It is careful not to disgrace, mistreat, or embarrass, even though it may be necessary to deal with some hard issues. Jim Key speaking of a church member who consistently offends everyone coming and going, young and old, visitors and members, by the words that they say.

Not Being Selfish: “Does not seek its own things” or “insist on having its own way.” hence, is never selfish (REB, Moffatt); is never self-seeking (TCNT); does not pursue selfish aims (O. M. Norlie); is not self-seeking (NIV); does not insist on its own way (NRSV). A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5, and Ryan, 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. “If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, ‘Let my brother have the first pancake; I can wait.” Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, “Ryan, you be Jesus!”

Not Becoming Easily Angered: This word means to be easily angered, irritated, incited, or stirred up to anger. It means something between irritation and anger which takes offense because one’s self-regard has been dented, wounded, or punctured by some sharp point.# It speaks of love’s ability not to be led into sinful reactions toward others, even when persistently pestered. It speaks of a lack of concern for one’s own rights, in that we don’t get angry when we are deprived. “Love cannot alter the fact that one may get on your nerves, but it can rule out allowing yourself to be provoked by it.” Karl Barth

Does Not Keep A Record of Wrongs: This word can also be, and most often is translated counts or keeps the books, for it was a commercial bookkeeping term Cartoon of wife to marriage counselor, regarding husband: “And then, do you know what he did on our honeymoon, just 21 years ago?” Kathleen Sanborn

Rejoices in Truth: Love takes no joy in sin. Whether that is someone else’s sin or a sin that is inflicted on you or another. Not in others, not in self, not anywhere! To rejoice in evil is to justify it, or call it OK. As we have mentioned before, love does not tolerate sin. No joy in global forms—war, poverty, suppression, or local forms—fall of a brother or an unbeliever. Love stands on the side of the gospel and looks for mercy and justice for all, including those with whom it disagrees. “An unwillingness to support enthusiastically all the accurate teaching of Scripture inevitably betrays the failure of an individual to love Christ as he should.” –Patterson.

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