Summary: A series of 3 sermons from 1 Cor 13

Childrens sermon - clanging pot, glasses w/ water

ILL >>>In her book, Living with Love, Josephine Robertson tells a story. "In 1883, a youthful clergyman, the Rev. Joe Roberts, arrived by stagecoach in a blizzard to minister to the Indians of Wyoming. This great, wild area had been assigned to the Protestant Episcopal Church by President Grant. Soon after Joe Roberts arrived, the son of the chief was shot by a soldier in a brawl, and Chief Washakie vowed to kill the first white man he met. Since this might mean the start of a long, bloody feud, young Roberts decided to take action. Seeking out the tepee, fifteen miles away in the mountains, he stood outside and called the chief’s name. When Washakie appeared, Roberts opened his shirt.

"I have heard of your vow," he said, "I know that the other white men have families, but I am alone. Kill me instead."

The chief was amazed and motioned him into his tent. "How do you have so much courage?" he asked.

Joe Roberts told him about Christ, His death, His teachings.

They talked for hours. When Joe left, the chief of the Shoshones had renounced his vow to kill and resolved to become a Christian.

Washakie had seen love in action.

Every group which calls itself Christian would do well to decide what it should do to make love visible in the home, church, community, and world. For unless love becomes visible it is not love at all.

Real Value

ILL>> Dolly Madison, wife of the fourth president of the United States, was one of the most popular women in American history. Wherever she went, she charmed and captivated everyone obscure and well-known, rich and poor, men and women alike.

She was once asked to explain the secret of her power over others. Surprised by the question Mrs. Madison exclaimed, "Power over people. I have none. I desire none. I merely love everyone." And those who love are richly rewarded by love returned.

Can a person increase his or her own personal worth?

YES!! Love is the difference between worth and worthlessness, being a pain or pleasure, being heard or ignored.

I Cor. 13:1-3 read 1st

Of course Jesus already said “Love your neighbor!” but you may be like - one church -- Leaving the sanctuary, a church member comments: "I’d like to see you love MY neighbor."

Love here is a new word for love, first used by the Christians in the NT. It is a word specifically intended to describe the selfless love of Christ. (agape)

This is the love that is more a excellent way!!

(Eph 5:2 KJV) And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

You do not have to worry about your gifts!! When you love like this you will use them!! They will come out!!

The first 3 verses are a symmetrical balance between an act of godliness (the exercise of a gift) and the consequent value of a person if the act is done without love.

So - if these gifts and giver are without value or importance if not done in love - then the only way to have value as a Christian is through this word Agape!!

Our love for God is tested by the question of whether we seek him or his gifts.

Ralph Washington Sockman (1889-1970)

You can increase the value of yourself and others by making God’s love (God) the overwhelming force in your life!!!!

The first verse describes the area of speech in the life of a believer.

I. Loving Speech verse 1

A. Communication is worthless without love ( worthless noise) Ill > clanging pot

(1 John 4:8 KJV) He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

(1 John 4:16 KJV) And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

1. It can be taught or caught.

2. It can flow from you.

B. Human Value “ “

You are the sum of your words. (I am become as…)

1. Take your words - squeeze all love out of them - measure the love = value

2. You can instill value in children & adults as you speak love to them

3. Love is reflected by those you love

4. Ill>> Wizard of OZ to Tin Man A heart is not judged by how much you love but by how much you are loved by others

The second verse pushes love into living!! - In our relationships with others, often what passes for love is little more than a neat business transaction. People are kind to us, so we repay them with equal consideration. When they treat us unjustly, our negative response is really what they asked for. Everything is so balanced, so fair, so logical with this eye-for-an- eye and tooth-for-a-tooth kind of justice. But Christian love never settles for only what’s reasonable. It insists on giving mercy as well as justice. It breaks the chain of logical reactions.

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