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Summary: Our families can be happier and healthier than ever before, -- if we will build them on the foundation of God’s love.

God’s Foundation for My Family

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - February 14, 2010

*Today is Valentine’s Day, and most of you know it’s also our 35th wedding anniversary!

-I thank God for Mary and the time He has given us together, but I want you to know that we are happily married today only by the grace of God.

-In the first 15 years there were a couple of times when our marriage was on life-support. It was mostly my fault, of course, but God brought us through.

*All families have problems from time to time. I like what David Dykes said in a sermon on marriage. He opened with these words:

Before I share this message I must issue a caveat: I don’t claim to be an expert on marriage. I don’t even consider myself to be a very good husband. I am constantly trying to improve. However, I can say that outside my relationship with Jesus Christ, my relationship to Cindy is the most important in my life.

*In 3 weeks, Cindy and I will have been happily married for 10 years. Of course we’ve been married for 28 years! We have a strange and wonderful relationship: I’m strange, and Cindy is wonderful. I’m far from a perfect husband. Once when I did something stupid, Cindy wrote me a note that read, “Dear David, I hate you. -- Love, Cindy.” (1)

*All families have troubles from time to time. -- And the best marriages can get better. Even “Code Blue” marriages can be brought back to life. Our families can be happier and healthier than ever before, -- if we will build them on the foundation of God’s love.

1. God’s foundation for my family is His love. And as we look into the Word of God this morning, first we see that there is no substitute for God’s love.

*Paul made this clear in vs. 1-3, where he said:

1. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

2. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

3. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

*Paul is telling us here that.

-Great communication is not enough.

-Great understanding is not enough.

-Great knowledge is not enough.

-Great faith is not enough.

-Great giving is not enough.

*God is telling us here: “I don’t care who you are, what you say, what you have or what you have done, -- if you don’t have love, then it all comes to nothing.”

*There is no substitute for God’s kind of love, and God wants to fill our hearts with His love. Robertson and Muriel McQuilkin shared love like that. He proposed to her on Valentine's Day in 1948, and they were married that August. For the next 3 decades, they raised 6 children and served God together in many ways, including 12 years as missionaries in Japan.

*In 1968 they returned to the States and Robertson became president of Columbia International University in South Carolina. Muriel taught at the college, spoke at conferences and was featured on radio and TV. But Muriel developed Alzheimer’s disease. The first sign of it was in 1978, and Robertson watched helplessly as his loving partner slowly faded away. Later in the disease he wrote:

-Muriel cannot speak in sentences now, only in phrases and words, and often words that make little sense: But she can say one sentence, and she says it often: "I love you." She not only says it, she acts it. The board arranged for a companion to stay in our home so I could go daily to the office. During those two years it became increasingly difficult to keep Muriel home. As soon as I left, she would take out after me. With me she was content; without me, she was distressed, sometimes terror stricken.

-The walk to school is a mile round trip. She would make that trip as many as 10 times a day. Sometimes at night, when I helped her undress, I found bloody feet. When I told our family doctor, he choked up. "Such love," he said simply.

-Robertson added, “I wish I loved God like that -- desperate to be near him at all times. Thus she teaches me, day by day.”

*In 1990, Robertson realized that Muriel needed his full attention and he resigned. Here is part of his letter:

-“The decision was made, in a way, 42 years ago when I promised to care for Muriel “in sickness and in health -- till death do us part.” So, as I told the students and faculty (in chapel), as a man of my word, integrity has something to do with it. But so does fairness. She has cared for me fully and sacrificially all these years; if I cared for her the next 40 years I would not be out of debt.

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