Summary: Courteousy of Rick Warren’s PDL, this truth helps to focus our lives. Taking the title of the 14th chapter, this message give a textual basis for Love.
Life Is All About Love
* We live in a day of confusion. Because of our listening to the culture of today we are confused about many things which are basic to a healthy culture.
* We’re confused about manhood. We’re confused about womanhood. We’re confused about childhood. We’re confused about marriage and sexuality. In large measure, we’re confused about happiness. We confused about our purpose. We’re confused about life, and yes, we’re even confused about LOVE. Would you like couple of examples?
* Men are told to get “in touch” with their feminine side. I have looked at me from every angle; there is not a feminine bone in my body. Women are placed on a guilt trip if they don’t believe that women can and should do everything a man does. Why would a wonderful woman desire to compare herself to a man? That is like comparing “apples” and “oranges.” In God’s design of creation, man is not made better (or worse) than a woman, just different, with different roles, goals, and purposes. While we can apply this same logic to cultural changes in marriage, sexuality, and a whole list of other subjects, it is interesting to note that while some truly believe the changes which have come about in the past 40 or 50 years have been for the better, our society is suffering, our culture is crumbling, and life as we know it may be a thing of the past. A confused culture is a dangerous culture.
* It is in this type of confused culture that each of us desires to find the best life we can possibly have. Because of this, many people live in houses we can’t afford, drive cars beyond our means, bury ourselves in a sea of debt, and wind up having too much month left at the end of our money. We do this because of a genuine belief that “money and things will be you happiness, which is “life at its best.” Simply put, if you and I are to find life at its best we must first discover what are the best things in life. In his book, Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren begins Chapter 14 with, “Life is all about Love.”
* Reading those words caused me to wrinkle my forehead and then dive into the Bible to see if this was a reality. Know what I found? This could be true. In the Bible the word ‘love’ appears in some form (I.E. love, loved, loving, etc) over 775 times. Then, we are told that God IS Love. Jesus tells us that the world will KNOW US by our love and that we should love one another and our enemies. Additionally, we are told to “put on love”, “walk in love,” “speak the truth in love”, and all that we do is to be “done in love.” Among many other things, the Bible instructs us that “If we do not love, we do not know God.” Allow me to put this in terms like the old time preachers would have; “If you do not love, you are not saved.” Tough words, but true.
* As we come to our text today, let’s place the context. Corinth was a highly worldly church who had many spiritual problems. Chapters 12-14 are a unit of scripture which works together. Chapter 12 speaks of spiritual gifts.
* While chapter 14 gives controls for the operation of these gifts, Chapter 13 transitions to “spiritual fruit”. As Paul ends this section (chapter 12), he is teaching about the giftedness within the body of Christ and the importance of each person deploying his/her gift within the body? As he end the chapter, you get the feeling that Corinth (was Baptist) might place a status on specific gifts. So he ends by saying, “While all of this is good, here is what’s better” and then breaks out in this chapter on love. Let’s consider this;
a) The Dangers – What are the dangers of love? Candidly, as Paul bridges the gap between the spiritual gifts and a spiritual fruit, in fact he does offer us warnings, cautions, and/or dangers. The dangers are given in the many of substitutes. We all know what substitutes are. They are replacements of the original. What is it that we might be tempted to replace “love” with?
a. He begins with gifts. Spiritual gifts are no substitute for love. There is a huge danger of discovering, developing, and deploying your spiritual gift and losing the sensitivity which Christ calls us to. There is a huge drive to discover your gift(s) and we should do this. When we discover our SHAPE, we will recover our passion, and uncover our potential in Christ. But Satan will attempt to use our strengths as weaknesses. He will push us into a mindset of egotism about our usefulness to God. Obviously, Paul understood this and challenges us to understand that we can have and use every spiritual gift which God hands out and without love, it’s pointless.