Summary: A sermon about relationships and God-honoring love.

[Lynn would like to acknowledge and thank two individuals: Years ago Pastor Rick Warren wrote a Sermon Series based upon 1 Corinthians 13, and John Ortberg wrote a book entitled: Everybody’s Normal Until You Get To Know Them. Lynn relied heavily upon these two resources for this series because they deal with Relationships and Community. He would like to recognize their influence in the preparation of these messages.]

I’d like to begin by asking you to answer a question…in the silence of your mind…

?> how would you complete this sentence:

my aim / goal in life is: _______________.

?> what word, what phrase would you use:

Success? Happiness? Comfort? Security? Recognition? Fun? A dry diaper? To be well known? Approval?

Now please think about this … because …

how you answer that questions determines

your dominant life principle !

Everybody has one - whether you know it or not.

Your dominant life principle is what you refer to unconsciously

every day when you have multiple choices

and you have decisions to make.

For instance:

if my dominant life principle is fun then when I get two invitations

to go out in the evening,

I’m going to choose the one I’ll have the most fun at.

if my dominant principle in life is security then I’m always going to

make the choice that is the most safe, that’s the least risky.

if my dominant value in life is comfort then I’m always going to do

the thing that is the easiest &/or less strenuous.

when I make choices I’m going to choose the things

that are easy and the least effort.

if my dominant life principle is to be recognized,

I’ll tend to choose things where people will notice me.

In your mind, you have answered that question … but now …

?> what does God say should be our dominant life principle ?

our aim of life ?

Please look at the very first verse listed, in your notes: I Corinthians 14:1 (Living Bible)

“make love your greatest aim."

why, of all the things God could have said,

"Here’s what you ought to build your life on", … why love ? …

We’re going to begin a series today, on the “love chapter” of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13.

The underlying theme for all of this is that – because of the move we have produced;

Because of the increased visibility of this fellowship … we want to study together about:

“connecting to our community”.

And in this series, we will be dealing with relationships; but also with some of the moral

issues that a righteous community ought to be built upon…to make sure

that we are all on the same page and that we are honoring the word of God

with our lives !

One of the major topics we are going to be discussing is that of

relationships (in our community). And the goal, is to have healthy

relationships – healthy enough to tell you the truth - in love !

healthy enough to hold you accountable – in love !

You see,

so many people only want to have friendships that “support them” … even if …

their life is headed in the wrong direction!

But a part of what it means to have true community … is to have

relationships that are healthy enough that they speak truth to

one another and hold one another accountable … because the

foundation of any true community is the principles it is built

upon … but the glue that holds it all together is the

relationships of that community !! …

So threaded into the fabric of this series are themes like …

relationships; accountability; and over-arching all of it,

is … love !!

And for this morning, … I just want to quickly introduce this:

1st Corinthians says we ought to make love our greatest aim

in life because of its priority !

… and because it is the common thread in true community!

notice in the first few verses why it’s the most important value.

#1. Without love all that I say is ineffective.

(vs. 1):

"if I speak in the tongues of men and/or angels, but have not love,

I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal."

Words without love are empty - just noise.

the world is impressed by great communicators,

w/ a lot of: charisma. But almighty God is not impressed !!

He says:

words without love are nothing;

it is totally ineffective communication!

Now, the Corinthians were real caught up in this.

they were proud of their spiritual eloquence. They said,

"we can speak in the tongues of man and angels."

God said: "you’re majoring on the minors."

I have often heard this phrase stated to me, in counseling:

"we’re just not communicating in our home."

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