Summary: Love, Lust, Motives, Power
Love Like You Mean It – Love and Lust Have Different Agendas
1 Corinthians 13:1-8 (pg. 800) February 21, 2016
Proverbs 4:23 is a scripture we should absolutely commit to memory...even more than that, we should embed it in our souls...
“Above all else guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.”
It’s the truth isn’t it...Our hearts are the springboard for the way we think...the way we speak...the way we act.
When the writers of the Old Testament, like Solomon use the word heart...they’re not talking about that muscle in our chest that pumps blood...they use the word “Leb.” It’s been defined as “the seat of a person’s emotional and intellectual life.” The three functions that each Hebrew understand, came from the “Leb” are “What we know, what we feel, and what we will.”
It’s exactly what Jesus says in the greatest commandment... “to love God with all your heart, soul and mind.” (Matthew 22:37)
Real love involves what we think...what we feel and what we do...All of which flow from our hearts.
You can’t produce good fruit from a bad tree or vice versa...you can’t pump clean water from a stagnant pond.
And each of us have two powerful forces battling to own it...and each and every one of us surrender to one or the other of these forces...both have completely different agendas.
Miriam Webster defines “agenda” as “a plan or goal that drives someone’s behavior that is often kept secret.”
God doesn’t keep His plan or goal a secret...it’s been revealed in His Word... “God isn’t willing that anyone should perish but all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) God so loves the world that He gave His only son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Satan’s agenda is also revealed in God’s Word, but he keeps it a secret when he seeks our heart. “He’s a thief, a murderer, and a liar from the beginning.” (John 8:44, 10:10)
He comes to steal, kill and destroy.
God is love...it’s the motivation for why He seeks our hearts...like a Father seeks a lost child...Satan is the Evil One, he operates from “wrath, hatred...and Rev. 12 tells us his goal is to lead the whole world astray...He is filled with fury because he knows his time is short. (Rev. 12:9, 12). God uses His great love...The Adversary uses lust...both have a plan...and both have completely different agendas.
God loves like he means it...and Satan hates like he means it.
Let’s look at what that means when it comes to the ownership of our hearts.
I. LUST PUTS SELF FIRST...LOVE SACRIFICES FOR OTHERS
Lust isn’t just about sex...lust is about gratifying self...whether it’s pornography or power...lust says, “Meet my needs...I want something or someone...for ME.” Lust manipulates...lust gets angry and fights and quarrels to get its way...it’s the sinful part of everyone of our hearts...our desires that battle within us...God’s Word says, “you desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you don’t ask God when you ask, you do not received because you ask with wrong motives (wrong agendas) that you may spend what you get on YOUR pleasures.
Marriages...in fact any relationship where people’s hearts are fixated on pleasing self first, are identified by fights, quarrels, destruction (killing of others wants and needs).
That’s why many marriages that are built primarily upon physical attraction and sexual desire (all natural and God given) begin to dissolve when there is no real love...Agape, self sacrificing love...a love that can only be built on a self sacrificing God...the God given sexual desires and attractions are smothered with a flood of more powerful emotions...unforgiveness, control and regret...Couples begin to protect their hearts from pain and disappointment...instead of releasing them to love...it’s a satanic agenda...and by all appearances he’s very good at it.
Paul in our text says there’s a far better choice...a much more excellent way to live...The way of love.
The word “I” is used nine times in the first 3 verses of 1 Corinthians 13...but then not used at all through love’s true definition...True love, Christ’s love, cannot exist in the land where “I” reigns supreme. I can speak amazing words...angelic words...I can teach the truth of scripture powerfully...I can even have a deep understanding of its truth. I can have a mountain moving faith in God...I can even sacrifice so I can boast about it...But if I don’t love...it’s about me...and it means nothing...The Message version says “No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”
Here’s what love looks like:
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.