Summary: The Bible tells us what actions will destroy that loving feeling.
Have you heard the story about the actor who was playing the part of Christ in the Passion Play in the Ozarks? As he carried the cross up the hill a tourist began heckling, making fun of him, & shouting insults at him. Finally, the actor had taken all of it he could take. So he threw down his cross, walked over to the tourist, & punched him out.
After the play was over, the director told him, "I know he was a pest, but I can’t condone what you did. Besides, you’re playing the part of Jesus, & Jesus never retaliated. So don’t do anything like that again." Well, the man promised he wouldn’t. But the next day the heckler was back worse than before, & finally the actor exploded & punched him out again.
The director said, "That’s it. I have to fire you. We just can’t have you behaving this way while playing the part of Jesus." The actor begged, "Please give me one more chance. I really need this job, & I can handle it if it happens again." So the director decided to give him another chance.
The next day he was carrying his cross up the street. Sure enough, the heckler was there again. You could tell that the actor was really trying to control himself, but it was about to get the best of him. He was clinching his fists & grinding his teeth. Finally, he looked at the heckler & said, "I’ll meet you after the resurrection!
From “The Most Excellent Way” Melvin Newland
The word of God says that God is Love (1 John). It is not just the way he acts it is who He is in his very character. As the Children of God we are to reflect God’s likeness in our character and our actions. This is only possible, because he lives in us. The degree to which we are loving is determined by how well we cooperate with the Holy Spirit living in us. Have we allowed him only to be a resident in our lives, and not the president (or Lord) of our lives. We can never be the loving person we should be until Jesus is crowed Lord of our life, and the old self is crucified. Then as we spend time in his presence, and meditating upon his word we can become more like him. Ray Stedman said,
“In the eyes of the world, it is not our relationship with Jesus Christ that counts; it is our resemblance to him!” This thirteenth chapter of Corinthians is very popular for weddings, but it can’t produce these characteristics in your life- only intimate contact with Jesus can. The Word of God here declares Love’s supreme importance, and defines what true love looks like in action. It is the measuring stick of love, so we can measure our likeness to God’s love. It can show us our short comings, but we must flee to Jesus in order to change into a loving person.
I The Prominence of Love (I’m not going to spend much time here.)
A. Over the Gift of Tongues
B. Over the Gift of Prophesy
C. Over the Gift of Word of Knowledge
D. Over the Gift of Faith
E. Over Giving to the Needy
F. Over Martyrdom
II The Postive Definition of Love
a. Love is Patient - Long suffering or long tempered -Almost always used with reference to people in NT not circumstances. (MacArthur p338) It is the ability to be inconvenienced or taken advantage of by a person over and over again and yet not be upset or angry.
1. In our world (as well a the Greek) self-sacrificing love and nonavenging patience are considered weaknesses.
2. But God’s love is patient. It is much more willing to be taken advantage of than to take advantage, much less retaliate.
Robert Ingersoll p338 MacArthur
Robert Ingersoll, the well-known atheist of the last century, often would stop in the middle of his lectures against God and say, I’ll give God five minutes to strike me dead for the things I’ve said." He then used the fact that he was not struck dead as proof that God did not exist. "Theodore Parker said of Ingersoll’s claim, "And did the gentleman think he could exhaust the patience of the eternal God in five minutes?"
Lincoln and Stanton
One of Abraham-Lincoln’s earliest political enemies was Edwin M. Stanton He called Lincoln a "low cunning clown" and "the original gorilla." "It was ridiculous for people to go to Africa to see a gorilla," he would say, "when they could find one easily in Springfield, Illinois." Lincoln never responded to the slander, but when, as president, he needed a secretary of war he chose Stanton. When his incredulous friends asked why, Lincoln replied "because he is the best man." Years later, as the slain president’s body lay in state, Stanton looked into the coffin and said through his tears, "There lies the greatest ruler of men the world, has ever seen.” His animosity was finally broken by Lincoln’s long-suffering, nonretaliatory spirit. Patient love won out.