Summary: There are two basic attitudes in this world - those who insist upon their privileges, & those who remember their responsibilities. (PowerPoints Available - #354)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
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ILL. Somebody took the time to talk with a bunch of kids about their ideas concerning "love," & here are some of their comments:
Greg, 8-years-old, “Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too.”
Mae, age 9, “No one is sure why love happens, but I heard it has something to do with how you smell. That’s why perfume & deodorants are so popular.”
Roger, age 9, “Love is like an avalanche where you have to run for your life.”
Leo, age 7, “If falling in love is anything like learning how to spell, I don’t want to do it. It takes too long.”
Bobby, age 8, “Love will find you, even if you’re trying to hide from it. I’ve been trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding me!”
Kenny, age 7, "It gives me a headache to think about that stuff. I’m just a kid. I don’t need that kind of trouble."
Ava, age 8, "One of you should know how to write a check. Because, even if you have tons of love, there is still going to be a lot of bills."
Manuel, age 8, "I think you’re supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest of it isn’t supposed to be painful." (Adapted from Sermon Central)
For the past few weeks we have been looking at 1 Corinthians 13, where the apostle Paul has been telling us a number of things about love. It is long?suffering & kind. It is not jealous, boastful, arrogant or rude.
Today we're going to look at the next two things that Paul has to say about love ? about "agape" love ? the kind of love that causes us to reach out to help other people, without expecting anything in return.
Most of what passes for love in the world today is "eros" love ? the kind of love that is self?centered. In other words, "eros" love is concerned first & foremost about self ? about what I need, what I want, what appeals to me, what is attractive to me.
When "eros" love feels unappreciated, it sulks. When it feels unrecognized or unrewarded, it quits. When it is spurned, it often turns bitter, because "eros" love is a self?centered & selfish love concerned above all with that which will make itself happy.
But God wants us to realize that there is a whole greater dimension to life than selfishness. There is "agape" love ? divine love - & Jesus is God's visible demonstration of that kind of love.
In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul is telling us that kind of love can be ours, too. We can rise above the pettiness that so often marks our lives, & begin to exhibit an "agape" love that brings joy, real joy, into our lives.
ILL. Let me read to you what some kids have said about "love."
“Love is when someone hurts you, & you get so mad, but you don’t yell at them because you know it would hurt their feelings.”
“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas time if you stop opening presents & just listen.”
“Love is like a little old woman & a little old man who are still friends even after they have known each other for a long time.”
"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.”
“You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot, because people forget." (Adapted from Sermon Central)
I. LOVE DOES NOT DEMAND ITS OWN WAY
In the KJV in 1 Corinthians 13:5 Paul says, "Love… does not seek its own." The NIV puts it this way, "Love…is not self-seeking." Other translations say, "Love… does not demand its own way," or "Love… does not insist upon its rights."
When you get right down to it, there are two attitudes ? two basic types of people in this world. There are those who are continually concerned about their rights, & those who are thinking of their duties.
There are those who insist upon their privileges, & those who remember their responsibilities. There are those who are always thinking of what life owes them, & those who never forget what they owe to life.
I believe Paul is simply saying that the key to solving most of our relationship problems would be for men & women to focus less on their rights & more on their responsibilities.
ILL. There is a tombstone in a small English village that reads,