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Summary: You know, sometimes it is hard for those who profess to be Christians to behave like Christians should. We try to carry our crosses, but if someone crosses us, we tend to lose our composure & behave in much the same way the rest of the world behaves. B

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ILL. 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!"

A. You know, sometimes it is hard for those who profess to be Christians to behave like Christians should.

We try to carry our crosses, but if someone crosses us, we tend to lose our composure & behave in much the

same way the rest of the world behaves.

But the Bible teaches us that we are to be people who exercise love in all of our relationships with one

another.

Listen to these words, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" [Romans

12:18]. And again, "Be completely humble & gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love"

[Ephesians 4:2]. And still again, "Make every effort to live in peace with all men & to be holy..." [Hebrews

12:14].

SUM. Now all of those Scriptures say the same thing. It may be difficult sometimes, & not everybody will be

easy to love, but if it is possible, we are to live in peace & harmony with everyone.

PROP. So I’m beginning a series of sermons this morning that will deal with how to get along with other

people, & we’ll focus on 1 Corinthians 13, the "love chapter" of the Bible. This morning we’ll look at the first

3 verses which Paul begins by saying, "Now I will show you the most excellent way."

I. THE IMPORTANCE OF LOVE IN OUR LIVES

He is saying, "I want to show you the best way to take care of virtually every situation, & that is the way of

love." Then he points out that love is more important than 5 other things that Christians consider very

important.

A. In vs. 1, Paul says that love is more important than spiritual gifts. "If I speak in the tongues of

men & of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal."


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