Summary: The need to love one another as seen in 1 Corinthians 13
Intro: Growing up, my mom was notorious for her cooking. As kids, we would often examine mom’s cooking carefully. Many times she added who knows what. We became experts at evaluating what mom had added. We’d say mom made enthusiasm meatloaf: she put everything she had into it. But sometimes she left things out. For example, I remember when she made pizza without adding any tomato paste or sauce: she used ketchup and molasses. Somehow, it wasn’t quite the same! Often, if you are eating something, you can taste right away if an important ingredient has been left out.
Who would think of making bread without adding yeast? We know the bread would not rise. At Easter, Ronda made some special cookies that were to rise up and be hollow in the middle. Something went wrong with the recipe and the cookies were flat!
Last week Bishop Miller shared with us the need to minister to the needs of one another. Yet, we can do that and still be missing one very key ingredient. Look with me in 1 Corinthians 13.
It is possible to minister to the needs of one another without love. Many churches try to function with programs, but without love. But this morning I want to remind us of the need to love one another. Shall We Pray!
I. Love is seen
A. Through Action - Lest we forget, love is an action word. We are not talking about love this morning as a feeling, but as an action. I don’t want to know how you “feel” about your brothers and sisters in Christ, I want to know what you are “doing.” Here in 1 Cor. 13 it tells us what love looks like. Let’s look at what it tells us.
Love is patient -
Love is kind -
Love does not envy -
Love does not boast -
Love is not proud -
Love is not rude -
Love is not self-seeking -
Love is not easily angered -
Love keeps no record of wrongs -
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth -
Love always protects -
Love always trusts -
Love always hopes -
Love always perseveres -
Love never fails -
B. Through Example - When we look at all the qualities of love, we realize that many of the ones we thought really loved us fall short in some area. Let’s realize that none of us are perfect. The more we get to truly know someone, the more we will see their flaws. Yet, the fact of our humanity does not mean that we can’t love! Let’s have realistic expectations of others. Let’s show love, and let’s allow others to show us love, without expecting that any one individual is going to meet our every need.
Let’s talk about the perfect example of love. Look with me in the gospel of John, chapter 15.
Look at verses 12 & 13 - My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
When we think about the example Christ set for us, we see his love was so great, he was willing even to lay down his life for those he loved. Do we really love one another like this?
Some of us might say, sure we’d die for one another if we had to.
# - pope - heart transplant - give the pope a my heart - feather - give the pope a my heart, BLOW
We can say we would die for one another - and maybe we would - but are we willing to live a life of love toward one another?
C. Love is seen through expression -
What does it mean to love one another? We talked about characteristics of love from 1 Corinthians 13. Now, let’s talk about what it really looks like in our day to day experience. I want to do something a little different this morning. Let’s share with one another what it will look like as a body when we love one another. How, as brothers and sisters in Christ, can w show love to one another? Let’s not give vague terms, but specific examples.
--allow time to share --
In some ways this is similar to the one another passages Bishop Miller shared with us last week. Let me share 6 ways the scripture talks about us showing love to one another. I used the letter “H” to list them:
*Harmony - when we love, we will live in harmony with one another.
Rom 12:18 - If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Rom 14:19 - Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.