Summary: A detailed look at the church and what makes it healthy. We now focus on loving one another.
Love One Another
October 25, 2015
Have you ever tried to love someone you don’t like? Actually, let me make this even easier or maybe more difficult because loving someone you don’t like isn’t easy!
So – let me ask you this . . . have you ever tried to like someone you don’t like? If you were to be honest, that’s not too easy either. OK, let me ask you this one – Nope, that’s it.
Sometimes it’s really difficult to find something . . . anything to say about someone which is nice. If you were to be honest, and I’m talking about being honest . . . you’re not really happy for their existence, you don’t wish anything bad for them,, but their mere existence causes you pain.
BUT, we are called to be long sufferers / patient people in the name of Jesus. That’s not a fun assignment. Here’s the good news — — you’re not alone on this mission . . . because we’re ALL called to be long sufferers in the name of Jesus.
And we are to be long sufferers because we’ve experienced the amazing, powerful love of Jesus in our lives. And because we’ve experienced His love, we are now commanded to love one another.
For the past 6 weeks we’ve looked at what it means to be a unified church, and now we’re moving deeper into the nuts and bolts. The big and small pieces which comprise a church. Today and next week, we’re looking at love.
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 and shouting insults at him. Finally, the actor had taken all he could take. So he threw down his cross, walked over to the guy and punched him.
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, and Jesus never retaliated. So don’t do anything like that again.” The man promised he wouldn’t.
But the next day the heckler was back and worse than before. You could tell the actor was really trying to control himself, but it was about to get the best of him. He was clinching his fists and grinding his teeth. Finally, he looked at the heckler and said, “I’ll meet you after the resurrection!”
Sometimes it’s hard for those who profess to be Christ followers to behave like Christ followers should. We try to carry our crosses, but if someone crosses us, we tend to lose our composure and behave in the same way the rest of the world behaves.
But the Bible teaches us we are to be people who demonstrate love in all of our relationships — as difficult as that might be.
Listen to these words ~
"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" – Romans 12:18
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love" – Ephesians 4:2
"Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy..." – Hebrews 12:14
I could list many other passages which remind us to love one another or to act in a certain manner. All of these scriptures are telling us the same thing. Sometimes it may be difficult, and not everybody will be as easy to love as you are, but if it’s possible, we are to live in peace with everyone.
Today we’re going to focus on the first 3 verses of 1 Corinthians 13, commonly called the love chapter. When a couple asks me to read 1 Corinthians 13 at their wedding, I always start with these verses, because these are the backbone to the rest of the chapter. Paul wrote ~
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Paul points out love is more important than 5 other things Christians consider very important.
In verse 1, Paul says love is more important than spiritual gifts. Understand in 1 Corinthians 12, the previous chapter, Paul was talking about spiritual gifts and ended the chapter saying, “NOW LET ME SHOW YOU SOMETHING MORE EXCELLENT!” This my friends, is what is more excellent ~