Summary: When I did this one I painted a sign that said "Love Is". Each part of a letter was painted in random order until it was finished. I have the people come up at the end and add a stroke.
Freeing 1Corthinians 13: 4-7 from hijacking
I am sure that you have attended a wedding maybe this year or at least not so long ago. There are certain things you can expect at any Christian wedding. It’s good to have a bride and a groom that helps, and a pastor officiating the ceremony, and without a doubt, if it is a Christian wedding, someone is going to read 1Corinthians 13 4-7. I officiate the vast majority of the wedding I but there was a time and don’t know about you but sitting next to Sheri this is generally how it would plays out or maybe guys this is how it plays out with you and your wife.
It begins like this. The person reading starts “Love is patient” and you get the look. Husbands does your wife have the look? And you get the point “are you listening?”. Then “love is kind” and you get the elbow. Are you listening to this? You are sitting there trying to make notes about what you are going to do tomorrow and you are getting the elbow. And as this thing goes on “it’s kind, it’s not jealous, it suffers long” and this other stuff you start to get elbows then you start to get hits.
By the end of the service she is sitting there crying and you’re sitting there hurting. You look like the walking wounded going out to the drinking fountain or to the reception. If her eyes had been laser beams she would have melted your face off! Have you ever been there?
1Corithians 13 has been hijacked, shoved into the context of weddings, and many of us sitting here today think it was written for weddings and that is where it belongs. I have some great news for you men; you will never have to suffer this again.
That passage of scripture was written to the church. It is an organizational value that is to be woven into the context of the church. 1Corithians 13 falls between chapters 12 and 14, and yes, it did take me many years of advance University of Miami math to figure that out.
But those two chapters deal with the gifting of the body. It talks about how everyone in the church is gifted to do something great. Some of you may have been laid off. Punted from you jobs. You have poured your heart and soul your life into an organization, a corporation and they have looked at you this past year because of the bottom line or whatever and they’ve said to you “sorry, but we can’t have you anymore”.
Men, if this happens to you I know how you feel; it happened to me, twice. You feel rejected. You feel worthless. At a minimum you feel under valued.
I have great news for you today; in the family of God you are never fired. You are never rejected. You are never put on a shelf. Your value before God is infinite. Listen, in Chapters 12 and 14 he talks about how wonderful all of you are put together. How you can do unbelievable things for the kingdom of God.
In the middle of those two chapters, he places chapter 13, where he talks about love. Where he says to each of us, as you do what you do in the organization called the church, this is how I want you to act. This is how I need the church to act.
This is how I want you to be towards one another. Now think about this, if you have a friend in Fairfax County or maybe you are this person who is checking church out, you’re checking Jesus out, you’re maybe trying to weigh if this whole is worth anything. Imagine this. Imagine coming into a community where this kind of love is painted upon the canvas of every soul you see.
Where love is patient. Where love is kind. Where it isn’t selfish. Ladies and gentlemen, if we will capture this one truth this morning, if we will dedicate ourselves to live this out this year, this love, this love we are going to talk about that is beyond reason, there will be radical transformations in your families, in your friendships, in your church, even on your job.
If you will capture one thing this year, and that is this, say to the Lord right now “God paint these words we are about to hear upon the canvas of my soul for everyone to see”. I promise you that there will be transformations in your sphere of influence that will stager you. It will be wonderful.
Paul paints this love for us. What it is supposed to look like, what it is supposed to be and he does in words and it is found in 1Corithians chapter 13 verses 4 through 7.