Summary: Love --- The Only Quality That Will Last
THE MOST IMPORTANT OF HUMAN QUALITIES # 1
Intro:A. The word used in this passage is charity
1. However the original Greek word used here is "agape"
2. That is not to say that the scripture has been misinterpreted
(a) In that day the word charity and the word love were synonymous
(b) In our day the word charity is more reserved for meaning charitable giving
(c) For the purpose of today’s language the word agape would be more interpreted as LOVE
B. Therefore the passage is telling us that though we may have the gift of eloquent speaking abilities we are just a loud or annoying noise unless we have LOVE
1. Though we have great abilities and knowledge and have great faith even to the point of moving mountains --- without LOVE we are nothing
2. And though we do great things and sacrifice much for the good of others unless we have LOVE it does us no good
C. This passage ends up by talking about our life in Heaven Verses # 10 - 13
1. Faith will be replaced with sight
2. Hope will be replaced with reality
3. But LOVE will remain
D. It is quite evident in light of these words to see that the most important quality in Human beings is the quality of LOVE
E. This message is not only taught here --- The same message is taught in many other parts of the Bible as well
1. We are told that we are to love God above all else
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
2. We are also taught that we don’t really love God if we don’t love others
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
3. And we are finally told that if we don’t love God and others that we aren’t Christians at all
14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
F. Certainly under such extreme circumstances we need to know what this "agape" love is and examine our own hearts to make certain that we possess such LOVE
1. This morning and again tonight we are going to look carefully at what this love is --- And what love is not
I. Love Is Long-suffering --- The dictionary describes long-suffering as "Patiently enduring wrongs or difficulties
A. Another verse says
8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
1. When we really love one another we are able to endure it even when those we love make mistakes or even when they intentionally do us wrong
2. The word endure indicates that it’s not something that we enjoy
(a) It’s just that the love is stronger than the anger and we get over the anger or hurt
3. There’s nothing wrong with getting mad --- Even with those that we love
26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
(a) As long as we don’t allow that anger to cause us to hurt others
(b) And as long as we get over it quickly
II. Love Is Kind --- considerate, benevolent, and gentle to people.
A. Notice! --- It doesn’t even mention the recipient of that love
1. It doesn’t say love is kind to people who are worthy of kindness
2. It doesn’t limit us to being kind to those who are kind to us
3. It doesn’t allow us the right to pick and choose those we are to be kind to
B. What does it mean to be kind
1. It means to encourage rather than discourage
2. It means to look for the good in everyone and bring out their best
3. It means to be complimentary rather than critical
4. It means to offer constructive criticism with love rather that destructive criticism with judgmental attitudes
5. It means speaking in gentle healing tones and helpful words rather than harsh or angry tones
1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
6. And kindness is being sympathetic to the needs and cares of others
III. Love Envieth Not --- Love is not Jealous - Jealousy is a fear of losing someone or something.
A. Jesus Christ was crucified because the religious leaders of that day were jealous