Summary: What makes love the greatest thing in the word as Henry Drummand called love? What makes it the transcendent truth?
“The Transcendent Truth”
1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
John McAurther writes from one of his sermons as an introduction: "Today I want to talk to you about love. Out of a kids’ book, Love is Like a Crayon, Because it Comes in All Colors, I brought you a couple statements from kids. This first statement is from Camille, aged 9. They asked Camille how to get someone to fall in love with you, and here’s what this little 9-year-old said: "Shake your hips and hope for the best." This is from Tammy, aged 10. They asked Tammy about kissing, and she said, "It’s never okay to kiss a boy. They always slobber all over you and that’s why I stopped doing it." And then one more from Bob, 9. They asked Bob if he knew any original love songs. This little 9-year-old boy said, "Yes, I do.” I’m in Love With You Most of the Time, But Don’t Bother Me When I’m With My Friends.’"
I have discovered that love is something you make on occasions and fall into at other times. It’s been known to produce broken hearts and goose bumps, loss of appetite and starry eyes. It’s inspired some to die and others to kill. Love may make the world go ’round, but it certainly causes a lot of confusion in the process.
What are some misconceptions about love?
1. Love is only a feeling.
A lot of you think love is some kind of an emotion. It’s a knot in your stomach, a certain kind of physical feeling that you have. We’re always searching for that feeling. Because some of us think that’s all it is, we talk about falling into love and falling out of love, which basically means we either feel emotion or we don’t feel emotion.
2. Love is uncontrollable.
When people talk about being in love, they say, "I feel giddy. My head’s spinning. I’m weak in my knees." I think back at the songs that were popular when I was growing up in the 60’s.
"Who Put the Ram in the Rama Lama Ding Dong? Who was that man, I’d like to shake his hand, for making my baby fall in love with me?" You know, back then, songs had content. You know what I mean? Well, I don’t know if the ram in the rama lama ding dong makes somebody fall in love with you or not, because it’s more than a feeling. And love is certainly not uncontrollable. If we believe that it’s uncontrollable, that it’s just something that happens to us, then, of course, the result is that we fall into it. It’s something we cannot change. And of course, that’s wrong.
Somebody said that we need a higher quality of love. I believe that. A higher level. And that’s what we’re talking about today. You see, puppy love does not last through the dog days of life. And I want love that’s going to last longer than a two-hour movie or a 250-page novel."
I. The Argument for Love
What are the virtues of love? Why would the Apostle Paul declare that love was the “greatest?” They all three “abide,” so what separates love from faith and hope?
a. Love is enduring
Endurance is the ability or power to bear prolonged exertion, pain, or hardship, the toleration of prolonged suffering or hardship and the survival or persistence of something despite the ravages of time.
1 Corinthians 13:7 “…endureth all things.”
b. Love is enabling
1 Corinthians 13:7 “Beareth all things...”
c. Love is ennobling
1 Corinthians 13:7 “…hopeth all things...”
II. The Analysis of Love
a. This love is a matter of choice
"When I was a boy, my father, a baker, introduced me to the wonders of song," tenor Luciano Pavarotti relates. "He urged me to work very hard to develop my voice. Arrigo Pola, a professional tenor in my hometown of Modena, Italy, took me as a pupil. I also enrolled in a teachers college. On graduating, I asked my father, 'Shall I be a teacher or a singer?'
"'Luciano,' my father replied, 'if you try to sit on two chairs, you will fall between them. For life, you must choose one chair.'
"I chose one. It took seven years of study and frustration before I made my first professional appearance. It took another seven to reach the Metropolitan Opera. And now I think whether it's laying bricks, writing a book--whatever we choose--we should give ourselves to it. Commitment, that's the key. Choose one chair."
b. This love is a matter of conduct
1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.