Summary: 3rd in a series on love from 1 Corinthians 13
Sermon for 2/15/98
They died from the cold within
Six humans trapped by happenstance in bleak and bitter cold, Each one possessed a stick of wood, or so the story goes. Their dying fire in need of logs, The first man held his back, For on the faces around the fire He noticed one was black. The next man looking across the way Saw one not of his church And couldn’t bring himself to give The first his stick of birch. The third one sat in tattered clothes He gave his coat a hitch. Why should his log be put to use to warm the idle rich? The rich man just sat and thought of the wealth he had to store, And how to keep what he had earned From the lazy, shiftless poor. The black man’s face bespoke revenge As the fire passed from his sight, For all he saw in his stick of wood was a chance to spite the white. The last man of this forlorn group did naught except for gain. Giving only to those who gave was how he played the game. Their logs held tight in death’s still hand Was proof of human sin. They didn’t die from the cold without they died from the cold within.
A. The world problems are caused by a lack of love. They have plenty of love for themselves but no love for others and definitely no love for God. Selfishness is a curse that hurts everyone.
B. In India people do not help others.
C. The world needs agape Christian love. A love that is centered upon Christ and his example. A love that comes from within the regenerated heart of a Christian.
D. So many times the world sees from us the opposite of true love.
Thesis: Let’s examine 1 Corinthians 13:5 and see what love is not and does not.
I. Love does not behave rudely
A. Some Christians think it makes no difference whether they speak bluntly or tactfully, as long as they speak the truth. I pride on speaking my mind.
B. Slap people in the face with the truth.
C. We must try to keep proper manners and also try to keep our lips from repulsive way of speaking. The local gossip column.
D. The Corinthians behaved rudely. They spoke out of turn. They wanted their way even if that meant being a public nuisance.
E. There must be a balance between speaking the truth and showing love.
F. Love gives a Christian power of insight and feeling that teaches him or her to utter truth wisely and to tell the truth in the best way possible.
G. Love makes self-adjustment, but not at the expense of the truth. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” can be dangerous. We must not forsake the truth, but we must not also be rude and obnoxious.
H. John Wesley once had for a traveling companion an officer who was intelligent and agreeable in conversation; but there was one serious drawback- his profanity. When they changed vehicles, Wesley took the officer aside and, after expressing the pleasure he had enjoyed in his company, said he had a great favor to ask him. The young officer replied, “I will take great pleasure in obliging you, for I am sure you will not make an unreasonable request.” “Then,” said Wesley, “as we have to travel together some distance, I beg that, if I should forget myself and just start swearing, that you will kindly reprove me.” The officer immediately saw the motive and felt the force of the request and smiling said. “None but Mr. Wesley could have conceived a reproof in such a manner.” It worked like a charm.
I. Love is not tactless. Many times the problem is that we fail to put ourselves in the other’s place.
J. The story of a man, who said to his preacher, “My talent is to speak my mind.” Replied the preacher, “Out of all the talents, that is a good talent to bury.”
K. Love must be silent sometimes. However, we must speak against evil. Some pain to others is necessary for their own good. Much like a mother who refuses to have child vaccinated. At worst when we speak the truth in the best way possible, these people could insult us.
L. It is better for a man to learn from mistakes. Will we jeopardize his immortal soul because we are afraid of offending him by telling him he needs a Savior?
M. A silence may be fine, but that is too costly if it is purchased at the expense of another’s soul.
N. Man who wanted to save his friend at work. Wendell’s illustration.
Transition: We need to speak the truth in love. We do not need to be rude or obnoxious but we do need to speak the truth. Many times Christians are very rude in public because they know they are right, but is this proper way to act in love? Most of the time when we are rude, we are seeking after our own.