Summary: The apostle Paul describes the "most excellent way" of love.
THIS IS LOVE
INTRO.- ILL.- Here are some children’s ideas about love.
- Glenn, age 7 - If falling love is anything like learning how to spell, I don’t want to do it. It takes too long. (loving people takes a long time. It should take a lifetime. We should love people all our lives.)
- Tom, age 5 - Once I’m in kindergarten, I’m going to find me a wife.
- Kenny, age 7 - It gives me a headache to think about that stuff. I’m just a kid. I don’t need that kind of trouble.
- Regina, age 10 - I’m not rushing into love. I’m finding fourth grade hard enough.
- Angie, age 10 - Most men are brainless, so you might have to try more than once to find a live one.
- Dave, age 8 - Love will find you, even if you are trying to hide from it. I’ve been trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding me.
- Ava, age 8 - One of you should know how to write a check. Because, even if you have tons of love, there is still going to be a lot of bills.
- Manuel, age 8 - I think you’re supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest of it isn’t supposed to be painful.
IL.- Here’s a love letter from a woman.
No words could ever express the great unhappiness I’ve felt since breaking our engagement. Please say you’ll take me back. No one could every take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love you. I love you. I love you!
Yours forever, Marie
“P.S. And congratulations on winning the state lottery.”
ILL.- A young man said to his father at breakfast one morning, “Dad, I’m going to get married.” “How do you know you’re ready to get married?” his father asked. “Are you in love?”
“I sure am,” said the son.
“How do you know you’re in love?” asked his father.
“Last night as I was kissing my girlfriend good-night, her dog bit me and I didn’t feel the pain until I got home.”
IS THAT WHAT YOU CALL “PUPPY LOVE”?
Brethren, we know that love is not just something that happens between a man and a woman. Love reaches out to all people, regardless of sex, age, rank, etc. And it is the way that all Christians should live!
ILL.- In the 1986 “Crocodile Dundee” movie, Dundee is, of course, from Australia and visits New York City for the first time.
As best I recall, he is being accompanied by a female newspaper writer and suddenly finds himself cornered by a gang of young thugs. When Crocodile Dundee does not give them his wallet, one young hoodlum pulls out a switchblade and threatens Dundee.
Crocodile Dundee simply reaches behind his back, while saying, “that’s not a knife,” and pulls out a large Bowie-type knife, saying, “THIS IS A KNIFE!”
As we read I Corinthians 13, we can almost hear the apostle Paul saying to the Corinthians about the world, “That’s not love...THIS IS LOVE!” The world’s version of love is not love! Most of the time it deals with lust.
ILL.- A new study found that sex on TV is rising. Well, duh! No kidding! The number of TV programs with sexual content rose from 56 percent in 1997/98 season to 68 percent in the 1999/2000 season. Today, three out of four primetime TV programs contain sexual content 75 percent of the time.
Movies are the most likely to contain sexual content (89 percent). Followed by sitcoms (84 percent) and soap operas (80 percent).
What does this say about the world? What does it say about what the world thinks of love?
The world is all messed up about a lot of things, including love. But let me hasten to say that Christians are not without problems in the love department and in other departments.
The church at Corinth was plagued with all kinds of problems. If you ever thought our modern day churches were the first to experience problems, think again. The church at Corinth had plenty of problems.
There were divisions over leaders and doctrines. There was incest and sexual immorality. There were problems over the Lord’s Supper in the worship services. There was division over the importance of spiritual gifts: who had what gift and which was the most important, etc. They were disorderly in their worship assemblies at times. THE CHURCH WAS SOMETHING OF A MESS!
And the apostle Paul wrote to them saying, “And now I will show you the most excellent way.” I Cor. 12:31b
In a sense, Paul was saying, “You’ve followed the way of the world and now I’ll show you the most excellent way, the way of Christ, the way of true love. The world does not offer true love. This is love.”